The advent of IP based surveillance systems saw the increasing need for smarter ways to transmit information, conserve available bandwidth, distribute processing operations and decentralise recording of information, all this and more, but without losing any system functionality. Products and technologies were developed to take these functions onto the Edge .. but what is it, and why use it?
Edge technologies are employed at the ‘fingertips’ of any IP video surveillance system, be it a specific camera feature (via a memory card slot) or as a specific hardware device next to it. It can enhance the camera position by locally adding recording functionality or video motion processing for instance, depending on the specifications.
There would also be little or no need to add to the control-room hardware, and ultimately it would directly enable the camera position for efficient off-site activities such as ‘Cloud’ monitoring and recording. There is more to the benefits though ….
The thing with bandwidth is that there never seems to be enough of it, especially if you are establishing an IP surveillance system on an already busy network.
Video is a very bandwidth intensive medium, more so than any other form of media. It puts networks under pressure when recording to a central point and it’s costly to transmit off-site, especially if it’s endless hours of footage. Video compression technologies have reduced file sizes greatly, but to an acceptable point. So to conserve bandwidth, various Edge recording technologies have been developed to allow a suitably enabled camera or Edge device to store images locally onto a memory card, in either a dedicated fashion, or as a backup if a central recording server fails. Many of the same Edge products also employ integrated motion processing (ie video analytics) on the Edge to ensure that the recorded images are true events, thereby reducing the amount image data to be stored or transmitted onwards
There is nothing more concerning for security personnel than when a recording server fails or if the cabling infrastructure is compromised .. and it always seems to happen at the worst possible moment ! Invariably image data is lost, some of it invaluable and especially if it’s from a current event. It’s common practice for criminals to cut camera cables and destroy or steal recording servers. Storing and distributing image data onto Edge devices safeguards this eventuality greatly, and it also ensures a more reliable system overall.
Recording servers and data storage can be costly. If for instance the customer or system requirements require a reasonably limited amount of event storage for a week or two, it may be more cost-effective to use Edge recording devices instead of a dedicated recording server. It would also mean a simpler infrastructure setup which is easy to deploy. So therefore, cost savings in terms of hardware and installation time.