Edge vs server analytics

SMART Surveillance 2023 Surveillance

In today’s fast-paced digital era, organisations are harnessing the power of video analytics to gain valuable insights and enhance their security measures. Two prevalent approaches have emerged for processing video data: edge-based analytics and server-based analytics. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it’s crucial for organisations to evaluate their requirements and consider real-life examples to make informed decisions.

Carlos De Almeida.

This article explores the pros and cons of these approaches, referencing AxxonSoft video management software, as well as organisations that manufacture NVRs and cameras with edge-analytics. We will also discuss the global trend of leveraging cloud services such as AWS or Azure for video management software and address the impact of challenges like load shedding on cloud solutions in South Africa.

Empowering distributed intelligence

Edge-based analytics refers to the process of performing video analytics at the edge devices themselves, such as cameras or network video recorders (NVRs). This approach offers several benefits. First, it reduces bandwidth consumption by processing video data locally, transmitting only relevant information to the server. This efficient use of network resources is especially valuable in scenarios with limited bandwidth or in remote locations.

There are many organisations that leverage edge-based analytics to enable distributed intelligence for their clients. Their software utilises advanced algorithms directly on the cameras or NVRs, enabling real-time event detection and response without relying heavily on centralised processing. This approach is particularly useful in applications such as perimeter security or critical infrastructure protection where immediate action is necessary.

Centralised processing for advanced insights

In contrast, server-based analytics involves sending video data to a centralised server or cloud infrastructure for processing and analysis. This approach offers significant advantages in terms of scalability, computational power, and advanced analytics capabilities. With powerful server hardware and cloud services like AWS or Azure, organisations can leverage sophisticated algorithms, machine learning, and deep learning techniques to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of video data.

AxxonSoft utilises components such as NVRs as part of their video surveillance solutions and adopts server-based analytics to provide centralised management and analysis. These solutions allow for post-event investigation, long-term storage, and advanced forensic analysis. For instance, facial recognition, object detection, or behaviour analysis can be performed more accurately and efficiently when the computational burden is shifted to powerful servers or the cloud.

Global trend: cloud solutions

The global trend in video management software leans toward cloud-based solutions. Companies are increasingly looking to leverage cloud services like AWS, Azure and many more to deploy and host their video management software. Cloud solutions offer flexibility, scalability, and simplified maintenance compared to traditional on-premises deployments.

Cloud-based video management software allows organisations to access their video data from anywhere, at any time, using various devices. It enables centralised management, facilitates collaboration, and streamlines system upgrades and maintenance. Moreover, cloud solutions offer robust data security with encryption, access controls, and redundancy measures built into the infrastructure.

Load shedding challenges

South Africa faces unique challenges, such as frequent power outages due to load shedding. These interruptions can significantly impact the availability and reliability of cloud solutions. In such scenarios, organisations relying solely on cloud-based video management software might face difficulties accessing their video data or maintaining continuous surveillance operations during power disruptions.

To mitigate these challenges, a hybrid approach that combines edge-based analytics and server-based analytics can be employed. By deploying edge devices capable of performing video analytics locally, organisations can ensure continuous monitoring and event detection even during power outages. The locally processed data can be synchronised with the cloud once the power is restored, ensuring seamless operation and data integrity.

Finding the right balance

When considering edge-based analytics versus server-based analytics, organisations must evaluate their specific requirements and constraints. Edge-based analytics excel in scenarios with limited bandwidth, real-time response needs, and decentralised architecture. On the other hand, server-based analytics offers advanced analytics capabilities, scalability, and centralised management.

While cloud solutions offer numerous benefits, organisations operating in regions prone to power outages, like South Africa, must carefully consider the impact of such challenges on continuous surveillance operations. Combining edge-based analytics with server-based analytics can provide a robust solution that ensures uninterrupted monitoring, even in the face of power disruptions.

The choice between edge-based analytics and server-based analytics is not a binary decision. Organisations must analyse their unique requirements, consider real-life examples like AxxonSoft, or manufactures like Dahua and Hikvision, and evaluate the impact of regional challenges such as load shedding. A balanced approach that combines the strengths of both methodologies can empower organisations to achieve optimal video analytics performance, scalability, and operational resilience in an increasingly interconnected world.

For more information, contact AxxonSoft Southern Africa & SADC, +27 10 442 4284, southern.africa@axxonsoft.co.za, www.axxonsoft.com


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