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Why they are really Network Cameras as opposed to Security Cameras

Kevin Harman | September 25, 2019

It’s funny how some things work and the associations we have with them – let’s take a quick look at Security Cameras as a good case in point.

Most people actually refer to them as Security Cameras – heck even we do – on first blush most people think – ya let’s call our security company to do that – BUT that’s probably not the best approach at all.

A few reasons that Security Cameras are more of an IT discipline than the Traditional Security discipline.

-The technology of new Cameras is now IP Based: meaning its all data: bits & bytes: IP addresses, IP networks, and IT technology.

-The Cameras connect to the Network Video Recorder (NVR) using standard data cables like Cat5e, Cat6: this means that they are more likely to be wired into your server room, part of the server rack, Cabled to a patch panel, and part of the data network. 

-Remote access to the cameras means that the Camera is on the Internet. This means that there is rules that need to be in place for the router / firewall to allow the cameras to be viewed on an App or to have a remote connection via the internet to see the cameras at the office. 

-The approach to the network design in commercial applications is a real interesting one: if designed with IP cameras as part of the network then cameras are actually part of the network from end to end. All too often we see security companies create their own “camera network” when they could very easily have simply shared as devices on the existing “data network”.  Have a remote building with data connectivity: no need to reinvent the wheel, simply add any device to the network: phone, computer, wifi, and camera: after all it’s all the same IT infrastructure.

What we find when a Security company does the IP Cameras

-They double up the infrastructure: cabling their own cable runs, adding separate data switches.

-They don’t approach the cameras as part of an IT solution: there approach is more tailor to intrusion alarm design. Lots of times the NVR is not located in the server room to share existing resources like: patch panels, Battery Back-up equipment, temperature control, internet, and more. 

-The Cat5e cables are installed without industry standard patch panels and ends are incorrectly crimped on the cables to save costs. Crimping ends direct on the cable usually results in poor connections: especially if they are touched. 

-They don’t approach the IT department at the tail end of the project and then say “ya we need to add this onto your data network as an afterthought”.

-The Cameras are an afterthought as opposed to a total solution

 

NATG’s approach to Cameras as a part of the Network:

-Ensure that the Camera conversation is part of a larger conversation regarding the entire data network.

-Share the same infrastructure to reduce costs: share the cabling, the data switches, and more

-Create Router / Firewall rules for voice, data, and video. Use Vlans for segmentation of bandwidth and security

-When Cabling use Colours to make things easy to understand; especially in the server room: green patch cords for Cameras, yellow patch cords for Wifi, Blue patch cords for Data, White patch cords for Voice, and etc.

-Program the router / firewall to work for everything that needs to be on the network