Security Systems News

February 2011

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SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS FEBRUARY 2011 SPECIAL REPORT 25 IP standards paving way to a future of freedom T By Daniel Gelinas he need for and drive toward a standard- ized future is something one sees in everyday life. When I watch a DVD, I want to know it’s going to play, regardless of who manufactured the storage medium and who made the player I’ve chosen to buy. The preceding is an example of standardization in action that is so taken for granted it’s almost invisible. But such was not always the case. Industry executives have been saying for a while that adoption of IP standards would drive growth—something everyone wants. Standards ensure manufac- turers meet certain levels of quality, direct manufacturers to meet defi- nite guidelines for interoperability, provide assurance to integrators that they will get the widest range of choices and the best price, while end users get the greatest quality. Experts who spoke to Security Systems News say the security industry has always been fractured, but that’s all ready to change. “It all started with Dave Bunzel, who Danny Petkevich brought together some industry folks at TechSec a few years ago ... The first thing everyone wanted to tackle was IP video. About six months later Sony, Bosch and AXIS came forward and said they were going to do something similar,” said PSIA vice chairman Danny Petkevich, who is VP of engineering at Next Level Security Systems. “Today, it’s not just cameras. How do I stream all this metadata from analytics? You’ve got a couple hundred analytics providers and no standard way to do that. Then you’ve got access control, and recording and management software. When you start looking at the whole system, you start to say, ‘Wow, this is ripe for change. This is ripe for standards.’” Forming shortly after PSIA, in November of 2008, the Open Network Video Information Forum (ONVIF)—comprising nearly 250 Who are the three main standards bodies working toward a more standardized world for IP? What have they accomplished in the last few years? What are they working on and what do they see coming? The Players The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance was founded in 2008 at TechSec Solutions, the IP technology-focused secu- rity industry trade show owned by United Publications, publisher of Security Systems News and Security Director News. Today the PSIA has around 90 members comprising physical security manufacturers and systems integrators focused on promoting interoper- ability of IP-enabled security devices across all segments of the security industry, includ- ing storage, video surveillance, analytics and access control. members—also had its primary focus on IP video standards, though the group says it has broadened its scope since then. “We started with video transmitting devic- es—cameras—that was the first rush,” said ONVIF chairman Jonas Andersson. “Then in the past year we’ve been focus- ing on video management software.” Andersson said there are now more than 300 conformant products—net- work cameras, encoders, network video recorders and video management software—identified with an ONVIF logo. The Security Industry Association—a broader, total-industry-focused associa- tion that focuses on education and government relations, among other areas—has been around a lot longer than its strictly standards-focused brethren. SIA manager of standards Joe Gittens said it’s hard to say exactly how many partici- pants may be working toward a standard at that surrounds you. any given time. “SIA is an ANSI-accredited standards organization and because of that, there’s no membership in SIA required to participate in SIA standards development. We encourage end users, government end users, manufacturers as well as specifiers and security consultants to participate,” Gittens said. “The model of the other organizations is that they have a solid number of members they can cite. We don’t.” What have they done for you lately? Each player agreed standards develop- ment was moving along quickly, driven by a strong desire among integrators for interoperability of disparate systems. In little more than two years the market has seen numerous conformant products, lists of which can be found at each of the players’ web sites. What is each of the three bodies working on currently? “RACM—or recording and access man- agement—is out now. We’re doing a com- pliance tool that we hope to have out in early 2011,” Petkevich said. “The access control specification is in a draft form … and we’re shooting for the end of the year. We’re looking to have that demonstration at ISC West 2011.” ONVIF also has been busy. “We started with access control this spring and we expect to have a standard out in the beginning of next spring,” Andersson said. “It would be natural to go next into intrusion alarms.” Andersson noted, as well, that ONVIF conformance was beginning to appear in RFPs. “In several regions, it’s starting to be specified, and I think that’s because they see more and more products that are ONVIF conformant,” Andersson said. Gittens said SIA has been hard at work, although adoption of SIA standards has been slower than that seen with the other two bod- ies, since they’re aiming for ANSI level vetting. “It’s been a little bit of a slower process because we’re designed to be completely open Jonas Andersson  180° (AV8185DN) or 360° (AV8365DN) Panoramic Versions  Four 2MP Sensors for 6400 x 1200 Total Resolution  Dual Compression H.264 and MJPEG  Day/Night Functionality  IP66 Surface/In-ceiling Mount Enclosure  Wall, Pendant, Corner and Pole Mount Options  Heater/Blower Options 1-818-937-0700 • MADE IN THE USA to make an American National Standard,” Gittens said. “Right now we’re working on mainly access control. We’re hoping to get something out soon for public review.” ONVIF/PSIA/SIA interoperability? In April 2010, IMS Research followed up on an analysis of ONVIF and PSIA from July 2009. IMS found that while both organizations had made large strides in the past year, ONVIF held the lead. “When considering the total video surveillance market, the member companies of ONVIF represent 61.1 percent of the market com- pared with the 31.5 percent of the PSIA member companies.” So with three different organizations work- ing toward IP standards, and stats like that, is there bad blood? Or is there an opportunity to work together? All parties agreed that it would be the end user, through real-world demand for standards conformance, who would ultimately dictate how the different organizations functioned—either together or separately. “I think there’s always an opportunity for cooperation … It doesn’t need to be a war,’ Petkevich said. “But really, I see multiple standards bodies as beneficial because we keep each other honest … it’s very healthy.” Andersson agreed. “We meet each other and talk with each other and at some point we could cooperate,” Andersson said, noting that competition had pushed all players to work harder and develop standards more quickly. “PSIA and ONVIF both started in 2008, and I think that having the both of us working at the same time has kept us both focused.” “Some in the industry try to make this all about us versus them. It’s easy to do that, and it does get the blood boiling, but I think that’s the wrong thing to be doing,” Petkevich con- tinued. “I think what we need to be doing is asking ourselves how do we get open standards because that’s what’s going to be best for the user community.” Gittens felt SIA could fill a different role for which the more general association is perhaps uniquely qualified. “It’s a possibility that the three bodies could work together,” Gittens said. “A lot of our members are both PSIA and ONVIF members and our ANSI designation might be something these organizations are inter- ested in taking advantage of with us harmo- nizing. SIA could maybe become a United Nations of standards development.” All agree a greater drive for standards will lead to more products differentiating on price and features and a future integrator free to choose what is best and what made most sense in individual situations. “Why are things moving so quickly?” Petkevich asked. “For so many years you basically had all these walled gardens ... When you have standards you can pick best of breed and that is extremely liberating.” SSN

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