Considerations for Infrastructure

Considerations for Infrastructure

Compound annual growth expected to continue through 2023

Security is top of mind for consumers around the
world and businesses across industries. This is evident
in the booming video surveillance market. Markets
and Markets estimates the video surveillance market,
including both analog and IP video surveillance
systems, will grow from $36.89 billion in 2018 to $68.34 billion by
2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.1 percent
between 2018 and 2023. The market for IP video surveillance systems
is expected to grow at an even higher CAGR. IDC expects there will
be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices, or “things,” generating 79.4
zettabytes (ZB) of data in 2025, with most of that data being generated
by video surveillance applications.

What is causing this explosion in IP video surveillance, in addition
to concern for public safety, is largely the swing to IP systems from
traditional analog systems. Using IP cameras and NVRs instead of
DVRs replaces separate cable connections to each camera with Ethernet
networks that connect multiple cameras to the recorder.

There are several benefits to deploying IP surveillance systems
over analog systems as you plan your infrastructure from endpoints
through edge to core.

Easy to Install, Easy to Expand

In the past, most surveillance cameras were connected by one discrete
cable. Gone are the days when a recorder with 16 cameras would require
16 separate cables. Leveraging an IP connection over a network,
all you need now is one ethernet cable for each camera to connect to.
No matter the size of the company, from a mom-and-pop shop with
a few cameras to a commercial bank with 100-plus cameras, surveillance
cameras at endpoints can connect to the secured network and
then to a centralized recorder and server.

With traditional analog cameras, adding cameras would mean
adding more recorders and more cables for each one. In an IP world,
you can support additional cameras simply by registering each additional
camera to the network using its IP address. In home security,
if you want to add a camera to your front porch, you can just hook
it up to Wi-Fi, assign an IP address, and the camera starts pinging
the network while the recorder constantly pings for new connections.

ONVIF Enables IP Conversations

ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) is the open standard
protocol that allows IP cameras to communicate and link with other
surveillance components, including network recorders. As new cameras
are added to a network, the recorder can negotiate and recognize
the cameras and begin recording video streams.

ONVIF also allows common camera parameters such as resolution
and frame rate to be set by the recorder. System administrators can also control PZT cameras from the recorder console, aiming and
zooming the cameras as needed to optimize visual coverage. ONVIF
and IP technologies allow for flexibility and outstanding control of
the surveillance solution.

Bypass the Brick Wall with Wireless

Adding surveillance to an old building, such as one built with brick
or stone, can be challenging if only analog cameras are considered.
The ability to use a wireless IP removes this literal physical barrier
and enables cameras to connect.

Instead of breaking through a brick wall to install a cable, you can
wirelessly transmit video captured on an IP camera to a recorder via
the IP network. This gives IT and security flexibility in configuring a
network and building the right infrastructure to support it.

Who You Gonna Call?

The lines are blurring between IT and security administrators. There’s
architecture, and there’s infrastructure. On a company network, the
same IP infrastructure can be used for networked PCs, phones, and
audio/visual. In a classroom setting, sharing a streaming video for educational
purposes uses the same network as the surveillance system.

In both cases, although you are leveraging the same network and
equipment, it’s crucial to have a firewall between the PC users and the
security team and data captured on surveillance cameras. Which raises
the question for systems integrators: whom should I talk to first?

Since security shares the same equipment with IT to protect data,
you might consider contacting the security team first, then IT. It may
be different for a bank, airport, school, library, or casino. However,
regardless of industry, infrastructure and security are tied closely together
on an IP network.

Storage Considerations for IP Video Surveillance
from Endpoints to Edge to Core

The storage needs of the surveillance market are different from other
industries because of the 24/7 nature of video surveillance and often
inaccessible locations of security cameras. Even though much of
the data captured may seldom or never be used, it’s critical that oncamera
storage provides an uninterrupted recording in a variety of
extreme conditions for an extended period of time.

Even if connectivity is lost between cameras, the system must provide
a NVR, back-end storage used for analytics, AI and other use
cases. The IP network is the glue that connects all three of these.

Storage on IP cameras. The IP camera market is expected to
cross $20 billion by 2024, with shipments growing at over 25 percent
CAGR from 2017 to 2024, according to Global Market Insights Inc.

As the market makes the shift from analog cameras to IP-based
systems, the connection between the camera and NVR becomes a
growing vulnerability point. Without storage at the edge (on the
camera), the mission-critical video could be lost. The percentage of
surveillance cameras with onboard storage is growing because of the
need to provide storage backup during intermittent communication
failure with the NVR. Having storage in the camera allows uninterrupted
recording of potentially valuable video.

With the migration to 4K and higher video resolutions, and the
introduction of more smart cameras with built-in AI and improved
local processing capabilities, surveillance cameras need to be able to
store both video and raw data to facilitate these AI-enabled capabilities.
As a result, storage with higher capacity, more intelligence, and
greater durability is increasingly required.

You don’t want to miss a frame. Make sure you use IP cameras
that allow for onboard storage for your surveillance camera
system. On-camera video storage is critical to providing peace of
mind by securing points of vulnerability in the surveillance solution
where possible.

Storage on the network NVR recorder. The fact that more horsepower
is available at the edge does not take away from the importance
of other components in the system. Today’s data environments are
more complex and distributed. Video is no longer stored in a single
node. Even though the data environments remain focused on capture,
store, and analyze, data is not flowing in a single direction.

Storage on the NVR needs to be designed for 24/7 continuous
operation and optimized to accommodate many camera streams and
record them without dropping a frame. Any regular hard drive won’t
do; NVRs require storage designed for continuous recording of many
streams of HD and 4K video content.

It is becoming common to see data analyzed at the edge, near the
source where data is captured. This brings time-to-insight advantage,
saves on the cost of communication, and can be used as a failsafe
precaution. However, many systems will still deploy a centralized
NVR to act as the core of the system for privacy/security and costeffectiveness.
Even if the system archives data to the cloud, the NVR
might still be used as a local gateway, ensuring the data that moves to
the cloud is not sensitive data.

Storage for back-end analytics. Today, with the commoditization
of compute power and advancements in flash technology, cameras
can do more than just capture streams to feed to an NVR or, in the
case of an enterprise, transfer all of the footage to the cloud at a
data center. In this new era, more compute power is being driven to
the edge. We’re also seeing the evolution of more data analytics happening
at the edge. Applications such as facial recognition, number
plate identification, and object classification can happen at the edge,
providing real-time data and insights on the situations as they are
being captured.

In addition, there is still a need to collect large amounts of data
in order to observe patterns that can be used for model training or
training the AI engines. This can be done either in the core of the system
or in the cloud. There is also a need in many systems to provide
long-term archives of footage which can also be done in the core, on
the cloud or distributed between the two.

The structure of data storage is now a hybrid solution of fast data
stored and accessed close to where the action is and slower big data
residing closer to the core of the network. Finally, slow/cold data is
eventually stored on a storage system optimized for archival or on the
cloud for long term retention and usage.
“As the lines between IT and security
blur, it is important to build the right
infrastructure to support IP video
surveillance and facilitate conversations
with both IT and security teams.”

IP Video Surveillance: Building the
Next Generation Infrastructure

IP video surveillance is growing rapidly, replacing analog systems of
the past. There are several advantages to implementing IP video surveillance
systems: ease of installation and expandability, the ability
for surveillance technologies to talk to one another, and leveraging
wireless IP for connectivity.

As the lines between IT and security blur, it is important to build
the right infrastructure to support IP video surveillance and facilitate
conversations with both IT and security teams.
Building that infrastructure for success includes
storage considerations from endpoints through
edge to core, at the camera level, the NVR, and
the back-end.

This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Security Today.

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