The safety and security industry is undergoing a major technology transition from closed, proprietary systems to open, interoperable solutions. Cisco is taking an active role in advancing open standards and recently announced its support for a new open IP Media Device application programming interface (API) introduced by the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA). This specification marks the beginning of a set of standards that will help define uniform methods for how IP devices communicate with the network, including discovery, configuration, and command and control.
Cisco is taking a significant first step in promoting open standards by embedding the recently introduced open IP Media Device API within its IP surveillance cameras, supported by Cisco’s video surveillance applications and multiservices platforms.
"Cisco’s network-centric approach to physical security gives us the ability to help distribute live and archived video from our surveillance cameras to security professionals in real time, helping us react and respond to incidents immediately," said Mark Bell, director of security for Westgate City Center in Glendale, Arizona. "By delivering solutions based on an open architecture, Cisco has helped us utilize our existing IT investments to deliver an integrated, state-of-the-art safety and security system."
New products and enhancements to Cisco’s Connected Physical Security system include:
New modular physical security multiservices platforms, built using IT industry standards, providing flexible cost-effective options for storage, resiliency and performance. These are designed to enable significant operational benefits in deploying and managing physical security solutions for one or many sites over an IP network.
— New standard definition (SD) indoor and outdoor IP fixed dome cameras in vandal-resistant housing to increase customer choice in Cisco’s IP surveillance cameras. The new cameras join a line of enterprise-class standard- and high-definition cameras currently offered by Cisco in wired, wireless, indoor, outdoor, box and fixed formats, and third-party pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) formats. All Cisco IP cameras will implement the open IP Media Device API specification.
Improved reliability, performance and user experience using Cisco video surveillance applications. Within Cisco Video Surveillance Manager, Cisco is delivering flexible recording and playback features using record-on-motion and record-on-event capabilities to maximize storage across all formats, improving performance by up to 50 percent or more. Within Cisco’s Video Surveillance Stream Manager, Cisco is providing new matrix switch and keyboard support for integration with a broader range of analog and hybrid video surveillance solutions.
Delivering on its commitment to open standards, Cisco is also providing support for H.264 standards within devices and software. This will result in streaming video surveillance with higher quality, reduced bandwidth and lower storage costs. The new system will also enable simplified motion configuration, Cisco PTZ video encoders and decoders, and legacy DVR integration.
"The underlying technologies that are the framework of today’s safety and security operations are in a state of transition as security professionals and emergency responders look to integrate these critical tools to better communicate with each other and speed information sharing," said Bill Stuntz, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Physical Security business unit. "The development of open, interoperable solutions, based on industry standards, will help Cisco advance the industry’s standardization on an IT-based, network-centric architecture."
Cisco video surveillance solutions work in unison with the advanced features and functions of the IP network infrastructure (switches, routers, and other network security devices) to help enable maximum security, policy-based access to live or recorded video. With support for many surveillance cameras, both Cisco and third-party encoders, and applications, Cisco video surveillance solutions allow customers to build video surveillance systems that optimize cost, performance and capability across campus, branch, mobile, data center and infrastructure environments.
Availability [September 17, 2008]
The new Cisco IP fixed dome cameras are scheduled for availability in December 2008. The new physical security multiservices platforms are currently orderable with several options for storage, communications, and resiliency; support for a new major release of Video Surveillance Manager (v4.0/6.0) is included. The Cisco IPICS communications and notification system is also currently orderable.
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