Faced with the challenge of providing video surveillance to an entire college campus, Scott McInturf of N.C. State University knew he would have a big job ahead of him. The campus includes 35,000 students, 8,000 faculty and staff, more than 2,000 acres and 500 buildings that house critical infrastructure installations such as a nuclear reactor.
“N.C. State is the size of a small town,” says McInturf, who is a Project Manager with the school’s AllCampus Network. “Our job is to provide the technology to efficiently and effectively protect all these assets in an urban environment with a dynamic population.”
The N.C. State installation has more than 350 cameras located in multiple departments on campus. The AllCampus Network is an N.C. State department that manages the servers, storage, and technology while offering each campus department the opportunity to purchase and integrate the security technology they need into the campus standard. McInturf acts in a consultative role, and even though there is central funding and parameters for technology, the departments still are able to choose what they spend their money on, such as a department deciding to upgrade to a higher-security door locking system for areas that might have biologically sensitive materials.
As new buildings are built or when a department expresses security concerns, the AllCampus Network serves as security consultant, with University Police, providing the standards and criteria new users need to address. The parties agree on a security template for the building and the AllCampus Network provides the “customer” with budgets, project management and technical support.
“There were a lot of legacy systems in place and they had been individually purchased by the departments. What we’re doing is trying to move those campuses into central system,” McInturf says. “The hard part was to show the departments that there is a benefit to being part of an enterprise-level system.“
McInturf and the AllCampus Network chose the Latitude Network Video Management System (NVMS) for DVTel to manage the video surveillance on campus. “When I talked to other organizations and schools, they had run dedicated networks for their security systems,” says McInturf, who notes that a separate network just wasn’t an option for N.C. State. “That was a key driver — the system had to be run over the same system as our campus network.”
Video is used for live monitoring and incident review. The video is maintained in a central secure location, so departments don’t have this responsibility and the university knows that data is safe stored. Each department has access to only its camera data, and they can maintain their systems with autonomy while still being part of a larger campus-wide system that offers uniformity and economies of scale.
Note: SecurityInfoWatch.com editor Geoff Kohl contributed to this story.
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