North Carolina State University, located in Raleigh, NC, has approximately 35,000 students, 8000 faculty and staff, over 2000 acres, 500 buildings, as well as critical infrastructure installations such as a nuclear reactor and other sensitive biological and animal material handling sites. After the 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech, universities have redoubled efforts to deploy security technologies that more effectively protect people and as-sets while still maintaining a relatively open environment, which is a hallmark of America’s universities.
“NC State is the size of a small town,” said Scott McInturf, Director of Security Applications and Technologies (SAT). “Our job is to provide the technology to efficiently and effectively protect all these assets in an urban environment with a dynamic population comprising more than 60,000 people on any given day.” NC State spent one year evaluating network video management systems. Key selection criteria included scalability, capability to fully utilise and sit atop the existing campus network, and integration capability with future security management systems.
The DVTEL Solution
The DVTel Network Video Management System (NVMS) was chosen because it successfully met these criteria, but it also offered much more. The NVMS provides a highly user-friendly interface and, importantly, it easily partitions so that each individual “customer” department accesses only their video data while University Police and other university staff have access to all video. “The DVTel system fit our criteria: we didn’t need a separate, dedicated security network and it has been growing with our needs as we rapidly add users and cameras,” said McInturf.
"The DVTel system fits our criteria: we didn’t need a separate, dedicated security network and it has been growing with our needs as we rapidly add users and cameras"
The NC State installation has over 650 cameras located in multiple departments across campus. The university network has ample capacity for the project to scale substantially as demand and budget dictate. The project is unique and innovative in that one department, Security Applications and Technologies (SAT), manages the servers, storage, and overall technology while offering each campus department the opportunity to purchase and integrate the cameras they need into the campus standard. As new buildings are built or when a department expresses security concerns, SAT, in cooperation with the University Police, serves as a security consultant, providing the standards and criteria new users need to address. All parties agree on a security template for the building(s) and AllCampus Network and the project integrator, Signet Technologies, supply the “customer” with budgets, project management, and technical support.
Video is used for live monitoring and extensive incident review. All video is maintained in a central secure location, so departments don’t have this responsibility and the university knows that data is safely stored. Each department has access to only their camera data, and they are able to maintain their systems with autonomy while still being part of a larger campus-wide system. In addition to university departments including the Engineering School, the Veterinary School, campus convenience stores and cafeteria, the Higher Education Department, and multiple administrative buildings, AllCampus Network offers security services to non-University customers such as the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources, located on campus.
As the partnership between NCSU’s SAT and Signet Technologies continues to expand and their number of customers grows as well, McInturf and Walker are constantly evaluating new technologies and methods to expand the project and make it even more efficient and effective.