How to improve the maintenance operations of your VMS

The security challenge of managing large facilities

Managing security systems with hundreds if not thousands of cameras can be difficult. One of the most challenging tasks is to make sure that your system is up and running and performing as it should. Who has not heard of stories of people trying to review footage of an incident, only to find out that the exact camera that was supposed to capture the suspect turned out to be broken? Not only do malfunctioning cameras expose your organization to greater security risks, but they can also lead to claims not being covered by your insurance due to negligence.

Never-ending maintenance costs

Ensuring all cameras are working properly can result in significant investments due to short maintenance intervals. A maintenance tour to check and fix cameras can be very costly. Many users even hire additional labor to manually check video streams on a regular basis. But even if the cost of manual labor can be covered, the delay to discover a broken or misplaced camera can easily be more than a week.

Several tools exist…

To support maintenance crews

To avoid dealing with manual camera checks, you can use the System Availability Monitor to get an overview of all your security systems’ health. It informs you of offline devices and other incidents that might prevent the system from running optimally. In Security Center 5.8, health information of local deployments can be displayed in easy-to-grasp dashboards to quickly see if you need to take action.

To automate maintenance tasks

Security Center 5.8 also includes the KiwiVision™ Camera Integrity Monitor module that continuously monitors all cameras in your system. It detects if cameras have been covered, turned or otherwise tampered with. It can also detect cameras with video footage quality issues. The number of tampered cameras can also be displayed in dashboards, or as events in a monitoring interface, which can be the starting point of maintenance operations. The event can then trigger an alarm or activate a threat level depending on the situation.

Identifying camera tampering with the Genetec Camera Integrity Monitor

Depending on how much hardware is provided to the feature and how many cameras need to be checked, the check intervals can vary from every couple of minutes, every hour or longer. This way, the software adapts to whatever hardware resources are available. If checks do not need to be near real-time, you can add the feature to a system with very limited extra hardware overhead.

Implement global monitoring across all sites

The ability to supervise distributed systems from a single location is key to effectively secure multi-site installations. The Camera Integrity Monitor can be added to the Federation level, enabling you to monitor your existing remote cameras with a Security Center 5.8 system. Every camera check only requires a few seconds of video to be streamed, limiting the required bandwidth to the federated system. Whether you have just a few cameras or tens of thousands of cameras, you can count on a system that lets you scale.

Learn more about our Camera Integrity Monitor in this brochure.

About the Author

Laurent Villeneuve

Laurent Villeneuve, Product Marketing Manager, Genetec Inc.

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