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A quick overview on the current secuiry market trend

A quick overview on the current secuiry market trend

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 9/17/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Messe Frankfurt New Era, the leading integrated media service provider in Asia, today has held a seminar to share professional experience on security trend and industry aspects with providers in Taipei, Taiwan.

As IP system entered into the security market years ago, the entire industry has experienced a series of revolutionary changes. In today's market, in terms of deploying security systems, end users have more options than usual. A quick example, other than IP surveillance systems, end users can choose to update existing analog equipment to ccHDtv, CVI, TVI, or AHD systems in order to reach high-definition recording quality. Suppliers have realized that products make fewer profits now – the market has focused on systems integration, vertical applications, and multiple services.

It is all about intelligent and integration
End users started to set their eyes on intelligent systems and software that can provide added values on their business and management. The ideal of security is no longer merely about monitoring and access control; the ideal of security today suggesting surveillance, access control, and more importantly, making use of these data collected from security devices for managing purpose.

John Shi, the General Manager of Messe Frankfurt New Era, pointed out that future trend of the security industry will be about providing more integrated systems and platforms, such as physical security information management (PSIM), incident management system, and content analysis. The highly integrated platform helps critical verticals to achieve total security awareness for better protection; futhermore, it assists making effective business decision.

Personal device steps inside 
A prosperous potential can be seen in the consuming electronic market. Niche technologies are available for the end users now, for example, biometrics technique and NFC have been used on personal smart device. Intelligent systems can not only be used for professional surveillance, access control, business management, but also smart home and personal purposes.

The suppliers in the traditional security market are facing the same challenge – whether sticking to professional security product line or stepping into consuming product market at the same time.

 

New market strategy for the distributors
In order to survive all the challenges, distributors had to come up with more flexible market strategy. First of all, expanding the product line is a must. End users are looking for one-stop shop that provides all they need conveniently and skips possible technical problems; meanwhile, distributors have to be able to provide total solution to various verticals and projects. This trend indicates that distributor has to be able to supply various products (from the surveillance to storage, for instance), systems integration, and after-sale services that tailored to different cases.

Many leading providers in the market keep expanding local offices in order to provide the most instant services and to have connected relationship to the local market. On the other hand, providers tend to cooperate with more than one manufacturer just to make sure that they can provide solutions to any budgets and considerations.

ZNV launched H.265 HD IP camera

ZNV launched H.265 HD IP camera

Editor / Provider: ZNV | Updated: 9/16/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

How often do you have to wait for a video image to load on your screen? You don't have to accept this anymore! A major break-through has been made to overcome bandwidth and storage challenges that the security and surveillance industry has been facing for years. The industry has entered a new era with the highly-anticipated new generation of IP cameras that have inbuilt the state-of-the-art video image compression technology complying with the new H. 265 international standard.

On September 12, 2014, Shenzhen ZNV Technology launched H.265 high-definition IP camera (7200 series) at its 2014 Channel Partner Summit and New Product Launch Conference in Nanjing, China.

At the conference, Robert Zhu, executive chairman of ZNV, explained the technologies of this new IP Camera series and the benefits for customers.

"All of us like to use high-definition cameras for security monitoring, remote machine operation, or other applications, because the sharp images will help us to identify security treats or control a machine remotely. The current challenges are the cost of transmission and storage of large-sized data over the network and cloud. The new IP cameras that we are launching today overcome these challenges by using the latest data compression technology inside the cameras. For the same high-definition videos, this technology can reduce the data size by three times in dynamic scenes like a busy street and up to 10 times in static scenes like a guarded warehouse," Robert Zhu said.

"The benefits of this breakthrough are simple. For same high-definition videos, they will require much lower bandwidth and use much less storage. This will not only make a tremendous saving in system cost for our customers, but also make high-definition video possible in the areas that the existing network infrastructure simply can't support previously," Robert added.

Key Features of ZNV's new H. 265 High-Definition IP Camera:
1. Low requirements on bandwidth for transmission of its video streams:
With the built-in new-generation video image compression and transmission technologies complying with H. 265 Standard, ZNV 7200-series IP cameras enable high-definition video surveillance data to be transmitted through low bandwidth network while keeping images clear and smooth. During the test, the new 7200-series IP cameras can transmit dynamic 1080P video images at 1.5 Mbps under H.265, instead of at 4 Mbps (almost tripled) under current H.264 standard. In static scenes that are used a lot in security guarding environment, the video stream will drop to 100Kbps to 200Kbps, which is 10 times lower than the current best cameras in the market.


2. Low requirements on storage to keep the videos:
With the same storage space, the new compression technologies enable users to store three to 10 times of videos by using the new 7200-series IP cameras rather than normal, same definition cameras. This will lead to tremendous saving in storage facilities and relevant room space and energy consumption.


3. Low requirements on light condition to record quality videos:
ZBF-7200-series IP cameras can operate at a super-low light environment. It can still record clear videos in color or black-and-white in the low light environment where human eyes cannot identify. The minimum functional light condition reaches 0.002 lux (colorful) or 0.001 lux (black-and-white). Thus, this new series of ZNV cameras can still help customers guard their properties in an extremely dark environment, while enabling a smooth transition between bright and dark environment.

Two Successful Stories:
H.265 high-definition IP cameras will bring enormous value to the customers, as described by Robert Zhu. After being introduced to the market, these IP cameras can save huge investments on network and video storage facilities.

ZNV used the new cameras in a smart city project in China. As part of this project, the police department requires that video must be stored for 12 months in order to check the recording history during police investigations. Due to the cost constraints, they only have limited storage space available which could only support 30 to 90 days video storage previously. As a result, earlier videos had to be deleted and overwritten, among which some important information were lost for criminal cases. With the H.265 technology, the police department can save up to 10 times of storage space, which translates into tens of millions of savings for the whole projects.

A school used a video surveillance system for years, but it gradually grew out-of-date and could not meet its increasing surveillance demands. This school wanted to use state-of-the-art high-definition cameras for video surveillance; however, normal high-definition cameras needed to be built on high bandwidth infrastructures, e.g. a costly fiber network. Due to insufficient network bandwidth and financial pressure, the school had not found an optimal solution until recently. By taking advantage of the low-bandwidth requirement feature of ZNV's 7200-series IP cameras, the school achieved a real-time, high-definition 1080P surveillance system under the existing network infrastructure. This saved tens of thousands of dollars and minimized the interruptions to school education programs.

Axis provides Albert Einstein Hospital with pioneering security solutions

Axis provides Albert Einstein Hospital with pioneering security solutions

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 9/15/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The Albert Einstein Hospital is considered to be the most advanced hospital in the Southern Hemisphere. Its units, mainly in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region, employ 12,322 people (including contractors) and receive about 4,000 visitors a day. As part of its network expansion plan, another unit has been opened in Sao Paulo (Perdizes Higienopolis). This new facility also placed increased demands on safety for patients and hospital staff and on safeguarding its assets. The hospital needed stricter controls on who was entering and leaving.

Solution
The hospital administration decided to adopt a more modern method of access control in all its units. This is the first time a hospital in Latin America has implemented a system combining access control, video surveillance, fire prevention and detection, and building automation. Einstein's seven units employ 1,250 Axis cameras to control 450 access points.

Result
The project was delivered under a turn-key contract and went into operation automatically at the end of the installation, launching a new concept of security for the hospital area. These investments follow the trend toward a greater control of the flow of people inside hospitals. One of the most immediate results is the greater sense of security patients and employees feel. Other impacts are being seen over the long term: crime prevention, identification of suspects, and asset preservation

User registration
Users can now only gain access once they are registered. On passing through the turnstile, Axis' high-performance cameras record an image of the user's face with highresolution imaging. After making this complete record upon entering, all user movements through access points, such as doors, turnstiles and gates, are tracked by other Axis cameras. The project includes 450 access points. The control room operator only needs to enter the user's name into the system to get all their entrance images, viewing details about their face and general appearance, and all their subsequent images—where they go, what they are carrying, if they were being accompanied, and what time they passed each checkpoint.

Discreet observation
Since hospitals have specific needs, the project underwent some adaptations. Camera position, for example, is not so apparent as to make people feel under suspicion, but the cameras still need to be visible enough to deter criminal actions. One of the project's design challenges was to carefully balance the need for camera coverage against the need to respect the patients' and visitors' privacy and feelings. In short, the system had to be very well designed so that it did not seem threatening, but was able to dissuade malicious action while maintaining full respect for privacy. “The Axis cameras surprised us in a positive way, because they provided different applications that the old analog cameras didn't offer”, said Dov Smaletz, Albert Einstein security manager. “Because they are 100% IP, they offer the resources for intelligent monitoring.”

The system has both passive and active features, and notifies control room staff when a person or a movement is captured by a camera. The system is 100% PoE (Power over Ethernet) and has roughly 36 terabytes of storage space, enough for two weeks of images, all centralized at the Morumbi unit, where a 100% RAID 5 solution vastly improves data access. Due to the quality of the cameras and ongoing maintenance services, the system ensures nearly 100% availability.

Ready for the future
Axis' integrator partner Servtec developed and installed the project and it is also responsible for future maintenance. This maintenance even can be done with the help of images from the security cameras themselves, an example of the large degree of integration of the project. “The implementation was considered complex because it's the first hospital to oversee all people entering and leaving the complex using turnstiles,” said Alexandre Gushiken, Servtec sales manager.

Cracking down on camera hacks

Cracking down on camera hacks

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 9/17/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Recent reports on baby cam hacks raised new concerns over malicious intrusion into networked security devices. The threat is even more imminent for home and small business users who are not as well protected as their enterprise counterparts. Luckily for them, most of today's network camera manufacturers work hard to keep flaws to a minimum and equip their products with various security features.

Two recent incidents where baby cams were attacked by hackers caught the attention of vendors and users alike. One happened in Ohio just in April, when a couple was awoken late at night by strange sounds coming from the baby cam in their toddler's room, only to find that the camera had been taken control over by a hacker. A similar incident happened last year, when a Houston couple heard a man swearing through the baby cam in their infant's room and found out the Wi-Fi-connected device was hacked. In both cases, it was found that the cameras, made by the same vendor, contained security flaws that could easily be exploited.

In fact, hacking can happen to not just cameras but also practically any device on the Internet. Last year, the NAS device of a particular vendor was found to have a vulnerability potentially allowing attackers to execute arbitrary commands on the system. The vendor has since released a patch to solve this problem.

The above incidents illustrate the danger facing users of network cameras and other security devices, which may be targets for malicious intruders. That danger is even more imminent for home and SMB users who, unlike their enterprise counterparts, are not protected by firewalls or advanced perimeter defense software. What they can do to protect themselves has therefore become an urgent issue. Luckily for them, today's network camera makers work hard to minimize flaws and equip their products with various security features, which users should take advantage of to reduce the risk of these devices being hacked. “In general it is not possible to guarantee that computers and network devices do not contain flaws that may be exploited for malicious attack. However, there are measures that can be taken in order to reduce the risk considerably and eliminate the obvious flaws,” said Fred Juhlin, Senior Consultant for Solution Management at Axis Communications, whose Companion series targets home and SMB users.

Access
Unauthorized access to a system can be prevented by a simple yet effective method called password protection. Most network cameras today allow users to create their own usernames and passwords, which can be secured through various means. Zinwell, which makes power line-based home security cameras, has patented a technology that keeps passwords from being sent out to the Internet. “In that case, hackers won't be able to get passwords from the Web,” said Ben Huang, Senior Marketing Supervisor at Zinwell.

Encryption of passwords is another protection method. “The user has the option to let the system remember passwords, and if so the client protects the password with encryption,” said Juhlin.

Once a user accesses the camera, it's a good idea for the device to have multilevel access control based on the user's privilege. For example, a regular user may only view streaming video, while an administrator may access the camera's storage or control the device. In fact, most network cameras today offer this functionality. “This means users can control exactly who can see what in their system, and that their video is safe from any form of third-party manipulation,” Juhlin said.

Encryption
Many IP cams also allow encryption. The videos can be encrypted before being sent over to the network to make sure that unauthorized persons cannot view or tamper with the data. Different encryption technologies are used. One of the most commonly used is SSL/TLS, which encrypts contents with special codes that can be deciphered only by pairs of public and private keys, the latter of which are hidden in the computers of the communicating parties. As private keys can be obtained in a security breach, Bosch, whose Advantage line also targets home and SMB users, makes sure that this will never happen.

“The SSL private key of the device is stored securely on the smart card chip that is directly involved in the SSL connection setup. The private key never leaves the chip and cannot be read out even if the user has complete access to the device,” said Konrad Simon, Product Manager for IP Video at Bosch Security Systems. “This way no access is possible to the private key, even in a hostile approach someone would have achieved to read sensitive data from internal memory.”

Advanced encryption standard (AES) is a protocol that encrypts contents with 128-bit, 192-bit, or 256-bit keys, making encoded messages harder to decipher by untrusted parties. Among camera makers that use AES is Amaryllo, another home security camera maker. It uses 256-bit encryption, at the same time ensuring that video latency is less than 0.5 seconds.

Keeping Flaws to a Minimum
Vendors who are security-minded keep exploitable flaws to a minimum. One way to achieve this is checking third-party software regularly to make sure problematic software isn‘t incorporated into their products. As an example, to implement SSL encryption, many camera makers use OpenSSL, which drew huge attention in the security world in April when it was found it contained a bug called Heartbleed. If left ignored, Heartbleed could lead to the leak of sensitive data, such as usernames and passwords. One camera maker that managed to avert this disaster was Bosch. “We do not use OpenSSL as SSL implementation on our IP cameras, encoders, and decoders. The SSL implementation in our devices is not OpenSSL, nor is it related, so Heartbleed did not affect us at all,” Simon said.

Crowdsourcing, where users in a community share their collective wisdom, is another way to identify flaws and get them fixed. “We monitor discussions in the network community to quickly identify possible vulnerabilities which may impact our products. If a vulnerability is discovered, we will provide patches, firmware, risk analysis, or recommendation to our customers,” Axis's Juhlin said.

User Awareness
While camera vendors may have included a range of security features in their devices, users should also do their part by taking advantage of these features. For example, it's often the case that users simply use the camera maker's default username and password settings, which are easily obtainable. It is also important to check for notices on firmware updates or security patches, which are normally sent via e-mail. Moreover, users may consider isolating their cameras from a local network, since hackers may attack other devices in the network through the camera.

A Two-Way Street
Keeping hackers at bay requires a commitment by both vendors and users. The vendor should build their products with the concept of “security” in mind, while users should familiarize themselves with security features included in cameras and use them whenever possible. It's only through this two-way street can security camera users achieve their primary objective — keeping safe — without being harmed in the process.

Synectics adds Penn premiers to growing North American gaming portfolio

Synectics adds Penn premiers to growing North American gaming portfolio

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 9/11/2014 | Article type: Security 50

More than 75 gaming properties in North America and Canada now benefit from Synectics' integrated surveillance solutions, with two new Ohio Penn National Gaming casinos the latest additions to the firm's extensive portfolio.

Between them, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley and Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway will offer almost 2000 video lottery terminals (VLTs), bars, dining, concession stands and entertainment, spread over state-of-the-art facilities spanning 133,000 sq. ft.

Penn National Gaming, one of Synectics' long-standing corporate customers, is capitalizing on advances in IP-based solutions for protecting its newest Hollywood premiers. At both locations, footage from close to 1,000 high definition IP cameras, together with third-party transactional and alarm data, will be integrated within Synectics' Synergy command and control platform to create a unified security and situational awareness solution.

15 Penn Gaming facilities across Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania now use Synectics' video management and integration and scalable data storage solutions.

John Katnic, Vice President of Global Gaming at Synectics, said: “Working on new projects with long-standing customers like Penn is particularly rewarding as they constantly push us to improve our products and meet very challenging deadlines. In this highly competitive market, you simply don't have loyal repeat customers if you haven't listened, evolved and grown together. It's always been our strategy and strength to concentrate our attention and resources on a few key clients with unique requirements and to make sure we consistently meet their technology and delivery expectations on time. It's a 'partnership' in every sense of the word.”

Synectics has already completed 11 major upgrades or installs in North America so far in 2014, with 11 more scheduled for completion before the end of the year. Globally, the surveillance solutions business now supports over 100 gaming properties thanks to its unique non-proprietary hardware and software and proven track record in the casino marketplace.

Penn is not the only long-standing customer to expand or overhaul its surveillance capabilities with Synectics this year. John continued: “Synectics has worked with the Ontario Lottery & Gaming (OLG) for nearly 10 years – our technology is installed in two dozen tightly regulated gaming facilities throughout the Province. Caesars Casino Windsor was Synectics' very first North American casino installation and we have just replaced and upgraded their original Synectics recording system with a hybrid system that incorporates the latest IP video technology. It's a mutually beneficial long-term relationship we are very proud of.”

Synectics' success in North America this year has been largely driven by increased interest in more scalable and reliable IP-based security solutions, third party system integrations, and user friendly, full featured software functionality.

John explained: “Today's gaming and hospitality facilities are rapidly introducing high definition cameras that require more robust networks and create exciting opportunities for more sophisticated data integration to video and access control, slots, player systems, etc.. With more cameras and data on the network, our customers are increasingly focused on system security, resiliency and redundancy. In response, Synectics has introduced innovative, multi-layered technology solutions for real time data replication and hardware failover such as Synectics' ‘backfilling', which eliminates the threat of data loss or single point of network failure.

“It's an exciting and demanding time for Synectics as a business and for our sector as a whole; thanks to the ongoing success of our large repeat customer base and Synectics exponential growth here and abroad.”

Synectics will be showcasing its latest solutions for the gaming industry at G2E Booth 5340 in Las Vegas (Sept 30th – Oct 2nd)

Hikvision IP cameras integrated with ASUSTOR Surveillance Center

Hikvision IP cameras integrated with ASUSTOR Surveillance Center

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 9/11/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision announced that it has completed integration with ASUSTOR, one of the leading innovators and providers of network storage solutions. Over 100 Hikvision camera models are now verified as being compatible with ASUSTOR's Surveillance Center, bringing a premium surveillance solution to the market.

"We are glad to have ASUSTOR as our integration partner," said Keen Yao, International Marketing Director at Hikvision. “With the seamless integration of ASUSTOR' NAS systems and Hikvision camera series, both parties will be able to provide versatile solutions for mutual customers, regardless of SME and professional applications. Besides, customers are also allowed to access a bevy of easy-to-use features, Smart features and much more from Hikvision cameras."

"In addition to the need for a safe and stable storage system, high quality network IP cameras are also required when creating a comprehensive cloud surveillance system, " said James Su, Product Manager at ASUSTOR "We are elated to be partnering with world renowned IP camera brand, Hikvision, in completing compatibility testing and verification for this integration. Now consumers will have even more flexibility and choices than ever before when creating a complete all-purpose surveillance solution."

The Surveillance Center App was developed in-house by ASUSTOR and comes with 4 free IP camera channel licenses, which is higher than the industry standard. For users that require additional camera channels, the newest version of Surveillance Center (version 2.1) supports add-on camera licenses that users can purchase to flexibly add new camera channels*. The latest version of Surveillance Center offers a wealth of advanced functionality including camera patrolling which lets users configure up to 5 different patrol paths with up to 20 preset points along with IVA (Intelligent Video Analytics) smart search which helps users to quickly find critical events from amongst recorded video. With IVA smart search, users can configure a specific area (max. 3 areas), object size and level of sensitivity to search for times where any movement was detected. Additionally, ASUSTOR Surveillance Center provides comprehensive cross-platform support, allowing both Windows and Mac users to use familiar web browsers to access their surveillance feeds. Furthermore, ASUSTOR also offers the free AiSecure mobile app that gives users access to all their surveillance feeds while on the go. AiSecure also provides the ability to receive instant push notifications from Surveillance Center, allowing users to keep up with the latest developments.

Axis network cameras monitor construction of remote fish farm

Axis network cameras monitor construction of remote fish farm

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 9/9/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
AgriMarine Technologies Inc. of Comox, B.C., is a producer of innovative aquaculture fish-farming technology. The company uses proprietary, solid-walled floating tanks to meet the public's growing demand for sustainably raised seafood. However, the fish farms are built in remote marine locations, making it a challenge to monitor their construction. The company also wanted time-lapsed videos of the construction for marketing purposes.

Solution
AgriMarine turned to full-service media integrator Tremain Media to provide monitoring and daily timelapse video of its construction site at Lois Lake, where it was assembling four fish tanks. To provide optimal coverage, both a fixed Axis network camera and a pan/ tilt/zoom (PTZ) network camera were deployed onsite. The PTZ camera allows AgriMarine to remotely adjust the camera's angle of view when the location of the tanks change, and the HDTV 1080p resolution provides detailed zooming when needed. Real-time images are stored at the edge on the cameras, on local FTP servers and pushed via satellite to time-lapse processing and storage system in the cloud.

Result
Prior to implementing the Axis network cameras, AgriMarine staff needed to travel for hours to retrieve video footage. With remote access, that time is saved, and AgriMarine can use the time-lapse footage and daily recaps to manage the project. Additionally, they can also use the clear and detailed images to support their marketing efforts.

Remote monitoring
AgriMarine has been involved with fish aquaculture since the 1980s using traditional net systems. In 2000, they became involved with land-based systems on Vancouver Island and discovered that, while the fish thrived within the tanks, the pump-ashore land-based farms were far too costly. Instead, the company deployed a team of designers and engineers to develop a solid-wall marine tank for finfish farming in the species' natural habitat. The eco-friendly, in-water tanks are 3,000 m3 in size and designed to reduce energy use, curb environmental impact and improve management of animal health. Originally, AgriMarine installed analog cameras to monitor the tanks' construction, but the tanks were being built in the remote Lois Lake on Vancouver Island. Accessing the site required a three-hour ferry ride followed by another hour of driving, and this significantly limited how often their head office could retrieve footage. “During the pilot project, we had to spend half a day getting to the site, so we could only do it every six days,” says Robert Walker, President of AgriMarine Technologies. “This wasn't acceptable, since we needed more timely information.”

Eyes on the ground and water
AgriMarine turned to Tremain Media for help. The Vancouver Island-based company provides remote video monitoring and daily time-lapse solutions that can be accessed over the Internet. They installed an AXIS Q6035-E PTZ Dome Network Camera and an AXIS P3364-VE Network Camera to monitor tank construction through timelapse images taken at 10-minute intervals. The high-resolution HDTV 1080p time-lapse video allows the design team to analyze specific details of construction without making additional trips to the site. Because of their ease of installation, the cameras can also be moved without hassle in the case of drift or tidal changes. Both cameras target different locations to give a wide view of the farm: the PTZ camera follows tanks as they move, while the fixed camera is installed on a pole with a concrete base that can be moved if required.

Covering the distance
AgriMarine originally wanted to employ a real-time feed, but a constant data stream was too costly to transmit over satellite Internet, and they opted for time-lapse video instead. They can, however, activate a live video feed for special events or emergencies. Each camera has a 32GB SD card onboard for local edge storage. This data is also backed up to two FTP servers on location and sent via satellite to Tremain Media's cloud-based visual data system, where it is managed by the company's Render Engine video management software. From there it is processed into daily time-lapse footage provided to AgriMarine in whatever size or format is needed. “We have a lot of redundancy built into the system. We're dealing with a mission-critical implementation, and there's only one chance to get the footage,” Tremain says. “We only use Axis cameras for our time-lapse and monitoring systems because of their reliability and quality. As a videographer by trade, quality is key to me.”

Marketing in high definition
Beyond the ability to monitor construction, AgriMarine found the videos could also be used as an effective marketing tool to raise their profile in the industry. “It's very exciting. At the same time as we're building the tanks, we can now show investors and prospects what we're building,” Walker says. At a trade conference in Abu Dhabi, the time-lapsed video was the focal point of their display. “They found it really drew people to their booth,” Leah Tremain, owner and CEO of Tremain Media. “That type of ‘booth bait' is really important, because their product isn't necessarily easy to understand if you don't see the size and scope of these projects.”

 

SeSys delivers 500th ATEX certified digital IP CCTV

SeSys delivers 500th ATEX certified digital IP CCTV

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 9/9/2014 | Article type: Security 50

MOBOTIX AG, one of the leading manufacturers of digital high-resolution, network-based video security systems has announced that SeSys, an Advanced Partner has shipped its 500th ATEX / IECEx digital IP CCTV camera based on a modified MOBOTIX core within a unique design certified for use within inhospitable, hazardous or explosive areas.

The SeSys ATEX and IECEx certified models offer high resolution images for live monitoring and can include integral storage to record any images for post processing or record keeping. Recording can be event driven based on motion, light, or an external trigger, for example a temperature or water vapour sensor. Events can also generate alarms, sending images to alert users or alarm receiving centres of any activity.

All units have been validated by Sira, the UK's leading Notified Body for Ex Product Certification across both the ATEX and IECEx standards. The cameras are certified for ATEX zones 1, 2, 21 and 22 as well as IP66 rated and an optional IP67 rating.

The SeSys models utilise core MOBOTIX features such as Power-over-Ethernet, no moving parts and decentralised connectivity which allows the cameras to be quickly installed and integrated into existing environments.

“Our ATEX cameras have proven popular with defence equipment manufacturers and contractors due to their small size and extremely high levels of reliability,” explains Dan Eames, Technical Director for SeSys, “With no moving parts and a purely digital PTZ function, cameras do not need servicing once deployed – in fact some of our original units deployed in 2008 have run continually without requiring any maintenance which can be an expensive process requiring production lines to be suspended.”

The cameras are used for both security and manufacturing control processes. For example, in one installation, ATEX cameras are used to display the lights and dials on a remotely operated piece of equipment in a high risk area. “In that installation, a particular set of lights turning on will generate an alert to staff in the control room,” says Eames. According to Eames, at half the cost and a third of the size of legacy analogue ATEX certified units, SeSys has experienced strong demand for its cameras and will be demonstrating the units at the upcoming ‘security essen 2014' event in September.

Dominic Chapman, UK country manager for MOBOTIX added, “We actively encourage our partners to build on our technology and develop new use cases and we applaud the technical evolution that SeSys has shown in establishing itself as an innovator in this exciting sector of the market.”

IDIS DirectIP adopted in Thai luxury hotel resort

IDIS DirectIP adopted in Thai luxury hotel resort

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 9/5/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

A luxury hotel and resort group has completed the first installation of IDIS DirectIP full-HD surveillance at its new flagship resort in Phuket, Thailand, as part of a wider DirectIP rollout programme. Commissioned ahead of the resort's inauguration in December, the project is the first of twelve DirectIP solutions to be installed across the group's new properties in Asia and North America.

Ahead of opening the Phuket resort, the group's security team needed to implement a modern and high performance HD video surveillance solution that would be unobtrusive and match the resorts luxury brand and image. The solution needed to ensure the safety and security of the resort's guests and staff, while the implementation needed to meet extremely tight deadlines ahead of the inauguration in late 2013.

In November 2013, the hotel group turned to their trusted systems integrator, Rutledge Integrated Systems (RIS). RIS worked in partnership with CCTV specialist's iCenter HD to review a number of server-based surveillance solutions. After thorough evaluation, the team selected DirectIP, based on its innovative high performance combined with its capability for fast and simple implementation, affordable pricing and bundled IDIS Center™ video management, requiring no ongoing licence fees.

The complete end-to-end DirectIP solution, comprising 45 internal and external dome cameras and two 32-channel network video recorders (NVRs), is managed through the simple and intuitive IDIS Center video management software (VMS). The IP-enabled and vandal proof range of one and two megapixel cameras, also feature pan-tilt-zoom, low light and audio functionality. Eighteen terabytes of storage provided by the DirectIP NVRs support the resort's requirement to store 31 days of footage all in full-HD.

The user-friendly solution operates just like a traditional analogue DVR-based system with all the necessary accessories supplied by IDIS to build a complete full-HD surveillance solution.

Andy Rutlege, Managing Director at RIS, said, “The luxury resort group are an existing prestigious and important customer for RIS, and we were determined to complete the project ahead of the inauguration. As an established systems integrator, having completed a large number of IP CCTV projects, DirectIP offered us a previously unseen level of seamless integration. To ensure we delivered the project on time and on budget, iCenter HD distributed the kit in record time to Thailand and remained incredibly responsive throughout the project.

“We are currently rolling out two similar DirectIP solutions in the Maldives and Miami with another nine scheduled over the next few months. We intend to use IDIS DirectIP™ combined with the services offered by iCenter HD for these and many projects in the future.”

Hard disk drives work hard to ensure data integrity

Hard disk drives work hard to ensure data integrity

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 9/4/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Hard disk drives (HDDs) are the core of a storage system, which is critical in a surveillance installation. With growing demand for storage devices capable of storing bigger and more complex video data for longer periods of time, the need for higher-capacity and more reliable hard drives also rises. Today's surveillance HDDs consume less power, have better error detection capabilities, and are designed specifically for intensive writing that is typical of surveillance operations. All this is intended to meet users' growing storage needs.

The history of HDDs goes way back; they were Introduced in the 1950s. Yet for a long time, HDDs focused primarily on the storage of personal and corporate data and lacked surveillance applications. However, this has changed with the growing importance of the security industry. As camera resolutions get higher and video retention periods become longer, demand for HDDs that are bigger in volume and designed specifically for writing-intensive surveillance operations has increased.

In fact, it can be said that surveillance is a growth driver for the hard drive industry. A recent study by IHS predicted that revenue for both internal and external HDDs in video surveillance applications would rise from US$638.7 million in 2013 to $1 billion by 2017, a remarkable 57% increase. The market research firm attributed the increase in storage demand to various factors, including better performance and the use of high-resolution cameras. “The HDD industry as a whole will reap the benefits of a fast-growing video surveillance industry,” the report said. Indeed, today's HDDs come with advanced features, such as error detection and vibration tolerance, to make sure no data is lost. Capacity, which totals 4 terabytes (TB) in most of today's enterprise-level HDDs, will only increase over time. All this is meant to ensure data reliability and integrity over a long period of time and boost the overall performance of the surveillance deployment.

Consumer vs. Surveillance HDDs
The major difference between HDDs for consumer and surveillance applications is that the former is reading intensive and the latter is designed for data writing most of the time. “Consumer electronics (CE) HDDs' primary focus is entertainment systems, like a consumer DVR, where you typically record content and play it back over and over again. In this environment, smooth playback is very important,” said CN Chu, Technical Manager for Taiwan at Seagate.

Surveillance, on the other hand, requires constant writing of data as video feeds from different cameras are continuously transmitted to the storage device. HDDs for surveillance applications must therefore be designed from a writing-intensive perspective. “For surveillance applications, the customer needs an HDD that writes data 90%of the time, while reading accounts for just 10%or even 5%,” said Patrick Lo, Director of APAC Marketing, Digital Video and Data Center Storage Division at WD. “If there is no event, the video data is either retained or overwritten.”

Moreover, surveillance HDDs must be able to withstand lots of heat, being often enclosed in systems such as NAS or servers. Surveillance HDDs must also have more stringent fault tolerance requirements, able to perform even in the event of a components failure. Finally, consumer HDDs work at an average of eight hours a day, five days a week. Surveillance HDDs, on the other hand, must work round-the-clock. And given surveillance systems are always on, HDDs with improved energy conservation features can help users save on power.

Comparison between consumer and surveillance HDDs

 

Consumer HDDs

Surveillance HDDs

Power-on hours

8x5

24x7

Designed for multi-HDD recording

No

Yes (1 to unlimited)

Mean time before failure (hours)

700K

1-1.4 million

Workloads

Balanced between read and write

High sequential write/recording high-resolution videos at all time

Power management

High spin-up current >2amp

Low spin-up current <2amp

Warranty

2 years

3-5 years


Features to ensure data Integrity
Imagine the horror of not being able to find or retrieve a vital piece of data in the event of an accident. Since surveillance HDDs are tasked with storing piles upon piles of video data that is too valuable to be lost, they come with cutting-edge features to make sure all the data is kept securely and intact.

Error Detection
Error detection is a feature that activates when the system detects an impending HDD failure to allow the engineer to act accordingly, such as backing up data or making replacements. To make sure that error detection works, the HDD must be able to “shake hands” with the error detection software developed by the system manufacturer. “We do not just sell HDDs. In this industry, we sell a service and work with system manufacturers from the very beginning during the R&D stage,” Lo said.

Power Management
The more power a hard drive consumes, the more heat it will emit. Overtime, this will shorten a hard drive's life expectancy. Power management is therefore, in the words of Lo, “a topic that, for surveillance players, will never go out of style.”

Power management also plays a major role in the economics of running surveillance. “Because surveillance HDDs run 24x7, power consumption is a big deal. The less power required by the drive the lower overall cost of ownership for the end user — especially as you scale into larger surveillance data centers,” Chu said. To lower overall power consumption, HDD manufacturers have developed various technologies to achieve this purpose, for example minimizing disk operations during periods of downtime and reducing the “spin-up power” — power needed to get the disk from a state of rest to full rotation. A sudden surge in power consumption during this time may be costly and may even affect system operations later.

Read/Write
The hard disk's read and write speeds are dependent upon the user's surveillance system. A hard drive that supports a maximum sustained data rate of 180MB/second, for example, can accommodate up to 32 simultaneous recordings from HD cameras. “If you're streaming from a higher camera count and in higher resolution formats, you will need a drive that can support a higher throughput,” Chu said.

Besides read/write speed, effective and accurate writing into the hard drive is also critical. “Sometimes the HDD will keep recording, yet frame drops may occur, and that can be a huge problem,” Lo said, adding WD has a solution, called AllFrame, for this situation.

Selecting the right HDD
Picking the right HDD to install really depends on various factors. Installers and integrators should consider a range of things, for example the size of the project, the level of reliability demanded, and the number of drives that will be packed in a unit, before choosing the right product.

Type of Project
One way to figure out which HDD to get is by determining the size of installation. For a home environment with a camera count of four to eight, the installer may choose a standardlevel drive with workload of up to 60 TB a year and warranty of three years — that's total workload of 180 TB for three years. For companies or businesses with 40 to 50 cameras, an HDD with total workload of 900 TB over a five-year period (180 TB times five) may be considered. For the more missioncritical operations such as casinos, airports, and government agencies, total workload of 2,750 TB over a five-year period (550TB times five) is preferred.

Number of Drives
When HDDs are deployed in multi-drive units such as NAS or large servers, rotational vibration (RV) may become an issue that may cause data loss and corruption. “In systems with more than five drives, vibrations from the chassis or other rotating drives may cause enough vibration to impact the system performance as well as data integrity,” Chu said.

To address this issue, RV sensors are built into surveillance-purpose HDDs to minimize the impact of vibration. WD's technology, for example, has a sensor that detects vibration and triggers a response that keeps the drive heads within the safe operating region during read and write operations.

Level of Reliability
If the user requires a higher level of data reliability, then it's preferable to choose HDDs with a higher mean time before failure (MTBF) — the predicted time before the drive goes out. HDDs in the market now have MTBF ranging from 1 million hours to 1.4 million hours.

HDDs vs. SSDs Solid state drives (SSDs) are storage devices that are based on integrated circuits rather than on electromagnetism like HDD. SSDs do have a place in surveillance. They are more resistant to extreme conditions and vibrations, making them suitable for outside or vehicular applications. They also boast faster read and write speeds.

However, HDDs still have advantages. First, HDDs can stand a lot of roughening up. Enterprise-level HDDs can read or write 600,000 times, while SSDs can do so only 30,000 to 50,000 times. Secondly, HDDs are a lot more inexpensive. The price of a 512 GB SSD, the maximum spec in the market right now, can get the user more than one 4TB HDD.

“SSDs are suitable for many applications, for example car digital recorders which do not require big capacities. But will they completely replace HDDs in the near future? I don't think so,” Lo said. “And I don't think it's an issue of who replaces who, as finding the right storage technology really depends on your operating environment and budget.”

Bigger and faster is the future
As for the future of hard drives, the trends are that they will feature bigger and bigger capacity. Currently, maximum HDD capacity is 4TB, a figure “that is set to double every two years,” Lo said. “You can never satisfy customers' storage needs.” PCI Express (PCIe), a high-speed serial computer expansion bus standard, is meanwhile expected to replace SATA as the mainstream interface for connecting storage to PC systems. PCIe boasts transfer rates of 1 to 2GB/s, faster than 3 to 6Gb/s for SATA.

Good prospects down the road
With bigger capacity, better performance, and less power consumption, today's surveillance HDDs help surveillance players big time by keeping data safe and secure. It has been said that a hard disk will be able to hold 20TB of data by 2020. With storage technology continuously improving, that scenario is no longer a far-fetched dream.

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