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

Reseting IP Cameras - 30 Manufacturer Directory on Sep 22, 2017
Every camera has a reset button (well, almost) but it is not always clear what these buttons do, how long they need to be held, what settings they...
Fail Safe vs. Fail Secure Tutorial on Sep 13, 2017
Few terms carry greater importance in access control than 'fail safe' and 'fail secure'. Access control professionals must know how these concepts...
Dahua and Hikvision Entering Access Control on Sep 05, 2017
Until now, Chinese video giants Hikvision and Dahua have held back releasing access internationally. Both companies have now pulled the trigger,...
Neurala Deep Learning Platform Profile on Aug 31, 2017
Find lost children? If Neurala has its way with its recent partnership with Motorola, that is the aim as shown in their video below: Neurala has...
Nvidia For Video Surveillance Examined on Aug 23, 2017
Nvidia is making a big push into the security market, claiming more than 50 partners, investing heavily in industry events, positioning their GPUs...
IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017 on Aug 14, 2017
RFPs are hard. Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time. Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific...
Rebooting IP Camera Statistics And Practices on Aug 10, 2017
Dahua cameras automatically reboot weekly, by default. Is this an innovation by the Chinese mega-manufacturer or a sign of a problems? 125...
Access Control Commissioning / Install Checklist on Aug 03, 2017
This 80+ point checklist helps end users, integrators and consultants verify that access control installation is complete. It covers the following...
IR Surveillance Guide on Jul 31, 2017
Infrared (IR) has become an increasing core component to video surveillance systems. In particular, the expansion of integrated IR cameras that...
Startup Strops Completely Wireless Surveillance Camera Examined on Jul 28, 2017
European startup Strops has developed a surveillance camera that offers up to 6 days of runtime and cellular communications to create a fully...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Reseting IP Cameras - 30 Manufacturer Directory on Sep 22, 2017
Every camera has a reset button (well, almost) but it is not always clear what these buttons do, how long they need to be held, what settings they...
80+ OEMs Verified Vulnerable To Hikvision Backdoor on Sep 22, 2017
Over 80 Hikvision OEM partners, including ADI, Interlogix, LTS, and Northern Video, have been verified as having products vulnerable to the...
Genetec Launches Cloud Access Control (Synergis SaaS) on Sep 21, 2017
Genetec's cloud everything expansion continues, with their announcement of Synergis SaaS edition, joining their cloud video offering Stratocast,...
Genetec CEO Warns Against Insider Threats on Sep 21, 2017
With Dahua and Hikvision cybersecurity issues becoming indisputable, a new counter has emerged. Just put them behind a firewall, buy cheap...
New IPVM Calculator V3 Released on Sep 20, 2017
The New IPVM Calculator V3 is released. An entirely new architecture delivers the following benefits: Turbo The calculator is now ~50% faster in...
Automatic Door Operators For Access Tutorial on Sep 20, 2017
Opening and closing doors might sound simple, but it takes a high-tech piece of door hardware to pull it off. Integrating automatic door operators...
'Clowns' Allege Ubiquiti 'Completely Fraudulent' on Sep 20, 2017
A short seller has alleged Ubiquiti is 'completely fraudulent'. Ubiquiti's CEO has responded calling them 'clowns'. Here is the short...
Avigilon 'Blue' Cloud Entry Examined on Sep 19, 2017
Avigilon is moving to the cloud. The company announced their Avigilon Blue platform, designed to be a web-managed surveillance system, utilizing...
HID Buys Mercury Security on Sep 19, 2017
One of the biggest access control deals in years. Mercury Security, the most widely used access hardware OEM, and partner to 20+ manufacturers,...
Hikvision Backdoor Exploit on Sep 18, 2017
Full disclosure to the Hikvision backdoor has been released, allowing easy exploit of vulnerable Hikvision IP cameras. As the researcher, Monte...

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