Blog | October 1, 2012

A Dummy's Guide To Cloud Video Surveillance

By The Business Solutions Network

In the world of physical security, cloud-based surveillance is in its infancy. This, for two primary reasons: First, technology is just coming around to enable cost-effective and high-functioning solutions. Second, traditional security dealers have been slow to adopt IP cameras, let alone the cloud. This second point creates a great opportunity for you.

As a reader of Business Solutions magazine, you fit a unique profile when it comes to cloud-based video surveillance technologies because you're most likely network-savvy and have been selling other types of cloud-based solutions for years. The cloud isn't mysterious and magical to you, it's a place to make money.

All that remains is for you to gain some expertise on cloud security to capitalize on the opportunity. Following are some tidbits regarding cloud video surveillance that can serve as a starting point in your education.

1. Cloud video surveillance moves video storage and management from the customer's premises into the cloud. All that's required at the customer site are video cameras and an Internet connection.

2. Moving video storage and management to the cloud removes the need for a local DVR and software, saving the initial cost for the device and software and reducing the need for administration on site.

3. To adequately pull off cloud video surveillance, the customer's Internet pipe must be able to support the large amount of data being transferred. Generally speaking, one camera needs between 1-2Mb/s. Check out this bandwidth tutorial to learn more. Low bandwidth might require lower resolution and frame rate recording, event-triggered recording, or a combination of all.

4. As long as the customer has the bandwidth, cloud-based video surveillance has unlimited scalability (i.e. no need to buy another DVR or more storage).

5. Once a cloud-based video surveillance system is put in place, additional roll outs become very easy.

6. Video in the cloud can be accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection, thus giving store owners and managers flexibility in where and when they review data.

7. Cloud video, or Video Surveillance/Software as a Service (VSaaS), is a source of recurring revenue for you, leading to a more profitable company.

8. When investigating cloud video surveillance, be sure to partner with a real provider of cloud services. There's a big difference in terms of quality, service, monitoring, and redundancy between streaming and saving video over the Internet and actual cloud video surveillance.

9. Finally, here's a pretty nice video that explains cloud-based security. Even though the title and some of the content highlights access control, the concepts work for video. Since it's a video that Brivo Systems made, there's a little of their PR in there as well. All that said, it's a good educational piece and worth your 4 minutes.

Cloud video surveillance solutions are coming on strong and 2013 looks to be a breakthrough year for the technology. And now, thanks to this article, you know more than my grandfather when it comes to cloud video surveillance. Your next step is to reach out to your distributor and/or security vendors to get your real education, and recurring revenue stream, started.