AXIS 291 1U video server rack - one of the highlights at the Axis booth at ISC West
AXIS 291 1U video server rack - one of the highlights at the Axis booth at ISC West

Axis video server rack solution helps large, surveillance installations manage Axis video servers in a professional environment.  Features include: Quick and professional installation of various video servers in the same rack Expandable system, simply by adding blades and wiring up Integrated power supply, for easy installation/expansion Higher density of video channels compared to standalone solution Improved serviceability and trouble-free unite replacement  Designed for improved serviceability and quick replacement of units, the rack holds up to 3 interchangeable and hot-swappable blades.  There is no need to power down when installing or changing blades.  The Axis video server rack combines high reliability and functionality with quick, flexible and professional installation. Axis video server rack solution for blade video servers The Axis video server rack solution offers improved serviceability and trouble-free unit replacement or expansion - simply add more blades.  The rack provides serial communication and I/O connectors at the rear of each slot, and a single network connection together with integrated power for simple installation. There is no need to power down when installing or changing blades.  AXIS 291 1U combines high reliability and functionality with quick, flexible and professional installation. Flexibility AXIS 291 1U is designed for applications that need to be able to expand, not only by adding more channels, but also by using different types of cameras.  It is ideal for airports, hotels and train stations or other premises where analogue cameras are already installed.

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AXIS Q7401 Video Encoder
AXIS Q7401 Video Encoder

Superb video qualityMultiple H.264 streams Image setting adjustment Intelligent video capabilities Power over Ethernet Audio support Local storage High-performance, single-channel solutionAXIS Q7401 Video Encoder is a high-performance, single-channel solution that integrates an analogue camera into an IP-based video surveillance system.  With outstanding video processing capabilities, AXIS Q7401 delivers superb video quality and significant savings in bandwidth and storage.Reduced bandwidth and storage needsAXIS Q7401 offers the highly efficient H.264 video compression, which drastically reduces bandwidth and storage requirements without compromising image quality.  Motion JPEG is also supported for increased flexibility. Full frame rate in all resolutionsAXIS Q7401 can deliver multiple, individually configurable video streams simultaneously at full frame rate in all resolutions up to D1 (720x480 in NTSC, 720x576 in PAL).  This means that several video streams can be configured with different compression formats, resolutions and frame rates for different needs.Wide range of analogue PTZ cameras supportedAll Axis video encoders connect to analogue pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras to allow for easy operation of these PTZ cameras across the IP network.  Axis' open policy ensures simple and fast integration with most analogue PTZ cameras on the market by including software drivers for more than 25 different analogue cameras, including products from American Dynamics, Bosch, Canon, Panasonic, Pelco, Philips, Samsung, Sensormatic and Sony.Easy installationSupport for Power over Ethernet (IEEE802.3af) enables the unit, as well as the analogue camera that is connected to it, to receive power through the same cable as for data transmission.  This makes for easy installation since no power outlet is needed.

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Video servers (IP transmission) - Expert commentary

Video technology reimagined with the empowerment of IoT
Video technology reimagined with the empowerment of IoT

It amazes me how in a few short years security systems have gone from simple, dumb cameras witnessing events to intelligent eyes, ears, speech and touch solutions that boost situational awareness far beyond human capabilities. It seems the only senses missing from the equation now are smell and taste. And who knows, someone might be working on those in a lab somewhere right now. But what’s really fascinating to me is how the Internet of Things (IoT) has opened a world of possibilities for transforming security technology into something new yet again. With IoT we’re able to push and pull nuggets of intelligence from sources we never considered before: environmental sensors, pressure plates, door lock timers and much more. It’s helped us break through the constraining mindset that security systems are strictly single-purpose. With interconnectivity at the core, we’re starting to imagine myriad ways to apply these tools to challenges outside the realm of security. Here are just a few examples. Flood management assistance Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate remotely As recent hurricanes and floods have shown, water damage can be devastating to a community. That’s why some municipalities are using their city surveillance cameras in conjunction with water sensor to proactively address the problem. Water sensors collect data from multiple sources such as rain gutters, sewer systems and pump stations, in order to monitor fluctuations in water levels and water quality. If an alert triggers, having a network camera in proximity to visually verify the situation helps responders determine the best course of action. For instance, if multiple water detection sensors trigger alerts simultaneously or sequentially over a large area it’s probably due to natural runoff from recent rainfall. But without eyes on the scene, how can you be sure? Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate and identify the cause of a trigger remotely. It might be a fire hydrant spewing water, a water main break or even a chemical spill. With video streaming live to the command center, staff can remotely inspect the area, determine the cause of the trigger and decide whether remediation is required, thus avoiding the expense of dispatching an investigative crew to a non-event. Some municipalities are using their city surveillance cameras in conjunction with water sensor to proactively address the problem Environmental control assistance Data centers house the lifeblood of a business so it’s no wonder why companies work hard to protect them. We’re all familiar with the integration of network cameras with access control systems to visually verify who is actually using the credentials. Network camera adds another dimension and timeliness to flood management by helping responders investigate and identify the cause of a trigger remotely But there’s another aspect to protecting data centers and that’s environment control. Data centers need to maintain optimum humidity and temperature for the racks of electronics. When environmental sensors in the facility detect out-of-norm ranges technicians can remotely command a network camera to zoom in on the gauges and help them determine whether remediation might be necessary.  Coupling network cameras with other sensors in the data center can provide visual confirmation of other conditions as well. For instance, every time a data rack door-open-close sensor detects an event it can trigger the camera to pan to the location and stream video to security. Some data centers employ weight sensors at the doorway to weigh personnel and equipment as they enter the room and when they exit to ensure no additional hardware is being taken out of the facility or left inside without permission. Any discrepancy would trigger the camera to zoom in for a close-up of the individual’s face and send a visual alert and ID information to security. Roadway management and parking assistance Network cameras have long played a part in city-wide traffic management. Adding video analytics and integration with network sensors, makes those cameras that much smarter and versatile. They can detect cars driving in bike lanes or driving in the wrong direction and capture license plates of offenders. Their ability to detect anomalous traffic flow patterns can be integrated with car counting sensors, networked electronic road signs and traffic light systems to automatically redirect vehicles to alternate routes. They make great, intelligent parking lot attendants, too. Working in conjunction with weight sensors network cameras can count vehicles coming into and leaving a lot or garage and verify when the facility has reached capacity. License plate recognition and video analytics can be used to ascertain that a vehicle entering a reserved parking space doesn’t match the credentials and vehicle attributes in the database. With the addition of noise sensors and audio analytics, network cameras can improve roadway and parking facility safety by detecting and identifying specific sounds – breaking glass, car alarms, gun shots, and aggressive speech – and triggering a visual alert to first responders. Network cameras can improve roadway and parking facility safety by detecting and identifying specific sounds and triggering a visual alert to first responders Shopper experience assistance In the early days of online shopping, e-tailers designed their sites to replicate the in-store customer experience. In an ironic turn of events, today brick-and-mortar stores are trying to mirror the online shopping experience. To do so, they’re turning their security systems into adjunct sales assistance. With network video and audio system automation they can recognise and acknowledge loyal customers with personal greetings. Retailers are applying people counting video analytics to checkout activity to create rules-based consistency in customer service With heatmapping analytics they can measure how much time a customer spends in a specific department or observe how they walk through the aisles of the store. They can track shopping behaviors such as items looked at that made it into the cart or didn’t, or whether a customer actually checked out or left the merchandise behind. By capturing these shopping patterns and trends retailers can shape a more positive, more profitable customer shopping experience. For instance, integrating video analytics with point of sale systems and RFID sensors on merchandise tags can result in timely alerts to sales associates to recommend additional merchandise. This is a case of emulating how e-tailers let the customer know that other customers who bought X often also purchased items Y and Z. Or to avoid disappointing customers due to stock outages, retailers are linking weight sensors and video analytics to make sure their shelves are well-stocked and if not, quickly alert associates to what items need to be restocked. Capturing business intelligence Retailers are also using video cameras to monitor checkout queues and trigger automated announcements over the public-address system, closed system such as smartphones or other wireless communications devices that checkers are needed rather wait for a person to call for backup. IoT laid the groundwork for network security solutions to seamlessly integrate with other IP-based technologies, sensors and programs They’re applying people counting video analytics to checkout activity to create rules-based consistency in customer service. While retailers will always use their surveillance camera for loss prevention, they’re finding that integrating traditional technology in new ways can yield even bigger returns. Linking network video surveillance, video analytics, network communications system and sensors with point-of-sale systems and customer loyalty databases, retailers are capturing the business intelligence they need to get back in the game and make brick-and-mortar a greater overall experience than online shopping. A natural cross-over technology This trend towards integration has forever changed how organisations view their investment in security technology. The intelligence and versatility of a tool that can see, verify and analyse what’s happening in real-time is spurring users to tap its cross-over potential for a host of other tasks that could benefit from more astute situational awareness – everything from manufacturing and equipment maintenance to logistics, inventory control and beyond. IoT laid the groundwork for network security solutions to seamlessly integrate with other IP-based technologies, sensors and programs. How we capitalise on that connection is only limited by our imagination.

Top ten security industry mergers and acquisitions of 2018
Top ten security industry mergers and acquisitions of 2018

Consolidation persisted in the physical security industry in 2018, and big companies such as Motorola, Canon and UTC continued to make moves. Also among the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) news in 2018 was a high-profile bankruptcy (that ended well), continuing consolidation in the integrator market, and the creation of a new entity called “LenelS2.” Here’s a look at the Top 10 M&A stories in 2018: 1. Motorola acquires Avigilon Motorola Solutions announced in February that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire video surveillance provider Avigilon in an all-cash transaction that enhances Motorola Solutions’ portfolio of mission-critical communications technologies. Avigilon products are used by a range of commercial and government customers including critical infrastructure, airports, government facilities, public venues, healthcare centers and retail. The company holds more than 750 U.S. and international patents. 2. UTC Climate, Control & Security buys S2 Security UTC Climate, Controls & Security agreed in September to acquire S2 Security, a developer of unified security and video management solutions. UTC subsequently combined S2 with its Lenel brand to create LenelS2, “a global leader in advanced access control systems and services” with “complementary strengths.” 3. Costar Technologies acquires Arecont Vision after bankruptcy Arecont Vision, the provider of IP-based megapixel camera and video surveillance solutions, announced in July that the acquisition by Costar Technologies, Inc. of its assets had been approved by the bankruptcy court. After the closing of the sale, the company began operating as Arecont Vision Costar, LLC and is part of Costar, a U.S. corporation that designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes a range of products for the video surveillance and machine vision markets. 4. Allegion acquires access control company ISONAS Allegion plc, a security products and solutions provider, agreed in June to acquire ISONAS through one of its subsidiaries. ISONAS’ edge-computing technology provides access control solutions for non-residential markets. ISONAS' devices – like its integrated reader-controllers – utilise power over ethernet, making them easy to install and cost effective as they utilise existing customer infrastructures. The company is based in Boulder, Colo. 5. HID buys Crossmatch for Biometrics HID Global announced that it had acquired Crossmatch, a provider of biometric identity management and secure authentication solutions, from Francisco Partners. Crossmatch’s portfolio of products includes biometric identity management hardware and software that complement HID’s broad portfolio of trusted identity products and services. 6. BriefCam announces acquisition by Canon BriefCam, a global provider of video synopsis and deep learning solutions, announced its acquisition in May by Canon Inc., a global digital imaging solutions company. The addition of BriefCam to Canon’s network video solutions products portfolio complements the Canon Group’s previous acquisitions of Axis Communications and Milestone Systems. 7. Allied Universal acquires U.S. Security Associates Allied Universal, a security and facility services company, finalised its acquisition of U.S. Security Associates (USSA) in October, further building on its position in the security services industry. This acquisition includes Andrews International (including its Government Services Division and Consulting and Investigations and International Division) and Staff Pro. 8. Johnson Controls acquires Smartvue Corp. Johnson Controls announced in April that it had acquired Smartvue, a global IoT and video provider that empowers cloud video surveillance and IoT video services. The addition of the Smartvue cloud-based video platform will enhance Johnson Controls’ offering of an end-to-end, smart cloud-based solution that can provide superior business data and intelligence to customers and added value to partners. 9. ADT acquires Red Hawk Fire & Security (and others) ADT Inc.’s acquisition of Red Hawk Fire & Security, Boca Raton, Fla., was the latest move in ADT Commercial’s strategy to buy up security integrator firms around the country and grow their footprint. In addition to the Red Hawk acquisition, announced in mid-October, ADT has acquired more than a half-dozen security system integration firms in the last year or so. 10. Convergint Technologies continues to acquire Convergint Technologies announced in August the acquisition of New Jersey-based Access Control Technologies (ACT), bringing further electronic security systems experience to Convergint's service capabilities. Convergint has strategically grown its service footprint across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific through strong organic growth and the completion of 18 acquisitions since early 2016. And it continues: Convergint announced acquisition of SI Technologies, Albany, N.Y., in November and Firstline Security Integration (FSI), Anaheim, Calif., in December. (And Convergint itself was acquired in February by private equity group Ares Management.)

Data security experts at Bosch and Genetec discuss impact of GDPR on video security
Data security experts at Bosch and Genetec discuss impact of GDPR on video security

Today, more and more video security cameras are increasingly connected to the internet and transitioning into intelligent sensors that collect significantly more data than video security images alone. However, as this level of connectivity and collection of business-sensitive data becomes more widespread, the threat from cybercrime also rises. This is clearly an issue that affects everyone. After all, nobody is immune from cybercrime, not even the experts, which raises the question: What is the viewpoint of the experts when it comes to data security? Geoff Kohl, Senior Director of Marketing for the Security Industry Association, was keen to get the opinions of those who are experiencing the current situation with regard to data protection, and its impact on video security, first-hand. What follows is an outline of the discussion with Gregor Schlechtriem, Senior Vice President business unit Security of Bosch Building Technologies, a global player in video surveillance, and Pierre Racz, CEO of Genetec, who are world-renowned for their software in the safety and security domain. End-to-end security system According to the experts, data security starts with an end-to-end solution The introduction of a key statistic started the conversation: by 2025, it is expected that 75 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. Clearly, this also impacts video security as it is no longer isolated and part of a ‘closed’ system; it has become part of the IoT. Therefore, the focus cannot remain solely on image quality and the reduction of bitrates; equal prominence must be given to data security. According to the experts, data security starts with an end-to-end solution. For example, the consequences of having an unprotected computer inside your firewall are immeasurable; it’s like an open door to cyber criminals. To successfully minimise the risks the complete video security infrastructure needs to be considered, rather than single components. This is a key advantage of an end-to-end security system that eliminates potential weak links. Secure communication between trusted devices So, end-to-end data security solutions have their advocates, but what makes them so persuasive, and effective? Well, solutions such as those developed by Bosch and Genetec are designed to safeguard communication between trusted devices, ensure that video in transit (streamed) or in storage remains encrypted and any commands and configurations to control cameras and other devices are transmitted via a secure channel (HTTPS). When one side questions the design of the other we accept that the observation is accurate" To achieve this effectively requires collaboration, which is why, according to Geoff Kohl, an ecosystem of trusted partners is invaluable, “Risk is not the responsibility of one company. Everyone has to be working together. Bosch and Genetec are obviously doing this.” To support Geoff’s opinion, Pierre Racz believes that trust is a quality to be earned, not bought. A case in point is the 15-year working relationship between Bosch and Genetec, “The engineers know each other. We have a trusted relationship, so when one side questions the design of the other we accept that the observation is accurate.” Management of massive data In what ways can more focus be applied to data security? Although the basic task of video security systems remains unchanged, new technologies are consistently being introduced that offer new possibilities. An example of this is IP technology which, when combined with the increasing computation power, enables video security cameras to capture images of a quality that was previously unimaginable. GDPR instils an obligation to guarantee privacy by design According to Gregor Schlechtriem, “As the industry moves to delivering great image quality it creates new challenges, like how to intelligently manage the massive influx of data. On the other hand, video security devices connected to the internet and the wealth of their collective data is a fantastic enabler for new opportunities.” Video security has undergone substantial changes and offer limitless possibilitiesHe is also of the opinion that video security data should be viewed as business tool that provides insights to improve efficiency, increase security or create new business opportunities. It is clear that, compared to the earlier days, other departments, like marketing, are getting more interested in video security data. Meanwhile, as CEO of Genetec, Pierre Racz confirms that video security has undergone substantial changes and offer limitless possibilities. The change to a digital (IP) infrastructure enables the use of video analytics that deliver metadata. This metadata adds sense and structure to video data and provides metrics such as speed, direction, colour, size, object class and trajectory. The result of this enriched, more business-focused video data collection is a deeper level of business intelligence. Minimising risks Gregor Schlechtriem is only too aware that this level of connectivity also brings a higher level of risk, “Because there is valuable information included in videos we have to focus more on data security, and think beyond the basic tasks of a security system.” Pierre Racz agrees.A digital infrastructure and connectivity opens up countless opportunities The consequences of being hacked are clearly front of mind for him, “If we turn on the news today we can see the circus that has resulted from the global chaos caused by a recent cyber-breach.” By focusing on minimising these risks, Pierre Racz believes that IoT and the technology enabling us to collect and interpret video data will outweigh the risks and provide improvements in health, and wealth. The key learning here is that a digital infrastructure and connectivity opens up countless opportunities, as expressed by Gregor Schlechtriem, “It is the enabler to generate valuable data for your business, to understand what’s going on with video analytics at the edge and derive invaluable data for situational awareness to improve your business. If you don’t use IP, you miss out.” The change to a digital (IP) infrastructure enables the use of video analytics that deliver metadata Operational efficiency Pierre Racz agrees, “Compared to video cassettes we can provide so much more value with the kind of technology that can be initially utilised for security, but then leveraged for operational efficiency and even shared with other departments, such as marketing.” He also believes that, although the economic lifetime of analog equipment is almost double that of digital equipment, analog is a low pass filter, so image quality is limited to standards established in 1937. As Geoff concludes the interview and the various opinions are assessed, it’s clear that the end-to-end data security solutions such as those employed by Bosch and Genetec are the way forward for video data security. GDPR influence Considering the recent changes in European regulations, Geoff Kohl of the Security Industry Association now invites invited Gregor Schlechtriem and Pierre Racz to briefly share their thoughts regarding GDPR – one of the first official data protection acts – and its impact on solutions and business models. If these regulations are applied to Facebook, the resultant penalty will be $1.6b"Pierre Racz highlights the recent Facebook case, “If these regulations are applied to Facebook, a technologically savvy company with $40b of revenue, the resultant penalty will be $1.6b. There is no better example of why data negligence and fiduciary irresponsibility is simply unacceptable.” Gregor Schlechtriem’s point of view is that GDPR instils an obligation to guarantee privacy by design, therefore it should influence any business model from the moment of conception. “You have to bring the right ingredients to the table to guarantee privacy, it’s the responsibility of the system owner. That’s why we analysed our systems to ensure our technology was capable of meeting the requirements.” And, of course, trust. But the significance of this to people's everyday lives must also be considered; a sentiment which Pierre Racz captures perfectly, “Privacy is our democratic right.”