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

Smart Power Tools For Security Installs on Jan 18, 2017
Installing a smart camera? Perhaps you should use a 'smart' drill. The intelligent appliance / IoT trend has hit power tools. In this note, we...
Honeywell Ademco Vista Intrusion System Tested on Jan 11, 2017
One of the biggest brands in security holds one of the most common intrusion lines. We bought and tested a Honeywell Vista 15P intrusion...
Bosch Blue Line Intrusion Motion Detector Tested on Jan 03, 2017
False alarms from motion sensors are one of the most aggravating parts of intrusion detection.   Bosch says their sensors are better, even...
Surveillance Cameras 2017 Review on Jan 02, 2017
This report concisely explains the developments and most common options for surveillance cameras offered in 2017, including resolution, H.265, HD...
IR Video Surveillance Tutorial 2017 on Dec 21, 2016
Almost all surveillance cameras perform worse in low light than they do in the day time. One of the most common techniques to overcome this is to...
HD Analog vs IP Guide 2017 on Dec 19, 2016
For years, HD resolution was IP camera's greatest advantage. However, starting in 2013, analog cameras with HD resolution started shipping and,...
Resolution Tutorial on Dec 16, 2016
Understanding video surveillance resolution can be surprisingly difficult and complex. While the word 'resolution' seems self-explanatory, its use...
No One Should Ever Use Simplisafe on Dec 12, 2016
Simplisafe, the upstart DIY intrusion alarm system, is increasingly Public Enemy Number One in the alarm business. Recently, Security Sales ran an...
Power Drill Selection Guide on Dec 06, 2016
Boring holes is a basic part of running cables for most security system projects. To do so, you will need to choose the right drills for various...
Genetec Lower Cost Sharp V LPR Camera on Nov 23, 2016
Genetec has announced the latest offering in their AutoVu Sharp line, promising new features, simplified installation, and lower price. In this...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Jim Cramer Sucks Up To Knightscope on Jan 19, 2017
Credit must be given to Knightscope. They are raising money right now and despite their $80 million pre-money valuation against a lowly sub $1...
ADT Launches Canopy - Professional Monitoring For DIY Devices on Jan 19, 2017
The intrusion industry has criticized DIY security systems for years, claiming systems like Canary or Scout cannot match professionally installed...
Dahua (Un)Favorability Results on Jan 19, 2017
Dahua, the mega-Chinese surveillance manufacturer not primarily owned by the Chinese government has been trying to break out of the shadow of...
Paxton Hosted Access - Disruptive Low Dealer Pricing on Jan 19, 2017
Paxton is entering the hosted access game, with BLU, at a cost that is a fraction of key competitors. The different approach could be very...
Geovision Launches Direct Cloud Offering on Jan 18, 2017
Add cloud, subtract integrator. Geovision has launched myGVcloud, an offering that allows consumers to buy cameras and cloud services directly...
Anixter / Bosch Sells Direct to Amazon on Jan 18, 2017
Anixter regularly says they do not sell direct to end users or that they do not do it anymore. However, over the past year, Anixter has sold Bosch...
Smart Power Tools For Security Installs on Jan 18, 2017
Installing a smart camera? Perhaps you should use a 'smart' drill. The intelligent appliance / IoT trend has hit power tools. In this note, we...
Canon 250MP Prototype Targeted At Surveillance on Jan 17, 2017
At one point Axis declared the megapixel race was over, but now parent company Canon is showing an imager that would be a rocket ship in a...
Cut in Half, Everfocus Shifts Strategies on Jan 17, 2017
The race to the bottom impact continues. Now, Everfocus, who used to be one of the larger budget providers, is shifting strategies after years of...
Top ISC West 2017 Booth Moves on Jan 16, 2017
There are significant moves among many major manufacturers on the ISC West show floor, and very few prime spaces left unoccupied. In this report we...

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