Cisco announces IP surveillance camera

Remote-controlled motion-triggered IP-based camera expected to ship by mid-year

Cisco this week unveiled its video-surveillance product strategy during ISC West, a conference being held in Las Vegas that focuses on physical security systems.

Cisco announced its first entry into the camera business, the Video Surveillance IP Camera, a remote-controlled motion-triggered IP-based camera that can be used indoors or out for security monitoring. Expected to ship by the end of May, the digital camera, based on MPEG4 and JPEG encoding, will work with Power over Ethernet or 12v Direct Current. The Video Surveillance IP Camera will work in wired networks or wirelessly over W-Fi, with options for encryption based on the DES and AES standards.

"This IP camera can be mounted in a variety of housings for indoor or outdoor use," says Steve Collen, director of product marketing for Cisco's Converged Secure Infrastructure Business Unit. He says the pan tilt and zoom camera is expected to cost about US$1,000. The camera, based on the IPv4 protocol, will make use of 802.1x authentication and multicast.

Cisco also updated its existing Stream Manager software for configuration, viewing and monitoring to support the camera through management protocols Secure SNMP 2.0, DHCP and H.264 compression.

Cisco Stream Manager 5.0, which supports as many as 30-frame-per-second video, lets managers pre-program camera monitoring so that specific security personnel can use them at pre-set times and locations through the professional keyboards and monitors for surveillance on the market today, or alternately, a PC or laptop.

Stream Manager will provide policy-based alarm handling and multi-camera synchronized playback. It's priced based on the number of surveillance cameras used by the organization, whether the cameras are made by Cisco or others. Pricing for the software runs about $300 per camera.

In addition to the Stream Manager 5.0 software update, Cisco introduced what it calls its Services Platform for Mass Storage, an external video storage management device that uses SCSI, Fibre Channel and iSCSI to support 64 video streams.

"This mass-storage gateway will work with storage from EMC and NexSan, and we'll be adding storage capabilities over time," Collen says. The Services Platform for Mass Storage costs approximately US$11,000.

Cisco's CTO in its emerging markets technology group, Guido Jouret, is expected to elaborate on Cisco's video-surveillance strategy in his keynote address Wednesday at the ISC West Conference.

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