Video surveillance (CCTV) has been around for a number of years and its presence in our daily lives is ever increasing. Whether for the surveillance of property or people or monitoring traffic on roads, correct operation of cameras is essential. In addition to being powered on and connected to the network, it is necessary that the entire image processing chain is functional. As bad as a broken camera is one that does work, but whose images cannot be recorded due to lack of hard-drive space.
In setting up a CCTV system, the key item to monitor is of course the camera itself: Is it powered on and connected to the network?
Of course, this is not enough to ensure that the complete CCTV ecosystem is operational. IoT does not stop at the end-point, but the whole chain must be monitored.
In the case of CCTV, it is also necessary to monitor:
– The network between the camera and the recording servers,
– The availability of those servers,
– Disk space,
– The recording software processes on those servers,
In some cases, and depending on the hardware, it will be possible using generic SNMP plugins to obtain a certain amount of additional information. In our example, obstruction of the camera, motion detection, the temperature close to the camera, etc…
Monitoring, receiving notifications or viewing a list of incidents are basic operational functions of all monitoring solutions. However, visual presentation is vital to ease communication to the end users (IT managers, users) as well as to the technicians who will intervene on any affected devices.
Illustrative visualisation is therefore highly useful in a monitoring solution; simple lists are no longer sufficient and mapping modules are essential.
In ServiceNav, the MAP module, with its speed and ease of creation, forms one of the core dashboards, and a vehicle to real-time status communication.
After initially configuring ServiceNav to monitor on the availability of car park entrances and exits, we turned our attention to the monitoring of CCTV cameras in an airport terminal:
– Monitoring of the cameras (Is the camera switched on?)
– Monitoring of each file on the disks (are they successfully written to disk?)
– Setting up storage and registration servers (Are my processing processes running well, do I have enough storage space left?)
– Monitoring of all interconnecting network elements.
Once all the elements were monitored within ServiceNav, we were able to create the required User Services and then overlay these onto a MAP module view.
We could rapidly provide users with a simple map of the terminal building, indicating the location and status of all cameras.
IoT is everywhere, it needs to be monitored and the complete chain may be complex.
A mapping module is essential for communicating status clearly both internally and externally. Both technical and functionally, a graphic representation is one of the best ways to aid diagnosis and ensure a rapid response. The benefit of such visuals in a monitoring tool, such as ServiceNav, is therefore clear.