Ethernet switch makers find untapped opportunity in video surveillance

According to a new report from IHS, the video surveillance industry is becoming an increasingly attractive market for manufacturers of Ethernet switches looking to diversify from the IT sector which is becoming more consolidated.

IHS said that the prolonged migration from analog to IP video and the continued expansion of video surveillance around the globe have sustained market growth rates for network video surveillance equipment, with current growth forecast at 21.6 percent. However, the research firm expects even more growth in the market for Ethernet switches used in video surveillance applications and forecasts that the market will more than double over the next three years, topping $500 million in 2018.

“Although the majority of networked security cameras have PoE capability, end users are only just realizing the full potential due to increased homogenization between standards bodies and manufacturers. The result is that installers are now designing a video surveillance network with PoE Ethernet switches as standard,” wrote IHS Market Analyst Aaron Dale in a research note. “The growing size and complexity of video surveillance networks also fuels growth in the market for Ethernet switches. The development of more sophisticated video surveillance networks undoubtedly puts strain on the cabling and infrastructure. As a result, unsuitable equipment can easily become overloaded. Network bottlenecks are one of the leading causes of video surveillance network problems, yet network infrastructure commands a comparatively low spend when compared to cameras and recorders.”

Dale said that a number of Ethernet switch vendors have been quick to capitalize on the growth in this market and have started producing solutions tailored specifically for video surveillance. Additionally, there have been a host of new partnerships announced between the makers of video surveillance and networking equipment, such as the recent partnership between Extreme Networks and Milestone Systems.

“Such partnerships are likely to lead to video surveillance being increasingly incorporated on wider networks with more than one purpose for example telecom, IT, access control and video surveillance,” added Dale. “However, as this market matures it is likely to be become a difficult one to ignore for even the biggest IT focused switch manufacturers. Right now only a handful offer products tailored for the video surveillance market, such as Allied Telesis, D-link Corporation and Extreme Networks.”