EXCLUSIVE: Welcoming containerization to video surveillance


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VMS architecture should promote interoperability, scalability and reliability, writes John Rezzonico, CEO, Edge360.

Video management systems (VMS) will always be necessary for mission-critical organizations because it is the foundational application that security systems are built upon. With this in mind, VMS architecture should promote interoperability, scalability and reliability.

Historically, one of the biggest challenges in video surveillance deployments has been the ability to scale a system as the need arises.

While Software as a service (SaaS) and cloud offerings have given stakeholders the ability to do this more efficiently, what often gets overlooked are the various command and control aspects, such as integration with access control and intrusion detection, that cannot be migrated due to proprietary architecture.

That’s only one problem. One of the biggest challenges today is delivering a command-and-control platform that produces solid video.

The only way to get the video that is necessary for mission-critical organizations was to buy everything from one manufacturer. However, this locks customers in – and in the long run, this doesn’t set them up for future success.

Another challenge is that today’s video management solutions are not ideally suited to meet the evolving risks that mission-critical organizations face. There are more challenges to consider today. In addition to emerging security issues, such as active shooters and employee theft, cybersecurity is also critical to consider.

Just like the evolution of video cameras to IP nearly 20 years ago, video management must evolve. As more organizations adopt an IT-centric security infrastructure, IT leaders are becoming involved in selecting and deploying these once traditional physical security solutions.

The time to adapt to more advanced systems is now.

The fact is that many of the VMS systems deployed today are outdated, proprietary and utilize older technology and that means that most businesses are not experiencing the full scope of security technologies across their organization.

Fully containerized video management systems have come to market that are equipped with all the frameworks, databases and remote capabilities that any organization needs at deployment, serving anything from small local businesses to global enterprises.

Let’s take a closer look at how these types of solutions are modernizing video management capabilities for organizations around the world.

Introducing containerization

Although it may be a familiar term to those with IT backgrounds, containerization is essentially the virtualization of an application or operating system. The solution enables an end user to deploy resources as necessary across the enterprise without making significant configuration changes on the backend.

Containers eliminate much of the friction typically associated with moving applications from testing through to production, but applications packaged up as containers can also run anywhere; all the dependencies associated with any application are included within the containerized application.

That makes a containerized application highly portable across virtual machines or bare metal servers running in a local data center or on a public cloud.

To break it down to the uninitiated, containerization is like going to IKEA and buying a large dining room set that comes in a small flat box. But rather than combining numerous parts to complete the assembly, the work has already been done for you. Instead, the IKEA furniture in that box is already configured and ready for you to sit down and start eating.

The concept of containerization is very similar. It provides an application-specific container where the environment is controlled. The container is already configured when you build an application — instead of installing it on a traditional server environment.

Everything you need from an application standpoint is in that container and it is packed up and compressed. To deploy that container, you push it forward and expand it.

When the container expands, it installs everything it needs — all the application and database dependencies along with the application needs are within that expanded container.

Why is this important for future-proofing my video environment?

Command and control solutions depend on emerging technologies. If you are going to provide security for a large footprint, you must anticipate that new technologies will be introduced regularly.

Today, many solutions don’t empower you to use third party add-ons or technology. The containerized approach provides end users with the technology they need, not the technology they are being talked into, because it fits within the standard technology or brand footprint.

Instead, they can access a foundational video product that seamlessly works with other technologies. And, within a global deployment, it doesn’t matter where you log on and you have the complete management and access – based on permissions – and the ability to manage your solution from anywhere. It’s a way to scale across one single, global cluster.

By deploying a containerized solution, you also dramatically cut down on not only hardware resources, but you also reduce travel expenditures by dramatically reducing the engineering required to manage the system remotely during all phases, deployment, production patching and upgrades.

While security stands to benefit from the development of this technology, it is a significant change of mindset to move away from traditional VMS solutions.

But, it would be best if you considered tomorrow, and six months from now, and how your current technology investments will support your efforts down the road.

The future is right around the corner, and now is the time to build a solid video foundation.

This article was originally published in the August edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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