Priorities for Network Uptime in Video Surveillance

Author: John Honovich, Published on May 27, 2008

Understanding what measures are feasible and what measures are extremely expensive or not possible is a key element in planning your network uptime strategy. While there are numerous measures available, many are hard to justify financially or not possible with your existing system.

Fredrik Nilson offers an excellent review of strategies for minimizing downtime. I encourage you to read it. Following Fredrik's article, this review offers some advice on measures that can cheaply and quickly make a difference in deployments.

Measure #1: UPS

Power availability issues are the most common problems in creating downtime yet easiest and cheapest to solve. UPS systems are one of the least expensive measures to combat this. The systems themselves are usually in the hundreds of dollars and they are simple to deploy. You do not even need to back up power for hours. Even a system that backs up power for 30 minutes or 1 hour can solve the most common field issues.

Measure #2: Line Conditioning

Brownouts and power spikes are two of the most significant issues in damaging and destroying video surveillance systems. Computers are electronic devices and they are designed to use a defined voltage range. If the voltage moves out of this range, the probability that your equipment will fail increases significantly. Clean power should not be taken for granted, especially for the conditions that video surveillance systems are deployed.

Line conditioning automatically regulates and adjusts 'bad' voltage into proper levels for your equipment. Moreover, line conditioning is commonly available as a feature of UPS systems. As such, it can be trivial to enable line conditioning by simply choosing a UPS with this built in. The price is modestly more, but not significantly and the benefits over the life of the system are significant.

Unfortunately, UPS and line conditioning are very commonly not used for video surveillance system components. It often is overlooked or not budgeted in. Making sure it always is will provide significant long term operational and financial benefits.

Measure #3: Video Management System Tolerant to Hard Drive Failure

Using RAID for redundancy is great but many choose not to use it because of increased costs. If you are not going to use RAID, it is still very valuable to ensure that the video management system does not fail due to a failure of hard drives.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

You do not want to be in a situation where you do not have RAID and the failure of any hard drive knocks out your entire system. The resulting downtime can then be in days and the emergency service call can be expensive. There are two common ways to accomplish this and you should verify these are available if you choose not to use RAID.

1. The video management system runs on a separate hard drive from the video storage and is independent of failures of hard drives storing video.

2. The video management system runs on a flash disk while the the hard drives store video only. Since flash is very reliable, you can be confident that even if a hard drive dies the system continues to be functional.

Many other measures have strong potential to increase uptime but could be challenging to justify the cost to implement.

You may already have redundancy/ fault tolerant elements of your network. If so, you can simply leverage existing assets. However, if you need to upgrade or deploy yourself, the cost differential in enabling such features can be very expensive. For instance, using MPLS-VPNs can be very powerful but procuring the appropriate equipment and services to deploy can be a significant cost. It is best to determine what you can already leverage and review carefully the cost and risks of upgrading or new deployments.

Certainly as the size and complexity of these systems continues to grow, the need for careful planning for uptime will continue to grow.

Related Reports

Arlo Go Cellular Cloud Camera Tested on May 23, 2017
Totally wireless surveillance cameras are growing but almost all typically depend on a hub and local Internet access. However, many outdoor...
Alarm Circuits Guide on May 09, 2017
Alarm circuits are a fundamental element of wired burglar systems. Designing the alarm circuit greatly affects its performance. In particular,...
Smartphone Controlled Kevo Lock Tested on May 04, 2017
Smartlocks are a growing market, with millions sold. Kwikset's Kevo is one of the most common choices, using the Unikey smart phone access control...
Hack Your Access Control With This $30 HID 125kHz Card Copier on May 01, 2017
You might have heard the stories or seen the YouTube videos of random people hacking electronic access control systems. The tools that claim to do...
Xandem Next Gen Intrusion Tested on Apr 26, 2017
Xandem's "full coverage motion tracking technology" is unlike any intrusion technology we have seen. We bought their new system and tested it...
Dell EMC Surveillance Division Profile on Apr 20, 2017
With revenue growth from traditional IT customers slowing, Dell has set a focus on the security industry as a market where the company can offer...
Bosch B-Series Intrusion Tested on Apr 10, 2017
Bosch is one of the biggest names in intrusion but their B-Series panels, targeted at smaller site installs and available through distribution, are...
Best and Worst - ISC West 2017 Show Report on Apr 10, 2017
IPVM went to Las Vegas, examining what vendors are showcasing and what is new. Attendance was up, according to the show, and was certainly well...
Burglar Alarm Strobes Guide on Mar 31, 2017
Strobes provide visual notification of alarm incidents, as sirens are used to give audible notification. Using a strobe gives alarm users and alarm...
2Gig Intrusion Megatest (GC2 & GC3 Panels Tested) on Mar 28, 2017
2Gig is one of the most widely used intrusion systems, with two product lines that are the main offering of many alarm companies, huge national...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon New COO James Henderson Profile on May 23, 2017
It has been nearly 2 years since the infamous Bryan Schmode 'resigned' as Avigilon COO. Now, Avigilon once again has a COO, promoting James...
Aura's 'Invisible Ripple' Next Gen Intrusion Detection Tested on May 22, 2017
Aura Home is a startup intrusion detection system, but it claims new, high-tech sensing that monitors the 'invisible ripples' movement creates,...
Pelco Shutting Down Clovis Line, Laying Off 200 on May 22, 2017
Pelco's Clovis facility once turned out some of the industry's most popular products. Now, the facility is mostly building "obsolete" equipment,...
IP Camera - 15 Year Shootout on May 22, 2017
How far have IP cameras come? We bought and tested 4 cameras across the past 15 years to understand how much and where performance has...
Remote Video Monitoring Providers Directory on May 19, 2017
Remote video monitoring can help integrators generate RMR plus end users lower their security costs and/or improve response to critical...
Axis Criticizes OEMs: "When You Buy An Axis Camera, An Axis Camera Is What You Get!" on May 19, 2017
When you buy a Honeywell camera, you likely get a Hikvision, Dahua or some other company's product. The same goes for easily 100 different...
Hackable 125kHz Access Control Migration Guide on May 19, 2017
Despite being one of the most popular credentials, 125 kHz credentials are easily copied and insecure as we showed in our test results, video...
Forget The Backdoor, "ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS" On Sale on May 18, 2017
Less than 2 weeks after the Hikvision Backdoor was confirmed, Hikvision has launched a sale "ON ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS". In this note, we examine...
Amazon Techs Installing IP Cameras Tested on May 18, 2017
In 2015, Amazon started offering video surveillance installation. Now, Amazon has made it a lot easier, with automatic add-on options and...

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