A CLEER Path To IP - Modern method of migration from analog to IP

A CLEER Path To IP

Modern method of migration from analog to IP

For hospitals and critical care facilities, security and access control systems are a key part of the situational awareness and security management platform. Typical hospital campuses have a wide array of dated analog surveillance and access control equipment. Those systems need to be modernized to current IP technology standards, which allows them to centralize the control, management and maintenance of the overall security operation.

ROBUST SECURITY

Hospitals are open institutions, and hundreds if not thousands of people visit daily. They can be a robust security and surveillance challenge. Patients and their families, medical professionals, EMT vehicles and air evac helicopters, as well as suppliers are coming and going all the time. Security areas of exposure include: entrances, waiting rooms, mental health in/out patient areas, emergency, maternity and parking garages all need demand security measures and management well beyond the norm for standard security applications.

A typical hospital can have several hundred cameras, proximity readers and panic button points of connection. Such security dense challenges drive an almost continuous need for the modernization. The upgrade from analog systems to IP technology is mandatory. Technology that can, for example, deliver six times the view area and many times the resolution of traditional analog CCTV camera systems is desirable.

Operationally, hospitals are 24/7 facilities. That means when considering a construction or retrofit project, operational disruption or patient care interruption can be a complicated and expensive undertaking. The financial risk of not coordinating a technology retrofit correctly can be very high; a lot is at stake.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

Most new IP systems are installed with IP devices connected via unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and/or fiber to a switch, then to a network recording device or software and control equipment. This methodology has its limitations.

For example, if you wanted to retrofit or migrate to IP video surveillance from analog CCTV, you had to re-cable using Cat- 5+ UTP and/or fiber. If the analog cameras transmission distances were typical, cable extenders would have to be added every 328 feet and necessitate the installation of a wiring box and supplying specified power to that equipment. That increases cost and complexity.

It gets worse. It could also require that all old cable to be removed, per fire code—and the UTP or fiber was pulled into place, terminated and tagged. For a hospital facility, this type of project causes a lot of disruption within many areas of operation, lab testing and patient care may be shut down until the wire is pulled out and reinstalled.

An alternative to that scenario, at least for an analog camera retrofit, is to utilize the installed legacy coax cable which can be repurposed with the use of Extended Reach Ethernet or Ethernet over Coax (EoC) technology. The elegance of the EoC solution is its simplicity of design and application; that is, use existing coax and reduce overall cost. The technology enables more end users/installers to approach an IP migration project with a new set of timetable, financial and installation parameters.

DEVIL IN THE DETAILS

The CLEER (Coax Leveraged Ethernet Extended Reach) transmission system from NVT is an enterprise grade switch designed to transform the existing coax infrastructure into an IP path with PoE.

It delivers fast Ethernet (100Mbps symmetrical) and PoE via coax with up to 2,000ft of reach on RG6. This technology is proven to eliminate infrastructure barriers to IP migration, creating a robust network in line with industry best practices. The CLEER technology allows installers to approach IP migration, minimizing time and labor associated with cabling and installation of IDF closet infrastructure.

Ethernet Extended Reach over Coax Advantages

Here is a summary of the most important points:

  • Supports almost any kind of coax cable, allowing re-deployment of legacy wire.
  • Extended distance capable, six times that of Ethernet. This eliminates the need for IDF closets/boxes and/or PoE extenders, and local power.
  • Ability to connect multiple IP cameras to one coax cable; saves cable, time and resources.
  • IP migration can be done at customer’s pace, incrementally.
  • Simple, economical and quick installation.
  • Environmentally responsible re-use of existing cable.
  • Facility disruption is dramatically reduced.

LEVERAGING EXISTING INVESTMENT

The flexibility of the Ethernet over Coax solution provides cost-effective, simple and seamlessness migration avoiding wholesale “forklift upgrades.”

If one were to install an entirely new Ethernet infrastructure, the project would be done in one pass, forcing a large expensive retrofit. Using legacy coax and/or UTP allows the luxury of migrating from analog cameras to IP cameras, in the timeframe chosen by the end-user. Because CLEER technology takes advantage of the reuse of legacy cable and reduced labor, it can cost as little half the cost of an IP upgrade.

ETHERNET DISTANCE ISSUE

Conventional Ethernet repeaters must be installed every 328 feet. For the installer, that typically means IDF closets in odd (expensive) locations throughout the hospital facility in order to create a proper repeater data/ power supply point. This usually involves a lockable closet that must have un-interruptible AC power installed. A camera at 750 feet requires two repeaters. These repeaters and their associated connections all add up to being a potential remote point-of-failure headache.

With the CLEER-based PoE, an average of 500 watts of power is provided at the control room, with up to 20 watts can be distributed to each of the 24 CLEER transceivers and their PoE cameras or any IP device compliant with IEEE 802.af/at. No repeaters are needed so the distance and power supply problem is solved without impacting the budget. Cameras can operate from the same UPS as the control room equipment.

NO POWER FAILURES

Every CLEER switch comes standard with PowerWISE technology that allows up to four CLEER switches to be stacked for power sharing and power redundancy. PowerWISE allows hot swappable power supply, AC/DC power flexibility, power sharing and redundancy, and remote power management for each CLEER port.

The point-to-point infrastructure creates a dedicated physical path for every IP camera; ensuring data traffic has no impact on the video stream.

SIMPLE INSTALLATION

CLEER provides an easy-to-connect, transparent network that is very simple to use, reliable, and affords seamless integration between existing cable and the Ethernet backbone.

The CLEER’s product features also include two GbE Copper-Fiber high speed uplink ports, an intuitive GUI web based interface that allows the user to monitor, update, configure and troubleshoot switches in real time, making camera video management simple and easy.

NO FACILITY DISRUPTION

Extended distance using any wire and any topology allows incremental migration. This allows the end-user’s operations to control the impact on its work schedule. In the case of hospitals for example, this minimizes the disruption of service to patients. In a gaming application, it allows gaming tables and machines to operate within the gaming authority’s surveillance guidelines.

The CLEER solution is not limited to the support of IP cameras. It can easily be used to provide Ethernet throughout a hospital facility for access control, wireless access point support, IP phones, door stations, guard shacks, or any other Ethernet transmission application.

The elegance of a CLEER solution is its simplicity of design and application. Installation is easy, data is robust and reliable, and everyone saves. CLEER technology enables more installers to approach an IP migration project with a new set of financial and installation deployment options.

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Security Today.

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