Cisco delves into IP surveillance

Leader in IP systems is moving into providing dedicated security equipment, with a camera of its own

The growth in video surveillance has been boosted by the boom in cameras attached to IP networks, and now the leader in IP systems, Cisco, has moved further into the video surveillance business with a camera of its own.

Cisco already has a range of IP video products after chief executive, John Chambers, last year guided the company's move into video security business

It seems natural that, not content with controlling the networks that transmit the video, Cisco would want to step into providing end-to-end security products, and that this would include the video cameras themselves.

The Cisco Video Surveillance IP Camera is a scalable video-recording and storage platform that comes with video-surveillance software. The camera can be integrated with other security and business systems and, Cisco says, can provide a migration path from analogue to network-based systems. It will also interoperate with third-party storage, the company says.

One of the key advantages of an IP video camera is that live or recorded video can be accessed at any time by authorised users, whether they are local or remote. This ability to use access video footage across the network from anywhere, and display it anywhere, is changing the way security organisations function. Instead of expensive clumsy tape systems that are slow to access and slow to recover information from, security personnel can pool information quickly and act without delay on the information they obtain.

The Cisco Video Surveillance IP Camera, which can be motion-triggered, offers 720x480 pixel resolution using MPEG 4 encoding. It also has 802.1x authentication and can be connected via a wireless or wired network. Storage can be linked via SCSI or fibre channel to external storage arrays.

The camera can be integrated with Cisco Stream Manager Software version 5.0, which has new features that include policy-based alarm handling, multi-camera playback and display sequencing. Cisco has not yet released prices but says the camera will be available at the end of May 2007.