Migrating Video to IP: The Benefits and Challenges
Transcript of Migrating to IP Video
As the physical security world continues to evolve, end-users are faced with the challenge of migrating their analog technologies to network video platforms. End-users are typically faced with three realities in existing legacy physical security deployments:
1. Disparate systems
2. Interoperability limitations
Disparate systems typically occur over time as systems expand, fail, or come out of service and require replacement. Many times, the new equipment brought in does not interface with the existing equipment already in place. This can occur as new devices are selected from new manufacturers or in many cases when the current manufacturer has released a new platform that is not backward compatible with the existing platform, which creates multiple systems to manage and reduces the overall effectiveness of the equipment and the operator; the result is a reactive versus proactive response to events and an increase in maintenance costs.
Over the years, we’ve seen numerous methods of integration. In the past, legacy information subsystems were hard-wired together using IO connections, allowing very basic interoperability. We’ve also seen manufacturer-dependant integrations, where a single manufacturer will provide multiple security subsystems integrated with its own proprietary communications protocol.
There are thousand of products available on the market today, making it challenging for end-users to select the right products to develop the migration strategy for their applications. As more products flood the market, we are also seeing an increase in technological complexity, which makes it difficult to build a valid, long-term organizational strategy. The driving change behind this change is IP convergence and the benefits converged networks offer the physical security industry.
Converged network benefits
- Cost savings
- Reduced capital costs
- Improved customer focus
With IP convergence, there is no need to maintain separate networks. This reduces capital, maintenance, and equipment costs and improves customer focus. Network video solutions force manufacturers to deliver what customers want and need, when they want and need it, which is the result of open architectures. Integrated solutions have become more flexible with multi-manufacturer integrations increasing capabilities. However, a number of IP convergence challenges must be addressed to successfully migrate to network video platforms.
One challenge is how to transition to IP while maintaining legacy systems and sustaining reliability, functionality and quality to key stakeholders during the process. Another challenge is how to maintain the capital investment of existing legacy systems that most end-users are not in a position to throw away. The goal of establishing a migration path is to plan for the transition from legacy analog to network video so the full benefit of IP may be recognized in the future, while protecting previous analog hardware and infrastructure investments.
This can be achieved by pairing technologies to establish the best migration strategy. These technologies can be refined to maximize the potential of your current investment while defining a path for the adoption of future technologies for your systems. When building a network video migration path, it is important to assess the current state of the existing video surveillance platform. This process should include clearly defined objectives, a thorough analysis of the existing architecture, and performance and policy requirements.
The goal is to build a long-term organizational strategy that complements the existing legacy architecture and builds a technology continuum that supports future technologies.
The most cost-effective approach is to integrate network video solutions into existing legacy analog platforms, creating a hybrid technology environment for the short term, with the long-term objective of replacing existing infrastructure with network video solutions.
Here are some key technologies to consider:
Infrastructure: Use analog over UTP cabling to build a network infrastructure that will support network video in the future, or use IP over coax to leverage capabilities that network cameras bring by using existing coaxial cabling infrastructure.
Recording and management solutions: There are a wide variety of solutions available, ranging from hybrid recorders to network video appliances to video management software that fit short- and long-term objectives.
Video encoders: Migrate existing functioning analog cameras to the network with network video appliances or video management software solutions.
These technologies will help you start your migration to network video, but the real benefits of network video will be the ability to leverage future standards from organizations such as ONVIF, which will provide interoperability between IP-based physical security products regardless of manufacturer.