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How to choose the right video analytics solution?

How to choose the right video analytics solution?
Increasingly, video analytics are seeing more and more adoption. However, whether to get an edge-based or server-based solution is still a question that perplexes a lot of users. Ultimately, choosing the right solution depends on the user’s own environment or case scenario.
Video analytics are seeing increasing market demand as they can detect irregularities and issue an alert to the user, thus raising their situational awareness. Applications range from retail to outdoor events. According to MarketsandMarkets, the video analytics market is expected to grow from US$2.77 billion in 2017 to $8.55 billion by 2023 at a compound annual growth rate of 21.5 percent during the forecast period.
“Analytics are now simpler and far more effective than ever. Security platforms that come with built-in analytics are speeding up deployment and delivering accurate results,” noted a recent blog post by Genetec.

What’s the right solution?

However, users often find themselves perplexed by which solution to deploy, in particular whether they should choose an edge- or server-based one. According the post, the pros and cons of both are as follows.
Edge-based analytics means that the camera or encoder is processing the image and creating metadata. The main advantage is that the user is able to reduce bandwidth usage as they don’t need to transfer all video data to the servers.
However there’s caveat. “This is only true if you are only storing the video which the analytics solution has classified as relevant. This means that if you want to keep all video for a certain period of time, or just keep all video with motion-detected events, you would not gain much value from this option,” the post said. “Buying cameras with built-in edge analytics can also be dissuasive. Typically, these devices come with a higher price tag. Depending on the camera model that you’re considering, you might also run into performance limitations or only have access to basic analytics applications.”
In a server-based analytics setup, video streams are sent to and processed on the server, independently from the cameras. “When you opt for server-based analytics, you’re free to choose any cameras you want. This can be particularly advantageous to anyone who is upgrading their security system and want to reduce costs by keeping existing edge devices. While it’s best to check with your analytics provider, server-based analytics usually work with most cameras, regardless of the camera vendor or model,” the post said, adding server-based solutions offer better performance as well. “Servers have more processing power and are able to process more video and more analytics applications. In return, leveraging the processing power allows for the development of more advanced analytics.”
Yet another advantage of server-based analytics is easier setup. “If you’re using a security platform with unified analytics, for example, you’ll be able to configure the analytics from the same interface as your video management system. This is also true for various analytics applications, providing the same user experience across all types of video analytics which simplifies configuration and operation,” the post said. “In larger deployments with hundreds or thousands of cameras, this can be a huge time saver. Instead of having to individually configure each camera using the vendor’s external configuration tool, what could you do with that time?”
The post concluded by saying choosing the right analytics technology really comes down to the user’s needs. “If you’re only looking to do basic analytics or you have a small to medium-sized installation, an edge-based solution might be the right choice for you. If you require high-end analytics or have a larger enterprise system, server-based analytics is the way to go,” it said.

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