Long ago, security professionals utilized VCR tapes for video storage, which entailed endless hours of searching for video evidence. Video storage has since evolved with smarter, easier options. Now, integrators and end users have a variety of options for video storage based on their needs and budgets.
Certain industries, such as gaming, will probably continue to rely on centrally based applications to support the hundreds and even thousands of cameras deployed in this type of setting. But for other security installations, either edge or cloud-based storage are two options that should be considered.
Benefits of Edge Storage
Edge storage is gaining popularity, especially among smaller installations, because it can be a cost-saving solution. Instead of investing in a separate server, the video management system (VMS) runs directly on the IP camera and stores video to the camera’s SD card. Video can also be archived to network storage appliances for even more versatility.
Edge storage is ideal as a stand-alone, distributed solution or part of a complete enterprise installation. Businesses ranging from gas stations to branch offices or utility buildings with fewer than a dozen cameras on site may find edge storage to be more practical than adding another server. In addition to remote locations and installations with low camera counts, edge storage works well for environments with unreliable wireless or WAN connectivity. The camera records video and audio even when the network is down.
It also provides high reliability for operators because there is no single point of failure. Each camera continuously records as long as the camera has power. The cameras operate independently, so even if one fails and is no longer able to store video, the other cameras continue to function.
Benefits of Cloud-Based Storage
On the other end of the spectrum, companies looking to handle massive amounts of video may benefit from the cloud model. This includes the financial industry, which has considerable storage requirements.
Of course, with cloud-based storage comes a higher bandwidth demand. More bandwidth is required to move the video data that is being constantly generated from the cameras into the cloud. And at this point, it is a more costly option than is feasible for many users.
Also, cloud storage still has to overcome concerns about data safety. Certain industries such as gaming, defense and government may not be ready to — or are restricted from — exploring this option.
Analytics Processing on the Camera
With both edge and cloud-based storage, the focus is turning more and more to the use of video analytics to reduce costs associated with recording high-resolution video. By applying analytics within the camera, selective recording can take place, capturing only those images that are necessary and at the proper resolution.
For instance, a camera can be programmed to detect faces within a specific zone and automatically increase the bit rate for additional clarity, while still maintaining an overall low constant bit rate.
The bottom line for determining what storage option is appropriate comes down to which solution offers the right level of security, timeliness for retrieving data and cost model to fit the unique needs of each business.
Find out more about Edge storage options, including the typical days of video able to store using Edge storage.
Advances in access control have been a bit slower to happen when compared with other sectors in the security industry, such as video, where the advent of IP technology has caused dramatic and transformational change. Spurred by that momentum, the migration to IP technology is also making definitive waves in the access control market, where integration has become essential, costs have come down and new technologies have become available. A product’s ability to integrate, its capacity for saving large amounts of data and accessibility to new technologies has become important to integrators and end users, as has ease of installation and use.
So when it comes to access control, what are some of the top trends to pay attention to in the coming year?
One change within access control and video is a shift from integration to unification. With integrated platforms, the access control and video systems work together, but may still have multiple user interfaces, some operational incompatibilities and/or use multiple servers. A unified access control/video platform can allow for a single server system, provide richer features and lower the overall cost of ownership. Among these increased capabilities is access to deeper sets of analytics and reporting, making it easier for customers to identify and understand trends within their operations.
Another significant evolution has been the adoption of wireless locks. As prices have gone down enough to become accessible to all sizes of businesses, they provide the same security as traditional key-based solutions with the added benefits of accountability and auditing. With a wireless lock, specialized access for each employee can be created, such as in a hospital pharmacy for as low as $500-1,000 per entryway.
The cloud is making waves in access control, as it is in most industries. Concerns remain however, regarding data privacy, bandwidth usage and local accessibility of data in a disaster scenario. In a new report by research house IHS, data shows that adoption of cloud storage for access control systems will remain slow until these specific areas are adequately addressed. Despite these concerns, hosted and managed solutions are growing in popularity, due to their ability to access the power of the cloud.
Enterprise access control is another developing trend. Customers want a single source for information, and there are very few brands in the field today that can offer that. Really, any business with a WAN system can benefit from using Enterprise access control. Without an Enterprise approach, customers are at the mercy of WAN communications, which can be slow, especially when generating reports and using analytics features.
There is no question that biometrics has been the “it” technology for some time. So far, high costs and reliability issues have kept its scope relatively small, but in recent years technology and adoption have increased. The newest focus in biometrics will be non-contact, frictionless access control with upcoming technology likely finger/palm vein and face recognition.
Join us on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. EST for a fast-paced webinar that takes a top-level assessment of the emerging technologies in access control and what they will mean for the architects of security. Attendees of this webinar are eligible for 1 CEU to be applied toward recertification of the ASIS professional certification.
It’s a new world out there. Everything has become smart. Smart car. Smart device. Smart home. But which intrusion devices work best with all of these other intelligent devices and systems?
As you try to make sense of the smart revolution, here are a few things to keep in mind when considering intrusion devices for the smart home.
As electronic devices get smarter and offer more features, data and capabilities, they can also become difficult for the home user to operate and understand. Manufacturers in the intrusion market and beyond recognize that data and operation fatigue are real and can dissuade customers from even considering buying new technology. As a result, some manufacturers are designing intrusion devices that are easy to integrate with other smart products. When shopping for intrusion devices, a top feature to look for is the device’s ability to integrate with other technologies and aggregate controls into a single interface, an interface that is intuitive enough for daily use and that provides immediate value to the smart home owner.
The challenge for device manufacturers, of course, is how to make all these technologies work together and how to bring the functionalities of various smart home technologies together into this simple, intuitive user interface. With this aim in mind, intrusion device manufacturers have formed partnerships with manufacturers of other smart home devices. When manufacturers of intrusion devices and other smart home devices work together in the design and production of their hardware, it is much easier to create the simple and seamless operation that the customer desires.
In order to stay relevant and to provide the best customer experience, smart home intrusion systems must keep pace with broader technological advancements, as well as with partner technological advancements, and integrate them effectively into new products and versions. A product line that is updated often signals that the manufacturer is interested in keeping up with the latest developments in the intrusion market and broader technology market.
Simple and intuitive data analysis is a must have when choosing intrusion devices for the smart home. Being barraged by multiple data streams can be overwhelming. A simple and easy to digest data analysis capability, either native to the intrusion device or in the device’s integration with a larger system, can give a home owner an accurate snapshot of what is happening in the home right from a smart phone.
Though the choices in intrusion devices and smart home components can seem myriad, focusing on these four basic features can help you choose devices that will prove easy to use and give you greater knowledge of your home and its safety.
Learn more about how you can join the SMART Revolution with Integrated Intrusion Solutions by clicking HERE.
With everything that is involved in managing a business – human resources, facilities maintenance, finance — it’s no wonder that small to medium sized organizations can get distracted with running their business and, as a result, have less time to spend actually growing it. To combat this, companies are finding creative ways to be able to concentrate on their core competencies and outsource non-core services such as payroll, IT services, as well as building security and access control.
It used to be that access control or other security processes had to be handled in-house – often requiring current employees to take on these important responsibilities as a part-time job. This sometimes resulted in continual training on the system, which in turn created maintenance inefficiencies and security breaches. When employees take on security as a part-time role, their primary job suffers and so does the access control system.
The advent of cloud based access control is allowing companies to refocus their time and energy back to their core business. Whether a company has a few doors and a couple hundred people to manage or it needs coverage for thousands of people and entry points, the scalability of cloud based access control makes it easy for businesses to meet their ever-changing access needs.
Outsourcing security also reduces capital and operating expenses by eliminating the need to hire and train specialized staff and commit dedicated resources, such as PCs, software, OS updates and IT involvement. By migrating to a cloud based access control system, companies can return some of the funds that would have paid for infrastructure or IT involvement to their core business. The total annual cost of a cloud based access control system is less than that of a traditional access control system.
Managed services can also offer businesses an à la carte choice of security services tailored to the unique needs of the enterprise, where organizations can choose how much of the access control system functions they would like to retain inhouse — such as creating a photo ID card — or what functions are better outsourced. The rise of mobile and web-delivered applications also allows security managers on the go to easily control many of these common security functions. In a managed service environment, business can not only choose their own level of involvement in their system but can also choose when, where and how they can use the system with mobile and browser based system interfaces.
Managed services is the sum of all that’s good: cost savings, improved security, an unparalleled experience and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your security solution is being professionally managed.
Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think about Managed Services: The Future of Access Control.
Communication is at the heart of any successful business and that goes for systems as well as people.
It’s so much easier to run an operation when we have access to critical information on an ongoing basis. Who hasn’t been frustrated by trying to back track to get data after an event, especially when trying to retrieve information on something that adversely impacts operations, such as a theft or a system failure?
Think about a data center. Something goes wrong with a server and it’s your job to determine who was been involved. The room may have an access control system that shows who has entered and exited the room, but the individual server racks are locked with an ordinary key given to anyone with access to the room. Or, worse case scenario, there are no locks on the racks at all.
Instead, there is a logbook nearby with a note instructing anyone who accesses the servers needs to write down their name, date and time. But that simple task can be easily overlooked or ignored. So when the problem occurred, the only recourse was to look at the access data for the room itself and back track, hoping that you could determine from that who you need to contact and interview.
But what if your locks could do the “talking”? Advances in door controller technology now enable businesses to include wireless locks as part of the access system. Wireless locks on server racks or similar ones placed on drug cabinets can provide the detailed information that the written logs or door access can’t guarantee.
Healthcare operations, under the requirements of HIPAA regulations, need to have an audit trail telling them who is accessing drug carts or cabinets, or even medical files. Using a wireless lock linked to a door controller that captures access data will provide that critical information.
The use of wireless locks tied into the access system provides users with a higher level of security as well as a means to track and record data that may be needed when a situation occurs.
Additionally, this information isn’t just available to someone at the site where the servers are located, or limited to IT personnel working in the hospital. Instead, access to this data can be gained remotely, so the head of IT at the corporate data center can see who has unlocked a server at their facility across the country. And the person overseeing security for a group of hospitals can determine who is opening a drug cabinet even if they are in a different building or city. Further, any wireless lock can be tied to a specific video camera, such that an alarm on the wireless lock will cause that camera to pop up at a guard’s station to alert the operator and provide a live feed of the situation.
Wireless locks and how they interface with the overall security system has become an important line of defense and source of information for many enterprises.
How are you leveraging your wireless lock technology data at your company or with your clients?
Learn more about our available wireless lock solutions.
As summer winds down, we begin thinking of cozy days indoors, apple cider, sitting by a fire or of the upcoming holidays. For those of us in the physical security market, we also begin thinking
about the autumn trade shows on the horizon. Trade shows give us a chance to check out new technologies, share our own new products, to see old friends and make new ones. This year’s ASIS International’s 60th Annual Seminar and Exhibition is no exception. As one of the biggest and most widely attended events within the industry, this year’s gathering promises to bring together the best and brightest in physical security.
With more than 20,000 attendees from 80 different countries and 600 exhibitors expected at this year’s ASIS International, there will indeed be a lot to see and do. Hosted this year in Atlanta, Georgia, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, the seminar and exhibition will be held in the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), in downtown Atlanta. The GWCC is a 3.9 million square foot convention center and is part of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which ranks among the top five largest convention destinations in the country as well as one of the best sports and entertainment campuses in the world. So bring your walking shoes!
Speaking of Atlanta, a big thank you to our friends at the Cherokee County School District for participating in a recent case study for Tyco Security Products. CCSD is located in metro Atlanta and is comprised of 57 schools and preschool centers, with approximately 40,000 students and 4,500 staff — a small city itself. We are honored that the district chose TSP as a partner in helping them update the school district’s security systems.
The keynote speakers for ASIS 2014 are Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) and former U.S. Secretary of Defense, with Jon Huntsman, Jr., the 16th governor of Utah (2005-2009) —presentations certain to draw crowds at the conference. Prominent themes predicted for this year’s show include sabotage, internal theft, monitoring communications, the mandates of the Affordable Care Act and how to hire top security professionals. Trends to anticipate seeing in the more than 200 educational sessions include cyber fraud, security metrics, drones and aviation security.
Tyco Security Products will be showcasing a new slate of innovative technology innovations at
ASIS. And we have a lot to showcase. Making its debut at ASIS 2014 is CEM Systems, with emerald, the industry's most multifunctional intelligent touch screen terminal. This intelligent edge device has already received top honors in the ASIS Accolades contest, with the 2014 Security’s Best Award. Also on tap, on the video side, is the E-Series encoder and the latest release of the exacqVision 6.4 VMS from Exacq Technologies, along with the VideoEdge Micro from American Dynamics. You can see a full list of what’s on display at ASIS 2014 from Tyco Security Products.
With the opportunity to get to know our customers better, to see what is new in the industry, and to garner feedback on how we are doing, each ASIS International proves rewarding.
We hope to see you there this year at booth 710.
Or if you’re unable to visit us this year at ASIS, please feel free to speak with us using the comments section below.
The era in which we’re living could one day be called the Visual Age. Screens and monitors are integrated into virtually every facet of everyday life. Video surveillance keeps us safe at the airport and shopping mall. Our smartphone tells us how to get places, how healthy we are, and how to stay in touch with each other via social media. Each device contains a dizzying array of features, each promising to connect us in new and ingenious ways, and in high resolution, making the possibilities potentially overwhelming.
The same holds true when researching and choosing a video management system (VMS) software. Whether you’re a seasoned integrator or a director of security or even a small business owner, the features available in a VMS can be hard to prioritize. What will I be using the software for primarily? Will I be able to give individual users different levels of access to the system? What type of searching and exporting capabilities will I need? How technology-savvy will my staff need to be in order to use the system to its full potential?
To help narrow the field of choices, we’ve provided below four VMS software features to look for when considering a VMS. All VMS software platforms have features that make them unique. These are the priority features that all end users, regardless of industry, should look for when purchasing a solution:
- First, choose a VMS that is fast and capable of easy searching and video management. While monitoring live video is important, most end users utilize VMS software for investigations and finding video evidence. Most of us don’t have time to waste watching video for hours to find a specific segment. There are several different ways to search on most VMS interfaces, including thumbnail and timeline search. Bookmarking and case management functionality lets users permanently save, label and manage important segments of video, audio and data for later reference. Additionally, all bookmarks are retained and protected against deletion. A VMS should have an intuitive interface to quickly find desired video and export the clip to CD or DVD or save it to provide to law enforcement as evidence. The easier and faster the search interface is, the more time it saves.
- Look for systems with centralized administration and configuration. A centralized user interface that allows users to seamlessly administer user privileges, notifications, cameras, storage and more across all servers on the system is essential. Simple and complex video management tasks should all be available from a single screen, making it easier on the end user to navigate and access needed information. Video archiving and extended storage for an entire VMS network should be accessible from the same user interface.
- A VMS’ ability to build a cross-platform, integrated security system is the third essential feature to consider when evaluating a VMS. Many customers have an existing infrastructure, including already established camera vendors or access control systems. A good VMS will integrate with any number of these systems from multiple manufacturers to provide a best-of-breed solution. From access control to point-of-sale analytics, the VMS client should offer users options for a complete surveillance solution of their choice. Intelligence features such as smart search, license plate detection, line cross and more should be possible in the VMS software. The more integrations available through a VMS provider, the more flexibility the end users have to maximize their systems to their specific needs. The VMS software should also be available on multiple operating systems and devices so that end users can easily access live and recorded video.
- And let’s not forget the power of the edge device. A smart video management system will employ the power already available in various edge devices, such as IP cameras, to perform functions like motion detection and video analytics, while sharing the resulting information via an already established network connection. This reduces the need for expensive server hardware and frees up the server’s processing power for other vital uses. Some VMS software can even be directly installed on certain IP cameras, eliminating the need for a separate server. This is ideal for remote locations that need to be connected to a larger, enterprise video security network.
When looking for a VMS system, keep these key features at the top of your list: fast, easy search and video management, centralized administration and configuration, open-platform integrations and powerful edge-based functionality. Who knows? Maybe choosing a VMS with these essentials in mind will prove easier than picking out your next new cell phone.
What other considerations have helped you choose a VMS Software? Please leave me a comment below.
Many hospitals include multiple campuses with hundreds or thousands of doors, employees, and patients to protect. The sheer size of these hospital systems creates a challenge for security executives. Acquisitions, internal growth, and out-of-date equipment complicate matters for facilities when it comes time to upgrade or completely overhaul their existing security.
A single, integrated platform for multiple system management, including security is on the top of many security professionals’ wish lists. Today, there are powerful solutions that can integrate disparate systems with a user experience that is easier to navigate than ever before.
Memorial Hermann Health System needed to centralize security across all of its locations for consistent database management and tighter security procedures. This network of 13 hospitals located in and around Houston has 5,500 affiliated physicians and 21,000 employees. The hospital system covers more than 20 million square feet of space and encompasses 1,762 doors, 1,600 cameras, and 30,000 cardholders.
Like many organizations with an expansive footprint, Memorial Hermann’s security infrastructure included dozens of offline cameras, inconsistencies in database management, unused hardware components, and a security culture as disparate as the independently operating access control systems.
Security executives decided they needed to upgrade to one Software House C•CURE 9000 security and event management platform for the entire hospital system. One of the important hurdles to clear was buy-in from all of the organization’s business units involved – something that many organizations can relate to. Part of the agreement that Memorial Hermann’s security executives made to achieve buy-in for the upgrade was to utilize existing network infrastructure for fault tolerance and resiliency, as well as budgetary restrictions.
With a plan in place, the entire security team - integrator Tech Systems Inc. and Memorial Hermann’s IT and security staff, including Corporate Security Director Geoffrey Povinelli, a member of the Software House Healthcare Advisory Council - migrated the hospital to the new security management platform with all sites centrally managed at the headquarters location. The platform integrates with the hospital system’s Hugs infant-protection product, six different video surveillance technologies, and five audio/intercom products.
More and more organizations around the world are finding answers to their management and physical security questions by centralizing security, along with other sub-systems, for one or more locations. Not only is the technology to do that readily available, but it can help an organization streamline processes, as well as save time and money not just in terms of staff, but in terms of duplicating processes and responding to events faster and more efficiently.
Learn more about Memorial Hermann Health System’s road to a centralized security system.
What concerns do you have about multi-site centralized security migration? Let me know in the comments section below.
Wireless intrusion systems are sometimes shied away from as ideal commercial solutions due to the perception of them being complicated systems that require time-consuming installs, with potential for strong interference and increased on-site maintenance. However, there is wireless intrusion technology that has turned the security industry on its head in numerous parts of the world and is finally gaining momentum in North America.
There are several industry innovations that set PowerG wireless technology apart from other wireless possibilities. One of those distinctions is frequency hopping. Here’s how it works: the intrusion device, such as a motion detector, hops around channels within the specified frequency at a constant pace to find the clearest channel. It takes a large frequency band, such as the 912-918 Mhz band, and divides that into 50 channels, translating into less interference and increased robustness of communication. Frequency hopping enables for coverage of larger areas with fewer repeaters, extended ranges, stronger communication, and better signals.
Adaptive best path transmission power means that the intelligent intrusion devices continuously find easy, strong routes of communication to the panel. That means that PowerG’s high transmission ranges offer reliable communication within / up to 2km / 2187 yards line-of-sight and that systems can reliably send images and audio clips wirelessly.
Constantly hopping frequencies to find the best signal makes devices more efficient and cuts down on interference caused by other equipment or machinery. It also increases security, making it nearly impossible for listening devices to hack into a system. Coupled with 128-bit encryption, one of the most secure web-based encryption standards in place today, provides the highest level of protection against analysis tools and digital attacks.
PowerG technology employs the same, proven frequency technology that is used by Bluetooth and is part of 4G, the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology used in mobile devices today. Thanks to this approach, data interception is extremely difficult to achieve.
Another benefit of this technology is two-way synchronous TDMA communication. Two-way devices allow for back and forth communication – ensuring alarm signals aren’t missed and reducing information collisions. TDMA communication allows each device to talk and understand each other without talking at the same time--particularly useful for applications with a significant number of devices. Ordered time slots for each device minimizes collisions between signals and allow for more devices in an application. Full two-way communication also allows devices to receive orders back from a panel.
In addition, because of the efficiency of adaptive path technology and frequency hopping, the battery savings with such technology is significant. The intelligent intrusion devices find the easiest and closest way to speak with the panel therefore battery power isn’t wasted on inefficient paths of communication or signals that go nowhere. This way battery life ranges increase from five to eight years, depending on the device.
With significantly improved security and reliability, less interference and battery savings, wireless intrusion systems with PowerG technology make going wireless an ideal solution for a wide range of applications. Learn how PowerG is used in PowerSeries Neo from DSC.
Thinking about installing Wireless Intrusion security? Here are Four Things to Remember When Installing Wireless Intrusion.
What else would you like to know about PowerG Wireless Technology? Please leave me a comment below.
Is your legacy analog video security system reaching the end of its life? Some companies have been hesitant to make the leap to IP-based video, while other companies continue to look for the most cost-effective solutions to utilize existing infrastructures and maximize their surveillance investment while also adding new IP cameras. Meanwhile, the benefits of switching analog cameras and aging DVR systems to IP-based surveillance systems and network video recorders (NVRs) continue to grow.
Leverage Existing Infrastructure and Add IP Technology
Video surveillance technology is rapidly improving. Hybrid NVRs allow users to connect existing analog cameras and encoders as well as the latest IP cameras to the same server. This approach maximizes a company’s initial security investment while providing the flexibility to upgrade over time. As a result, end users can add IP cameras to their system in order to reap the benefits of high definition resolution, panoramic video, camera-based video analytics, and more.
So What Makes IP Video Better?
View a short video showing why IP video:
IP-based video provides radical improvements over analog video. IP video is transferred over a computer network cable instead of a coaxial cable, which provides options for more flexible and higher resolution video. IP video improvements include video resolution, event analytics, and situational awareness
- Larger, flexible viewing areas - Standard definition analog cameras have a maximum resolution of 704 pixels wide by 576 pixels tall—or .4 megapixels of resolution. Most IP cameras are between 1-5 megapixels, and some are up to 20 megapixels. In many cases, one IP camera can cover the same area as four or more analog cameras. Flexible resolutions are available to optimize the viewing area of the user’s environment. IP cameras can define their own aspect ratios to meet specific needs.
- Panoramic video – There are many IP cameras on the market today that use multiple lenses and imagers to create 180 to 360 degree fields of view. Other cameras utilize panoramic or “fisheye” lenses to achieve these parameters on a single lens. A good VMS will allow you to bring this powerful video into your server with a single stream and to even zoom in and move around within the image for greater detail.
- Improved camera analytics – Many IP cameras make use of video analytics that are built into the software or firmware utilized by the camera. These “smart” cameras can detect when a person or object crosses a line, detect objects left behind or removed from a field of view and more. These events are sent from the camera to the server so the user can be quickly notified. This approach does not require as much processing power from the server while freeing it up for other video management system tasks
- Manage video from anywhere – IP-based video gives users the opportunity to easily view live and recorded video from any location through a PC, web browser, or mobile device.
How to Configure Your System with Analog and IP
If you need to know what server best suits your needs based on the cameras your company has in place or want to add to your system, an online configuration tool can help you calculate the approximate storage and bandwidth necessary for a security system. Users can simply enter the number of analog and IP cameras, the number of streams, compression, desired video resolutions, and other features to find the best NVR that fits their needs.
If you’ve thought about making the switch to incorporate IP video in your security system, watch this informative recorded webinar to learn the dramatic benefits IP video can have on your business.
What are your greatest concerns regarding the migration from Analog to IP Video? Please leave me a comment below.