Selecting Right Ethernet Switches for Your IP Surveillance Applications that makes Sense
IP surveillance networks are an integral part of security and increasing number of projects are using them. These networks also demand compatible hardware such as Ethernet switches. Owing to increasing number of IP surveillance networks, today, it is easy to find switches in different configurations. This makes selection a bit difficult. So, when making a purchase decision several factors must be taken into consideration. What they are? Read the post to know the answers.
Tips to Choose the Right Ethernet Switch for Your IP Surveillance Application
Making a buying decision on Ethernet switch is not easy as there are several performance factors involved. The following pointers will not only help you make the right buying decision but also protect the equipment as well as optimize the performance of the network.
Many Ethernet network applications demand advanced PoE power capabilities. For instance, pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) type of IP surveillance cameras demand more power due to an internal engine connected to it. However, the total power delivered by a PoE switch will depend on the underlying classification standard. These are best PoE switches to setup with NVR
The following are a few popular standards:
802.3af Standard: The PoE switches designed to this standard can supply 15.4W to devices connected to it. However, only 12.95W is supplied to the camera given to the power loss in the cables. This power is ideal for most IP cameras from industry-leading brands.
802.3at Standard: Known as PoE+ standard, the switches designed to these standards can theoretically supply 30W power to cameras connected to it. However, only 25.5W is delivered to the devices connected to it.
The Ethernet switches are available in a variety of ports including 4, 8, 16, 24, and 48 ports, or more. The choice of port numbers would depend on your application’s power requirements as well as the number of cameras to be connected to it.
Full Wire Speed and Non-blocking:
This is the capacity of the switch to transmit full signal without delay. A non-blocking Ethernet switch will have all ports running at full wire speed, which ensures consistent delivery without delays. For instance, in a 16 port Gigabit switch, which is designed to deliver 2 GBPs in its full duplex mode, the ports would transfer 32 Gbps in total. However, if 32 Gbps data is delivered efficiently then the switch performance is defined as full wire-speed and non-blocking. Many times, in a surveillance network, the full wire speed switch may be connected to a switch, which has different capabilities. This incompatibility gives rise to performance issues. It is important to confirm on full wire speed and non-blocking properties if the switch is connected to SAN or NAS for video storage and to the server for processing videos. As people may monitor the videos regularly, any delay or data loss may lead to critical security issues. Hence, it is always recommended to check the data sheet provided with the switch to know its non-blocking and full wire speed capabilities.
Managed and Unmanaged Switch:
Most Ethernet switches designed for IP surveillance network are distinguished as managed and unmanaged network switches. The following pointers on these types would help simplify your Ethernet switch selection.
These switches are plug and play types, and only recommended for applications wherein the camera is in a safe and accessible location. They come with pre-set modules and are not flexible. These unmanaged switches are appropriate for residential applications.
The managed switches of this type can be easily controlled and monitored, and they assure excellent accessibility in areas, which are otherwise difficult to reach. This is a brilliant choice for most commercial and industrial applications where the cameras are distantly located, such as public buildings, outdoors, and mission critical applications.
Of these two types, unmanaged switches are cheaper than managed ones due to their simplicity. However, that is not enough, you need to check your application requirements. Although unmanaged switches may require fewer investments than managed ones, they demand regular maintenance, which must be performed by skilled engineers. Thus, it is important to ensure that performance meets the cost criteria.
Scalability and Adaptability:
As mentioned in the above-discussed pointers, performance is indeed an important factor for the Ethernet switch selection. However, that doesn’t mean the switch must be operated to its full capacity. It is important to adjust the performance keeping traffic outbursts or future expansions in mind. Load monitoring, network device management, and traffic monitoring are certain adjustments which optimize the value of Ethernet switches in IP surveillance applications.
In addition to the above-discussed factors, the performance of the network depends on the quality of hardware used. Thus, it is important that you source the hardware from trusted manufacturers like VERSITRON
. The company provides a wide range of industrial switches
in PoE and PoE+ capabilities and different configurations to meet your application requirements. The experts would work with you to understand your requirements and before offering the solution.
R.W. Tull is the President of Versitron Inc. He works closely with clients to review layout diagrams and drawings in order to ensure that the best fiber optic solution is achieved for a particular project.