Beyond the DVR

Storage and retrieval applications are blossoming in the security market.

The scalability of the DMSS and Raid Storage system is impressive. The DMSS was tested by a third party, the Tolly Group, in March, 2007. This single unit was tested as supporting 512 cameras and 80 TB's of available storage.

“The system interface, Multi-View, is designed around simplicity for the operator. From a design and integration perspective, the DMSS offers several ways to configure the system, via command-line interface (either remote Telnet session or direct console connectivity) or via Windows graphical interface. The DMSS supports a variety of network infrastructures and supporting configurations. Support for existing analog camera devices can be added using IP encoders. Steelbox provides a comprehensive SDK and API that allows third-party systems to integrate with and control DMSS functionality. The DMSS controls the amount of bandwidth required by offering the option of frame rate reduction and transmitting video across the WAN on event or on demand.”

“The DMSS supports both distributed and centralized models easily. The distributed network model requires additional design and implementation knowledge to support transmission of video across the WAN.”

“Using the DMSS to provide distribution only, system designers can tailor systems around a centralized storage model using video distribution to provide all frames back to a secured environment. At this point, storage via disk drive remains the best option for long term availability of video data.”

Pitfalls for NVR Installations

The biggest bear trap to deal with in designing any NVR installation is dealing with the bandwidth available to you in your network. You really need to work with your IT staff early in your planning to ensure that they have the “pipes” ready for your implementation. Look for their assistance in designing your security solution.

There are many techniques to minimize this problem. Some of them have been mentioned earlier — such as smart cameras which only transmit what you really want, technologies that compress transmissions, distributed networks and NVRs to keep the bulk of the activity in certain network segments, etc. But the bottom line is that video streaming uses a lot of bandwidth. Plan accordingly; remember your IT staff are your best friends here.

The Next Round of Innovations

There are many areas of opportunity ahead of us. One is the adoption of mass storage devices for video data. The IT industry is coming out with new approaches to handle the increasing volumes of data we all deal with.

What does Steelbox say about next areas of innovation?

“It is necessary for the industry to adopt a standards-based format for storing, indexing, and retrieving meta-data associated with video analytics. This will allow best-of-breed applications to develop, allowing for stored and real-time video searches similar to the way we “Google” the Internet for word matches. Without this, I think that video analysis will advance at a very slow pace and take years to reach a point where it is generally deployable”.

Another area of development just over the horizon is actually the human interface with all of this technology. For a glimpse of where we are heading, take a look at the development of Microsoft Surface technology:

Imagine using this technology to control PTZ cameras, to identify and zoom in on a suspect, to trigger alarms and lock doors, to retrieve and transmit video images to anyone (such as the authorities responding to your 911 call), to the handset carried by your responding security guards, etc., simply by the movements of your hands over a control application on a “surface enabled” console.

Eduard L. Telders is the director of enterprise information security at T-Mobile. Since 1981 he has served in physical security, information security, corporate contingency planning and safety programs in the banking, insurance and financial industries. He is active in a number of security trade groups and associations such as ASIS, ISACA, InfraGard, the AGORA, CyberGuard Advisory Council, and others, for both physical and information security, and he is a contributing technical editor for ST&D.