Rapid Growth

Millions IP cameras shipped globally in 2016

According to IHS, last year an estimated 66 million network cameras were shipped globally, which led to a 48 percent increase in the raw capacity of enterprise storage for video surveillance. The video surveillance market is growing rapidly and this growth can be attributed to many factors, including the growing awareness for the need to improve safety and security around the world. This is forcing governments and organizations to take a proactive approach toward video surveillance.

Additionally, improved technologies such as better camera resolution and more advanced and accurate analytics is making video surveillance attractive to a growing number of clients. Companies are also applying video surveillance technologies to improve business efficiencies, whether it’s in logistics, smart cities, retail or countless other markets. The evolution of the video surveillance industry, which has spurred these technological innovations, can be attributed to the industry’s move towards IT. However, the IT industry is not moving towards video surveillance at the same rate, which presents challenges to security professionals.

The Importance of Purpose-Built Solutions

Many of the traditional CCTV systems across the world are analog systems that transmit an analog video signal over coaxial cable back to a video recorder, such as a DVR or monitor. For several years, the video surveillance industry has been making the transition to IP solutions, which means that a digital camera sends data via a computer network. IP solutions allow for better picture quality, greater flexibility and scalability, and the use of video analytics. This transition to IP has fundamentally changed how security systems are conceived, designed and deployed.

This fundamental change means that security professionals are now embracing network equipment in their projects. However, they’re regularly using infrastructure built for IT as part of their security system. This can be attributed to some IT companies failing to offer surveillance-specific solutions and simply providing their IT offerings to security professionals. However, this can cause massive headaches when these solutions underperform. By selecting purpose-built infrastructure, such as storage and servers, security professionals can leverage solutions that are specifically designed to perform optimally in a write-intensive video surveillance environment with surveillance-specific features that optimize the read/write process during operation.

When using servers and storage for IT in video surveillance, frame dropping and security leaks (gaps in the recording) become real threats –and this can have serious consequences. Higher resolution cameras and longer retention periods place an even greater burden on IT infrastructure and increase the chances of dropped frames. In these situations, having purpose-built solutions for video surveillance becomes absolutely imperative.

Promise Technology develops purpose-built NVRs and storage solutions that include a suite of proprietary features called SmartBoost Technologies. These unique features are designed specifically for video surveillance applications and enable them to overcome performance bottlenecks and handle a much higher number of IP cameras than competing solutions.

Education for IT and Security Professionals

The move toward IP video surveillance and understanding the importance of deploying purpose-built solutions relates closely to the growing need for education and training amongst IT and security professionals.

Many security professionals have been in the industry for decades and have developed extensive knowledge around analog systems, but now they must understand all of the effects of the industry’s move towards IP. With analog solutions there was no need to calculate bandwidth and data as they were often plug-and-play. Alternatively, in IP solutions, everything is dynamic.

This means that project design process is crucial. This can really only be done properly after the security professional has undergone certified training and education on all key components in a security system. Certified hands-on training is essential. The bigger the project, the bigger the impact and consequences are when dealing with such a large number of cameras, data and storage.

Promise hosts free video surveillance certified training courses around the world to equip security professionals with the skills and expertise they need to design, install, configure and maintain the optimal security solution for their customers.

The First Step Forward

The video surveillance industry is incredibly dynamic and this presents challenges to security professionals. The first step in overcoming these challenges can be delivered through certified training programs and by utilizing purpose-built IT infrastructure.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Security Today.

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