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.

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

Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Startup Vaion Launching End-to-End AI Solution Backed with $20 Million Funding on Jun 17, 2019
An EU / USA video surveillance startup, Vaion, founded by ex-Cisco Senior Directors is launching an end-to-end VSaaS platform with $20 million in...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 17, 2019
While face and fingerprint recognition are used regularly for smartphones, it is not as common in physical security. In this note, we examine...
Sighthound Transforms Into Enterprise AI Provider Profile on Jun 14, 2019
Sighthound is now rapidly expanding its R&D team, building an enterprise AI service. This may come as a surprise given their origins 6 years...
Farpointe Data Conekt Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jun 13, 2019
California based Farpointe Data has been a significant OEM supplier of conventional access readers for years to companies including DMP, RS2, DSX,...
Embattled $400 Million China Funded Philippines Surveillance System Proceeds on Jun 13, 2019
An embattled 12,000 camera surveillance system project that will cost ~$400 million will proceed.  The project contract was awarded, had its...
Camera Course Summer 2019 - Register Now on Jun 12, 2019
Register for the Summer 2019 Camera Course.  This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
Favorite Wireless Manufacturers 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
Many wireless options exist for video surveillance but how are integrator's overall favorites? 170 integrators answered the question: What is...
Carnegie Mellon AI Startup Zensors Profile on Jun 11, 2019
Zensors is a startup formed by Carnegie Mellon graduates from a Carnegie Mellon research project, offering customized models per camera that they...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Startup Vaion Launching End-to-End AI Solution Backed with $20 Million Funding on Jun 17, 2019
An EU / USA video surveillance startup, Vaion, founded by ex-Cisco Senior Directors is launching an end-to-end VSaaS platform with $20 million in...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 17, 2019
While face and fingerprint recognition are used regularly for smartphones, it is not as common in physical security. In this note, we examine...
The Scheme Hikvision and China Importers Use To Avoid Tariffs on Jun 17, 2019
Hikvision and numerous China importers are avoiding 25% tariffs by including an SD card slot in their IP cameras to claim they are 'digital still...
Sighthound Transforms Into Enterprise AI Provider Profile on Jun 14, 2019
Sighthound is now rapidly expanding its R&D team, building an enterprise AI service. This may come as a surprise given their origins 6 years...
ADT Eliminating Acquired Brands, Unifying Under 'Commercial' Brand on Jun 14, 2019
ADT is eliminating the brands of the many integrators it has acquired over the past few years, including Red Hawk, Aronson Security Group (ASG),...
NSA Director Keynoting Dahua and Hikvision Sponsored Cybersecurity Conference [Canceled] on Jun 13, 2019
The technical director for the NSA’s Cybersecurity Threat Operations Center will be keynoting a physical security cybersecurity conference that is...
Farpointe Data Conekt Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jun 13, 2019
California based Farpointe Data has been a significant OEM supplier of conventional access readers for years to companies including DMP, RS2, DSX,...
Embattled $400 Million China Funded Philippines Surveillance System Proceeds on Jun 13, 2019
An embattled 12,000 camera surveillance system project that will cost ~$400 million will proceed.  The project contract was awarded, had its...

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