Private School IT Manager Surveillance Interview

By Dan Gelinas, Published Feb 22, 2019, 09:07am EST

This IT manager describes himself as the "oft-maligned IT person" whose "opinions may not always be appreciated by the integrator crowd." But he is here to share his perspective.

This undisclosed interviewee is the IT manager at a private US school, managing their surveillance system. What considerations did they have and what challenges did they face securing their campus and keeping their kids safe? In the interview, the manager explains:

  • Who runs their security?
  • How they work with integrators
  • What problems and successes they have had with integrators
  • What type of cameras and recorders / VMS they use
  • How they evaluated and why they choose or rejected Axis, Dahua, Genetec, Hikvision, and Milestone?
  • Converged or dedicated network for surveillance?
  • What remote viewing and remote access approach do they use?
  • And details of their system including frame rate, redundancy, PTZ usage and more.

Note: this is the second in our new series (see our fist entry Casino Surveillance Pro Interview) and if you are an end user interested in sharing your thoughts, email Dan at dan@ipvm.com.

*** ****** *** * few ******* ******** ****** junior *** **** ******, so ** ** * relatively ******* ******.

****: *** **** **** you **** ******** **** security/IT ** *** ******?

*'** **** ** ***** here *** ** *****. This ** ** ***** year ** ******** ** Technology. ****** ****, * was ******** **** ** in * ********** ****. Our ******** *****-*** *** been ** *** **** year *** * ****. We ******* **** ** needed ** **** **** on *** ****** *** have **** ******* **** what *** ***** **. Part ** ** *** a *********** ** *** accreditation *******. ** ****** to **** ****** ********. And ******** ******* ** just * ** ********* right ***. ** ******* that ** ** **** in ********, **’** *** guardian ** ***** ****, so ** **** ** do **** *****.

****: **** *** ****** also **** * ******** director ** ** *** have ******* ************** *** the ******** ** *** school?

** ** *** **** a ******** ******** *** and *** ******* ************** for ******** ** *** has ****** ** **. When ** **** ******, we **** * **** of ******** *** **** has ****** ** *** system, *** *** ******* responsibility ** ****.

****: *** ******** **** equipment: ******** ********* ** a ********** ****/********** ** combination ** ****?

** **** **** **** recent ***** ***** **’** added ****** ******* *** surveillance *** **** ********** in-house. ** ** ** all. ** **** ** integrator **** **’** ****** with ** *** **** and **** ****** *** of *** **** ***** systems. ** **** **** an ******** ****** ******* system ** *** ********* and **** ****** ****.

****: ** *** **** student ******* **** **** with ***?

** ** *** *********. We **** *** ****-***** programs ** *** ****, but ******* ***** ***.

****: *** ** *** evaluate/select ******** *********** ** work ****?

** ******** *** ***** with **** ***** *** plans *** *** **** propose **** ****** ** this ********** *******. ** evaluation ** **** *** that * ****** *** not ********* **** ***** knowledge. **** ****** ** bring ** **** **** called ***** ****** ***** guy. ** **** ******* with *** ***** ********* management *** ** *** only ******* ** ***** in * ********** ******** network. * ********* * VLAN, *** ** *** immediately ******** ** ** that **** ****’* **** know **** * **** was. * ***** ***** knowledge ** ** ********** to ******* **** ** wanted ** **********. **** were **** ******* ** propose * ****** ******. They **** **** *** that’s *** **** **** interested ** *****. *** elevators *** **** *** they **** **** *** we've **** ****, *** it’s *** ********* **** we ****** ** *** any ******* ****. ** haven’t **** ****** ***** with **. * *** really **** ********** ** having ** **** ****** that ***** ** ********** by ******* ********* ******** layers ** ** ****** to ****** *** * didn’t **** ** ** beholden ** * ********** integrator *** *** ******* the **** ** *** kingdom.

****: **** **********************. **** ******** **** you ****?

**’** ***** *** **** cameras, ****** *** * couple ******** **** ** our ******* **** **’** integrated **. *** * plan ** ******* ***** as * ***. *** VMS ********** ************ ********** ****’* **** *********** all ** *** ****** control ***** ** ****. We’re ***** **** ** an *******. **’* **** working **** *** ****** controllers ** *** **** system. *** ***** **** from **** ** *** one **’** ***** *** it *** ***** **** Synology. **’* *** ********** level—it’s *** ******* ** anything **** ****—*** *** what ** *** *** at *** *****, *’* very *********. ** **** 3 ********* ******* ** different ********* **** ********. It’s *** ********** *** we’re **** ** ****** everything ** * ****** interface. ** *** ********* I/O ** ** ******* our **** ***** ** know ** ****’** ***** accessed *************. *'* ****** happy **** **** ** have *** **** ** costs. * ****, ***** we *** **** *** ourselves, ** **** **** limited ** **** ** could ***, ******* *** whole ******** ***** ** so ****** **** *** channel *****. 

****: *** *** *** find ********? ****’** *** that **** *****. *** did *** **** ****?

**’** *** * ******** NAS ****** ** *** inventory *** **** *****. We **** ** *** it ** * **** server *** *** ** our ******** ******* *** then ** **** ** collected ****, *** ** I *** ***** ******** on ******* ** ***** use, ** **** **** up. ** *****, * dismissed **, *** * knew **** **** ********** with *** **** ****** control *******. *** ** the ***** *******, **** were ********* ** *** access *********** ***** ** mesh ****. **** *** a ******** ** *** software ** ***** **** updated *** **** * more ****** ******* ******** over *** *********** *** they’re ******* ***** ******** from ******** ****** **** being ** ********* **** the ***, *** ****’* when * ****** ** it ** * **** viable ******** *** **.

****: ** *** ****** anything **** *** ****** at? *****? *********?

* ****** ** ********* and ***** ***** **** and ** ****** **** great ******** *** ********, but * ***** **** what * *** *** the ***** ****’* ****** a ****** ********. ****, their ****** *********** ** Milestone ****** *** *** what ** ****** ** be. ** *** **** of * ********* ***********. It *** **** *************, but ** ****’* ********** control **** *** ********** controllers. ** *** **** a ***** ********** **** from *********** *** ****** a ******* ******** *** us. ** *** * walkthrough ** *** ******, and * *** ********* with *** ****** *** would **** ***** ** have **, *** **** budget-wise, ** ***** *** extend ********* *** ****** to *** **** **.

****: *** *** ******** any **** ** ***?

* ********* ********** *** Milestone *****, *** ***** than ****. *** **********, the ****** **** ***** on *** ***** *** me. * **** ** with *** ************* ************ of ***** ******** *** I ****’* ********** ** pursuing ** *** *** price.

****: ** *** **** have ******** **** *******************, ************ **** ***** lack ** ** *********?

* **** ** *****, I **** ******* **********. But **** *** ********** FA **********. ** ***** case, ***** **-***** ********* of *** ** **** of ****** ****** ** be *******. **** ****** just *** ** * completely ******** ******* *** security *** *****’* ******* to ******** ******** **** and *** **, **** was * ***-*******. *** other ********** **** *********** was ** * ***** other *****. **** ****** on **** ****** *******. I ****’* **** *** qualms ***** ***** ** knowledge ** ***.

****:** *** **** ** the ****** ** **** security ********** ******* **** it ***** ** **** security **** ** ** you ** *** ******** yourself *** ******* ********/*********?

*’* * ****** *** a ********** *** * like ** ** ** much ******** ** * can. * **** ** know **** *’* ******* about ** **** ** I ***. ** * was **** ********** ** looking *** ******* **** it *** * *** going ** ** ********** in. ** **** * initially ****** **** ** integrator, * **** ****, “This ** **** * know *** **** ** what * ****.” **** whole ********** *** * turn *** ******* **** were **** ********** ** selling **** **** **** and *****’* ********** ** looking ******* *** ***. I ****** ****** *********** that **** *** *** could ** *********** ****** the ******. *** **** wasn’t ********* **** **** interested ** *********.

****: ** *** **** a ********* ** ********* network?

**’* *********. *** ******** traffic ** ****** ** it’s **** ********** ** certain ***** *** *********.

****: **** **** *** choose *** **** *** other?

* ***** *** ******** concern ** ** **** fallback. “** ** ***** to ** ******** ** it’s ********** ******** ****.” But ***** *** **** to ** **** **** careful *************. ** **** 5 ********* ** ****** and ****'** *** ********* with *****. *** ** don’t **** ***** ***** to *** ** ********** separate ********. ** ***’* have *** **************. *** then ** ****** ** be **** ** **** access ** ******* ********. We *** **** **** happen **** * ****** connection *** ** ***’* have ** ** ***** drops ** ******* *********.

****: ** *** ******* remote ******* ** ******?

** ***’* *********. * have ******, *** * have * *** ** my *****. ****** **** has ****** ** ** off ******. *****’* ** port ********** ***** ** can ** ********. ******** only *** ******.

****: ** ***'** *** 5 ********* *** ********* with *****. **** *** used * ******** **** ever? *** ** **, what ********* **** *** used?

***, **'** *** * main ********* *** * couple ************ **** *** connected **** ******. *** it’s ****** *** *: We **** *** **** Academic *****, *** ******* Lounge *** *********, *** Activity ******/***, *** ********* for *** *****, *** female **** ** *** top * ****** ** the ******** ******** *** then *** ****** **** Building. ** *****'* **** wireless. We’ve ********* ** *** a ********** ** *** football ***** *** ******* we ****** *** ***** from **** ******** *** our ****** ********** ***’* always **** ********. ****’* not ****** * ******** thing, ******.

****: **** *** ******** any ****** ** ********* (cameras, ***, ********, ***.) within **** ****** *** if ** **** **** you ****** *** *** they ***** **** *** switch?

*** ***** ** ****** fresh, ** ** *****’* switched ***** **’** *******. We’re ****** **** *** Axis ** *** ******* and *** ****** *********** and **** *** ******** system **** **.

****: ****, ** ***, external ************* ****** ** they ** *******?

** *****’* **** ******* any ******** ****** ***. We’re ******* ** **** things ** ** *** phishing ******* **** *** staff, *** ** ***’* have *** ****** **** we’re ******** ** ****.

****: *** ***** ** you ******** *** ****** and ******** **********?

**** ** **********, ******. It’s *** *’* ** IPVM ******. ** *** been * ****** ***** resource *** *********** *********** in ****-***** **********. **'* easy ** **** ******* info *** *****, *** it's **** ** **** the **-***** *****. ***** was ******** *********** ** **** **** said *** **** ****** really ***** **** ** the *** ******* * **** **’* the ********. * *** because * *** *** more **-***** ***** ***** of ******* *** ********. I’m ********** ******* *** reading ***** ****’* *** and ****'* ***** ** I *** **** ** top ** **** **** of *****.

****: *** ** **** process ******* (*.*. *** do *** ********/***** *** cameras *** ******** ****** the ******** ********* ******?) You ** ******* *********?

** *** * ****** and ******** ********* **** met ** ****** **** we ***** ******* ******* to ******* **** ** was **** ** ****** and **** *** ***** were. *** **** ** gets **** ** ******** or ******* ********* **** has **** ** **.

****: **** ** **** typical *** ** **** cameras?

** *** **** ** 15 *** *** *** recording. ** ** **** a **** ******* ******. Typically **’** **** *** some *** ****** *** some *** ***. **** are ****. **’** ** full ******* ** *** camera ** **** *** then ** **** **** a ***** ********** ****** that’s ******* ** ******** they *** *** ********** and ****'* ********* *****.

****: *** **** ****** of ********** *** ***** into **** ***/******/*******/***** ************?

** **** * ***** power **** ** ****** in *** **** ******** that *** **** ** running *** ***** ** minutes ** ** **** a ***** *****. ** all *** ********* ******* and *** *** ** infrastructure *** ******* **** that. *** ** **** building, *** ******** ** that ** *** ******* operations ****** *** **’** backed ** *****. ** all *** ***** ***** we **** ******* ***** backups, *** ********** ** power-backed-up ** ******* *** recorders **** *******. *** then ** **** ******** on *** ********. ** have *** * *****. They *** **** ******* that *** ******** ** them *** **** **** are *** ******* ********* for ***** *******, *** if *** ***** ** fails **** ** *** other *** **** ** the *****.

****: ** *** **** any **** ****** **********? Or *** **** ******* used ** ** ***** trail ****?

** ** **** ** our **** ******, ** have * ****** **** has—not **** *** **** cameras ** *** ** it—but **’* ********** **** and *** **** ****** secretary ******** ** **** to **** ****** **** loitering ** *** *****. That **** ** *****. Then ** **** ** our ***********, ** **** screens ***** *** ********* there *** ***** ***** individual *****.

****: ** *** *** any **** ** *** most ** **** ******* bullets *** *****?

** ** *** **** any **** **’** ***** right ***. * **** one ** * **** bench **** *’* ******* at *** *’* *** using ** ********.

****: *** *** ***** using *** ****** *******?

**. *** ** *** cameras *** ** *******.

****: **** ******* ************** are ***** **** ****** surveillance ****** ******* ************—**** cameras ** ** ****** building ** ** * retail *******?

**’** ****** ********* **** a *** ********* ****** of ********** ***********. ***** of ***, ** ****** to **** **** ** every ******** ** ***** building. ***’* ****** ** and ***’* ***** ***. Then, ** ******, *** public ***********, ********, ***. Then ** ****** ** problem ***** ***** ** want ** ***** ****** from *********. ** ****** to *** “*** *** we ***** ** ***** our ********* *****?" ** have **** ***** ************* of *** **** **** these ****** **** ****. This ** ***** ****. We ***’* **** ** be *********, *** ** want ** ****** * safe ***********. **, ** the ***, ** ******* to *** ******* ** the ******** *** *** lounge ***** *** ** let ******** ****. ** aware. ** ************* ******* and ****** *************. **** decision *** ****** ********. Just **** ******* ** had * ***** ********* that ** **** **** to ***** *** ** those *******. *** * didn’t **** ** ** involved ** **. *** Dean ** ******** *** able ** *** **** the ****** *** ****** footage *** ***** **. It's **** **** ** be **** ** **** others ****** ** ***********.

****: *** ***** **** your ******* ****** *** to ***** *** * problem? *** *******, ***** up * *****, ***** a ******* ******** *****, stop * ********* *******, etc.?

** **** * ****** great *********** ****. ** don’t **** * *** of ****** **** ******** or ******** **** ****. The ********* * **** mentioned *** *** ***** time ** *** * theft *****. **’** *** lost ***** *** **’** been **** ** ** back *** ***** ** find *** ***** ***** people *** **** ****. But **** **** *** done ** **’* ******* us ** ****** ********** in *** *********. **’* showed ** ***** ****** have **** *** ***** access ***** ** *** people ** *** ****’* have ******. **’* **** helped ** ** *** when ******** *** *** when ****’** *** ******** to ** ** ** areas ****'** *** ******** to **. ** **'* helped ** ** ***** areas **** **** *** with ******** ********. ** did **** ** ******** when *** ****** ********** came ** ** *** footage **** **** ** our ******** **** ** help *********** ** ******** that ****'* ****** ** the ****** *** *** footage *** ******** ***** to ** *******. **** wanted ** *** ** a ******* ****** ****** by ** * ******* time. 

****: *** *** ***** any *********, ***, ** facial *********** *** ******** at **** ******?

**, **’** *** ***** any ** **** *****. I ***** ***** *** never. **’* ********, *** we ***’* **** *** plans ** *** **** that ***. ** ***’* want ** **** *** creep ****** *** ***. We **** *** ******** appreciation **** *******—********** ***** who *** *** ** the ****—**** **’** ***** these ******* ** ** sure *** *********** ** secure *** ** **** who ** ** ****** and *** ***’*. ** a ******** *********, * lot ** ***** **** are **** *** ****, the ***** **** ** the *****. *****'* * lot ** *****. ****'** here *** **** **** with ** *** ****'** our **************. **, ***** has **** * **** appreciation **** **’** ********** some ** ***** ******.

****: *** **** *** current ******* ** ***** where ** **** ** increased ********* ** ****** shootings ****** **** *** of ******** *** ******?

**’** *********** *** ** these ****** ** ****** that********* ****. * ****, we're ** * ***** town *** **, ** course, **** ***, *** there’s ****** *** ******. There *** * ***** threat ******** ** *** news **** *** **** of *** ****** **** in **. ** **** able ** ******** *** give ***** ******* ** the **** ****** ** our ******. **’** **** to ***** * ******* credential ** ***** ******* now ***** ** ********* we ***** ***** **** done **** * **** key. **** **** **** to ***** **** *** campus. ** ******** ****** security *** ******** **********. Our ******** **** ******* the * ********* ** the ****** *** ***. We’ve ******** ** ****** every ******** **** ****** and ***** ******* **** access, *** ******** **** their ******* ** ***** is ***** ********** *** they're ***** **** ***** to *** **. ** used ** ** **** doors **** **** **** and ****** ***** **** in. ** **** **** a ******* ********** ****** that **’** *****. *** visitor ***** **** ** and **** * ***** taken *** ** ** badge. *** ****** ****** employees *** ********. ** know ***’* **** *** can ***** ****** *** as **** **** *** go. ** **** ** look ** *** ***** aspects ***** *** ****** spurred ** *** *** insane ****** ********* ** the *****. ** **** to **** **** ********* our ************** ** ******* the ****** ** *** care. ***** **** ** locked. ***** **** ** monitored *** **** ******** and **** ***** **** into */** **** *** us **** ** ******** whether ** *** ****'** open. *** ** **** local ****** ** ***** exterior ****. *** ***** that *** ** *** system *** ****** ****** and ** *** ******* has ****** ** * certain **** ***** ** gets **** **. **** places ***** ** ***’* want *** ******** ** be ************, **** **** a ******* ** *** them **. ********** ** tied **** **** ****. If **** **** ** they ********* **** **** of ** ***** **** because **** ***’* *** around, **** ***’* *** lunch, ***.

****: * *** ** schools, ********* *** ***** lock *** ****** ** schedules, *** ****'* *** the *** *** ** it?

**. ****'** ****** ******. During *** ****** *** all *** ********* *** locked *** ** *** students ***'* **** ***** cards, **** ***'* ** between *** *********. **** of ** ** ******* we're *****. **** *** students **'** ** * level ***** ** *** do ****. 

****: **** ***** ******** measures, ***** **** *******, are *** ***** ** help ****** *** ****** and *** ********.

*** ****** ******* **** Axis **** *** ******. Then ** **** **** position ********** *** *'** explored ******** *** ***** buttons. We ** **** * lockdown ***** ******. **** certain **********, ***'** **** to **** * ******* code *** **** ********* a ******** ***** **** goes ** ***** ******** speaker ** *** ********. We ***’* **** * remote *** **** **** do ****, *** * have **** ********* *** that ******* **** *’* testing. *** ******, **’** in * ******** ******** with *** ********* ***** locked. **’** ************ * system **** * ******* called ******** **** ** the ***** ** * lockdown, ** ****** *** our ********* *** ***** devices ** ***** ** campus *** ****** *** communication ** * ****** situation. *** ****’* *** necessarily **** **** ******** else ** **** ******. There *** **** ***** alarms ** *** *****. We **** ****** **** have **** ** ***** for ***** **** *** designed ** *** ** know ** ******* ****** the **** ***** ******. They're ******** ** **** the **** ** ** someone’s ****** ** ***** out. ** *** ********* dormitory ********, ***** ** the ***’* ****, ****’* how ** *****. ** you **** * **** after *****, ** ******. In *** ******** ********. It’s *** *** ********—***** in ****—*** ***** *** motion ******* ** *** halls **** **** ***** if *** ***** *** out *** ***** ***** hours. ****’* **** *** reason ** **** ****** on *** *********. ******** can’t *** *** ********* at *****.

****: ** ******* *** security * *******?

***** *** * *** of **** ** *** this ******* ****, ** they **** ******* ** fund **, *** **** was ****** ******. ** knew ** ****’* ***** to **** ** ** and *** ** ******** company ** **** ** and *** **** *** up *** ********* *** us. ** *** ********** a *********, *** **’** a ******* *********** ** there’s ** ****** ******* for **. **** ** the ********* *** ** was **** **** *** a ****** *** ****** on ** ** *** accrediting **** **** ** needed ** ** ****. One *** ** *******, we ****** ** **** it ******. *** ** really **** ****** **** they ********. **’** **** cost ********* ** ********** were **. ** ********** as * ***** ** cost-conscious *** *** ******* was ** *********. *** we ****’* **** ** skimp. ** *****’* ******* to ** ** ***’* Club *** *** * box ******. ********** ***** we **** ***** **** ourselves, * ****’* **** that ****** ****** **** tied ** ** * particular ******** *** ** didn’t **** ** ** be ** ****** ****** together **** ** * or ******* **** ** my ***** **** **** wouldn’t ** **** ** work ** ** *** it. ** ****** ** to ** **** ******* who *** **** ** knowledge ***** **** ** and **** ******* *** add ***** ***** ********* if **** ****** **. If **** ****** ** call ** ** ********** to **** **** ****, I ****** **** ** be **** **. ** wanted ** ** **** good ***. * **** that’s ******** ***********, *** I’ve ****** **** *********** before *** **** *** conduit ** ********** *** make ** **** **** ugly. ** ***** ** keep ********** ** *** walls. ** **** *** time ** *** **** in *** **** ** look **** *** ** wouldn’t ** **** ** have **** **** **** an **********. *** ***** guy * **** **** is ****** **** ** working **** *** ******* wiring ***** ***** *** well ******* * ****** like ***** *** ****** design.

****: *** ***** ****** for ******** ************ *** take ********* **? ** so, *** ** *** find *** ****** *** apply ***? *** ******** companies * ******** ** that ******?

* *** *** ** extensive ******** ** ****, so ** ********** ** that *****’* *** **** available ** ** ** that *****. ** ***** be * ***** ***** add ** ** ********** did ****, *** ******** and ********** ** **** grant ********* *** ***** we **** ********. ** would ******* **** *** the ******** ****. *’* used ** ****** ** spin **** **** ***** and **** ****** ****** with ** *********. *** I ***** *** *** aspect. * ***** ********* that *********** ***** ***** from *** ****** ***** is **** ***** *** lots ** ** ****** here *** ** ********** new **********. ***** *** a ********** ****** ***** the ******* *** ****** solutions *** *** ****’** so **********. ***** ***** of ********* *** *** personally ********** ** **. But * *** *** they **** * ******. They ***** ********** ***** one **** *** ********** is **** ** ********** as * ********* ***. It *** ** ****** budgeted. *** ***’* **** to ***** ***** ******* improvements *** **’* ******** nicely **** * **** GUI. *** *** ***** it ** ************** *** show ****. ** *** age ** ******, **** everything ** ******* **** kind ** ********* **** works. * *** *** those ********* *** ****** success *** * ***** integrators, ****** **** ******* these ***** ** *********, need ** ***** ***** how ** ****** ***** business ****** ** ****** to ***** *********.

****: *** ********** ****** placement?

* ********** *** ****** placement *** ********** ** this *******. ****** *** conversation *** “***** *** we ****** ***** **** need ** ** *******?” We ***** ** *** coverage ** *** *** open ***** *** * did **** *** ** the****** ************* ***** ******** *** PPI ************.

****: *** **** *** management ** ************ ****** from ***** ********* ******* in **** **********?

* **** * ******* ritual ***** * **** in *** ** ** systems ****** ** **** sure ******* ** ************. I ***** *** ******** view. *** ******** ****** overnight **** * **** to **** ****? ** the **** ** *** of **, ***** **’** using ****** **** ******** components ***** ** *** IT *****, * *** tie ** ******** ** my ******* ********** *******. We *** ****. *** we *** *** ******. The ***** *** * work ****, **’** ** looking ** ** *** will *** ****** ** the ****’* ******* *** it ***** *** * screenshot *** **’** ** check ** **.

****: *** **** ******* and *****?

** ******* ** ****** and **’** ******* ** add ** ****, ****** exterior *******. ** **** pretty **** *** ** our ******** ****** ***** covered. ** ***** ********** right *** *** **’** looking ** *** * more, *** **** ** those **** ** ******** doors **** **’** *** to *** ******. ** our *******, ** **** record ** ****** ***** now. **’** ***** *** Axis ****** ********* ***********, and ** **** **-*** retention. ** ***** ********** locally **** **** *** Synology ***. **’** *** recording ******* ** ***.

Comments (24)

Wow, this was meant for me. Great interview.

Agree: 5
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Great reporting IPVM team, keep them coming.  This type of real world information and education on clients true needs and perceptions will only elevate our industy and allow us to provide better solutions tailored to their environments.

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Great interview.  I particularly was interested in the VLAN comments.  I think separate physical networks are often used because IT and Security are separate entities and neither wants to be dependent or impacted by the other.

Agree: 12
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I think separate physical networks are often used because IT and Security are separate entities and neither wants to be dependent or impacted by the other.

I think whether this is the case in practice has much to do with the organization size and/or the industry. In our particular case (I am the subject of this interview), we don't have the luxury of any dedicated security staff so there are no turf wars to be fought in this area. In addition, the increasing complexity and integration of security devices makes it harder and harder for them to live in isolation from the rest of a corporate network. Every device these days is a complex network endpoint that will always need some IT attention in one form or another. 

Properly configured VLANs provide many benefits of isolation without the significant expense of separate infrastructure. I do admit that there are risks involved with a network trunk going down, but that would affect the entire network and there would be no greater priority than getting it back up. In the event of a cut fiber line between a building or some similar mishap, there's a significant likelihood that the security infrastructure would be running in the same fiber bundle that carries the rest of the network and would suffer the same downtime.

Agree: 5
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

“Properly configured VLANs provide many benefits of isolation without the significant expense of separate infrastructure.“

100% agreed.  IMHO one of the great tragedies of IP video.  So much duplicate hardware and cable.  

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

IMHO one of the great tragedies of IP video. So much duplicate hardware and cable.

Then again, I’ve never met a network that was too fast :)

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

I believe one common item overlooked is the hidden costs of running on a converged network that we (as the integrator) do not manage.  A task that traditionally takes one party to do, such as installing a new device onto the network, now becomes a two or more party (if IT is outsourced) situation.  I have examples of clients where IT is responsive and knowledgeable where converged networks are a bonus.  

 

I have far more examples where customer IT is unqualified or non-responsive.  If a port is non-active or an IP address is not provided in a timely fashion then there is a cost to the integrator that is often eaten in scenarios where the client just cannot seem to properly open a port on the proper subnet and VLAN config or provides us an IP address that is clearly not even on the right subnet.  

In the latter scenarios I have been either building in an “incompetent IT tax” into our estimates or just billing hourly for wasted time per a disclaimer.  Sometimes the cost of building out a separate network, particularly when there is dark fiber, is far less than all of the punitive damages when totaled up.

There are hidden costs that should be evaluated whenever a converged network is suggested.

Agree: 7
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

I would agree 10 times, but the system only allows for one. The amount issues caused by what are commonly known as 'IT Wnkrs' is amazing. This is a major on going issue in the real world.

Doing tech support at a distributor level I have lost count of the number of time that IT have totally broken something on a shared network. As an example I can think of at least 3 instances last week that I ended up getting involved in.

Due to a lot of bad experiences the majority of my customers will only do systems with their own totally separate stand alone networks. I had one customer walk away from a 250K job because on site IT wanted to use shared infrastructure & have total control of that infrastructure.

 

 

 

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

It is unfortunate that interactions with IT are often negative. In the grand scheme of IT the topics we're talking about here are fairly basic, but there's obviously a wide range of talent in the field. There are valid reasons for separate infrastructure, and there are valid reasons for competent IT to be highly concerned about a separate and externally managed infrastructure. The forces driving the decision between converged or separate will be different in every organization. From an end user perspective, I think one of the big questions that needs to be asked is whose interests are most being served by the decision. It is easy to see how the interests of the integrator are served by designing a completely separate system. This results in more hardware, likely more labor and an increased level of lock-in for the customer. That's not necessarily bad, but a smart end-user will be weighing these factors. Rarely would the interests of my organization served by putting it into a position where it must rely on a single outside entity who holds the keys to a purchased asset. Likewise, it would be irresponsible of me to put the organization into a position where it must rely only on me. 

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Not anymore;with the digital transformation and cyber security threats, you would want to have the IT people engaged and managed from the beginning; especially if it is an enterprise solution.

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Great article, I would love to know if they have created a EOP that specifically addresses an active shooter event on campus or any type of cascading events from the surrounding area. Additional, is the technology that is in place part of the critical incident response plan and utilized when drills or exercises are conducted to test the fidelity of their plan. 

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

We are currently in the process of rewriting these plans in light of the changing threat landscape and the new security technologies that have been installed. One thing we have identified as a major issue in a crisis situation is effective, real-time, 2-way communication between administration, staff and first responders. We are addressing this with an app-based system for alerting and communication which can automatically escalate crisis events to the Police. Communication through this platform will be practiced as a part of our drill process. A benefit that we have already realized is the use of central surveillance to assist in clearing areas and assess performance in our lockdown drills. 

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

I'm a public school staffer - Curious which app-based system are you planning?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

CrisisGo - It is not only a mobile app, it is also deployed to all computers and will alert there as well.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

It sounds like you doing everything right... good for you!!!  You may want to take a look at NFPA-3000 (PS) it is a great resource for planning for, responding to and recovering from a hostile event.  Additionally the new PASS guidelines were released last month.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 6
Unhelpful
Funny

One thing to think about: to date there have been 0 active shooter incidents at private schools in this county.  And while that doesn't mean there never will be, it does mean that that spending limited resources on anything that specifically addresses that one extremely unlikely threat is almost certainly wasteful.  Good crises communication, good doors and locks, and general (not specific) EOP's is what I would focus on.

Agree
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

to date there have been 0 active shooter incidents at private schools in this county.

Is that true? I've never thought about that distinction and just searched around now. From what I saw so far, it seems that there are fewer private school shooting but also fewer private schools, e.g., this article:

There were 89 shootings as defined above since 1990, with 83 (93 percent) happening at public schools and only 6 (7 percent) at private schools. Private enrollment for high schools hovers around 10 percent, meaning private schools are slightly underrepresented in the shooting statistics, but all it would have taken is a couple more shootings taking place at private rather than public schools to sway the result in the other direction. 

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

That article doesn't count "active shooter" incidents, it counts gun homicides.  There is a distinction.  Gun homicides are normally over as soon as they have begun and even the best laid plans can't mitigate them.

From Wikipedia:

 The United States Department of Homeland Security defines an active shooter as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims."[1]

No private school has had an "active shooter" yet.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

"Gun homicides are normally over as soon as they have begun and even the best laid plans can't mitigate them."

When we talk about mitigate them "lessen, the gravity of" same Wikipedia definition. Not leveraging technology and having a solid plan can delay first responders (EMS) entree in to the buildings to provide aid to the injured.  Not to mention the use of technology can improve the process of clearing the buildings, improve the safety of first responders and save lives. The chances of surviving a mass hemorrhaging injury goes down with each minute the victim goes untreated. Stop the Bleed training is now being required in some areas. Back to the plan... any type of event MCI can be dealt with better if there is a plan in place!

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I believe the potential outcome of a hostile event requires all K-12 or HEI to develop a plan that specifically addresses responding to, and recovering from a Active Shooter/Active Killer event.  Most of the response processes for an ASE would have valve in any critical incident response.  Many states require monthly fire drills however there has not been a fatal fire in a US school for over sixty years.  I believe preparation builds resilience.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

"Our Jr High building, the basement of that is our network operations center and we’re backed up there."

Is your jr high building close to a river?

I've seen more than one data center located in basements get flooded before.... which is why lots of IT designers will not locate their stuff in basements.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

...which is why lots of IT designers will not locate their stuff in basements.

also, they don’t like working in the basement...

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 4

I cringed when I read "basement" and "NOC" in the same sentence...

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

In the greater scheme of things, I have to say for me working in this industry and seeing what is currently taking place, in my humble opinion The downside to all this convergence with Access controls and the like, is that

Everything Now has the potential to be Hackable !!!! Period. In the coming years don't be surprised to watch the 6 o'clock news and hear about some top level hackers managing to get physical access to some major 100 fortune company building and either stealing or modifying the log in credentials or Bugging a server or an IDF room.. I know its coming, because there's plenty of flaws still in the open for anyone with the right tools and mindset to tap into it..

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 7,023 reports, 934 tests and is only available to members. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a member? Login here | Join now
Loading Related Reports