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ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to discuss with Cisco experts Scott Bain and Nhu Dang about the use of

network-based video surveillance systems, which provide real time incident response and resolution.

Remember to use the rating system to let Scott and Nhu know if you have received an adequate response.

They might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This event lasts through September 22, 2006. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

11 REPLIES
Silver

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Hi

How much network bandwidth will I need to support video surveillance?

Thanks,

Tom

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

This is always a hot topic question, with a good bit of myth wrapped around it. Given our knowledge of what is and has historically been deployed in most customer networks, Cisco wants to set the record straight.

While uncompressed broadcast quality video (720 x 480 / 720 x 576, 30FPS NTSC or 25 FPS PAL) can consume 30-35Mbps of bandwidth, compression technologies can bring this down to a very manageable per video stream bandwidth of 3.5Mbps or less (about 1Mbps at 10Fps) if frame rates/resolution are reduced (see below for more information).

From a monitoring perspective, you may wish to plan on something closer to 3.5Mbps per stream; but, remember you really only need video from the cameras you want to display at that moment (pull video on demand) or upon an event, have it pushed to the operator.

Given recording is usually (excluding casinos, some government / military installations, etc) done at less than full frame rate so you may wish to plan on something closer to 1Mbps (at 10FPs, full resolution); and of course lower if you further reduce frame rate and resolution.

We believe 3.5Mbps on most business/corporate Local Area Networks (LANs) is a very modest amount when one considers that each camera would likely have a 100Mbps connection from the wiring closet switch. And the switching capacity of even a small wiring closet switch deployed 5 years ago would likely be able to support 2000+ 3.5Mbps video streams! And larger upstream switches can easily support 10?s of thousands of video streams and many of these switches have multiple Gigabit and 10 Gigabit connections. Additionally, it should be understood that IP networks, in many cases, are designed to support multiple paths through the network, and can balance the load between these various paths.

Bronze

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Hi Nhu,

Does video surveillance really work across the WAN?

Thanks,

Frank

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

YES. Clearly the more limited bandwidth available via typical WAN links will require reduced camera resolution and frame rates. Recent testing in the CSIBU test labs have showed that CEF @ 3-5 FPS was quite acceptable for incident review type activity. The key is to understand the customer?s specific requirements for viewing/recording over the WAN and design accordingly. It is highly recommend that QOS be enabled to ensure that other traffic traversing the WAN does not negatively impact VS traffic across the WAN.

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Hi Nhu and Scott,

What video compression algorithms are currently considered the most effective?

Thanks,

Bill

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

There are various compression algorithms, which reformat data to reduce storage and transmission times, range in efficiency from 2:1 for text to 100:1 for some images and video, depending on the specific content. With such reductions, compression has a large impact on bandwidth needs. Once transmitted, many formats can be restored exactly with no loss of content, but other ?lossy? formats sacrifice some quality for higher compression ratios. GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) has become the most common compression format for graphics on the Web since it is a loss-less algorithm, but GIF doesn?t support as many colors as JPEG, which was optimized for photos. Likewise, MPEG-2 video has become the standard for digital DVD movies and MPEG-4 is a major development from MPEG-2. There are many more tools in MPEG-4 to lower the bit-rate needed to achieve a certain image quality for a certain application or image scene and it can deliver higher compression ratios than MJPEG and is especially useful for surveillance applications such as streaming, recording and traffic monitoring.

MPEG compression has the ability to give a relatively high image quality at a lower bit-rate (bandwidth usage). This can be especially important if the available network bandwidth is limited, or if video is to be stored (recorded) at a high frame rate and there are storage space restraints. The lower bandwidth demands come at the cost of higher complexity in encoding and decoding, which in turn contributes to a higher latency when compared to M-JPEG.

MPEG- 4 Advantages:

? High compression: low bandwidth requirements at frame rates > 5 fps

? Low storage requirements at > 5fps

? Constant bit rate (CBR): simplifies network design and bandwidth provisioning

Silver

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Hi

Why do I need multicasting support for video streams?

Thanks -

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

The Cisco VS solution is a plug & play solution in a Multicast aware environment. Devices automatically discover one another and their respective capabilities thereby not requiring tedious up front configuration to add/remove devices from the VS network. Given the compression of video streams is a costly CPU process, therefore the ability to transmit video which can be received either for viewing or recording by any number of users is very powerful and the only truly scalable mechanism.

Bronze

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Are there any guidelines on the amount of storage I'll need if I install a video surveillance system?

Frank

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Thanks for your providing the nice contact opertunity.

Is this operating under server-client based system as like VIDOS Pro?

How about image scrambling on the streaming signal? How about security protection?

Can I understand Video Surveillance Integrated Services Platform as stand-alone system euipment of max. 64 channel? Is this working as a part of the system, working with Video Surveillance Stream Manager and monitoring software?

Is the sysem supporting the iSCSI? or plan?

Could you give me the competitive advantage?

(^.^)V

Thanks

New Member

Re: ASK THE EXPERT - NETWORK-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

Q) Is this operating under server-client based system as like VIDOS Pro?

A) The Cisco Video Surveillance solution is not a Server-based solution but a distributed architecture of IP Gateways, serving as Video Encoders & Decoders, across a Cisco powered network. In a sense these act like a Virtual Matrix Switch across the IP network. This architecture has the potential of scaling across LANs & WANs, leveraging Cisco?s switch and router technology for multicast and encryption. The Server-like products you may have noticed within Cisco Video Surveillance portfolio are Digital Video Recorders enabling video to be replayed anywhere across the network from any device (with appropriate security rights of course)

Q) How about image scrambling on the streaming signal? Encryption.

A) We encrypt video when exporting to provide authenticity of the video recording. We also leverage the extensive encryption features within Cisco Switches and Routers for encryption of video streams from video end devices (IP Gateway and IP cameras) to the Security operations centre. This regime enables us to be selective about what we encrypt and enables us to minimize latency on some streams such as PTZ control.

Q) How about security protection?

A) Cisco has extensive security protection features across all network devices and our Video Surveillance IP Gateways and Services Platforms provide full username/password access.

Q) Can I understand Video Surveillance Integrated Services Platform as stand-alone system euipment of max. 64 channel?

A) The Integrated Services Platform provides combined digital recorder and encoding functionality provides for up to 12 analogue encoder ports. The 64 channel system you refer to is Cisco?s Convergence chassis and connects to our Services Platforms such as the SP-2000.

Q) Is this working as a part of the system, working with Video Surveillance Stream Manager and monitoring software?

A) Yes, it works as a complete system. Cisco Video Surveillance is a distributed architecture of hardware (IP Gateways and Service Platforms), networking (routers and switches) and PC clients. Cisco Stream Manager is a suite of software, firmware and client based applications that runs on all of the IP Gateways, Service Platforms and PC clients

Q) Is the sysem supporting the iSCSI? or plan?

A) Yes, we do have plans to implement iSCSI as part of our wider strategy to offer a range of connectivity options to external storage devices.

Q) Could you give me the competitive advantage?

A) Cisco has a philosophy and strategy focused on leveraging the Power of the Network to run intelligent applications across the network fabric. Video Surveillance is one of these network applications. Embedding intelligence into video end devices across a distributed Cisco networked architecture is our significant competitive advantage over a server based solution. It is a much more scaleable and resilient video surveillance than server based.

Sooki, thanks for your excellent questions and please come back to me should you have any further questions

SCOTT BAIN

Product Manager

CSIBU

Cisco Systems

sbain@cisco.com

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