Cisco's Video Management (VSM and Stream Manager) Examined

Author: Antony Look, Published on Dec 07, 2010

Cisco's approach to video surveillance management is uncommon. Before one can appreciate how it is better or worse, it is important to understand what it is and how it differs. In this report, we examine both of Cisco's VMS offerings - the Cisco Video Surveillance Manager and the Cisco Stream Manager as well as Cisco's physical security appliances.

Unlike most providers offering tiered VMS versions (e.g., basic and pro), Cisco's 2 VMS are positioned at different markets with varying combination of feature sets. While the Stream Manager is targeted towards casinos, the Video Surveillance Manager is targeted to the general professional market. Additionally, Cisco has an SMB surveillance / VMS offering called Cisco Small Business Video Monitoring System.

Much more so than most VMS providers, Cisco focuses on an end to end offering. In addition to the appliances, readers should review our reports on Cisco's IPICS (communication interoperability) offering and Cisco's MediaNet (video optimization) solution to understand the components in a full Cisco security/surveillance offering.

UPDATE March 2011: Cisco Stream Manager will be discontinued.

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****** **** ********* ******** ****** *** ******** (*.*., ***** *** pro), *****'* * *** *** ********** ** ********* ******* **** varying *********** ** ******* ****. ***** *** ****** ******* ** targeted ******* *******, *** ***** ************ ******* ** ******** ** the ******* ************ ******. ************, ***** *** ** *** ************ / *** ******** *********** ***** ******** ***** ********** ******.

**** **** ** **** **** *** *********, ***** ******* ** an *** ** *** ********. ** ******** ** *** **********, readers ****** ****** *** ******* *******'* *****(************* ****************) ******** ********'* ********(***** ************) ******** ** ********** *** ********** ** * **** Cisco ********/************ ********.

****** ***** ****:***** ****** ******* **** ** ************.

[***************]

*************** *** ************

***** *** ****** ****** **** ** *****'* *** *********, ** are ***** ** ***** *** *************** ** *****'* ******* *******/******** system - *** ***** ************ *******. ** *** *** **** applications:

  • ********* ***** ** ****** ***********
  • ********** ***********

***'* ******* **** *** ** ***:

********* ***** ** ****** ***********: *** *** ******* ****** ** **** ***** ****** *** per ****** ******* *** (******** $*** ****) **** ***** ***** IP *******. ************, ****** **** ********* ******** **** ******* *** its *** *******, ***** ******** * ****** ****** ** *** party ** *******. *** ******** ** *** *** ****** ******* for *** ***** ******* ** ****** **** *** ******** *** large ***** ***********. ******* ** ****, ** *** **** ***** smaller ******** (*** ***** *** *******), ** **** *** ******* competitive, *** ***** **** ** ***** *** *** ***** ******* to * ********. ** *** ***** ****,***** ** ********** ****** ********* - ** ******* ***** $*** **** **** similar ******* ***, **** ***** *******. ****, ***** *** ********* is ********** ****** (*.*., ******* ***** *****, ** ** ****), many *********** ***** ****** **** ** ***** **** *** ***** cameras.

*** ***** ****** *********** **** ********* ***-***** ** *******, *** solution **** ** *********, *********** *** ************* ************. ** ** mentioned ** *** ************, ***** ***** ******** ***** ** **** appropriate. *******, **'* ** *** ** **** **** *** **** important *********** (*** ******* **** *******).

********** ***********: ***** *** ******** ** ******** *** ********** *** (********** management, ****/** ***********, ***** ************, **** ***********, ***.), ** **** have * ****** ** ********* ************ **** ****** ***** ***** deployments:

  • ******* *** ******** **** ** * ******* ***** **** (*** standard)
  • **** ** ***** ****
  • ** ********* ******* *** ***** *** *********** (*.*., ********, ******)
  • ** ******** ** ******* ********** ********** / ********
  • ******* ****** ******* *********** (******* ** *****'* ***)

** *** *** *********** ***** ***** ***********/************ ******** ** *** ******* **** Genetec, *********, *****, ***., **** ***** ***** ** * ***. Also, *** **** **** ****** ******* ******, ** *** **** a **** ***** ********, **** **** ** ****** **********.

*******, *** ***** ***** ********** ***********, ** ***** *** ***** VSM **** **** ********** ********* **** **** ******, ****** ******* sets ********* **** ******* *** *********.

***** ***** ************ ******* (***) ********

*** **** *** *****'* ******* ******* *** ** ******** ***** ************ *******(***). *** ***** *** ** ********* ** *** ** ******** recording *******, ****** ***** ***** ************ ***** ******(****), ******* ** * *********** ********** ****** ****** *** ***** Video ************ ********** *******(****).

****** **** ***** ** *** ******, *** ***** *** ******** is ** ********* ***** ******** ******* ** * ***** ** (**** ** RedHat). *** ******** ********, *** ***** *** *** ** *** on **** ******** *** **** ** *** ********* ** * standard ** '*** ** ***' ******.

*** ************ ** ******-****** ****** *** ****-**-**** ************ ***** ** the ****** ******* ******** (*****'* ***** ***, *** *****). ******* key ********* ** *** ******** ** *** ***** ************ ******* Matrix ******(*****) ********* ***** ************.

*** ***** ******* ******* (*********, **********, *** ******* ******) *** Linux ************. *** ********* ****** (****) ******** ************* **** ********** power **** *** ********** (****) *** ******* ****** ******* (****) - *** **** *** **** ****** ******* ******* **** *** commands. ** **** *** ****, **** *** **** ******* *** all **-****** ** * ****** ***** *** ****** '***'.

***** *** *** ****** ************ ******* *****/***** *** *********, ******* PC ********* *** ********* *** *** ****** **** ************ (**** web-client *** ******* ****** ******).

**** *** ******** ** *** ********** (****) *** ******* ****** (VSVM) ******* ** ******** *** ******** ********* (****). * *********** user ******** *** ***-***** ****** ****** ******** *** ****** **** enterprise *********** *** **********. *** **** ****** ******** ****** ** the *** ********* ***** ** **** *********** *** * ******** set ** ****** ****** **** *** ** ******** *** ***** or ****. ******** **** ********* *** **** ** ********* *** more ********* **** **********.

*** ************** *** *********

*** ************** *** ******** ********* *** ********* *** *** *********. The ******** ******** ******** ******** (******-* ******** *** ****). *** web-portal ** ********* ** ** '******** ****' *** '************* ****'. Operators *** ********* **** **** *******, ********, ******/****** *****, *** virtual ****** ******** *** ****** **** ***** ****** *** '******** Page' *********. **** ****** ******, ** ******** *** ****** ****** to *** '************* ****' **** * ****** ***** ** ** icon/hyperlink. *** '************* ****' ******** ****** ************** *** ************* ***** - **** ********/**********, *******, *********, *********, ****** ********, ***.

******* ****** ******** *** ******* ** ***** ******* **** ******** digital ********. ***** ******* *** ** ** ***** ******** *** support ********* ***** *******. *** ************ ** ****** *****. **** and/or ******** ***** *** ** '******' ** ***** ******* **** the ******* *** *** **** **** ***-****** **** ** **** live *******, ******** ******** *****, *** ******* ******.

*** ***** ***********

*** *** ********** **** * ****** ** *** ***** *******:

  • *****'* *** ******** *********: ***** *** ***** ****** ******* *******
  • * ***** ****** ** ******* *** *******/**** ******* ********* ******, CNL, *********, ******** *******, ********, ********, ******, ***.
  • **** ******* *** *** ***** ****** ******* *******
  • ****** ******* *** *** ***** ** ******* *** ******** (***+ unique ****** **** **+ ********* *************) [**** *** **** ** only ****** **** ***** ********]

*** ******** *** *******

*** *** **** ** ***** ******** ******** -- *** ***** ******** ******** ************* ********. **** **** *** * **** ****** ******* - *** with * ***** ****, *** **** ** ***** **** *** 4RU **** ** ***** ****. *** *** *** *** ***** can ****** ** ** *** ******* **** * ********** ** 200 **/* *** ****. ** ******, ***** *** ********** ** 200 **/* *** ****, *** ******* ** ****** **** ********** with ***** **********/***** ***** ****. **** ** ** *** **/** cameras, *** ********** *** ** ****** ** ** ********.

***** ******** ***** ******* **** *** ******** / ***** ***** storage. *******, ***** **** *** ******* *** ***** ***** / IP **** **** ** ****** ** ********. ********* *** *** them *** **** **** *** ** ********* ** *****'* *******/******* programs.

*** *******

***** *** ******* ** * *********** ** ***** ******** ***** plus ******** *********.

******* ****** **** ********* *********:

  • *** **** * ***** **** (****** $****)
  • *** **** ** ***** **** (****** $****)
  • *** **** ** ***** **** (****** $****)

*** **** ********* **** *** ******* **** ****** *** ******** licenses. * *** ***** ***** *** *** *** ********* *** an ****** ***** $***. **** **** ****** ******** * ******** license (**** $****); *** **** ****** ******** * ******** ******* as **** (**** $****). *** **** ******* ******** ********* ****** ***********. ***** Cisco ******* ** *** ******* * ******* ******,  ***-***** ******* have * ******* *** ** $*** ****.

******** * **-******* ***** ** ****** ****** ** * *** MSP **** *** ** *** ********, *** ***** ********* **** would ** $**** ** $*** *** *******. *** ******** ******* more ********** ** *** ****** ***** ********* *** ******. *** example, **-******** ** *** **** ******** ******* *** *** ******* cost ** $***. *** ******* ** *** ** *** '****' connection ******** *** ***** ** *******. **** **** *** ******* 4TB ******* ** *** *** *** ***** ** **** *********** SD ******* ** **** * *** ** *******.

*** * ** ** *** ****** ** ********** *** *** with **** *** ** **** ***********. *** ***** ***** **** for ******** *** ********, ******** ***** ** ******* ** $**,***. At ** ***** ** ******* **** ****** ****** $*** *** channel *** $*** *** ******* *** *** ** *******. ********** VMS ********* ***** ******* ******* $*** *** ******** *** ** additional $*,*** *** ** ******* ******** ** $*** *** *** additional ******* ********. *** ******* **** **** ********** *** ********* at ****** $*** (** *******) *** $*** (*** *******). ****, relative ** ********* **** ** *******, ***** *** *********, *** Cisco *** ** **** *********** **** **** **** ***** ** cameras. ** *** ***** ****, ***** *** ******* *** *** lower **** ******* **** ***** ** ****** ***** ***** ****.

*** ************** **************

***********, *** ************ *** *********** ** *** ******* *** **** a *********** ********* *** ******** ************* - ********** ***** ********** with *****. *****, *******, ********* ******** ******** ************* *** ****** than ******* ******* *** ***** ******** **** * ******* ******** ** ********.

******* ** *** ********** ********** ******** ** ********* * ***** VSM ********, ********* **** **** ** ****** *** **** *********** fits. ********, ************ ***** ******** ***** ********** **** ** ******* in *****, *** ******* **** ******** ************ (*.*. ****-************, **, and ***). **** * *** ******** ** *** *** ******** is *** **** ** ********** *** ****-**** ******** *** *** management *** ********* ************. ***** **** ********** ** ***** ** the ********* *** ** ***** ** *******, ********* ******** ****** consider ******* ***** ** ******* **** **** *** *********** ***** sufficiently.

***** ****** ******* (***** ************ *** ******* *** ******)

*****'* ***** ************ ******** *** *** ******/****** ****** ** ***** on *** ****** ******* ******** ***** *** ******* ** ** enabling ****** ******** ********* (*.*., *******, *********, *** ****** ********). The *** ***** *********** ** ** ********* *** ***** ********* and ****** ****** **********, **** **********, *** ************** ****** ** networks.  ****, *** ******** ******** ******* ****** ************, *********** *** need *** *********** **** ****** ********, ***** ********* ******* ***** distribution ******* *** **************.

*** ******** ** ****** ****** ** *** ***** **** ** only ******** *****'* ** ******** (*******/********), ******** ********/********** ******** ******** (NVR **********), * ******* ****** ** **** ********/***/****** *************, *** limited *** ***** ** ****** *******. *** ***** ******* (*.*., Intransa *** ******) *** ** **** ** ****** ******* **********, however, ***** **** *** ******* *******.

**** ******** ******** ******* *** * ******* ** ******** **** major **** ********* (********/***/****** *********) *************: *****, *****, *********, *** American ********.

*** ********

  • ******** ****** ******** *** ********* ***** ************ ************ (******* ******)
  • ********* *** ** ****** ******* *** **** *********, ***** ******** IP ***** *************
  • ******* ****-********* ** ****** ********** ***** ** ********* ********** ********** and ****** ********* ********* ***********
  • ******** **** ********* ************ **** ***** *************: *****, *****, *********, and ******** ********

*** ********

  • ** ******* *** ****** ******* ****** ***********
  • ** ***** *********
  • ******* ******* ** *** ***** ** ******* *** *** *******
  • ******* ********* ***** ******* ******** *** **************/*********
  • ****-********* *** ****** *********** ****** ** ** ********* - * more ******** ********** **********
  • *********** **** ***-******* **** ($**** *** ******)
  • ** ********* ******* - ******** **** ** (** ** **) resolution ********* *** *********
  • ** *********** ****** *** **** ********** ** ********** ********

****** ******* ************

*** *** ********** ** *** ******** *** ********* ********** ***-****** with***** ****** ******* ********,***** ** ******* ********/********, ********* ******* *************, ******* *** **************/********** ************. *******, *** ******** **** *** ******* * ******* ********** server. *** ************ ** ***********, ******* **** ***** ************ ******/****** discovers *** ***** ******** ***** *********** *********.  ****** ** ***** is ********** ** * *********** **** ********, ****** ** **** recording ****** (******** ********/********** ******** ********)

***** *** *********** *** ***** ** *** ********** *******. *********** ******** (**)************* ******** ******** (***). **** ********* ******* ******** ******* *** ****** ******* ********, which ******* *** ********** ** ****** *** ********** ***** *****. The **, *******, *** *** ****** ** ******** ******* ****** cameras (** ** **). ******** ******* ******* *** ********* *** limited ** *** ******* ************ ** ***** ******* ********.

****** ******* *******

*** ********* *** ******* ** * ****** ********* * ** 12 ******** **** *** ** *** ** ***** *******. ** estimated **** *** * ** ******* ****** ***** ******* *** 12-channel **** ** $**,*** **** ** $**,***. *** ** ********** licenses *** ******* (** $*** *** **********) **** $*,*** ** cost. * **** ** $**** ** ******** *** * ******* set ** ****** ************. ******** ** *** **** ***** **-******* system ****** ** ********** $**** *** ****** ****.

******* ** *** **** **** ** *** ********* ********* (**/***) and ******* ******** *** **** ********* **** *** ******* *** savings ** *** **** ** ********** ******. ************, **** ****** there *** ** ******* ***** *** ****** ******** ** *** system - **** *** ***** ************ (******* ******) - ***** IP ******* ******** **** ** **** ** * **** *** monitor ** $***. ********, **** ****** ********** **** ** ******** per **********/******** ** * **** ** $****.

****** ******* ************** **************

*****'* ****** ******* ***** ** ***** ************ ******** ** ****** reliant ** ** ** ********* *******. **** ****** **** ********* bandwidth *********** **** *.*., *** ******'* ***** ** ***** ********* by ******* *******, ******* ****** ******** (********), ***/** ********* ******* simultaneously. **** *** ** ********* ********* ************ ******** ****-********* ** the ****** ********** ******* *********** ****** ************.

*** ****-********* ** ********** (****-**-**** ************) ******** *** '****' ** a ********* ******* ********, *** ******* ** *********** ** *********** and ********** ********** (*.*., **** ********) ** **** ********* ****** must ******** *** ******* **'* *** **** ********.

************** *** *********

*** ****** ** ******* *** ******** ***** ***** ******** *****-****** applications: *) ****** ******* ************* ******; *) ****** ******* ****** Viewing ******; *** *) ****** ******* ************** *** ********** ******.

*** ************* ****** *** ************** *** ********** ****** ******** ******* the ********* ** ****** *** ********* *** ******* (*.*., ***********, fps, ** ********* ***.), ****** ******** ** ******** *******, ********* recording *********, *** ******* ****** ** *******/***********.

*** ****** ******* ****** ******** * ******* ** ******* *******, but *** **** **** * ******* ** ** ************ ***** streams. **** *********** **** ******* *** *** ******* ****** ******** in *** *********** *** ******** **** ** *** *********. ***** are ******* *** ******* **** *** ******* ***** ** ********** video ** ******* ****** ******** (********). *** ** ********* ****** of *** ****** ****** *** ****** ** ** *********** ** multiple ******** (****** ******* ********, *********, *** ******* ****** ********) in * ****** ********* ********* ******.

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