Geutebruck's virtual servers support unprecedented resolution and reliability at the Grand Casino Baden

Geutebruck's virtual servers support unprecedented resolution and reliability at the Grand Casino Baden

In 2009, when the Grand Casino in Baden in Switzerland upgraded and expanded its video system it chose a Geutebruck high availability IP solution designed by local system integrators Honegger System Technik. It was a groundbreaking design incorporating thirty-five 1.3 Megapixel cameras into the 250-camera system and introducing virtual GeViScope platforms to handle the generated data with ease and efficiency as well as high redundancy. The complex upgrade was made without any interruption to operation of the system or business and has met with the full satisfaction of the casino management.

The Geutebruck IP solution designed and installed by Honegger System Technik exploits two technologies in particular which enable it to handle and store the complete video history from all cameras including megapixel ones at full available resolution for 28 days on a 320 Terabyte instant access database.

The first of these is Geutebruck's own CCTV-optimised video compression process MPEG4CCTV. This is an MPEG-4 compliant process which uses standard MPEG-4 compression tools in unusual ways for the specific purpose of improving performance and image handling for security users. As a result, systems using MPEG4CCTV are very fast, delivering top quality video images without any perceptible latency; as well as lean and efficient with low network and storage requirements.

The second is the IT technology of virtualization which is used to produce virtual devices. With the aid of Microsoft's Hyper-V tool, Geutebruck can generate several virtual GeViScope servers on a single piece of hardware. These virtual servers are then linked into clusters with so-called ‘failover' functionality to ensure that if one of them fails another automatically and instantly takes over without any effect on service.

In the server room at the Grand Casino Baden, what is really impressive is what is not there. There is less hardware using less power and less emergency capacity on standby. Fewer hardware devices are throwing out less waste heat, so less air conditioning is required and again less energy is needed. By saving considerable space, energy and costs virtualisation is significantly reducing the total cost of ownership.

  • System design
    CAM2IP video encoders which support MPEG4CCTV compression and its efficient video management features were added to link a dozen or so existing analog speed domes and a hundred analog box cameras to the existing Kat5 Ethernet cabling. 35 new 1.3 megapixel cameras enable close observation of the roulette, poker and black jack tables. A hundred new VIPCAMs monitor the gaming machine area, the cashier's desks and provide general views. (VIPCAMs are high resolution day/night IP-cameras with automatic IR-cut filters for crisp sharp pictures even with widely varying light conditions.)

    All data streams are handled by two Intel modular servers, each of which incorporates five high performance computers. Together these run a total of 21 virtual GeViScope video system platforms operated in cluster formation. These virtual GeViScopes record to the high redundancy RAID Level 6 databases mounted on 21 Promise SAS storage systems currently using sixteen 1TB capacity server disks each, but which can take more if needed. Thanks to the high-availability design, if - despite all care and cutting-edge technology – something fails, then the full functionality of the system is re-established automatically without any significant down-time.

  • Close-up clarity
    The high resolution of the new megapixel cameras provides increased picture quality along with increased security and operational efficiency. The peak resolution support for zooming in for close-ups is used by the supervisors who have 30-inch monitors and access to all of the 250 cameras from each work-station. They can pull up live and recorded footage of identical quality in milliseconds.

    Although technically complex, supervisors at the Grand Casino Baden find the system simplicity itself to operate. They use GSCView, Geutebruck's user-friendly software for display and operating. Its extreme flexibility supports the extensive customisation which maximises security as well as operator comfort and convenience.

  • Investing for longevity
    Against a backdrop of continuously changing markets and regulatory frameworks, video security system purchasers like Grand Casino Baden are clearly concerned to ensure that any investment, especially a large one, provides for their needs over the long term. The (virtual) GeViScope devices at the heart of this solution more than meet current needs, are almost limitlessly scaleable in every direction, and offer exceptional flexibility in terms of adaptability and integration with third party systems.

    “Virtualization offers end-users significant advantages,” reports Carmen Lahr, Geutebruck's corporate communications director. “Not only does it enable redundancy and high availability to be achieved without hardware duplication; but using hardware resources more efficiently like this reduces the installation's need for space, power and cooling, and that cuts the system's overall energy consumption by 30-40%.”

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