Another challenge that IP presents is in selecting and configuring the storage to be used for video retention. In the analog world, DVRs typically were deployed with the storage entirely in the box. Deploying the same model for an IP solution, with all storage in the server, is no longer efficient or cost-effective for any but the smallest of projects. Instead, common deployments combine servers with expandable storage in all-in-one solutions, or with a two-component solution of mix-and-match server and storage modules.
The solution in servers
Despite all of these challenges, there are several things an integrator can easily do to eliminate headaches and instead leverage themselves into new revenue opportunities.
First, choose server and storage platforms only from vendors who are 'physical security aware.' The easiest way to determine this is to view the vendor's Web site and call up the list of certified physical security vendors who have certified their products with them.
Often the list proves to be non-existent, since the hardware manufacturer hasn't tested their products with IP cameras or with software for video surveillance, analytics, PSIM, access control etc., just IT.
That means they are unaware of the challenges that multiple IP cameras writing continuously and simultaneously to storage devices can cause or other similar issues. The manufacturer won't be able to help select the right hardware for installation, offer meaningful advice in configuration, or provide useful post-installation help.
Instead, select a vendor who offers dozens or more security products that are certified with the hardware through a documented testing program, often preloaded in some manner with the device. Joint testing is best of all, with both the platform vendor and the camera or software manufacturer participating in order to ensure the installation will be straightforward and that future problems can be quickly resolved.
Second, choose a vendor that offers built-in multi-mode or server virtualization technology, preconfigured for security needs. The savings in installation complexity and ongoing support challenges can rival the savings in hardware and energy consumption the technology delivers.
There is no reason a security integrator should have to learn all of the complexities of virtualization, when products exist that offer the technology preinstalled and configured specifically for physical security project requirements.
Finally, ensure that your selected vendor includes a storage component that is easily expandable and optimized for the needs of physical security for demanding applications like video surveillance-without having to add servers every time you need more capacity.
Having video surveillance optimization technology built in ensures that disk drives don't fragment when recording from multiple IP cameras over a long period of time and eliminates the risk of dropped frames. That can ensure long-term success, something not possible with commodity IT hardware alone.
By leveraging these areas, you can generate new revenue to profit from the continuing changes that IP brings to physical security, instead of being a victim to constant change.