How we design IP CCTV systems
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IP CCTV design is a constantly developing arena. It demands that we look closely at the main concerns from our customers of running an IP Surveillance system on their organisation’s network or building bespoke systems.
When presenting proposals for CCTV images to be transmitted over an organisation’s network, we are mindful of these key priorities and address concerns as part of the design process. Defining the operational requirement for a CCTV system normally starts from a security and loss prevention perspective.
We determine what the security problems are for the organisation; how the CCTV system will address these problems, what areas are to be covered by CCTV, and how it will be used by the organisation.
Having determined these factors and that an IP CCTV System will provide the best solution, we liaise with the customer IT department in system design discussions as early as possible. This will ensure that the system is installed in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
The fast changing IT landscape demands that our IP and network knowledge be more advanced than ever before as they must be capable of driving the conversation with the network manager.
Additionally, IT managers may also have to develop skills to avoid conflicts between how a security system is required to function and how a business IT system functions.
There is a requirement that a CCTV system should work 24/7 without failure. Depending on its purpose, it may be that a heavier demand is placed on the system out of office hours.
More often that not, that is precisely the time that the IT department plans to take down parts of the business network for essential maintenance or upgrade work. IT managers may also not be fully aware of the determination and inventiveness of criminals who may attempt to bring down or bypass the security system.
These physical security issues may extend into their own organisation where the inadvertent or even deliberate changing of network or firewall settings could result in security being removed or seriously compromised.
Despite these considerations, given the financial savings in eliminating additional cabling and equipment around buildings and the ability to make changes to system settings remotely, the many benefits of a fully integrated security system are a highly preferential option.
Add to that the user benefits in terms of control and management of storage and distribution of CCTV images and arguments for full integration are strong.
The defining advantages such as the economies gained from reduced cable runs, the use of PoE (Power over Ethernet) to remove the need for specific power supplies, and the ease at which power, audio and telemetry control can be provided in a ‘fix, plug and use’ install process, are all available for a system on its own bespoke IP network.
It is at this point where discussions with the IT manager can commence in order to look at rationalising the initial design and to strip out unnecessary cost by utilising some or the entire existing network infrastructure.
IT manager expertise
The IT manager will provide expertise on the organisation’s network and we will provide expertise in designing a system that meets the exact operational requirements of the customer.
This should result in the initial concerns on both sides being removed and a more consultative approach being taken to the system’s design and eventual completion.
When working in partnership, a thorough and mutually beneficial solution can be built and any concerns over the need for system redundancy and critical failure contingency can be allayed.
It is by taking this approach that reliability and resilience is incorporated into system design with controls being put in place over who uses the system, removing the potential for nasty surprises cropping up post installation with system outages or security being compromised.
In summary, we work closely in partnership with customers to design, install and maintain systems that are innovative, reliable, cost effective and future proof.