Video Surveillance: Killer App or Network Killer? - Page 2
Video surveillance is moving away from dedicated networks and becoming an IP-based megabyte bandwidth hog. Is your network up to task?, asks Jim Frey of Enterprise Management Associates.
This technology has continued to evolve alongside all other types of video delivered across the network. Dedicated systems still exist, however, most are moving to digital IP-based video so that common networking infrastructure can be used to harvest feeds from multiple cameras simultaneously and deliver them to a centralized digital archive. The network impact of surveillance cameras can range widely, varying primarily along the lines of resolution and frame rate, but can easily consume as much bandwidth as a high-end telepresence CODEC.
A recent announcement by Cisco Systems highlights this. Their new Cisco Video Surveillance (CVS) Manager for UCS Express is intended for branch offices, and supports a maximum of 32 cameras at a bit-stream rate of 1 Mbps, or 15 cameras at 2 Mbps or seven cameras at 4 Mbps. By this summer, they will be offering a full CVS for UCS version targeting data center deployments that will be capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of cameras, according to Geetha Dabir, vice president of Cisco’s physical security business unit.
Fortunately, this is not true real-time video. There is buffering built into most systems, but the essential translation is that surveillance video can generate just as much or even more than other types of video. To get the value out of the investment in high-resolution video surveillance, network managers will have to reserve bandwidth to assure that this traffic is successfully captured by the central storage archive.
The bottom line is that there's a new digital sheriff in town, and that sheriff’s salary could be bandwidth, and lots of it. If you are a network manager, it may be time to have a conversation with your physical security chief to see what lies in store for you and your network.
Jim Frey is a research director at Enterprise Management Associates. Jim has over 24 years of experience in the computing industry developing, deploying, managing, and marketing software and hardware products, with the last 18 of those years spent in network management, straddling both enterprise and service provider sectors. At Enterprise Management Associates, Jim is responsible for the Network Management practice area. Prior to joining EMA, Jim spent six years with NetScout Systems as vice president of Marketing.