Happy Thanksgiving

On this Thanksgiving 2020, we want to share our genuine appreciation to our Customers and Partners.

So, we at netRelevance wish you and yours the blessings of Thanksgiving.

May you stay happy, healthy and safe this holiday and every day.

 

Thanksgiving Cornucopia

 

What is an IP Surveillance System?

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE PROVIDES PROTECTION AND PEACE OF MIND.

A reliable video surveillance system is important for any business. Protecting your assets helps protect your profits. Video surveillance goes by many names, including but not limited to, CCTV, security cameras, network video, video management systems and IP surveillance system.

Video surveillance

Video surveillance goes beyond fixed security cameras. New technology allows your system to perform as miniature computers. Some of the new features include motion sensors, mobile notifications and automatically contacting law enforcement. Managing and storing recordings have become more efficient, allowing business owners easy access to past videos.

Small business owners can now procure powerful video management systems at an affordable price. On average, business systems costs start at $1500. Prices vary depending on the type of system, number of cameras based on building size and other custom features.

Once you’ve made the decision to buy and implement a new video surveillance system for your business, most vendors can accommodate tailoring your system to fit your business needs. For example, if you need to cover multiple buildings or just a couple of cameras, there’s solution fit for you

THE BENEFITS OF NETWORK VIDEO

An IP surveillance system can deter criminals and also assist law enforcement in catching any potential thieves quickly.  It can also keep your employees accountable and help monitor their productivity, thus positively affecting your bottom line and reducing liability.

IP vs. Analog Cameras:
  • The two typical camera types that can be wired into a network video system are internet protocol (IP) and traditional analog cameras. IP cameras tend to be more expensive than analog cameras, but they have many features that analog does not.

Here is a comparison of features of the two camera types.

Remote Monitoring:
  • IP cameras allow users to view live network camera feeds in real-time. This can be viewed from any computer or mobile device with Internet access.
Resolution:
  • IP cameras traditionally shoot footage of 1MP- 5MP (megapixels). This offers clearer image quality when compared to the grainy footage from an analog camera, which offer one-half of a megapixel. IP cameras also offer a larger field of vision than that of an analog camera.
Video Analytics:
  • Video Analytics, only offered in IP cameras, allow mobile notifications and automatic recording when triggered by motion within it’s field of vision.  This helps protect your property outside of business hours against intruders in or around your building.  This system offers the user the ability to configure the system to flag and send notification directly to your mobile device and additionally record the event.  Some systems can also contact local law enforcement with one-touch.
Network Video Recorders:
  • IP cameras are compatible with network video recorders (NVRs). Analog cameras use the older digital video recorders (DVRs). NVRs provide higher quality and allow for ease in system scale up than DVRs.
PoE Switches:
  • IP cameras have the ability to connect over a power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switch.  This sends data from the camera and keeps it powered.  PoE switches are traditionally more secure in the transmission of data.  
    Analog cameras require a switch to run the signal from the camera and a separate power source. This requires more wiring and complex installation.
Costs:
  • Although IP cameras are typically more expensive than their analog counterpart, their wider field of vision allows for fewer cameras required.  Therefore, reducing the overall cost of your full video surveillance system.

Analog vs. Network Video Recorders  

A central video recorder is required in all systems, to transmit and for archival of the footage.
We’ve seen the evolution from VCR to DVRs and now NVRs are the latest step in the evolution of recording technology.  
Software is a key component of any surveillance system. The software provides the tools for recording, monitoring and analyzing video footage. A standard web browser allows for remote viewing, but video management software is required for viewing and managing advanced features.
Basic NVR software provides live viewing, recording, and retrieving of video footage. More advanced NVR software platforms offer simultaneous viewing of multiple cameras, and multiple recording modes (continuous, scheduled, and triggered). Other features may include the ability to handle high frame rates, fast search capabilities, pan-tilt-zoom control, audio support, and remote access. Some software programs also support intelligent surveillance including facial recognition and advanced motion detection.
Here is the comparison between NVRs and DVRs.
Resolution:
  • While DVR’s offer D1 resolution, NVRs can record in 1080p or high definition.
  • D1 resolution is the traditional video quality commonly used in closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems with standard resolution of 720 x 480 pixels.
  • 1080p is a significant improvement as it’s resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels, therefore, resulting in a clearer image.
Camera Connections
  • Analog cameras require connection directly to the DVR.  To scale up your system by adding more cameras, could require not only additional cables, but an entirely new DVR to accommodate additional cabling.  Proximity to the recorder can also be an issue as video quality begins to degrade the further the camera is from the recorder.
  • The NVR directly connects to a network, so many of these issues are eliminated.  IP cameras which are connected to the same network are able to transmit footage to the NVR directly. Scaling up your NVR system is easy, the system can accept a new camera once it’s added to the network.  There is no need to upgrade the NVR, but you may need to add an additional PoE switch.
Hybrid Video Recorders (HVR)
  • HVR are video surveillance systems that run both IP and analog cameras. The versatility of these systems is desirable. If you’re upgrading an old system and don’t want to do away with all of your old analog cameras, for example, an HVR can help you make the transition and prepare for a fully IP system in the future. 

What to Look for When Choosing a Video Surveillance System

Your Cameras

Resolution:

  • This is probably the most important consideration in choosing your system.  You will want a camera that can shoot at least 720p high definition, which would mean you’ll want an IP camera. Although higher in price, you don’t want to be budget conscience when choosing your cameras. 

Frame rate: 

  • The higher the frame rate, the smoother the video. The lower the frame rate, the choppier the footage. “Real time” is usually 30 frames per second (fps).

Models:

There are several types of security cameras on the market.  Careful consideration should be taken based on your security requirements.

  • Bullet cameras are the rectangular or round boxes that are commonly seen mounted on a wall.
  • Dome cameras are usually attached to a ceiling and housed in a tinted cover.
  • Built-in Infrared (IR) gives you clear images in low light or darkness.
  • Thermal imaging cameras detects people, vehicles and objects regardless of light conditions or attempts at camouflage.
  • Vandal resistant cameras guard against tampering or destruction.

Indoor/outdoor:

  • Some security cameras are made specifically for the indoors so if you plan to use cameras outside, make sure you purchase weatherproof models. Water or dirt could interfere with the quality of your video feeds or, worse, break your camera. Some security cameras are minimally resistant to weather, while others are completely weatherproof. Be sure to determine what level of protection from natural conditions your security camera needs

Audio:

  • Audio recording is an option depending on the camera and the manufacturer. 
    Some cameras can record audio and store it. Some even enable two-way audio, so a person watching the camera can communicate with a subject in the camera’s field of vision. 
Video Recorder

Storage capacity:

When choosing a video recorder, the first question you must ask yourself is how much storage you will need. 

  • This will depend on a couple of factors including, the number of cameras in your system, resolution, the amount of archived footage you need to store and how long you require to keep it.
  • Many cameras shooting in high resolution will require a large amount of storage space. You have the capability to overwrite the oldest footage, but you want to make sure you’re running a large enough system so as not to overwrite archived footage that you still need.
  • If you find yourself in the position of requiring the planning of or scaling up your existing system, call your netRelevance professional for assistance.

Cloud storage:

  • Recorded video can be stored in the cloud as well as on your video recorder.  The advantage of cloud storage includes higher storage capability as well as remote access to your recordings. Uploads to the cloud can be scheduled outside of business hours to avoid eating up all your bandwidth and slowing down your network.
  • Keep in mind that many cloud services charge a subscription fee.  Although there is a possibility of additional costs, in the case that your hardware is damaged, stolen or tampered with, you’ll maintain access to your video archives in the cloud.  Always ensure that the company has proper cybersecurity measures in place to protect your data.

We are proud to partner with Axis and Milestone Systems for video surveillance systems, contact a netRelevance professional for assistance in design, pricing and installation.

“A reliable IP surveillance system is important for any business. Protecting your assets helps protect your profits.”

 

What is access control?

Access Control Basics

Access control systems are a type of physical security which allow you to restrict or allow access to a building or a specific area within a building. Usually, they are installed to protect businesses and property from vandalism, theft, and trespassing. For example, they are especially useful in facilities that require higher security and protection. Therefore, physical barriers, like retaining walls, fences, etc. can be effective, but access control allow you to control how and when a person can gain entry.

Basics of access control

The main components of an access control system include

Access point:
  • The entrance point which can include security gates, turnstiles and door locks. A building can have a single access point, or multiple including meeting rooms, offices or any room that houses valuable or confidential items.
Credentials:  
  • Credentials can include fobs and key card entry systems, encrypted badges, mobile credentials, PIN codes and passwords. 
Readers and/or keypads:
  • At the access point, readers send the credential data to a control panel to authenticate the credential and request access. If using a keypad or biometric reader (such a fingerprint scan, facial ID, or retina scan), users will enter their PIN or complete a scan prior to obtaining access.
Control panel:
  • The control panel receives data from the reader and verifies the validity of the credential. If approved, the control panel transmits to the access point via the access control server, and the door will unlock. If the data is not approved, the user will be denied entry.
Access control server:
  • The server retains user data, access privileges, and audit logs. The server might be on-premises or managed in the cloud. The threat from hacking and security breaches requires that system maintenance and software updates be performed regularly.

Basic vs. intelligent access control  

Basic access control might do the job of restricting access to a building or an office space, but that might not always be enough protection in today’s world.  A locked door can keep unwanted people out of your space, but how do you make sure that only the correct people have access to your credential data?  This concern is where intelligent access control comes in.

Basic systems use keycards, fobs or mobile credentials to restrict entrance. Intelligent systems take it one step further in requiring ID authorization, entry schedules and entry requirements to limit access.  For example, you can require 2 elements to gain entry, something physical and some intelligence.  The physical could be a keycard or fob and intelligence could be PIN code, password or facial recognition.

Intelligent systems will use multi-factor verification by combining a physical barrier with user authorization.  The use of mobile credentials can incorporate an extra level of protection to your intelligent access control.  Smartphones most usually require a password, touch ID or facial recognition.  

What to look for in access control systems

Advancements in security technology, now affords many enhanced features and options in access control systems. Budgetary concerns should be factored in when choosing the type of credentials you’d like to use. Keycards are the most budget friendly choice, up front. However, the back end costs of keycards might end up costing you more over time. Keycards are frequently lost and require replacing which also poses a security threat, if the keycard ends up in the wrong hands. To increase the level of protection, you can purchase encrypted keycards or use two-factor authentication.

The best value and security would be in mobile credential.  It gives your users the ease of using their mobile devices to enter and exit the building and the probability of them losing their device, sharing it with co-workers or leaving it at home is greatly reduced.

You should always add the consideration of maintenance and system management when planning an access control system. Many legacy systems use readers and on-site servers which require in-person management and maintenance.  Older readers and slower system updates are prone to tampering.  The need to access or update your system remotely, has become increasingly important.  If this is the case for your business, a cloud-based platform should be considered.

What is access control that runs on the cloud?

With cloud-based access control, your access control hardware (readers, hubs and control boards) communicates with software via the cloud for a more flexible, scalable security solution.
Benefits include:

  • Remotely control your hardware including unlocks and lockdowns.
  • Instantly creating and revoking credentials for users.
  • Real-time notifications for access events and potential threats.
  • Maintenance and troubleshooting without needing to be on-premises.
  • Automatic system updates from the cloud. Keeping your security measures up-to date.
  • Real-time audit trails for all access activity, which can be accessed from any authorized device.
  • Integrate your access control system with other building security software, for example, video surveillance, communication tools, and space management solutions.

We are proud to partner with Isonas and 2N for access control systems, contact a netRelevance professional for assistance in design, pricing and installation.

“The need to access or update your system remotely, has become increasingly important.  If this is the case for your business, a cloud-based platform should be considered.”

 

Connect PVM’s during COVID-19

It’s both digital signage and an active theft deterrent seamlessly integrated into a single device.
Traditionally, Public View Monitors
(PVM) reside in high-value, high-visibility locations with a focus on security. Now you can re-purpose that space by adding digital signage, without comprising the theft deterrent already in place. Clinton electronics Connect PVM’s and Axis cameras can work together with digital messaging. This can work as a reminder of mask mandates and proper social distancing.

Connect PVM Digital signage

It’s essential for retailers to keep their customers informed on topics like health, safety, store policies and checkout procedures.
Connect PVM during COVID-19 have the unique opportunity to make a difference by displaying relevant in-store messaging in real-time. Therefore, this information can help educate the general public and enhance customer experience.

All Connect PVMs feature a built-in HD camera that can be displayed in real-time, creating a sense of safety & security. This visual deterrent can be shown full screen, embedded in an ad, or hidden from the public. Specific events, such as motion or face detection, can trigger customizable responses for enhanced security awareness.
 Built-in Axis1080P HD IP Camera.
 Camera is always on, regardless of the content shown on the screen.

  • Face Detection.
  • Person Detection.
  • Motion Detection.

From design to installation or upgrading your existing system, netRelevance is your nationwide source for Digital Signage, PVM’s with built in HD camera and remote content update capability via a cloud-based management tool.

Digital Signage has the unique opportunity to make a difference by displaying relevant in-store messaging in real-time. This information can help educate the general public and enhance customer experience.  

 

Network Speakers

DOES MY BUSINESS NEED NETWORK AUDIO?
WHAT IS NETWORK AUDIO?

Network audio (aka Audio over IP, or AoIP) simply defined is transmitting digital audio over a network. It is a combination of software, hardware and network protocols. Delivering uncompressed, multi-channel and low-latency digital audio over a standard Ethernet network.

It answers the need for different kinds of informative messages and updates. Used in places like schools, retail stores, hotels and other public buildings. For example, you can make live announcements calling someone to a specific area, make scheduled announcements or issue live announcements during an emergency. A network audio system is the perfect addition to a video based security installation. Perimeter protection is a great example of this.

Smart Network Audio

WHY DOES MY BUSINESS NEED A NETWORK AUDIO SYSTEM?

Whether you are looking to take your security safeguards to the next level or create ambiance in your office. An Axis Communications Network Audio System could be what you’re looking for.

Axis Network Audio Systems bring many benefits including:

Improved security
With event-triggered announcements and direct callouts.
Imagine if a potential intruder climbs a fence. The camera alerts a security guard to give a warning to the intruder using the audio system. “We can see you, you’re trespassing!”. Therefore, this type of warning is often sufficient, preventing the need for additional security measures.

Network Audio and Secuirty

Make live or scheduled announcements
Different zones, at the right time and right place.

Create ambiance
Flexible scheduling of great-sounding background music delivered via Axis speakers. Set at the right volume and at the time and place of your choice. In addition, you can also use our audio systems to deliver live or pre-recorded voice announcements whenever appropriate.

All in One
Get a single, cost-effective integrated system for background music and announcements with everything you need built right in.

Scalable
Both easy and cost-effective to update and add units to your solution as your needs change, regardless of whether you want to increase the size, add sites or simply take advantage of new features.

Central Control
Take control of the entire system, including network speakers, audio bridges and microphones, from a single point via a single, intuitive interface.

Easy to Install
You need only a single standard network cable for connectivity, power and communication and connecting to your existing infrastructure. Therefore, there is no need for tuning.

Easy to Integrate
Use integrated audio player and built-in or plug-in apps for music streaming, event driven or scheduled announcements, audio detection, health monitoring, and so on.
The Axis audio portfolio includes a selection of IP based speakers that can use existing IT infrastructure and can be powered by power over ethernet (POE). Axis can also supply IP to analogue convertors enabling existing passive solutions to be migrated and connected to an IP world.

 

Contact anetRelevance professional for assistance in design, pricing and installation of your Network Audio System.

“Whether you are looking to take your security safeguards to the next level or create ambiance in your office. An Axis Communications Network Audio System could be what you’re looking for.”

 

Keep Private Meetings Private

Keep Private Meetings Private

Introducing the Qt Conference Room Edition, a speech protection system designed for conference and board rooms.

The Qt Conference Room Edition is a cost-effective solution designed to Keep Private Meetings Private.

Next Generation Sound Masking?

Patented direct-field sound masking technology adds a low-level background sound outside of the conference room. The background sound is optimized to mask human speech which makes it less intelligible to unwanted listeners.

Why do I need it?

In today’s modern office the lack of speech privacy is a real concern. Acoustics and sound privacy are often overlooked during construction. The Qt Conference Room Edition allows businesses to achieve proper speech privacy – without sacrificing conference room design.

PRODUCT FEATURES

  • Meeting occupants can easily turn the system on and off with the push of a button
  • Control module and privacy signs provide clear indication that the system is activated
  • Premium, minimalist design style seamlessly fits in with other conference room AV equipment
  • Easy to integrate with in-room Crestron/AMX control systems
  • Smooth sound masking ramp up and ramp down to limit disruptions
  • Can be turned on and off for meetings or left running at all times
  • Energy efficient and consumes less than 7 watts of power
  • Straightforward, low-impact installation
  • Out-of-the-box support for conference rooms with up to 40 ft (12 m) of exposed wall
  • Option to add additional emitters for larger areas

 

For design, purchase and installation contact a netRelevance professional to help you Keep Private Meetings Private.

 

“In today’s modern office the lack of speech privacy is a real concern. Acoustics and sound privacy are often overlooked during construction. The Qt Conference Room Edition allows businesses to achieve proper speech privacy – without sacrificing conference room design.”

Moves Adds and Changes

Moves Adds Changes

MAC is just an industry acronym for:  Moves, adds and changes.  MACs are probably the most common service requests required by businesses. From adding a new workstation to relocating a server room, and everything in between, these tasks are regularly performed to keep equipment up-to-date and aligned with your growing business.

Congratulations, your business is growing! Sometimes moving and adding staff around an office can be costly and disruptive, which affects the bottom line! We facilitate quick and efficient deployment to keep your workflow moving.

Although MAC work is typically small, it is very important.

These changes can include:

  • Small configuration changes
  • Add, move or remove workstations, kiosks or digital displays
  • Moving or adding wireless access points
  • Changing routers and switches
  • Add or expand network cabinets
  • Entire system relocations, moving to a new location

 

Our full range of services are conducted from the Entrance Facility to the Work Station and everything in between.
Contact a netRelevance professional to help you with your moves, adds and changes.

 

“MACs are probably the most common service requests required by businesses.”

LAN Refresh

Technology moves fast. As a result, businesses can greatly benefit from a major LAN refresh in an effort to keep up with technology, or they will quickly fall behind.

A Local Area Network (LAN) Refresh can be as simple as replacing older/slower network hardware at a single location or as complex as a full network implementation over hundreds of locations simultaneously. Regardless of the size of the project, the end goal is to enable quicker data retrieval, increase network speed and data security.

Contact a netRelevance professional to help you develop a solution for your network refresh.

 

Read more here

Before LAN Refresh

After LAN Refresh

“A properly executed network refresh will simplify and improve the management and maintenance of your network and prepare your organization for future growth.”

TYPES OF STRUCTURED CABLING

structered cabling

The phrase “Structured cabling” may mislead you to believe that it is only made up of cables in your network, but that is not the case. A structured cabling system can run throughout a building, between locations or across an entire campus. Thereby, connecting telecommunications cabinets, hardware and more.

Now that you have determined that a Structured cabling system is the best solution for your IT plan, what is next?

Based on your Infrastructure Site Survey, you will now need to determine the best type of structured cabling for your project.

BACKBONE CABLING

Backbone cabling, sometimes called vertical cabling, is the between floors and/or intra-building cable connections. This includes cabling between entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications closets. These cables develop a “skeleton” for the network. The size of your project will determine the need for backbone cabling.

Backbone cabling can be done with many different kinds of cables. Fiber optic cabling is the most appropriate choice because of the higher bandwidth when compared to Cat5, Cat6, or Cat8 cables.

Fiber optic cabling is able to carry more data than copper cable (Cat5, Cat6 or Cat7), making it well suited to link telecommunication rooms. A fiber-optic backbone has greater flexibility as fiber cabling can support up to 1,000 meters of gigabit Ethernet, and 5,000 meters of single-mode. For example, larger enterprises often use fiber optic cabling since Cat6 cable is limited to a maximum installation length of 295 ft.

HORIZONTAL CABLING

Horizontal cabling is usually installed in a star network that connects each work area to the telecommunications cabinet. The cables are typically run in the ceiling or beneath the floor. Generally, Cat6 or Cat7 cables are recommended for new installations because it best supports both voice and high-speed data transmissions.

In special circumstances, fiber optic cable may be required. For example, due to their electrical nature, copper cables can be affected by temperature fluctuations, humidity and electromagnetic interference. All of which can disrupt signals, slow down connection speeds and reduce network reliability. On the other hand, fiber optic cables do not conduct electricity and thus transmit clearer, more reliable signals without the risk of EMI.

As two important parts of structured cabling, both backbone and horizontal cabling play an important role and may have different specifications due to cabling environment. A netRelevance low voltage cabling professional can help you determine the best solution for your network needs.

 

 

“Structured cabling” may mislead you to believe that it is only made up of cables in your network, but that is not the case.

WHAT IS STRUCTURED CABLING?

Structured cabling is an organized, standardized approach to a building’s telecommunications and data cabling infrastructure.  For instance, a well designed and installed structured cabling system will deliver reliable performance as well as accommodating moves, additions and changes (MAC).

WHY USE STRUCTURED CABLING?

Unlike traditional point-to-point cabling, a structured cabling system avoids the jungle of wiring and can carry increasing data at high rates. 

Here are some of the benefits:

STANDARDS

Structured cabling standards allow for consistent design, installation and uniform documentation. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and TIA/EIA regulate a set of standards that provide guidelines for cabling professionals. Therefore, ensuring this is achieved in data center design, management and operation.

COST EFFECTIVE

Due to the organization of a structured cabling system, you can reduce power and maintenance costs. In addition, it eliminates the excessive costs of locating and rectifying network issues.

REDUCTION IN DOWNTIME

The potential for human error is drastically reduced. These mistakes can cause flow disruptions and network downtime. In a structured cabling system, there is organization and easy identification that helps reduce the risk of downtime.

EASE IN MOVES, ADDS & CHANGES

Structured cabling is flexible and can accommodate moves, adds and changes quickly. This is achieved by cross connects in the main distribution area (MDA) versus running long patch cords from equipment racks.

TIME SAVINGS

Cable and port tracing becomes a much easier job. This logical, organized approach makes changes easier, thus saving you time.

AESTHETICS

A structured cabling system will look much cleaner than a point-to-point method. For example, changes are done in the MDA versus at the hardware. This allows the cabling in front of the switch to remain aesthetically pleasing.

WHAT DOES STRUCTURED CABLING LOOK LIKE?

In one word, structured cabling systems reflect “organization”. It takes an organized approach to cabling infrastructure.

Medium Key Components to Form a Structured Cabling System

Six Subsystems of a Structured Cabling System

 

1. Entrance Facilities

Entrance facilities contain the cables, network demarcation point(s), connecting hardware, protection devices and other equipment that connect to the access provider or private network cabling. It includes connections between outside plant and inside building cabling.

2. Equipment Room

The environmentally controlled and centralized space for telecommunications equipment is usually more complex than a telecommunications room or telecommunications cabinet. It usually houses the main cross-connect panels and may also contain the intermediate cross-connects, horizontal cross-connects, or both.

3. Backbone Cabling

The backbone cabling provides interconnection between telecommunications rooms, equipment rooms, access provider spaces and entrance facilities.

4.  Telecommunications Enclosure and Telecommunications Cabinets

These locations house the terminations of horizontal and backbone cables to connecting hardware including any jumpers or patch cords. It may also contain different portions of the backbone cabling system. The locations also provide a controlled environment to house telecommunications equipment, connecting hardware and splice closures serving a portion of the building.

horizontal structuerd cabling system

5. Horizontal Cabling

The horizontal cabling system extends from the work area’s outlet to the telecommunications room or telecommunications cabinet. It includes horizontal cable, jumpers and patch cords. The maximum horizontal cable length is 90 m (295 ft.).

6. Work Area

Work area components extend from the outlet /connector end of the horizontal cabling system to the work area equipment. It is recommended that a minimum of two outlets are provided for each work area.

 

In Conclusion

Whether your project is new construction or updating your existing network.  An infrastructure site survey can assist you in planning your structured cabling design.
Contact a netRelevance low-voltage cabling professional to help you develop a solution for all your networking needs.

 

“Unlike traditional point-to-point cabling, a structured cabling system avoids the jungle of wiring and can carry increasing data at high rates.”