Cisco Takes Surveillance Into ‘Internet Of Things’ Era

Jeffrey Burt is a senior editor for eWEEK and contributor to TechWeekEurope

Cisco has updated its VSM7 video surveillance management platform, allowing it to operate on a large scale and making application development easier

Cisco Systems is upgrading its video surveillance capabilities, including offering a development platform, as part of a larger push to highlight the vendor’s growing portfolio around the burgeoning Internet of Things market.

Cisco officials on 23 September unveiled Video Surveillance Manager 7 (VSM7), which is rolling out about a year after the networking giant added virtualisation capabilities and the medianet architecture to the video surveillance system. The company also introduced new IP cameras.

Gaining efficiency

“This is great example of how businesses and organisations can use the Internet of Things to gain efficiency, harness intelligence, improve operations and increase customer satisfaction,” Guido Jouret, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things Group, said in a statement.

Shutterstock - © Petar Paunchev - surveillanceThe Internet of Things is a vision where more intelligence and sensors are put into connected systems – from industrial machines to home appliances to automobiles – and businesses are given the ability to rapidly collect, store and analyse the data being received. Cisco chief executive John Chambers and other executives have said the company will be aggressive in developing technologies and products for the Internet of Things.

Cisco’s VSM7 is aimed at doing this for video surveillance systems.

It’s a market that promises to grow over the next several years. Citing numbers from Markets and Markets, Cisco officials said the surveillance systems and services market could hit $36.28 billion (£23bn) by 2018, as organisations look to use these systems to protect their businesses, employees and customers, and to reduce their risks.

Given that, companies are looking for secure and flexible surveillance architectures that can manage the growing numbers of cameras they’re using and to collect, search and analyse the data they’re receiving.

Camera management

Cisco’s upgraded VSM7 includes a feature called Federator, which enables companies to manage millions of IP distributed cameras via a single user interface. Another feature, Dynamic Proxy, lets multiple users in different locations see high-quality video from the same video streams by efficiently managing network bandwidth. In addition, enhanced medianet capabilities make managing, operating and troubleshooting the surveillance system easier via complete visualisation of video flows and on-demand Mediatrace from the camera to the video client.

Plus, the cameras themselves can store video when network connectivity is interrupted or not available, and then will automatically send the video to the media server when connectivity is restored.

Also within VMS7 is an analytics and metadata platform that supports secure APIs that enable integration with third-party analytics offerings that can record and index metadata with video, according to Cisco officials. In addition, capabilities within VSM7 make it faster and easier to search through recorded video by using motion detection.

Application development

The Cisco cameras themselves also can now be used as an application development platform, where programmers can create software – such as video and audio analytics, audio communications through cameras, and Internet of Things sensors and aggregators – that can be added to them. Third parties that are part of the Cisco Developers Network (CDN) can develop applications not only for the cameras but also for other Internet of Things solutions, the company said.

Cisco officials said a number of CDN members are offering solutions for such applications as video analytics, network monitoring and physical security information management.

Cisco’s new 6050 camera is a ruggedised system aimed for use in such transportation vehicles as buses and trains. The 6050 is a 1080p camera.

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Originally published on eWeek.

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