Monitoring and Surveillance

The widespread availability of IP cameras has sparked a boom in video surveillance around the world, as live and recorded footage can be accessed, displayed, and analyzed anywhere at any time without having to transport and wind through video tapes. Internet Protocol (IP) is at last unleashing the potential of video that was previously locked up in vast amounts of tape that tended only to be inspected for high profile investigations rather than ongoing surveillance. IP is also enabling other types of monitoring device or sensor to be deployed widely in the field for a variety of surveillance.

Video surveillance, in particular, is spawning a new industry not just in the equipment, but also in outsourced security services that meet specific objectives on behalf of enterprise and public sector customers. Such services, as well as internal or privately run surveillance applications, depend on reliable broadband communications. Fiber is rarely an option because IP cameras or sensors tend to be scattered too widely around a campus or site, and yet legacy T1/E1 circuits are too slow and expensive. The best option is to exploit the same copper infrastructure used for T1/E1 to deploy carrier Ethernet right out to the IP devices. This will typically be accomplished with a point-to-multipoint system installed at a control and monitoring station, fanning out to multiple point-to-point systems serving different remote sites. At the remote site, the Ethernet device can be attached to a LAN serving a number of IP devices or sensors.