Top 10 Video Myths Revealed

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Whether you open a newspaper or turn on the TV, Video Surveillance is in the news! It is a booming market. However there are some pervasive myths out there, especially when it comes to the transition of video surveillance from closed circuit analog to IP. Avoid a boom and bust and ensure your transition to IP is seamless by learning the truths behind the myths…

10) I’m the Chief Security Officer … I don’t need to worry about the network

VidSec-10.jpgThe days where video surveillance was analog, ran over its own dedicated network infrastructure and accountability fell clearly in the Chief Security Officer’s line of command are long gone.

The transition from analog to IP surveillance cameras and the transition from a dedicated network to one where video surveillance traffic runs alongside other applications over the IT network, are making life increasingly complicated from both a technical and an accountability perspective. Who’s in charge – the chief security officer (who is responsible for physical security of the environment) or the chief information officer (who is responsible for the network)?

The answer is, they both are. This new era of IP video surveillance marks the happy marriage between physical security and networking security. CSOs will need to understand the “network” and CIOs will need to understand the implications of IP surveillance traffic.

9) Most networks are equipped to handle modern IP video surveillance demands

VidSec-9.jpgWith the sales of IP video surveillance cameras poised to overtake analog camera sales in 2014, you’d expect that IP networks would be ready. Think again! Talk to any video surveillance integrator or architect and a totally different picture emerges.

Problems are more commonplace than you think. For example:
• Daily practice of resetting cameras upon arriving at work every morning – CHECK
• Nuclear power plants with a network re-convergence time of 35 minutes – CHECK
• Networks that are unable to scale to meet today’s surveillance demands – CHECK
The reality is many IP networks are not equipped to handle TODAY’S video surveillance demands, never mind the demands of tomorrow. Why? Because most IP networks are based on legacy protocols. Rome wasn’t built in a day… and neither was the network. Ethernet has been built upon “one floor at a time”, with each protocol layered on top of one another to the point where an IP protocol stack now resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It works, but when you put it under stress it crumbles.

What if we told you there was a better way? A next generation network architecture that revolutionizes the old. Rather than adding on further protocols, it encases the existing ones into a single protocol – greatly simplifying the provisioning, management and time to service of the network. The result is a network that can handle your IP video surveillance demands, today and into the future.

8) Bigger, better megapixel cameras will fix my problem.

VidSec-8.jpgHigh definition, megapixel surveillance cameras continue to flood the market. The technology enables users to rapidly identify individuals, and even read license plates and observe activities from a distance. It allows security officers and investigators to quickly evaluate, understand and analyze events. Crimes can be solved faster, citizens kept safer… the list goes on.

However, as the adage goes “you are only as good as your weakest link.” This is particularly true when it comes to today’s IP surveillance solutions. Irrespective of how expensive a camera is or how many megapixels of resolution it has, if the network has insufficient bandwidth or is not optimized for the application, performance suffers.

Think of a High Definition camera like a Ferrari … if you drive it on the German Autobahn, its performance is exemplary. However, if you drive it on a 20 year old highway with limited lanes and congestion points, performance suffers. It does not matter how much horsepower the engine has, it is limited by what it runs over.

Investments in video surveillance equipment will only get you so far without the network.

7) Lapses in video footage is inevitable in larger surveillance networks

VidSec-7.jpgThere is an ever increasing need for real time video streaming to multiple parties at many different locations. For example, a transit authority monitoring highway traffic may share its video streams with local and regional transit operations, transit police, storage devices and analytic tools. In the event of a highway accident, multiple video streams need to be pulled up instantaneously.

Unfortunately, it is often at these times – when video footage is urgently needed, that the system fails. What does the operator see? Blurry or distorted images at best, or a blank screen at its worst. This ranges from the mere inconvenient to the downright dangerous. This is particularly problematic in larger surveillance networks as it can take seconds, if not minutes, for the network to re-converge (that is the time taken for the network to recover from a blip or failure) and for the operator to regain video footage.

While lapses in video footage may be all too common, that doesn’t make it acceptable. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Avaya’s networking solution ensures always on video surveillance. In the event of a problem, the network re- converges in milliseconds – not seconds or minutes like other available solutions. The video footage is not impacted.

6) “I’m in the Security business – of course my IP video surveillance traffic is secure …. right? RIGHT?”

VidSec-6.jpgYou would hope that your video surveillance traffic is secure! Certainly in the past when surveillance traffic ran over its own dedicated network you could be reassured that it was secure. But times are changing and while the transition to IP brings lots of benefits, it also brings things that you may not have considered. Leveraging the same IP network for surveillance traffic as well as other applications, can pose security risks. Most traditional local area networks or LANs do not deliver true end-to-end separation of traffic which makes the infrastructure vulnerable to security breaches such as VLAN jumping. (Think of VLAN jumping as having your own dedicated lane in a swimming pool only to find someone has hopped lanes and is in your space). Ensure this doesn’t happen to your video surveillance traffic. Deploy a network that offers secure end-to-end traffic separation.

5) IP Networking is daunting

VidSec-5.jpgGranted there is a reason why the “Networking for Dummies” book approaches 900 pages and you get 120 million plus hits when you Google “IP networking”. The reality is IP networking can be daunting – and complex – and intimidating – and costly (“CCIE training or my kids university fund?…. hmmmm”) The design, deployment and troubleshooting of a traditional IP network requires numerous protocols which must be individually managed and configured.

But here’s the thing – it doesn’t have to be this way. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Avaya offers a network that is much simpler. To deploy. To set up. And to manage. With Avaya you can reduce time to service to 1/10 of the effort; you can conduct adds, moves and changes in minutes not weeks.

4) Video Surveillance is critical to my business and has unique requirements. It NEEDS its own network infrastructure

VidSec-4.jpgNot at all! The reason some customers deploy a separate infrastructure for video surveillance is often the result of the pervasive myths highlighted here.
It is due to a lack of trust in the reliability of the infrastructure OR the risk associated with other services impacting video surveillance OR the lack of scalability for multicast deployments OR a lack of multi-service support OR a combination of all of the above. There is a perception that life will be easier and better if video surveillance is kept separate from other applications. That an infrastructure dedicated to surveillance will be less complex to engineer, more reliable and scalable, and offer greater security.

The good news is Avaya can give you all of the above without the drain on your wallet. You do NOT need to build out a separate network infrastructure for Video Surveillance. We can give you what you need: Simplicity, Scalability, Security, Compliance and Performance. Irrespective of your application (whether it is voice, video conferencing, video surveillance, digital signage, IPTV, financial tickers, desktop imaging, etc), our networking solution is ready to handle your current and future needs.

3) Multicast is too complex, unreliable, and doesn’t scale

VidSec-3.jpgIf you ask administrators which delivery system they would prefer to use for video surveillance traffic, the answer is multicast. But if you ask them which delivery system they use, the answer will most likely be unicast. Why the discrepancy? Why, when multicast offers greater bandwidth efficiencies, do administrators default to unicast?
The answer is that multicast is perceived as too complex, too unreliable and it doesn’t scale. This is nothing new to IT departments who have been suffering through Multicast deployments over the last 15 to 20 years. With video surveillance transitioning to IP, the multicast headache is heading your way.
There is a better way …With Avaya, multicast deployments are as easy as unicast (if not easier); and you can scale multicast to new levels.

2) Deploying services must involve weeks of planning and hours of implementation

VidSec-2.jpgToday it takes hours, weeks, and even months of preparation to deploy a new service across IP networks. Why? Simply because of the level of complexity associated with extending a service using existing legacy technology, such as VLANs’ to extend such services. This translates into configuration at every node or switch throughout the network, which despite the qualification of your IT staff, requires proper planning and change management control. There is also a great deal of business risk associated with such a deployment, and nobody will take a chance on doing it without proper testing and configuration validation. And it will typically be done at off-peak hours when you will need to pay an overtime tax.
What if you could, today, provision end to end services, but only have to touch the edge of your network? With virtually no downtime.
Basically, you just provision where the service is to be used, and where it’s being offered and, you are done. Now you can let the network SERVICE your application needs.

1) Avaya is a Unified Communications and Contact Center company… and brings nothing to video surveillance

VidSec-1.jpgWe can’t fault you for thinking that. Avaya is often thought of as a voice and video company ( #1 market share in Unified Communications and Contact Center and our recent acquisitions in video conferencing is testament to our strength in these areas).

But there is more! Avaya offers a comprehensive networking portfolio and its Fabric Connect solution is setting a new standard in simplicity, scalability and performance for IP video surveillance.
We can help you solve all of the above challenges TODAY using industry standard protocols and best practices.

Skeptical? Here is what a network architect at Pelco had to say about Avaya’s Solution.

• “It’s a revolutionary change both in performance and in simplicity of deployment”
• “When I was initially contacted by Avaya my initial response was no. Then I was shown the technology and I was blown away. It really is phenomenal.”
• “I have never seen faster re-convergence.”

To learn more:
• Avaya IP Video Surveillance solution
• Avaya Video Surveillance Video

Want more Technology, News and Information from Avaya? Be sure to check out the Avaya Podcast Network landing page at . There you will find additional Podcasts from Industry Events such as Avaya Evolutions and INTEROP, as well as other informative series by the APN Staff.

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Thanks for stopping by and reading the Avaya CONNECTED Blog, I value your opinions, so please feel free to comment below or if you prefer, you can email me privately.

Public comments, suggestions, corrections and loose change is all graciously accepted 😉
Until next week. . . dial carefully.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Fletch911


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