Cisco Targets 'Internet Of Things' With New Surveillance Technology


Cisco Monday expanded its physical security and surveillance portfolio with new cameras and analytics software the networking giant says will help organizations embrace the burgeoning "Internet of Things."

Cisco's updates, which include a new version of its flagship surveillance software, also come as solution providers are starting to see more opportunity in the surveillance market, thanks to the growing adoption of IP-based cameras.

Among the updates is Cisco's Video Surveillance Manager (VSM) 7.0, the latest version of its video surveillance software. According to Cisco, VSM 7 can support up to 10,000 IP video surveillance cameras on a single server and can manage more than 1 million video surveillance streams when combined with Cisco Physical Security Information Management applications.

[Related: Cisco Sees $14.4 Trillion Opportunity In Internet Of Everything]

"The new release is about scale. It's a highly, highly scalable system," said Geetha Dabir, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Physical Security Business Unit. "You are looking at millions of end points that can be connected to this system."

VSM 7 also includes a federator tool that lets users manage these millions of IP cameras from a single pane of glass, regardless of those cameras' geographical location. What's more, new dynamic proxy capabilities ensure video quality doesn't suffer when multiple users are accessing the same video stream from different locations. Dabir said this feature is targeted at vertical industries like oil and gas, where users have multiple remote locations.

VSM 7 also supports Cisco's video network optimization technology, Medianet, which helps enable faster configuration and deployment of surveillance endpoints across network routers and switches. VSM 7 includes enhanced Medianet monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities, giving users an end-to-end visualization of how videos flow throughout the network.

What makes VSM 7 ready for the buzzed-about Internet Of Things (IoT) -- or, as Cisco defines it, the "next technology transition" whereby internet-connected devices allow us to sense and control the physical world around us -- is its new analytics and metadata platform. The platform offers users a slew of third-party business intelligence capabilities, such as motion detection or audio analytics. The latter, Dabir said, will be particularly useful for retail locations, which could be alerted, for instance, to the sounds of broken glass or shattered windows.

In addition to VSM 7, Cisco launched a new IP surveillance camera, the Cisco 6050, which has high-resolution imaging and a "ruggedized" build that Cisco said makes it ideal for use in transportation, another market expected to be a key adopter of IoT technologies.

Apart from enabling the IoT movement, IP cameras like the new Cisco 6050 are making the video surveillance market an increasingly relevant one to the channel. Traditionally, the surveillance market was dominated by analog-based cameras that were installed and maintained by physical security providers. But, as more and more organizations adopt next-generation IP-based cameras, the integration of those cameras with corporate networks becomes more critical, meaning there's greater opportunity for infrastructure-based solution providers.

Jason Schmitt, CEO of Technology Resource Advisors, a Milwaukee-based solution provider, said his physical security business is seeing year-over-year growth "in the triple digits," thanks to traction in vertical markets like education, government and manufacturing.

"It's a great market because of the transition from analog to IP systems," Schmitt told CRN. "These legacy providers in the security market are all analog-based, so solution providers have an advantage because of their familiarity with servers and storage and networking, which are the major components of an IP-based surveillance system."

Cisco, citing data from analyst firm Markets and Markets, said the video surveillance systems and services market is set to reach $36.28 billion by 2018.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 23, 2013