The Kentucky Exposition Centre is among the top largest public facilities in the country offering close to 1.4 million square feet of indoor space, over 300 acres of outdoor demonstration areas, and parking for 19,000 vehicles.
Operated by the Kentucky State Fair Board, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, the facility is home to the century-old Kentucky State Fair, the National Farm Machinery Show, and the North American International Livestock Exposition. It also hosts a full schedule of year-round events including conventions, trade shows, sports, concerts, and a variety of other engagements. This recently expanded multi-use facility features two indoor arenas and an outdoor stadium that can accommodate over 73,000 people simultaneously. It also offers a 600-seat auditorium, 35 meeting rooms, and a championship-size, covered equestrian/livestock arena with over 1,000 permanent horse stalls and room for 720 additional temporary stalls.
Monitoring and patrolling such a large and diverse campus has become a challenging undertaking. To help support and strengthen security efforts, a security design expert was engaged to develop a plan for deploying a pilot surveillance system in the Centre's South Wing.
With a solid reputation for providing the state of Kentucky with many successful information infrastructure solutions, EMC was selected to supply a powerful, reliable, and highly scalable storage platform for the new video surveillance system. Recommended by EMC, and chosen for its leadership and innovation in security intelligence, Verint Systems Inc. contributed an advanced video surveillance and management solution flexible enough to accommodate expansion of surveillance areas and provide support for greater management and analysis capabilities as required. Verint Nextiva is a powerful, integrated IP video solution suite that features bandwidth-efficient video encoders, sophisticated video analytics, robust video management software, intelligent policy-based video distribution, automated system health monitoring, and an intuitive user interface.
Surveillance of Kentucky Exposition Centre is a hard task due to its vast area and numerous resources
"With our growth, we have started to attract larger and high-dollar value events," says Alicia Montgomery Dunlap, Information Systems Manager for the Kentucky State Fair Board. "Implementing a state-of-the-art video surveillance system was a natural next step, and helps us fully address the expectations and security requirements of our customers."
Advanced, 24x7 surveillance capabilities for "CLASS A" exhibit space
An integrated solution consisting of a combination of 20 fixed and pan/tilt/zoom cameras, a Dell server running Verint's Nextiva Video Management software, and a 3.2-terabyte EMC CLARiiON CX3 series-based system have been supporting advanced video surveillance and management capabilities for the facility's South Wing conference centres and "CLASS A" exhibit space for the last seven months.
Verint's Nextiva works in conjunction with high-performance, highly available EMC CLARiiON CX series storage to continuously record and archive incoming video streams. Older video is purged automatically after approximately 60 days, as specified by customer-set policy.
"We purchased a seven-foot rack to start housing the storage for this system and with our expansion plans, we expect to quickly fill it," says Dunlap.
Nextiva also enables cameras to be configured to execute certain actions at various times. For example, "trip lines" can be implemented to trigger cameras in specific areas and times to zoom in on activity, such as a door opening in a closed exhibit hall. Nextiva enables video records to be quickly and easily retrieved from the EMC CLARiiON CX series system for viewing virtually anytime and anywhere.
Verint's Nextiva is flexible enough to work with a wide variety of security cameras
"We had an instance recently where we were trying to determine who was leaving a door unlocked," says Dunlap. "We were able to easily call back and review video records to find out who was involved and when it happened so that we could reiterate with those folks the necessity of locking the door so equipment doesn't walk away."
The fact that Nextiva is flexible enough to work with a wide variety of security cameras is also an advantage, both in terms of balancing expenditures within a state budget and acquiring the right equipment to meet particular needs.
"Because of Nextiva's flexibility, we can essentially purchase whatever cameras suit us best from lower cost fixed cameras to those with lenses or features we would like to take advantage of," says Erik Marvin, Network Analyst III. "We learned that those would also be compatible with our Verint system." Also part of the Centre's strategy to build out its security management capabilities are plans to incorporate Nextiva analytics on board the Nextiva encoders. These integrated, embedded analytics will help security personnel more rapidly detect and address events, with significantly lower bandwidth, server, and storage requirements than server-based video analytics.
"Right now we only have 20 cameras, but once we move beyond the 60 to 80 mark, we plan to take advantage of the additional security management and analytics capabilities that Verint offers," says Marvin.
EMC and Verint engineers closely collaborated to ensure that Nextiva software was properly installed at the centre
Coordinated service and support
Because events are continually in progress, installing cable and cameras had to be coordinated around those events. Trained by Verint before installation, a team of technicians from Orion Systems worked closely with the Centre's IT team to facilitate a non-disruptive installation.
Meanwhile, EMC and Verint engineers closely collaborated to ensure that Nextiva software was properly installed on the designated recording server and that supporting EMC CLARiiON CX series storage was up and running. Despite having to squeeze work in between events, the entire installation from start to finish only took a little over a month to complete.
"EMC, Verint, and Orion were very engaged in our project and ensured that everything was working the way we wanted it to," says Dunlap. "EMC played a large role in bringing everyone and everything together. We were comfortable knowing that if we needed anything we could just make a call. Everyone worked well as a team, and it seemed like they were all from the same company."
Success and scalability set the stage for future expansion
The success of the Verint Nextiva system supported by EMC technology in the South Wing, coupled with the easy expandability of the solution, has solidified the Centre's strategy to extend video surveillance capabilities to indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the entire facility as budgets and needs permit. This includes video surveillance and traffic support for the Centre's parking lots as well as for the "Circle of Champions" road that rings the perimeter of the property. Plans also involve deploying a similar solution at the Centre's 460,000 square foot sister facility, The Kentucky International Convention Centre, which extends across two city blocks in downtown Louisville.
"One of the system's greatest advantages is its scalability," says Marvin. "We merely have to install cameras and add more storage, which is easy to do on the CLARiiON, and we can quickly expand our surveillance capabilities when and where we need them." EMC information infrastructure solutions, such as EMC Documentum content management software, EMC Centera content addressed storage, and other EMC storage platforms to support storage, backup, and archiving needs on the enterprise side also are being considered to help support the Centre's many needs from e-commerce to video streaming.
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