Migrating to all-IP video surveillance

Internet Protocol security tips for business professionals

IP video surveillance is becoming the security solution of choice due to the latest H.264 compression technology and declining prices for IP cameras. The converged world of voice, video and data has officially arrived.

All-IP video security leverages your investment in network infrastructure, and is simpler, more elegant and accessible to users across the enterprise. In many cases, it also is more cost-effective than a conventional video surveillance system with analog cameras and digital video recorders.

Using IP cameras, video management software (VMS) running on industry-standard servers and network-area storage systems, you can maximize the value of your investment in network infrastructure and standardize on servers across your enterprise, enabling efficiencies in training, administration and support.

But all-IP video isn't for everyone. It makes most sense in expansive, greenfield applications requiring a large numbers of cameras. University campuses, shopping and entertainment complexes, hospitals, hotels, airports, big box stores, warehouses and office towers are examples in which all-IP video security is a no-brainer. However, bringing video security onto your IP network is far from an all-or-nothing proposition. Using advanced video security technology, you can evolve toward an all-IP configuration at a pace that makes sense for your environment.

Take, for example, a university campus with several buildings under construction. It can take advantage of the cost efficiencies of a converged voice, video and data system in the new buildings and continue to leverage its investment in legacy video security infrastructure in existing buildings. Common VMS software can be used to operate the resulting hybrid video surveillance system.

You don't have to rip and replace analog cameras and coaxial cable until you're ready to do so. You can even progress along the technology migration path in your existing buildings if, for example, you wish to install a high-resolution IP camera in a strategic location, integrate with other building systems such as fire alarm and access control systems, or deploy advanced video analytics that can alert security staff in real-time to unusual activity.

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Fabrizio Colciago

Network World
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