Video management systems (VMS) will always be necessary for mission-critical organizations because they are the foundational application that security systems are built upon. Therefore, VMS architecture should promote interoperability, scalability and reliability.
Historically, one of the biggest challenges in video surveillance deployments has been ensuring the ability to scale a system as the need arises. While security as a service (SaaS) and cloud offerings have allowed stakeholders to do this more efficiently, what often get overlooked are the command and control aspects, such as integration with access control and intrusion detection, that cannot be migrated because of proprietary architecture.
And that is only one of the problems. Delivering a command-and-control platform that produces solid video is another. The only way to get the footage required has long been to buy everything from one manufacturer. But this locks the user in and inhibits their ability to prepare for the future.
What is needed is a solution designed to fit a modern enterprise’s needs, one that is built on current IT policies and that enables end users to scale on top of a containerized architecture.
What Is Containerization?
As those with IT backgrounds may know, containerization is essentially the virtualization of an application or operating system. The solution enables an end user to deploy resources as needed across the enterprise without making significant configuration changes on the backend.
Containers eliminate much of the friction typically associated with moving applications from testing through to production, but applications packaged as containers can also run anywhere. All the dependencies associated with any application are included within the containerized application. This makes a containerized application highly portable across virtual machines or bare metal servers running in a local data center or on a public cloud.
To break it down for the uninitiated, containerization is like going to a department store and buying a large dining room set that comes in a small flat box. But rather than having to combine numerous parts to complete the assembly, the work has already been done for you. In effect, the furniture in that box is already configured and ready for you to sit down and start eating.
Containerization provides an application-specific container where the environment is controlled. The container is already configured when an application is built, instead of being installed on a traditional server. Everything needed from an application standpoint is in that container, and it is packed up and compressed. To deploy the container, one pushes it forward and expands it. When the container expands, it installs everything it needs – all the application and database dependencies, along with the application needs within the expanded container.
Future-Proofing the Video Environment
Command and control solutions depend on emerging technologies. To provide security for a large footprint, end users must anticipate that new technologies will be introduced regularly. Today, many solutions do not allow the use of third-party add-ons or technology.
The containerized approach, though, provides end users with the technology they need – not the technology they are being talked into because it fits within the standard technology or brand footprint. This means they can access a foundational video product that works seamlessly with other technologies. A global deployment allows users to log on anywhere and have complete access – based on permissions – as well as the ability to manage the solution. It is a way to scale across one single, global cluster.
Deploying a containerized solution also dramatically cuts down on not only hardware resources, but also travel expenditures, by dramatically reducing the engineering required to manage the system remotely during all phases – deployment, production, patching and upgrades.
While security stands to benefit from the development of this technology, it is a significant change of mindset to move away from traditional VMS solutions. But end users should look ahead and consider how their current technology investments will support their efforts down the road. The future is right around the corner, and now is the time to build a solid video foundation.