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Dedicated Micros cost effective digital video security solution saves Sun Microsystems millions of dollars

Published on 19 March, 2009

 Sun Microsystems, headquartered in Santa Clara, CA
Sun Microsystems deploys Dedicated Micros digital video security solution
Digital, networked, CCTV solutions from Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - including its high performance DV-IP Servers, are playing a key role in allowing Sun Microsystems, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, to not only enhance the security of its offices worldwide but also, crucially, to realise an impressive return on investment which, to date, has resulted in savings which run into millions of dollars.

The customer challenge

With 34,440 employees spread across more than 300 offices in over 100 countries worldwide, Sun Microsystems has a massive security challenge. For more than 15 years, Sun's security organisation relied on analog CCTV systems using VCRs to capture and store video. The disadvantages of this approach were numerous, starting with the high maintenance and support costs, in addition to the labour required to change tapes, review tapes, and replace broken tapes.

Steve Kruschke, Sun's Manager of New Security Technologies and Applications, led the effort to find a digital solution in 2005: "We wanted leading edge digital technology to leverage our IP network infrastructure, and we needed a matrix solution to control multiple video servers from centralised regional control rooms," said Kruschke. "Additionally, we were looking for a solution that was not reliant on Windows-based personal computers."

Dedicated Micros solution

Sun Microsystems chose to build its new video surveillance system around the Dedicated Micros DV-IP Server, a high-performance network Digital Video Recorder and Server developed to meet the demands of professional surveillance applications.

"Dedicated Micros is one the very few digital video surveillance companies that doesn't require the installation of client software on a PC," stated Kruschke. "The DV-IP Server has no problem handling our network-based, Solaris-FireFox architecture."

 Dedicated Micros DV-IP Server
Sun Microsystems chose to build its new video surveillance system around the Dedicated Micros DV-IP Server

Working with global distributor and systems integration partner Siemens Security, Sun has deployed approximately 1500 plus channels of video through the DV-IP Servers worldwide to date. Sun also installed multiple DV-IP Codec units.

In encoder mode the DV-IP Codec enables existing and new analog cameras to be added to an IP network, allowing Sun's legacy video surveillance systems to expand and adapt to digital without the cost and trouble of completely replacing and redesigning the installation.

Pick-a-Point Digital Matrix for Regional Control Centres In late 2007, Sun's operations group began looking for ways to bring large-scale digital video surveillance to its five regional control centres, located Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. In the past, analog video was brought into the regional control centres using local A/D switches.

"We wanted to bring live and recorded digital video from local offices into the regional centres, and at the same time make the control interface more user friendly for operators," recalled Kruschke. "After gaining approval from our IT department to bring video across network, we decided to make the North American regional control centre in Broomfield, Colorado our first test site."

At the heart of the large-scale video surveillance system is the Pick-a-Point centralised command and control workstation offered by Dedicated Micros and developed by integrator and strategic partner BBV.

"The unique embedded Pick-a-Point control system is ideal for Sun's computing environment because it is a dedicated standalone hardware based workstation, which eliminates reliability and training issues associated with PC based client software systems," said Kruschke.

Another exciting new application is live monitoring of ongoing events. For example, Sun has about a dozen offices in the area of the southeastern United States that was affected by hurricane Gustav. Using Pick-a-Point and DV-IP Servers, operators in Colorado were able to help manage personnel during the event by checking live video feeds of office locations.

 Dedicated Micros DV-IP Codec Unit
Multiple DV-IP Codec units are also installed at Sun
Return on investment

Sun Microsystems has achieved a substantial return on its investment from Dedicated Micros' DV-IP Servers. Kruschke estimates that eliminating approximately 400 VCRs and the number of tapes required for 14-day backups saves the company $99,000 per year in maintenance globally. Even more significant is the $1.8 million in global yearly labour costs that Kruschke calculates is saved by Dedicated Micros DV-IP Servers.

Said Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "The experience of Sun Microsystems in this case demonstrates the positive impact that, specifying and installing, an effective surveillance solution can have for a business."

 View full Dedicated Micros case study

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