Airport Upgrade RFP Reviewed

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 25, 2010

A US airport has released an RFP looking to upgrade their surveillance system to migrate to an IP video solution. To do so, they want to convert their exist cameras to run on their LAN and deploy a storage area network. In this note, we look at some important design tradeoffs in this approach. The specification itself is rather short. Members should review the Airport's specification.

Key Items

The following are key requirements from the Airport's RFP:

  • Analog cameras are already in place (presumably connected to DVRs). The Airport wants those cameras to be connected to encoders and transmitted to centralized recording/storage: "encode the existing analog CCTV cameras onto an IP based system which will become the basis for the future CCTV system"
  • The airport plans to use its general LAN for video distribution: "recording shall be via Virtual LAN (VLAN) on the Airport’s LAN that is being provided under this Project. Coordinate IP addressing, Ethernet switch port assignments and bandwidth utilization with the Owner."
  • The bidder must provide and deploy a SAN for video recording: "responsible for providing a Storage Area Network of sufficient capacity and speed to provide recording of all CCTV camera video"
  • The selected VMS must Integrating with CCURE: "required to provide full integration of this Project with the existing Access Control System, CCure 800"

Analysis and Observations

The specification document is extremely vague as to any details of the encoders or VMS solution required. We suspect that the details will be informally communicated at bid meetings. However, this can result in confusion and may reflect an incompletely planned system designed.

In our analysis, since details are so scarce, we are going to focus on 3 fundamental design choices that impact many large organizaitons:

  • Re-using the Corporate LAN: We are a somewhat surprised about the Airport re-using their corporate LAN for video surveillance. While the Airport requires a dedicated VLAN for surveillance, VLANs do not prevent overloading a network's bandwidth. Whether this is a real risk, depends on the size and load of the network plus the bandwidth requirements of the cameras. Many organizations choose to build a separate LAN infrastructure for surveillance to avoid this. In a relatively small airport like this one (Wichita Mid-Continental), this might be feasible. As the airport expands its surveillance cameras count, using the existing corporate LAN could cause problems for the Airport's other services or constrain camera expansion. Secondly, using the Airport's LAN for external cameras might pose a security risk as it provides a physical interface to their overall network (this depends and can be minimized by using technologies such as 802.1x).
  • Deploying a Storage Area Network (SAN): For larger deployments, storage area networks offer cost and management savings. Rather than small pools of storage (usually with no redundancy) distributed across a surveillance deployment, SANs provide a variety of benefits (see our surveillance SANs report). On the other hand, SAN efficiency depends on aggregating video from numerous cameras. The downside of this is that video needs to be transmitted from each of the camera sites to the SAN's physical location. In an airport surveillance application this can be a problem as cameras are widely dispersed across the organization, increasing bandwidth demands on the network. 
  • Access Control Integration: Requiring new surveillance recorders to integrate with existing access control systems is extremely common for large scale organizations. In the US, one of the most common is Software House's CCURE. Integrating these systems is important in quickly visually verifying and monitoring movement throughout a facility. The downside of such requirements is that it significantly reduces the VMS systems that the organization can consider. For instance, CCURE only integrates with 8 video surveillance manufacturers. While some of these are relatively large (e.g., DvTel, Genetec, Nice, OnSSI, Verint), it's certainly limiting relative to the dozens of available surveillance systems. Another important point is verifying version comparability. If you check on the individual systems on the CCURE 3rd party support page, you will see that integration is only between certain versions of CCURE and the 3rd party VMS. For instance, this airport has the older CCURE 800. However, the version listed as integrated with 3rd parties is the newer CCURE 9000 series. Moreover, even the minor version number of CCURE might have an impact (e.g., Software House lists DvTel as supporting CCURE 9000 firmware version 1.93 while Genetec is supporting version 1.92). Not only can access control integration restrict choice, it can be a headache to ensure specific version compatibility (see our API tutorial/review for more comments).
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Cisco Meraki New Cameras and AI Analytics on Dec 14, 2018
Meraki has released their second generation of video surveillance with 3 new cameras, AI-based video analytics, and 2 cloud-based storage...
2019 Access Control Book Released on Dec 12, 2018
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...
FLIR Launches Body Cameras Unified With VMS (TruWitness) on Dec 11, 2018
While FLIR is best known for their thermal cameras, now they have expanded into body cameras, launching TruWITNESS, a public safety focused body...
Multi-Factor Access Control Authentication Guide on Dec 10, 2018
Can a stranger use your credentials? One of the oldest problems facing access control is making credentials as easy to use as keys, but restricting...
Top 2019 Trend - AI Video Analytics on Dec 10, 2018
160+ Integrators answered: What do you think the top industry trend will be in 2019? Why? AI / video analytics was the run-away winner with...
Ubiquiti $79 Flex IP Camera Tested on Dec 07, 2018
U.S. Manufacturer Ubiquiti has released a 1080p, integrated IR IP camera, selling it directly for $79, making this one of the least expensive IP...
Infinova's Xinjiang Business Examined on Dec 07, 2018
As pressure mounts for companies to stop doing business in China’s Xinjiang region amid a severe human rights crisis, IPVM has found Infinova sold...
VMS Live Monitoring Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix on Dec 05, 2018
Viewing live video is the first interaction and most common task most users have with a VMS. Who does it best and worst? Who offers the most...
Fullerton Returns, Joins OpenEye on Dec 04, 2018
Eric Fullerton became one of the most famous people in the industry as the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Milestone as Milestone became the...
Hanwha L Series Lowest-Cost Camera Tested on Dec 04, 2018
Hanwha has released their lowest-priced IP camera line ever, the L series, that competes on price with low cost competitors Dahua and...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference 2018 Review - ADT, Resideo, Alarm.com, Arlo, Eagle Eye, ACRE, More on Dec 14, 2018
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference is an event matching industry executives with financiers that frequently leads to future funding...
Cisco Meraki New Cameras and AI Analytics on Dec 14, 2018
Meraki has released their second generation of video surveillance with 3 new cameras, AI-based video analytics, and 2 cloud-based storage...
Foolish Strategy: OEMing Facial Recognition on Dec 13, 2018
Almost as 'hot' as face recognition marketing right now is OEMing facial recognition. Last year, they were a who's who of company's with...
DVR Examiner - Video Recovery from Recorder Hard Drives on Dec 13, 2018
Bypassing passwords and long download times on-site, DVR Examiner collects and organizes video evidence directly from a hard drive extracted from...
2019 Access Control Book Released on Dec 12, 2018
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...
Huawei Hisilicon Quietly Powering Tens of Millions of Western IoT Devices on Dec 12, 2018
Huawei Hisilicon chips are powering, at least, tens of millions of Western IoT devices, such as IP cameras and surveillance recorders, a fact that...
FLIR Launches Body Cameras Unified With VMS (TruWitness) on Dec 11, 2018
While FLIR is best known for their thermal cameras, now they have expanded into body cameras, launching TruWITNESS, a public safety focused body...
Startup Sunflower Labs' Autonomous Drone Security System on Dec 11, 2018
Startup Sunflower Labs is claiming a unique design on a home security system, combining autonomous drones and 'Sunflower' sensors. Imagine an...
The 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Dec 10, 2018
The 300 page, 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covers the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
Multi-Factor Access Control Authentication Guide on Dec 10, 2018
Can a stranger use your credentials? One of the oldest problems facing access control is making credentials as easy to use as keys, but restricting...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact