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

Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
Amazon Ring Spotlight Cam Tested on Sep 17, 2018
Amazon's Ring has released their latest camera entry, the Spotlight Cam, which we bought and tested in our Consumer IP Camera Analytics...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Why Vivint / Best Buy Failed on Aug 31, 2018
DIY has bested Vivint. In 2017, Best Buy and Vivint partnered with Vivint employees on the floor of 400+ Best Buy stores, helping customers with...
Exit Devices For Access Control Tutorial on Aug 28, 2018
Exit Devices, also called 'Panic Bars' or 'Crash Bars' are required by safety codes the world over, and become integral parts of electronic access...
Backup Power for Large Security Systems Tutorial on Aug 24, 2018
Choosing the right backup power system depends on system size. While small and medium systems greatly benefit from using UPS battery backup...
SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance 2018 on Aug 21, 2018
Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or...
Axis First IR PTZ Tested (Q6125-LE) on Aug 21, 2018
Axis is very late in releasing IR PTZs. While competitors such as Hikvision and Dahua have offered them for years, Axis has just released their...
Backup Power For Maglocks Guide on Aug 20, 2018
When the main power fails, many believe maglocks must leave doors unlocked. However, battery backed up maglocks are allowed according to IBC /...
Backboxes for Video Surveillance Tutorial on Aug 15, 2018
Backboxes are a necessity in surveillance, whether for managing cable whips, recessing cameras, adding wireless radios. But it can be confusing to...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
UTC, Owner of Lenel, Acquires S2 on Sep 20, 2018
UTC now owns two of the biggest access control providers, one of integrator's most hated access control platforms, Lenel, and one of their...
BluePoint Aims To Bring Life-Safety Mind-Set To Police Pull Stations on Sep 20, 2018
Fire alarm pull stations are commonplace but police ones are not. A self-funded startup, BluePoint Alert Solutions is aiming to make police pull...
SIA Plays Dumb On OEMs And Hikua Ban on Sep 20, 2018
OEMs widely pretend to be 'manufacturers', deceiving their customers and putting them at risk for cybersecurity attacks and, soon, violation of US...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...

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