Cloud Video Surveillance Made Possible – Today

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Perimeter security requirements for sensitive infrastructure, both public and private, are getting tougher by the day. Constant high resolution video streams and low latency, both designed to enable rapid operational response, are no longer considered luxury, but rather make for the basic standard of many of today’s surveillance systems.

Nowadays, nearly all sensitive facilities (e.g. airports, refineries, gas hubs, military bases and so on) have control rooms which are manned 24/7 by skilled operators watching over their monitors, which show images coming in from hundreds, sometimes thousands, of CCTV video cameras.

The concept behind installing video monitoring arrays, establishing and operating them has hardly changed for several decades now. Nevertheless, Softimize from Israel is currently challenging the mental and engineering fixation by developing assistive software designed to allow the many and varied users of CCTV-based security means to carry out a real and complete overhaul.

Standard video camera installations have always necessitated fixed connections (cables, wires, optical and or radio means) to a primary or central server. The latter is usually situated in the organization’s computer room. The users – the control room operators – have always connected to this main server using appropriate command and control applications, software and means (which sometimes also include command and control and analysis features).

The technological trend is cloud computing. Big time. After all, NASA is already there, as is the US Army, along with a large share of many corporations’ and organizations’ files. So why not relinquish the local in-house server (to which the video cameras are linked) – this will allow them dispense with all the costs, maintenance, malfunctions, upgrades and so on, which could, in extreme scenarios, disrupt the facility, for instance an airport.

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Two primary barriers have hitherto prevented video users’ organizational transition to VSAAS – Video Surveillance As A Service:

–          Bandwidth: video cameras, in particular those which transmit in color and high resolution, are notorious ’bandwidth guzzlers’, occupying a large part of the spectrum for data relay, so the service costs are high.

–          Latency: controlling video cameras effectively (for instance, to move it using a joystick to monitor a target) requires a response time that does not exceed one fifth of a second – cloud-enabled response times could reach 2 seconds.

Browser developers have come up with a standard called WEB RTC. It was originally used to develop instant messaging software and Peer To Peer chats between users’ platforms (like Skype). Now that video camera producers (such as Amarillo) have adopted WEB RTC, the devices can interface directly with users’ applications, leaving only protocol signaling to be cloud-based. Additionally, cameras’ software upgrades are carried out from remote serves, cloud based and in real-time, without limiting their operation to “maintenance windows”.

Thus, both barriers, bandwidth and latency, have effectively been solved, using the software developed by Softimize from Israel, which is considered one of the world’s leading cloud-based multifaceted systems.

Softimize, whose primary expertise is the world of physical security and CCTV systems, was founded by engineers who formerly worked at dvtel. Softimize has already developed a variety of products that serve millions of free users worldwide. Founder and CEO Guy Vinograd specializes in cloud-tailored SAAS solutions and web scale. Vinograd is considered a leading expert on Amazon Web Services, and developer of Best Practices for efficient Java and net – based development in cloud environment.