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Just how complex is bringing video surveillance onto the network?

September 11, 2012 - 4 Comments

Ed Christmas understands the potential complexities that bringing high-definition video onto the network can entail.

As the managing principal of Sology Solutions, one of our Premier Certified safety and security integrators, he’s worked for the last couple of years to define a video strategy for his customer Dallas County.  The plan involved recommending the newly re-architected Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 as the cornerstone of a business transformation project that goes far beyond just simply improving safety and security for citizens and employees.  It aims to help improve the way that services are delivered to citizens.

A key factor in Sology’s choice as a partner lies in the ease of deploying this new video surveillance solution, which was completely rebuilt from the ground up for very large scale video deployments.   In this video Ed describes how he was able to go into the customer at 10am in the morning, deploy the software in a virtualised Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) environment, set up the IP video surveillance cameras and have the whole system up and running and providing operational HD video feeds back to Dallas County’s Tax Assessor office within hours.   His team were on their way back to the office by 2pm that afternoon.

By taking advantage of another key Cisco innovation, the Cisco medianet proxy service, Ed’s engineers were able to automate the configuration of cameras on the network.  MSP is a function of the Cisco switching infrastructure that builds on innovations such as SmartPorts.  Using MSP, the network automatically recognizes the new device plugged into the switch port as a video surveillance camera, allocates it an IP address, places it into the correct VLAN, reserves the right amount of bandwidth for delivering video streams to operators and prioritizes the video traffic automatically.

Sounds obvious?  Well previously the kind of operation could have taken up to 45 minutes per camera involving a phone call between the guy hanging the camera on the wall and a lot of manual coding from the network operations team.  Not any more with MSP.  A template-driven approach allows all cameras to be recognized and automatically provisioned with the same set of attributes once the installer plugs them into the Ethernet port.

Cisco's Karthik Dakshinamoorthy plugging away

That means the cameras can be up and running within seconds, without that lengthy back and forth discussion.

In fact at the ASIS 2012 showin Philadelphia this week, we’ve gone one stage further and opened this capability up to the industry with an open invitation to camera manufacturers to bring their own video surveillance camera along to the our Plugfest at the Cisco booth (#213), plug into our Catalyst 4500 and watch it auto-configure.  We even have a natty t-shirt for you…

Couple this with new medianet-based remote video monitoring services and this adds up to a compelling proposition for our partners that enables them to focus their resources on adding real business transformational value to their customers.   This service offering helps partners use medianet tools to provide their customers’ IT and security teams with the peace of mind that any degradation in video quality can be quickly isolated and tracked down to the root cause.

Nice job Ed and team at Dallas County and we look forward to supporting your future success with video!

Watch John Ames and Norman Casale of Dallas County’s Tax Office discuss the business value they are deriving from Cisco’s new Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 and the value of their collaboration with Sology.

Learn more about what’s new in Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7.0





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  1. Hi Rob, you are correct with your statement about the importance of security on the network. Cisco provides a comprehensive security framework that can be used by the network architect to secure the network for an end-to-end video surveillance system. Architecture principles have also been developed for both the traditional data center as well as the multi-tennant environments.
    The following main security principles are implemented in this architecture:
    Isolation: logical separation of network, compute, and storage resources. This can be achieved by using firewalls, access lists, VLANs, compute virtualization, storage virtulaisation, and physical separation.
    Further information can be found at the following places:

    Virtualised Multi-Tennant Data Center link:

    Virtualized Multi-Service Data Center link


  2. Thank You Marc for the reply. I will be waiting for the discussion to start. Appreciated!!

  3. Rob – absolutely, network security has to be an integral part of any deployment given what is riding over the network. We’re actually going to be discussing how to secure the data center in a related announcement later today that you might find interesting (1pm EST / 10am PST):

  4. Thank You Marc, I think the major point of concern is the security over the network as it can damage things up, if not been given serious attention.