Be in the know to advantage your business

IP Cloud Surveillance technology rides on cloud-technology that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. For those who are in the surveillance business, it is essential to have knowledge about the technology and how it could bring advantage to your business. Various other industries are going on cloud and your business shouldn’t be left behind. Get to know IP Cloud Surveillance to better your business.


VSaaS vs VMS

VMS stands for Video Management Software and VSaaS is Video Surveillance as a Service. Both are software to manage CCTV but VSaaS is hosted on a service provider's system instead of on a user's system. VMS has been around in the market for quite sometimes and CCTV solution providers are more familiar with the system.

VSaaS is THE future of video surveillance, tapping into the advantages of Internet ecosystem. Here are the advantages of VSaaS over VMS.

The Plug-and-Play IP Camera Connections
The EpiCamera VSaaS system supports literally all IP Cameras with FTP feature to connect to our cloud-hosted server without an on-site technician doing any network configuration to neither the cameras nor the VMS system. The simplicity in installation is a key element for VSaaS systems targeting home and small & medium business users.
No Software Installations
With EpiCamera, you are not required to install any software at the local computers. EpiCamera VSaaS system allows users to access video footages from the Internet without having to go through setup or logging in to local networking information such as IP addresses. This user-friendliness is appealing for many users who refuse to be tangled with technical difficulties, instead they can stream their videos anywhere they are.
Multiple Users and Rights Control
EpiCamera VSaaS system is designed to manage access to IP cameras by multiple users simultaneously. Different accounts can be created for each end-user with restricted access to the user's cameras. VMS systems generally assume that the VMS software is being used only by a single organization. Thus, you have to manually create different users and restrict specific cameras to those users only in VMS, making it a manual and error-prone process.
Remote Site Storage
Most VSaaS systems include or require off-site storage managed by the service provider, and EpiCamera VSaaS in particular runs on the reliable Amazon Web Services (AWS). Most VMS systems are designed for local storage such as DVR or NVR only, with options for remote archiving to one's own storage arrays but not to a cloud storage offering. The local storage is inclined to being sabotaged if any break-in happened.
Internet-Based Conventional Surveillance
Cloud-Established Surveillance
Effectiveness and Grand Cost of Ownership

Launching a conventional system is a time consuming and tedious process.
You will have to start by installing the operating system software, followed by configuring your routers, setting up the storage servers and finally configuring your cameras, and launching the application software.
A cloud-based system can facilitate immediate hassle free deployment.
You can plug in your cameras anywhere any time and perform the settings accordingly.

It is either deadweight or redundancy on the employees and cost ineffective to support and maintain in house hardware, software, firmware and configuration upgrading.
Cloud-established system simplifies the overall process.
The ongoing technical assistance is usually taken care of by the vendor.
User will be given a hotline to contact the vendor for any support needed.

Heavy capital investment to launch the system hardware and software.
Along the way there will be maintenance fee involved and other miscellaneous expenditures as well.
The total cost often fluctuates and might exceed the initial budget due to miscellaneous outflows.
"Video Surveillance as a Service" helps open-ended expenditure reduction with a small initiation fee and a rather predictable monthly support fee.
The total cost is predictable and has less miscellaneous outflows as the pricings are based on a pay for only what you use term. It is also unlikely to have excessive miscellaneous outflows as support often comes from the vendor's side.
Users will not have to purchase any repair materials or hire an in-house IT support team if they deploy with a cloud-established surveillance system.

The start up cost can be mounting, which includes hardware, software and investment in the workforce team. Usually companies will have to hire an entire IT team for the system to function smoothly.
The subsequent costs will cover; maintenance fee once a year, router/system setting, operating system (OS) backup, OS security patches and remote network access fees accordingly.
Other cost that may incur revolves around; SW upgrades, central management needs, mobile apps, and video backup processing fees. Cyber security and multi-site integration is another area where companies will be spending money on.
While the hardware and software is covered, companies will also have to deploy an IT team and still pay for space, power, repairs and to keep the staffs updated trainings are necessary as well.
Bottom line saving on the initial expenditure.
No on-premise maintenance cost, only monthly subscription fee and that too the price is relatively lower than the conventional solutions because of the economies of scale from the shared cloud infrastructure and support.
Versatility & Technology Enhancement

A conventional DVR, NVR or VMS, will have the videos saved in-house.
The repository availability is inflexible, as you are limited by the initial hardware space that you have decided to embed in your system at the time of your purchase.
If you want to expand the resolution or uphold the duration of your cameras, you will have to purchase extra or replacement hardware and perform the settings accordingly.
Leading edge cloud solutions provides a versatile merger of in-house and cloud storage platforms. You are assured easy access any time anywhere as long as you are connected to the Internet.
You may check with your host, some solutions are such where the camera communicates directly to the cloud and videos cannot be stored in-house.
You may immediately elevate resolution or retention duration, without having to adjust your current hardware. This is because cloud system runs on a huge shared cloud platform. For storage, they provide tremendous economies of scale and versatility.

The system supports a list of analog & IP camera options.
Upon completing the initial camera wiring users must manually connect & perform the settings for new cameras.
As for the cloud system things are done exactly the same except for the convenience of an automatic configuration upon completing the initial camera wiring.
If there are any hiccups in between, there will be an immediate notification sent to alert the user.

On-site video recording storage requires no bandwidth. You will only be utilizing your bandwidth for remote viewing.
For on-site video storage buffering no bandwidth will be used. However, for remote viewing and most data streaming your bandwidth will be occupied proportionately.
Some cloud solutions comes with a leading edge bandwidth management care to dwindle utilization and ensure a smoother remote viewing.

Conventional systems may head to redundancy faster.
They may come with power features, but the underlying key essence is embedded along when you first purchase the product.
Of course there are other means, you can download firmware updates, but it is surely limited and will amount to a burdensome support requirement.
With a cloud-based system an active technology expansion is assured.
Host/Provider continuously updates your system so that you do not have any lapse in between the latest features, functionality, convenience and etc.
Cyber-Safety, Remote Access and Accountability

End user who requires having remote access over their videos usually uses the conventional DVRs, NVRs and VMS. This is normally connected to the Internet by an integrator or installer for remote video access.
Often times to protect these proceedings a firewall needs to be installed and configured accordingly.
Most cloud-based video management systems are not exposed to the common cyber threats of the conventional system.
Concerning the safety consciousness and awareness these days some cloud VMS vendors have taken the extra measure to have teams to monitor and keep an eye towards possible threats like Ghost and Heartbleed.

In the conventional solutions, remote video access feature was not built into the initial system instead it was added upon customer request.
Prone to poor image resolution and interrupted streaming quality.
Extensive encryptions are uncommon leaving loopholes for security breach.
Other issue that may arise is that not all browsers will be able to support this function.
With a cloud-based system an active technology expansion is assured.
Host/Provider continuously updates your system so that you do not have any lapse in between the latest features, functionality, convenience and etc.

Internet-based conventional surveillance system has a high tendency of fluctuating redundancy.
Besides that, redundancy may also occur with the hiring of an IT team to operate solely to maintain the backend affairs.
Cloud data centers in the meantime shares platform and maximize server utilization.
Good cloud system ensures on-premise backup in any case of interruption along with notifications to keep the users informed.

Bandwidth Considerations for IP Surveillance Cameras

Bandwidth is one of the most fundamental, complex and overlooked aspects of video surveillance. Bandwidth occupied by IP Surveillance Cameras is an important consideration before any implementation of an IP surveillance project.

Based on our research and gathering of our dealer experiences, EpiCamera lists down factors that may affect your bandwidth.

Various resolutions are supported by IP Surveillance cameras, from QVGA to HD. The higher the resolution, the higher the bandwidth required to transmit every video stream from the IP Camera to the user monitoring station (computer/ server).
Frame Rate
Various frame rates are supported by IP Surveillance cameras from for example 5 frames per second to 30 frames per second. The higher the frame rate, the higher the bandwidth required.
Compression codec
There are various types of compression schemes applied to the transmitted video like MPEG4, H.264, etc. The better the compression (H.264, for example), the lower the bandwidth required to transmit each video stream.
Compression ratio
A video stream can be compressed to more than 90% of its original size, based on the compression codec and the compression ratio used. The better the compression ratio, the lower the bandwidth required.
Type of Camera
An IP Camera can operate in a fixed mode or a PTZ mode. In the latter, the movement of the camera can be controlled even from a remote location and the bandwidth occupied for this mode is higher.
Type of movement/complexity in the scene
If the movement/complexity in a scene being shot by the IP Camera is less, the bandwidth occupied by the resultant video stream is lesser, whereas over-saturated/ sharpness of the scene will increase the bandwidth occupied.