What Are the Video Surveillance Needs for Multi-site Monitoring and Management?

A&S International magazine recently interviewed Milestone Chief Technology Officer Bjorn Eilertsen, about the requirements to consider for multi-site video monitoring and management. Let’s see what he says…

Q: What makes a good video surveillance system for multi-site environments (e.g., remote monitoring)? 

A: It is important to realize that every installation is different. This means that the video management software (VMS) should be able to adapt to different network topologies, speed and security levels. The same goes for camera connection types, management needs and storage topologies. Flexibility is the key here, as the needs for monitoring awareness might rapidly change according to the situation.

Networked systems are typically contnually expanding – sometimes adding new network nodes, other times increasing capacity or redundancy.  The VMS used in a multi-site context should be network transparent, easily adaptable and capable of handling these needs in a sensible way. We believe that only a true open platform VMS is capable of meeting these demands. – Bjorn Eilertsen, CTO, Milestone

Q: In regard to Network Attached Storage (NAS), what are the key features necessary for multi-site environments? What are some advanced features?

A: Networked Attached Storage, Storage Area Networks or Cloud storage are all networked storage technologies. They each have their use, but require careful evaluation with regards to security, access, user permissions, redundancy, network topology and bandwidth. Since the recording server is handling all access to the video data base, the storage technology is transparent to the VMS.

Q: What are the major challenges and concerns in multi-site management and monitoring? How does your company help overcome these issues?

A: This type of solution places high demands on the management functions and clients. Often multi-site systems have a large number of cameras. The operational awareness must not be affected by the added complexity of a multi-site solution. We have designed our clients – from mobile clients to large Smart Walls – to provide perfect situational awareness no matter if they are to be used in single-site or multi-site installations.

Milestone also has our ONVIF bridge that enables XProtect installations to be a part of non-Milestone multi-site installations. This is unique to Milestone. Furthermore, multi-site solutions are by concept vulnerable to cyber attacks. This is one of the reasons we have a system Hardening Guide, which underscores our dedication to driving awareness in our community on this important aspect, and adding cyber security features to our software. – Bjorn Eilertsen, CTO Milestone Systems

Q: Does your company provide any technical support for systems integrators, especially for cross-country networking?

A: Yes – we have standard free support, and our partners can purchase Milestone Care extended support for their customers, to fit the type and level of support perfectly to their needs whether it’s local, regional or global support. The Milestone open platform community also enables partners to participate in global knowledge sharing.

Q: What is the best system topology for multi-site management and monitoring?

Bjorn Eilertsen, CTO, Milestone Systems

A: It depends on the specific needs. There is no single best solution. It is important that the chosen VMS is flexible, adaptable and extendable according to changing needs. The needs in multi-site environments might change over time – and often quite rapidly.

Q: What newer technologies and trends are multi-site video monitoring/management systems embracing (e.g., cloud, IoT, big data, etc.)?

A: To us there is no difference between single-site and multi-site systems regarding Cloud, Internet of Safety Things (IoST) or large data. Cloud is a platform game, Internet of Safety Things is a matter of device support, and large data is a matter of handling the huge amount of data from video sources. None of this relates directly to network topology beyond bandwidth issues. With the open platform design of Milestone software, we can adapt to new technologies and handle them, thanks to the solution power of the Milestone partner community.

asmagRead the full article on ASmag.com, the website for A&S International magazine.