Blog/ Focus: Security

Why the time is right to move your security platform to the cloud

By Kevin Wilhelm / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
March 7, 2019

From cameras to cellphones to toaster ovens, today most devices come equipped out of the box with cloud capabilities. Yet unified security platforms have largely remained stuck in the past with racks full of servers requiring constant patching, upgrades and electricity to remain functional.

Although there have been a variety of solutions in the past that utilized the cloud to manage and support security platforms, most were lacking in real world functionality for enterprise-level customers. With current improvements in technology, infrastructure, and feature enhancements, the time to move your security platform to a fully hosted solution has arrived.

A major limitation of any cloud platform is the ability of data to reach and then be extracted from a host. Long gone are the days of expensive, inefficient T1 modem connections as Internet speed and affordability have increased dramatically in recent years. From 2016 to 2017 the average Internet speed increased 22 percent with an average of 107.28Mbps Down and 37.11Mbps Up (1) — and this is merely the average, with large corporate environments having much larger and, in some cases, dedicated bandwidth allotments from carriers.  

This increase in high-speed Internet bandwidth also will positively impact smartphones, with 5G expected to roll out over the next five years resulting in speeds of 450Mbps by the middle of the 2020s (2). This increase in wireless capability will only augment the expectation for instantaneous access to security platform data. Moving to the cloud will take advantage of these bandwidth increases and also will enable responsiveness the expanded mobile user base.

While Internet speed and reliability have increased, so too have the resolutions of most security cameras. Traditionally, the increased resolution has resulted in drastically increased bandwidth and storage requirements making the transition to a hosted solution more expensive. Camera manufacturers have recognized the challenges related to high data requirements and have rolled out advanced smart codec solutions.

Smart codec technology optimizes recording to focus exclusively on the portion of a scene that has motion and would subsequently encompass a subject of interest. This optimization can result in a 50 percent reduction of data use versus a camera of identical resolution not utilizing this technology (3). Additionally, there has been the increased adaptation of compression standards Pairing the two technologies together can lead to an overall data decrease of 75 percent versus cameras that are even a few years old. The less bandwidth required by the cameras the less needed for carriers and for cloud platform storage.

This combined with a more mature infrastructure and simpler budgeting has finally made the promise of cloud hosted solutions a reality. By partnering with an experienced integrator, healthcare facilities concurrently upgrade their security platform and prepare for future expansion and enhancements – all the while ensuring patient and staff safety - and helping to enable HIPAA compliance.

Solutions Architect Kevin Wilhelm is a SIGNET Electronics, Inc. systems integration engineer who specializes in security and life safety system design.



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