Articles by Mig Paredes
Temperature, dusty and dirty conditions, along with limited access to networkingmakes remote location video surveillance extremely challenging Properly conducting video surveillance for any organisation comes with several challenges. Not the least of which is how to architect a system that finds the right balance between quality, cost and bandwidth impact. This becomes even more challenging in non-traditional, demanding environments that are uncontrolled or highly dispersed, whether that’s an oil field, outdoor ATM machine, city intersection or a host of other “no-man’s land” environments where there is less control over the temperature, dusty and dirty conditions, and with limited access to bandwidth and IP networking. A primer on video surveillance for all organisations First, before we move on to harsh environments, let’s look at how most organisations address video surveillance recording. Until recently, many companies have planned video surveillance systems around cameras that capture and stream video over a network to centralised general purpose IT servers and storage systems. That video can cause major network bottlenecks. For almost all organisations, network infrastructure planning does not take video surveillance network needs into account. The networks are typically designed to handle information related to the business such as emails and application servers, and it’s often prioritised according to the business’ function. For instance, on a network within a bank – transactional data will be made a higher priority than video surveillance data. The shared network bogs down video surveillance systems (or the other way around) and prohibits companies from running the kind of video surveillance quality that they can depend on. Open, intelligent surveillance appliances A new approach, which remedies these issues and performs better than the use of general-purpose IT systems and a centralised recording is the use of open, intelligent surveillance appliances. These appliances are an all-in-one server, managed switch and storage that are typically installed in a distributed appliance architecture. In a distributed environment, appliances record closer to the edge of the surveillance network, near the cameras. Multiple IP cameras are connected directly to the appliance so video only streams over the network when it is retrieved on-demand through a video management system (VMS) or in the event of an incident. The appliance is open because it works with virtually any VMS depending on the needs. An intelligent surveillance appliance approach and distributed architecture not only take the burden off the network by up to 95 percent, but also increase the reliability of the video by disassociating the surveillance video recording from conditions that can affect the health of the network such as congestion or network outages. Video continues to record when the network goes down, and there are fewer single points of failure. These appliances are typically built for the special demands of megapixel video and provide a smarter approach than streaming surveillance over networks. Open, intelligent surveillance appliances perform better than general-purposeIT systems and a centralised recording Remote area video surveillance challenges The majority of today’s video surveillance systems were designed to operate in controlled corporate or campus environments. But that is not always where the most demanding surveillance needs are found. Many of today’s video surveillance systems are needed at the far reaches of the globe, at the perimeter of an organisation, or the most inaccessible city locations that have dusty, dirty conditions. They must operate in extreme temperatures reaching as low as -4°F, up to 140°F; and have limited access to reliable network bandwidth. Because they have no other choice, organisations and their integrators will go to additional efforts to protect mission-critical equipment and surveillance recording from the elements. In doing so, they add additional expense or force fit regular network video recorders (NVR) and general-purpose systems that were not designed for the job. Some get by procuring multi-thousand dollar enclosures to protect equipment that have fans and sensitive components, and in essence “brute” force solutions to meet the needs. To add to the difficulty, network capabilities are even more limited with remote locations. The quality of video that can be transferred back from the surveillance point is limited by the network connection. Due to these limitations, compromises are made including reducing resolution and frame rate, resulting in lost video and unusable evidence. When layers of video security are added to an infrastructure that was weak to begin with, it becomes more likely that fewer locations will meet the desired security requirements. In controlled settings the need for distributed architecture is very strong. In uncontrolled environments, this need is only magnified due to lack of bandwidth and on-site oversight, and the presence of harsh temperatures and other conditions. A ruggedised, intelligent appliance solution Appliances are an ideal solution for uncontrolled, harsh environments where systems will be located in remote, difficult to access or perimeter places. In fact, there are now ruggedised surveillance appliances that have been “hardened” or in other words built in a certified, rugged enclosure that is able to withstand and excel in scenarios such as oil and gas fields, industrial locations, city surveillance, ATMs, border control and convenience stores. The appliance is enclosed in a chassis that meets UL and CE certifications ideal for recording in extreme conditions. By nature, “no man’s land” is distributed. It is a place that is hard to reach and often underserved in terms of IP network and bandwidth. Therefore, a distributed appliance strategy for recording is perfectly suited and provides the ability for security managers to access video on demand rather than stream it over unreliable networks. Remote monitoring appliances are suitable for applications such as ATMsurveillance, border control and on cell phone towers But, it is important to understand that being “ruggedised” is only part of the story because these remote locations, present other interesting challenges: There are not staff nearby to manage the appliances, and there are cyber security threats when surveillance cameras are left unattended in an IP network. There needs to be intelligence built into the appliances for remote management. Health monitoring: An intelligent surveillance appliance provides health monitoring of the entire ecosystem including the server, manage PoE switch, storage and cameras. This monitoring allows greater visibility and better control. It also includes proactive event management and notifications 24/7 via text message or other communication methods in the event of an issue such as an out of focus camera or a component that has been tampered with resulting in unusable video. Without health monitoring, video loss can occur without knowledge until it is too late. Cyber security: Another key issue is that of cyber security and hacking. Camera ports have become an entry point for creative hackers into an organization’s critical IP network. An intelligent surveillance appliance provides the ability to lock down camera ports on a switch with a single click to prevent hackers from gaining access to the corporate network. If a device with a different MAC ID address is plugged into the camera or access port, it cannot gain entry into the network and will be locked out. A web interface is used to manage the ports from a centralised location. How rugged video surveillance appliances work in extreme conditions Cell phone towers: Cell phone towers dot the landscape of remote and rural areas across many countries. Thieves have been known to steal valuable copper cable from the towers. By the time someone shows up, the culprits have already taken the supplies that they need. Video surveillance is a critical solution to protect these assets. Border patrol: Another interesting scenario exists within an open border from one country to another. Many times thermal imagery video surveillance will be used at night to detect border crossings by measuring heat signatures. These programmes are complex and often require processing power with significant network infrastructure investment. They also work best if they are installed closer to the source of the video recording. A rugged appliance provides a source of power and the ability to record on the spot. When filming within a closer proximity, once the cameras show heat images of figures coming over the horizon, on-the-ground teams are able to proactively go to the location before the suspects arrive. Special analytics can run directly off of the rugged device for border patrol applications. ATMs: Although they’re not always located in extreme locations, ATMs are usually small boxes that include a camera to record the customer’s face for security measures. Normally, companies will only open the ATM to fill it up with money, change the ink or add more paper. They typically don’t open it to service a video surveillance recorder or to air out the recording unit. A ruggedised, fanless appliance works well because it’s small and reliable enough to live within the closed box and can withstand temperatures ranging from -4°F to 140°F. What’s next? The possibilities for rugged, intelligent surveillance appliances are endless. The high performance processing, highly tuned storage, intelligent features and network friendly architecture, all housed in a protected chassis, provide for a host of inventive uses from facial recognition to license plate recognition along highways. There are surveillance scenarios that we have not even conceived of yet but that will be better served with innovations in appliances built specifically for the job, no matter where in the world.
Serving customer needs is the goal of most commerce in the physical security market. Understanding those needs requires communication and nuance, and there are sometimes surprises along the way. But in every surprising revelation – and in every customer interaction – there is opportunity to learn something valuable that can help to serve the next customer’s needs more effectively. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what was the best lesson you ever learned from a security end user customer?
Technology partnership enhances event-based intelligence for security and business applications Arteco, a global provider of intelligent video event management solutions, announces its integration with Razberi Technologies' ServerSwitchIQ suite of video surveillance appliances, including ServerSwitchIQ, ServerSwitchIQ Pro, ServerSwitchIQ Enterprise and ServerSwitchIQ Rugged. Enhanced situational awareness and operational optimisation Joint customers can now leverage the intelligent capabilities of Arteco's video event management software (VEMS) to realise new levels of situational awareness and operational optimisation. The integration is enabled by including the Arteco executable file through a VMS wizard onto any of Razberi's ServerSwitchIQ product suite. Razberi ServerSwitchIQ is a complete line of all-in-one, scalable appliances that combine a managed PoE switch, server, storage and intelligence. By deploying Razberi’s products in a distributed architecture near the edge of the network, customers can decrease network utilisation while increasing megapixel video quality and reducing capital, bandwidth and space costs. Once selected, the file immediately runs and installs the VEMS, saving installers the trouble of having to manually install or download the VMS from a third-party Web site. Integrators can then license the VEMS directly through Arteco. Arteco VEMS exceeds meeting user demands for increased security and fuelling the growth of generated data. It enables users to achieve a higher level of situational awareness through the delivery of only the most relevant video data based on highly customisable user criteria. The integration enables Arteco customers to leverage Razberi's open-architecture appliances to reduce the incoming megapixel video impact on the IP network Low-maintenance video intelligence solution The integration enables Arteco customers to leverage Razberi's open-architecture appliances to reduce the incoming megapixel video impact on the IP network. Fully integrated with the power of video event management software (VEMS), the integration allows joint customers across multiple industries to benefit from comprehensive, streamlined video solutions by enhancing visibility through Arteco event prioritisation and Razberi's mitigation of video downtime, providing an overall reduction in physical and logical cost of ownership. Rigorous advanced testing of this process by Razberi further confirms ease-of-use and interoperability between both solutions. “Our partnership with Arteco VEMS delivers a highly reliable, low-maintenance video intelligence solution that promotes seamless, comprehensive video surveillance protection to customers,” said Mig Paredes, Director of Sales, Razberi Technologies. “By leveraging the intuitive capabilities VEMS has to offer, customers can achieve even further insight into their organisations to activate quicker and more efficient emergency response without the added complexities of traditional installations.” “This open-platform integration goes beyond that of a traditional VMS partnership. Through Arteco, joint customers securing various application sizes are getting the added benefit of streamlined event management while simultaneously reducing the physical and financial costs to their overarching systems,” said Steve Birkmeier, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Arteco. “As megapixel camera usage continues to surge in growth, we're confident that the integration between Razberi intelligent video surveillance appliances and Arteco VEMS will offer users a way to lighten their security and network burdens, allowing them to scale but stay safe at their own pace.”
The award highlights the work that has been achieved through the partnership between Razberi and Axis in the region Razberi Technologies has been named the 2015 Technology Partner of the Year for the Caribbean and Latin American (CALA) region by Axis Communications, the global leader in IP network surveillance equipment. Razberi was honoured during the tenth annual Axis Channel Convergence Conference (ACCC) held in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Oct. 14-16. The award highlights the work that has been achieved through the partnership between Razberi and Axis in the region. Strengthing partnership “Razberi enjoys a strong relationship with Axis in Latin America, sharing leads, holding regular meetings and visiting customers together,” said Mig Paredes, Director of Sales, Latin America, Razberi. “The collaboration between Razberi and Axis has been outstanding. The commitment to customer needs’ and the expansion of the IP video surveillance market is evident in the results that have been achieved. We look forward to many more successful years working together.” Axis Communications is one of Razberi’s video management software (VMS) providers. The companies have been partners since 2011. In the last year, Razberi has collaborated with Axis as a technology partner at multiple trade shows and conferences, as well as through solution selling, which includes visiting customers together, responding as partners to RFPs and promoting each other’s brands. The two companies meet regularly to map out sales strategies for success. “On behalf of Axis, we are very pleased to congratulate our partner Razberi for their latest recognition award. It has quickly become a success story, the way they achieved their goals, together as a company. We are confident that this award will motivate the whole team to continue their efforts towards future goals, overcome them and continue spotlighting in the professional security industry, congratulations," said Manuel Zamudio, National Accounts Manager, Axis Communications. New product releases, workshops and more ACCC is an annual gathering of Axis' top distributors, systems integrators, software development and strategic infrastructure partners throughout North America. This year's event drew more than 170 attendees who participated in educational workshops about IP-based surveillance technology, a review of the Axis product portfolio and future roadmap, as well as sessions that highlighted network video best practices and customer success stories. In addition to their flagship product, the razberi™ ServerSwitch™, Razberi Technologies offers Axis’ customers its recently introduced the VyneWatch Surveillance Health Monitoring System, a cloud-based system that keeps users informed of the status of video recording devices, regardless of the VMS software used; the Enterprise ServerSwitch™, a high performance line that offers twice the performance of the standard unit; and the LocBeri Cyber Security System, a new cybersecurity feature on all razberi™ units that allows the installer to prevent the unauthorised use of camera ports with a single click.