IP cameras are not always IP network friendly

May 2008 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

The benefits of IP cameras are self evident, however, eager sales people and pressurised security personnel might be tempted into installing a set of cameras without giving due consideration to the impact they will have on the corporate network.

Simply assuming that IP cameras will make use of the corporate network to transmit their images is a serious error that will not only reduce or completely kill the operations of the cameras, but could also affect the running of the business.

Networks were designed to, and are used to, transfer business data in copious amounts, but in some companies even today's networks are straining at all the information people and applications transmit. It is therefore critical to ensure IP camera traffic will not disrupt the flow of business data before installing the cameras.

To prevent any unpleasantness, a network impact analysis needs to be completed before the rollout begins. A network impact analysis is simply a way to determine the health of one's network and its capacity to handle more traffic. There are numerous tools companies can choose from to do the analysis, with certain vendors punting tools they prefer, but the process itself is pretty standard.

Network audits

To start with, a high-level audit is done to obtain a birds-eye view of the network, its components, operations, the opinions of those managing and using it, as well as existing strategies that will place an added strain on it. In this process, each system and hardware component is categorised.

This in itself is a worthwhile exercise as it often highlights weak links in the network where older technology is creating a bottleneck. It also allows management to see exactly what data is traversing the network daily - a discovery that shocks many business leaders. Knowing what data the company is transporting often leads to new company rules disallowing social networking sites and videos (and other unsavoury items found on the Internet), a move that often lowers network utilisation dramatically.

A service provider worth its salt will also review the event logs of its customers' servers, workstations and managed devices to try to squeeze the ultimate performance from their systems. Many service providers will ignore the log because scanning them can be a boring and lengthy task no one really wants to undertake.

Once completed however, the company will have a clear understanding of what its network does and what additional loads it can carry. The next step is to determine what load the new network of IP cameras will add.

Additional image bandwidth

One of the benefits of IP cameras over CCTV systems is that their images can be tweaked to suit the needs of the company. Administrators can, for example, only allow one image to be broadcast every few seconds or have full motion video. New technologies in which cameras manage themselves will prevent the devices from transmitting any images until the camera recognises a problem, sounds an alert and starts broadcasting.

Analysing the needs of the company will assist in designing the optimal camera setup that uses but does not abuse the network. Determining the exact bandwidth usage of a camera is difficult. It depends on factors such as image size, compression ratio, frame rate (images per second) and resolution.

Fortunately, there are many tools available to assist in determining how much bandwidth cameras with specific settings will consume. These tools also offer a good idea of the storage requirements of different camera settings.

If the corporate network cannot handle the traffic, the team responsible for the video images will have to consider either a joint operation with IT to upgrade the network, or to create a separate network specifically for images, or reducing the bandwidth required by reducing the quality and therefore the size of the images transmitted.

A careful analysis of the existing network and the security requirements of the company will empower the management team to make an accurate decision on the best course of action.





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Avoiding human error at ports
LD Africa Transport (Industry) CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Products Logistics (Industry)
LD Africa introduced a local port to the AxxonSoft Port Security System ,a solution that helps overcome the element of human error and eliminate paperwork.

Read more...
Compact, lightweight bullet cameras with support for analytics
Axis Communications SA Products CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Axis Communications announced two new outdoor-ready bullet-style cameras featuring deep-learning processing units for analytics based on deep learning on the edge.

Read more...
Numerous challenges for transport and logistics
Transport (Industry) CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Security Services & Risk Management Logistics (Industry)
Operators are making significant investments in automation and digitalisation in order to address security concerns, improve loss prevention as well as efficiency, and reduce unit order costs.

Read more...
A key to urban transport challenges
Axis Communications SA Transport (Industry) CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Integrated Solutions Logistics (Industry)
There are many enabling technologies that can impact transportation in South Africa, but a good place to start is by considering the applications for smart physical technology with the ability to collect and respond to data.

Read more...
Hikvision aims for solutions
Technews Publishing Hikvision South Africa Editor's Choice CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring News Integrated Solutions Conferences & Events
Hikvision recently held a roadshow titled Industry X, where the company highlighted its latest products and solutions, supported by partners and distributors.

Read more...
Reliable, low-maintenance video appliances
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring News IT infrastructure Products
Symetrix, part of the Agera Group, has added the AES range of video recording servers, storage appliances and workstations to its portfolio.

Read more...
A new full-colour era
Dahua Technology South Africa CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Traditionally, there have been two options for using surveillance cameras in the dark: flooding the scene with visible light, or alternatively using infrared (IR) illumination.

Read more...
AIoT delivers dynamic digital platforms
Hikvision South Africa CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Many stadiums or venues are seeking new, smart solutions that can help venue operators to stay on top of real-time situations dynamically on digitally driven platforms, and to achieve more efficient and sustainable venue management.

Read more...
Upgraded security and AI monitoring at upmarket estate
Watcher Surveillance Solutions Editor's Choice CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Integrated Solutions Residential Estate (Industry)
Estate upgrades and enhances its security through a partnership between surveillance specialist Watcher and the incumbent guarding company.

Read more...
Security solutions that go the distance
Avigilon Logistics (Industry) CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Asset Management, EAS, RFID Transport (Industry)
Avigilon self-learning video analytics help detect potentially critical events and issue an alert within the ACC dashboard, allowing officers to then verify event alarms.

Read more...