White Paper

Advanced Components Enable Enhanced Video Surveillance

Both hardware and software are getting smarter, delivering even greater capabilities for manufacturers that deploy them effectively.
  • by Mike Chapple
  • |

Enhanced video surveillance solutions can improve more than just the security of a manufacturing company. By integrating artificial intelligence and advanced analytics with their surveillance systems, factories can boost their safety, efficiency and productivity as well. 

Deploying enhanced video surveillance requires an ecosystem of hardware and software that supports its capabilities. Organizations considering an enhanced video surveillance solution should plan the deployment carefully and consider five major components of the deployment: video cameras, a video management system, storage, networking and video analytics.

Video Cameras

Modern video surveillance cameras offer a wide range of advanced features compared with the cameras of a decade ago. Of course, these cameras still provide a video feed that captures moving images of the monitored environment, and they do so with far higher quality and clarity than their legacy analog counterparts. The image quality provided by relatively inexpensive video cameras meets or exceeds that of HDTVs. 

Today’s cameras go far beyond providing high-quality images, however. Modern video cameras can monitor activity that would be otherwise invisible to a human guard by leveraging night vision capabilities and infrared heat detection. Most cameras also include basic analytic features, such as line-cross detection and people counting, although more sophisticated versions of these features are generally found in the analytic components of enhanced video surveillance systems.

Manufacturers deploying video cameras should consider the available features in light of their organizational needs, operating environment and surveillance use cases. A third-party consultant can help sort out the features and capabilities that best meet the manufacturer’s needs while remaining within financial constraints.


Percentage of organizations that expected their spending on video surveillance to increase

Source: sdmmag.com, “State of the Market: Video Surveillance 2018,” Feb. 1, 2018

Video Management System

If video cameras represent the eyes and ears of an enhanced video surveillance solution, the video management system is the brain, serving as the central point of orchestration, management and analysis for the deployment. The choice of a video management system is perhaps the most crucial decision that an organization makes, as it will determine the functionality of the system for years to come. 

The most important criteria to consider when evaluating management systems is the ability to perform the core features of video surveillance in an efficient, effective and intuitive manner. The system must possess core capabilities, which include:

  • Managing cameras deployed throughout the enterprise (including remote locations, if applicable)
  • Receiving and processing video feeds from those cameras
  • Managing video storage and lifecycle requirements
  • Displaying video for playback
  • Compatibility with specialized video analytics applications
  • Connecting with other systems  for integration with access control or alert and notification systems

While analyzing current features is vitally important, manufacturers should also pay attention to the company’s future software development plans. As a vendor deploys new software features, customers benefit from those enhancements through updates, making an analysis of the vendor’s future development roadmap a crucial component of evaluating management system options.


Storage is, of course, a core requirement for an enhanced video surveillance solution, and manufacturers should carefully consider the storage requirements of these systems when building out video deployments. While the organization may already have an existing storage infrastructure supporting a variety of IT systems, it may not be optimal for use with a surveillance system.

Storage solutions designed specifically for video management can support extremely high volumes of concurrent input and output operations. The video surveillance system will continuously receive live video streams from dozens, hundreds or even thousands of cameras simultaneously and will need to write those feeds to storage at the same time as users are retrieving video for playback, with minimal latency. Some storage vendors are now producing appliances that are specifically designed to support video surveillance use cases.


Video surveillance solutions also place a significant burden on the network, which must carry live video streams back to the management system and support user access to stored video. These operations are bandwidth-intensive, creating requirements that often exceed the designed capacity of manufacturing networks. 

Video solutions may also have specific network functionality requirements that don’t exist in other manufacturing use cases. For example, modern IP-connected video cameras are designed to draw electrical power from the network, using a technology called Power over Ethernet (PoE). Older network switches may not support this technology, potentially requiring an edge upgrade.

Manufacturers deploying enhanced video surveillance should begin by conducting a network assessment designed to evaluate their network’s readiness for the system. They may discover that a network upgrade is a prerequisite for deploying digital video surveillance.

130 million 

Number of video surveillance cameras shipped in 2018

Source: sdmmag.com, “State of the Market: Video Surveillance 2018,” Feb. 1, 2018

Video Analytics

Analytics are where enhanced video surveillance systems shine. They provide the artificial intelligence and machine learning that catapult modern digital surveillance solutions far beyond the capabilities of their analog ancestors. Examples of analytic functionality found in enhanced video surveillance solutions include:

  • Motion detection
  • Object movement detection
  • Line- or boundary-crossing detection
  • Facial recognition
  • Object or person counting
  • Keyword search across multiple cameras
  • Case management
  • Video synopsis
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Business system integration

These analytic capabilities may be found across a variety of components. Some features may be built in to cameras and other sensors deployed on the edge. Many may be core features of the organization’s video management solution, while specialized functionality may require add-on software. For example, BriefCam offers a comprehensive video analytics solution that integrates video from diverse sources and provides advanced analytic capabilities that often exceed the base features of even leading video management solutions, such as those from Milestone Systems.

Organizations planning an enhanced video surveillance deployment should carefully think through their current and future analytics use cases at an early stage of the design process. This analysis should include an assessment of the cameras required to meet each use case as well an identification of the solution components that will perform each analytical task. These requirements may influence the selection and placement of other system components.

To learn more about the makeup of advanced video surveillance solutions, read the CDW white paper “How Enhanced Video Surveillance Boosts Manufacturing.”