XProtect® Smart Client In A 'Smart City'

When the City of Beverly Hills began searching for a way to enhance and expand its video surveillance program, officials turned to Milestone Systems' XProtect IP video platform. Former mayor and technology CEO Jimmy Delshad wanted an IP video surveillance system that would reflect Beverly Hills' progressive 'Smart City' initiative. He saw IP video as a means to help the city achieve its goal of being the smartest, safest and most sustainable city in the country. Beverly Hills has a centralized IT Department headed up by Chief Information Officer David Schirmer and Assistant CIO Mark Hobson. The city has integrated Milestone XProtect with several municipal functions, including Fire, Police, Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments.

"The software has been great because we can manage it centrally and view it remotely," says Hobson. "This has helped all city operations become more efficient."

The Open Platform For Future Scalability        

According to Schirmer, the city's challenge was to incorporate a system that was reliable,flexible and scalable.

"We wanted the best of the class – an all IP-based surveillance system that would support the best cameras on the market with the best image quality," he explained.

Milestone XProtect® Enterprise is currently supporting high-end megapixel cameras from IQinVision, Axis, Toshiba and a series of legacy analog cameras, as well.

Beverly Hills has a population of about 35,000 residents, but on any given day "we host around 300,000 visitors and workers," notes Hobson. This comes as no surprise for the most famous zip code in the country, where reliable surveillance is a must at such famous landmarks as Santa Monica Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. It is also no secret that Beverly Hills is home to several high-profile residents, from celebrities and foreign diplomats to very successful business executives. Along with such notable residents come nationally anticipated events, such as the Golden Globes™ award ceremony, which draws even more visitors to Beverly Hills.

As of June the city had 45 cameras installed, aiming for 100 before the end of 2008. The California Retention Law requires that archived footage be stored for a minimum of 12 months. To aid in archiving and storage – the third phase of the Milestone project – the city is working with Milestone integration partner, Mainline Information Systems.

Hardware Used: A Camera Mix For Best-In-Class

"There have been zero problems with the Milestone XProtect software, so it is easy to earn ongoing support from city council and to secure grants from the Department of Justice (Homeland Security), which aids in the future growth of the system"

IBM video record and archive components:

  • X series servers using dual core Xeon processors
  • Fiber Channel expandable storage using X and N series components
  • Tivoli Tape System Management for long term retention requirements

Cameras (to date):

  • IQinVision 500, 700, and 800 series
  • New IQinVision Sentinel
  • Axis 233D PTZ and 216FD fixed dome

Currently on order:

  • Arecont 360 and 180 dome cameras

Video-Enabling The City

After working with Milestone, the city realised that it could use Milestone XProtect to monitor the progress of building projects and to ensure safety.

"The city is in the process of constructing a vehicle storage building," explains Schirmer, "and we're using Milestone to monitor the progress and to make sure the construction crew is wearing hard hats."

The Fire Department also saw the benefits of the system and requested a camera to be placed on top of one of the Beverly Hills towers, the better to see and manage a situation by remotely accessing the footage.

What's Next?

The City of Beverly Hills will soon embark on the next phase of the installation plan. Currently, officials are working on the back end, archiving features, but they plan to add up to 80 more cameras in the third phase alone. Hobson explains that he is hoping to see more than 250 cameras installed when the project is complete. The city is also planning to integrate the Milestone XProtect Enterprise software into the Beverly Hills school system and businesses throughout the community.

The Department of Homeland Security has recognized the city's critical infrastructure as a part of the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and officials there are interested in using Beverly Hills as a prototype for larger cities, according to Schirmer. The city's ideas of expanding coverage with additional cameras and integrating schools, hotels and businesses with the system are in line with the Milestone standard of leveraging existing systems to provide unsurpassed security every day and for special events, such as the Golden Globes.

The City of Beverly Hills already has existing technology in its police squad cars, and is looking to incorporate the Milestone system, with a goal of having total security running over one network throughout the City.

"Milestone was chosen for its integration, flexibility, pricing structure and ease of use"

The Advantages Of IP Video Open Platform

Beverly Hills wanted a system with adequate out-of-the-box features that offered the latest advances, such as analytics.

"We wanted a reliable system that was flexible enough to integrate other features and have a low overhead in the future," explains Schirmer. "Milestone provided that, and since it integrated so seamlessly to our system, we did not have to hire a new person to implement it."

The most important aspect, he adds, is that "there have been zero problems with the Milestone XProtect software, so it is easy to earn ongoing support from city council and to secure grants from the Department of Justice (Homeland Security), which aids in the future growth of the system."

Milestone XProtect software users also know that in addition to this reliability, the Power-over-Ethernet that an IP solution brings drastically cuts down on labor and costly cabling.

Strong Partners Win Together

With Milestone as a partner, gaining clients comes about naturally. Mainline is a Milestone-certified integration partner that has been able to interact directly with the Beverly Hills technical staff. Timothy Conwell of Mainline Information Systems says Milestone XProtect was selected for the Beverly Hills project following a thorough review by the city and by the Mainline consulting team. The research included industry tradeshows and recommendations from camera product partners that Mainline works with directly.

"Milestone was chosen for its integration, flexibility, pricing structure and ease of use," Conwell says. "We're working with very advanced technology integration strategies, which include enterprise-level archive storage management by IBM, high-speed fixed broadband wireless, and MAN deployment techniques."

Schirmer of Beverly Hills says the partnership has been productive: "Tim Conwell and the Mainline team have been instrumental in understanding the storage and our need to be able to rapidly search for archived footage." Among the chief qualities of the Milestone XProtect system, as it is being used in Beverly Hills, Conwell cited these outstanding features:

  • Flexibility Of Scaling: The system has grown from a "proof of concept" design with a single server and a few cameras, to what will eventually include hundreds of cameras placed over the entire six square-mile area of Beverly Hills. The ability to scale to a multi-server distributed design and bring additional feature functions online over time is extremely helpful. A good example is the implementation of the Matrix service for the Police and Public Works departments. The system also has the ability to mix and match camera technology for the location and environment each camera covers.
  • Pricing Structure: Milestone's pricing is competitive and cost-effective. With the unlimited server and unlimited user access per site license business model, the overall software cost of the system integration is actually lower as the system grows.
  • Ease Of Use: Officials in Beverly Hills have been very pleased with the feature-rich user interface and the ability to quickly learn the system. Mainline implemented a successful "train the trainer" approach with the help of its MIS division throughout the project process.
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Has The Gap Closed Between Security Fiction And Security Reality?
Has The Gap Closed Between Security Fiction And Security Reality?

Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?

The Five Questions Bank Security And IT Leaders Need To Answer About Cybersecurity
The Five Questions Bank Security And IT Leaders Need To Answer About Cybersecurity

Organizations across the world face a new risk paradigm: one that encompasses cyber and physical threats. We’ve heard the stories associated with ATM skimming, identity theft, data breaches, scams, and phishing. Large financial services organizations are often the victim of hackers looking to steal corporate information and transactional data or funds, and criminals continue to become more sophisticated in their approach. Growth In Cyber-Attacks Additionally, cyber-threats have taken a front seat in the line-up of primary risks facing financial institutions today. And it is no surprise why: according to Cybersecurity Ventures, the amount of money taken in cyber heists, both in banking and elsewhere, was estimated at $3 trillion overall for 2015, and this substantial amount is expected to double by 2021. Cyber-attacks are becoming more prevalent, more complex and harder to address The fact that cyber-attacks are becoming more prevalent isn't the only issue; they're also becoming more complex and therefore harder to address. And although the convenient interconnectivity of the Internet of Things (IoT) creates many advantages for financial institutions, with that also comes an increased risk to dangerous threats. In today’s environment, banks, credit unions, and financial organizations of all types are primary targets for hackers. But it’s not just the monetary loss that these businesses need to be concerned about — there is also a threat to the brand, customer trust, and employee safety. All of these challenges and complexities open the door to new conversations and risks. Here are the top five critical questions today’s bank leaders need to be ready to answer. Should We Collaborate To Mitigate These Threats Effectively? Over the last decade, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and a demand for more mobile capabilities has changed the way people and businesses connect. But as the need for connectivity increases, so too does the need for increased security for physical assets, networks, and valuable corporate data. As a result, a dialog between IT and physical security is necessary to help leaders gain a greater knowledge of how to best collaborate to ensure complete protection. Leaders must communicate closely to drive strategies that help identify vulnerabilities in a more proactive manner. The result of these conversations: a truly comprehensive approach to security intelligence. It’s not just the monetary loss that banks need to be concerned about – there is also a threat to customer trust and employee safety How Can I Pinpoint The Important Data For Addressing Cyber Threats? To maintain a high level of security and ensure business continuity around the globe, companies seek solutions that help predict and identify threats in real time. But often, there are too many alerts generated by too many systems, and none of this raw data is actionable. Linking cyber and physical security together transforms alerts into actionable intelligence, which helps users connect the pieces of any situation and present a unified risk scenario to the appropriate analysts and operators. By capturing and analyzing data in real time, enterprise organizations gain a visual representation of risks across the business while accessing information related to the most critical events happening at any given time. Not only does this unified process enable a higher and more proactive level of protection, but it also helps facilitate a plan of action based within a common, unified security operations center. How Can I Inform Of The Importance Of Cybersecurity? Security leaders in banks need to feel prepared by staying updated, looking at common vulnerabilities, understanding the malware and challenges, and testing the environment. And collaboration is key to mitigation: Traditional security and fraud teams must work in conjunction with cyber teams to effectively handle all aspects of a cyber-attack. Additionally, CISOs need to “sell” cybersecurity to CEOs and the board by outlining the importance of protection through emphasising the impact of a potential cyber-attack on the business. Ensure you can verbally address the most critical risks to your senior leadership, including recent botnets, scams, and cyber gangs, to receive the support, and budget you need to address these threats head on. Is My System Secure? It is critical that you are knowledgeable about the steps you can take to protect your security and network infrastructure from cyber-attacks. A firewall is useful to prevent hackers from accessing critical data on internal networks and computers Changing default passwords should be a first step, as some scams target devices with hard-coded factory defaults. Ensure software and firmware is up to date because updates often include fixes for potential vulnerabilities. These updates keep your devices and network more secure and increase overall system uptime. A firewall is useful to prevent hackers and unauthorized programs from accessing the critical business information and resources on internal networks and computers. Also, minimize potential risk by closing network ports and disabling services you don’t need. With all of these instances, it is best to work closely with your integrator partner and chosen vendor to ensure that your system is as secure as it can possibly be. What Solutions Are Best To Help Mitigate Risks? Technology is a great force multiplier. Security — both cyber and physical solutions — helps secure an entire branch footprint, alleviates risk, ensures operational compliance, and improves fraud investigations. Video surveillance systems, analytics, threat management platforms and more can provide organizations with intelligence and unprecedented protection from fraud, all while enhancing the customer experience. Overall, there are significant benefits to collaborating to gain comprehensive risk intelligence. By bringing various leaders, departments, technologies and strategies together, we can more effectively identify threats, develop trends and quickly access important data to ensure security and safety goals are realized.

BCDVideo Signs OEM Deal With Dell EMC: Positive Impact For Surveillance Storage
BCDVideo Signs OEM Deal With Dell EMC: Positive Impact For Surveillance Storage

In a significant move for the video security market, BCDVideo has announced that it is set to become Dell EMC’s OEM partner in the video surveillance space. For nearly a decade, the Chicago-based company has been known as a key OEM partner of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), providing storage and networking technology to security integrators on a global scale. This latest partnership will allow BCDVideo to take their offerings to the next level. BCDVideo Vice President Tom Larson spoke to SecurityInformed.com to discuss the reasoning behind the deal, and how the program will benefit partners, integrators, and end-users alike. Expanding BCDVideo's Product Offering For BCDVideo, the HPE OEM program has been widely acknowledged as a success, allowing the company to leverage a globally recognized brand and provide high-quality, reliable solutions across video networking and access control. Nevertheless, explains Larson, HPE server solutions are primarily suited to large-scale enterprise projects, and are therefore unable to accommodate for the growth in small- and medium-sized surveillance applications. The global collaboration with Dell EMC will allow BCDVideo to open up a broader product offering, building on success in the larger enterprise market to offer tailored solutions to SMEs. Our aim is to look at all best of breed technology to serve the video surveillance marketplace, and that means multiple partnerships” Support For Integrators By leveraging Dell EMC’s sophisticated digital storage platforms, BCDVideo will now be able to offer a more cost-effective solution to integrators, without sacrificing the resilience and IT-level service that BCDVideo is known for. With access to Dell EMC’s expansive global sales and technical teams, the company hopes to expand its reach, all-the-while providing partners with around-the-clock technical support and a five-year on-site warranty. Customers should be reassured that BCDVideo will continue to offer HPE platforms, service, and support. “Our aim is to look at all best-of-breed technology to serve the video surveillance marketplace, and that means multiple partnerships,” says Larson.  “The addition of Dell EMC to our portfolio is a major win for BCDVideo, for Dell EMC, and for our integrators.” The global collaboration with Dell EMC will allow BCDVideo to open up a broader product offering Meeting Surveillance Market Demands At the technology level, assures Larson, Dell EMC’s server offering is well suited to handle the increasing video resolution and growing camera count demanded by the surveillance industry. At the larger end of the spectrum, the company’s Isilon Scale-Out NAS solution can handle tens of petabytes of data, making it ideal for large-scale security applications such as city-wide surveillance and airport security. Dell EMC storage solutions are already proving successful at major international airports including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, each with a camera count in the 1000s.Dell EMC and BCDVideo together are ensuring our customers get the right solutions designed for the surveillance market” For Dell EMC, the new partnership means the ability to expand on this success in the enterprise market, leveraging BCDVideo’s surveillance expertise and high-level customer service to offer tailored solutions for lower-volume applications. Since its inception, BCDVideo has differentiated itself in the security space by providing a high level of IT service to integrators making the transition to IP systems. By combining resources, the partners will be able to service VMS and analytics companies, software vendors, and access control providers, as well as traditional business integrators. Ken Mills, General Manager Dell EMC Surveillance, explains: “Surveillance storage is not just about capacity, it is also about performance and reliability. Dell EMC and BCDVideo together are ensuring our customers get the right solutions designed for the surveillance market.” Accomodating For Growth BCDVideo is well placed to accommodate this anticipated growth. Last year, the company opened a new 51,000-square-foot global headquarters in Illinois, home to 90 separate stations within their Innovation Center where each system is customised according to integrator needs. The new facility allows for expanding business with new and existing partners in the security market.