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Lagos State CCTV surveillance camera project: How sustainable?(3)

By Chris Uwaje
With analog systems, these additional security features are not put in place. The cabling can be tapped and erroneous video material can be fed into the wire or recorded off of it at will without raising any intrusion alarms. Compared to analog systems, IP systems are much more difficult to compromise, as encryption requires two nodes that agree on exactly what is being sent and received, interruptions to this data stream will automatically trigger alarms and alerts.

Any type of additional data (sound, graphics, applications, event triggers, etc) can also be sent through the encrypted network. Thus, one_way or two_way audio requires only microphones and speakers at the end points when used with appropriate IP cameras that support audio capabilities.

This means that it is very easy to deploy audio along side video data. Analog systems, on the other hand, can’t handle single channel audio or two_way sound channels without added cabling and expense.

Yet another benefit are the storage systems used within IP surveillance networks. They are much easier to configure and more reliable.

The IP surveillance Camera Back_up and storage systems are server based RAID disk systems that are connected to uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), just like in any other network – and capable of capturing and storing Terabytes off Data and images simultaneously.

Any network administrator can manage these servers without having any additional training. Another benefit of this server based technology used in IP surveillance networks, is that they the cameras are able to record during playback.

Analog systems, however, require proprietary recording and back-up systems that add significant component, maintenance, and training costs as the system grows. In addition analog tape based recording systems require ongoing replacement tapes. All these benefits show a high level of flexibility.

Another aspect of this flexibility is the fact that IP surveillance data can be securely viewed anytime, anywhere from a standard Web browser like Internet Explorer. This simply cannot be done with analog systems that are relegated to the local redundant cabling infrastructure that has been established.

Yet another aspect of the above mentioned flexibility is that additional cameras can easily be added one at a time, whereas analog systems mostly require increments of 8, 16 or 24 additional cameras. The fact that several cameras can be supported on the same IP infrastructure makes adding additional cameras cost effective.

Typical switches and routers available today simply segregate traffic for larger scale video applications. With proper network design, installations with 250,000_500,000 IP cameras are common to accomplish such tasks, and some organizations are easily using more than 1,000,000 IP cameras at a time.

It can deliver a solution eg: for simultaneous Surveillance of Stock Exchange Trading Halls – deploying IP Camera Technology. There are various models to accomplish this task applying Broadband solutions available in a wide range of capacities, which can span up to thousands of square miles, if need be.

The WiMax last-mile solutions would also be ideal for providing surveillance coverage distribution. Today Stock Exchanges are critical domain of investment and Assets, which represent a significant part of national and global economies and to leave them without a secured channel monitoring and up-to-he-micro-second surveillance translates one of the highest risks that can befall the ICT infrastructure of a World Cup Competition.

Another typical example and global surveillance standard  is the Management of FIFA based competitions where Country organizers are compelled by FIFA Laws to protect the event and investment, life and property of the participants _ including protecting the stadiums, dressing rooms, vehicular traffic, human movement, and indeed any sensitive object in and around the stadium from acts of mischief, vandalism and theft.

Mastering these complex challenges and finding lasting solutions to intruder and avoiding high cost litigations from net_worth customers requires the installation of IP surveillance and monitoring network solutions that may also proves useful for observing employee activities.

There are various target areas for security monitoring, including the entry and access doors, trading floors, parking lot, bag drop area, key areas on the gatehouse and restroom facilities.  The above described new and enhanced IP surveillance technology makes it possible to transmit image and sound data via a secured network.

As this IP surveillance network will mostly consist of cameras that are installed in common public areas _ outdoors, it is important to make sure that all_weather wireless cameras, transmitter and receiver systems are put in place to send wireless video from different locations across the property back to the security office (where the server_room/monitoring station is).

In conclusion, the laudable Lagos State electronic surveillance project may become an living albatross of the future if the state of the Art of technologies and solutions are not deployed – especially in view of the massive data capture to be generated in the African front_runner Mega city called Lagos. Critical factors of success will include, Domain experience and expertise of the chosen solutions provider/contractor for the project, technical maintenance agreement/SLA and indigenous IT resource/Software utility involvement. As I write, most of the above features are either in transit or completely missing.

Other than being able to endure the humid and hot weather, as well as the pouring showers we are often faced with, the IP cameras in question must be vandal proof as well. Monitoring stations provide multi_camera monitoring via either a hardware or software interface. Multiple monitors or a single screen split into multiple frames, as seen below, can be easily configured with IP camera management software. Management and monitoring software solutions sold with digital IP systems include automated snapshot, event, alarm and motion detection features as indicated above. – For those who understand the popular Latin of our time, I salute you and say:  EKO O NI BAJE O!



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