Video surveillance multicast networks made easy

Issue 1 2020 IT infrastructure

Video surveillance solutions are transitioning to high-definition IP-based solutions that support advanced analytic tools and reside on integrated, versus dedicated networks. “We find that many businesses are struggling to realise the full potential of modern video surveillance technology due to limitations of the underlying network. They are often faced with long camera re-convergence times, scalability restrictions, security concerns and the painstaking, labour-intensive process of provisioning IP services,” says Andre Kannemeyer, CTO at Duxbury Networking, distributor of Extreme networking solutions.

Shortcomings like these can result in video streaming delays from remote monitoring stations, lapses in video as a result of long network reconvergence times, and a lack of efficiency due to the complexity in designing, managing and troubleshooting the IP network.

“The transition to IP creates opportunities and challenges. On the one hand IP offers greater flexibility – cameras offer enhanced resolution and can be connected to the network with more ease and simplicity than traditional analogue models. On the other hand, IP security networking is daunting, even for IP experts. The design, deployment and troubleshooting of an IP security network can require numerous protocols which must be managed and configured individually.

IP multicast routing, often preferred to unicast routing due to bandwidth efficiencies, can be particularly onerous as it relies on Protocol-Independent Multicast (PIM) being enabled on all routing devices throughout the entire network. New deployments can take weeks to implement due to the complexity,” Kannemeyer points out.

Extreme Fabric Connect enables a dynamic, agile and resilient network where services can be deployed at the edge only. Based on an enhanced version of the IEEE/IETF standard Shortest Path Bridging, Extreme Fabric Connect offers a single, next-generation technology that supports today’s breadth of network services, L2, L3, routing and multicast.

“Extreme Fabric Connect offers a scalable, reliable and efficient way of supporting IP Multicast Routing, without the onerous requirement of configuring, deploying, and maintaining a complex overlay. It eliminates RPF checks, rendezvous points, and complex configuration. With Fabric Connect, multicast can be enabled with edge only configuration, while at the same time offering vastly enhanced scale, performance, and reliability,” says Kannemeyer.

Designed to simplify any video surveillance solution (analogue, IP, hybrid, unicast or multicast), Extreme Fabric Connect eliminates network-wide provisioning practices and substitutes them with very simple end point provisioning with only one or two lines of command.

Provisioning is required on only the ports attached to cameras and monitoring stations/receivers, with no need to provision any core switches in between. “This not only reduces the risk of an outage due to human error during change, but also allows your video surveillance network to be deployed faster and easier than ever before – with the ability to add, move and change cameras on the fly. In addition, once the end points are provisioned, the network will determine the shortest path from source to destination, ensuring your streaming video comes in real-time rather than delayed by a few seconds,” Kannemeyer points out.

Extreme Fabric Connect eliminates gaps in video streams by delivering lightning-fast recoveries from outages. While traditional IP network reconvergence takes anywhere from a couple of seconds to minutes, Extreme Fabric Connect offers sub-second recoveries for both unicast and multicast routing because link and nodal failures are transparent to the video surveillance application.

“In the past you may have been limited by the number of cameras and receivers you could support on your IP network – especially in a multicast deployment. With the ability to easily handle tens of thousands of unicast/multicast streams, Extreme Fabric Connect ensures that the network is ready to handle your current and future surveillance needs,” says Kannemeyer.

For customers implementing video surveillance over a converged backbone, Extreme Fabric Connect provides integrated virtual router and forwarding instances – enabling the creation of an isolated IP network over the same physical infrastructure. This IP network can be created without adding any complex protocols, for example mBGP and MPLS. With Extreme Fabric Connect video surveillance traffic can be completely isolated from other corporate IT traffic by keeping it in its own secure zone.

“Extreme Fabric Connect takes the complexity out of networking. Delivering a comprehensive array of network services, including Layer 2 and Layer 3 virtualisation with optimised routing and IP multicast support, it allows customers to phase out multiple complex legacy technologies gradually and enables all services through a single, next-generation technology,” says Kannemeyer.

For more information contact Duxbury Networking, +27 11 351 9800,,


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