Airport Upgrade RFP Reviewed

By: 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 [link no longer available].

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 [link no longer available]. 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 [link no longer available], 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 : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Last Chance - Spring 2020 IP Networking Course - Register Now on May 06, 2020
This is the last chance to register for the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals, taught...
Phone Camera Calculator Released on Mar 10, 2020
IPVM has released the first-ever Phone Calculator, video surveillance design software that you can use on your phone, without installing an...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance on Feb 20, 2020
This is the last chance to join IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the...
Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in designing video surveillance systems. Though 'convergence' was a big...
Glossary / Acronyms for Video Surveillance on Feb 10, 2020
This directory provides definitions and explanations for over 70 common video surveillance industry terms, including links to related IPVM...
2020 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 06, 2020
The new IP Networking Book 2020 is a 280 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems,...
Razberi Technologies Company Profile on Aug 06, 2019
Razberi says they have doubled their revenue in the first half of 2019, citing their proprietary camera hardening and cybersecurity capabilities...
'CCTV' Is the Past, Cloud Video Surveillance Is the Future on Jul 08, 2019
A fundamental shift is happening. For decades, video surveillance was overwhelmingly 'closed' and off the Internet. This is changing. More and more...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
LenelS2 Launches VRx Video Platform on Apr 29, 2019
For years, S2's video management platform, the NetVR, was based on Exacq. Now, after years of internal development, S2 has launched its own...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Viakoo Presents Cyber Hygiene for Cameras on May 28, 2020
Viakoo presented its 'Cyber Hygiene' and 'Service Assurance' products at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A...
Seek Scan Thermal Temperature Screening System ReTested on May 28, 2020
Now that IPVM has tested Dahua, Hikvision, and Sunell, we are returning to Seek, the first blackbody system we tested and retested it with our...
Directory of 106 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on May 28, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers to help you see and research what options are available. There are...
Fever Cameras Are Medical Devices, Per The FDA, Dahua, Feevr, Hikvision, InVid Contrary Claims Are False on May 28, 2020
Fever cameras are medical devices, despite what euphemisms various sellers use. The US FDA clearly categorizes them as medical devices and...
Wyze Raises $10 Million And Seeks Services Expansion on May 27, 2020
Wyze has raised $10 million, the company's first disclosed raise since the $20 million announced at the beginning of 2019. Inside this note,...
Startup Videoloft Presents Cloud Storage on May 27, 2020
Videoloft presented offsite cloud storage at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from Videoloft including IPVM...
Directory of 300+ Fever Camera News Reports Globally on May 27, 2020
This global directory tracks 300+ articles about thermal cameras used to detect fevers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Articles are...
Integrators Rising Against Coronavirus on May 27, 2020
IPVM integrator statistics make it clear - Coronavirus's impact on business is lessening and many are anticipating even better news in weeks...
Netposa Stock Surges 46% After US Human Rights Abuse Sanctions on May 27, 2020
Last Friday, the US government announced it would sanction PRC video management provider NetPosa for being "complicit in human rights violations...
LILIN Presents NDAA-Compliant P2 Cameras on May 26, 2020
Merit LILIN presented its NDAA-compliant P2 camera series at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...