Main Nav

Hello Friends,
There was a thread recently around IP cctv safety monitoring systems.  As it turns out, our ip video runs over the network, but is owned by Public Safety who outsources this to a security company.  There are a number of cameras that are four years old that frequently stop transmitting and (naturally) the vendor is 'certain' it is the network.  Long story short, I have verified to my satisfaction that the cameras are the problem* and am wondering if anyone has seen something similar.  The cameras are AXIS 216FD Network Camera version 4.40.  Some of our a/v nerd types are not impressed with the Axis brand, so am also wondering what camera others are using and are happy with.  I am basically following up because Public Safety is concerned that an incident might occur when cameras are off-line that would have been recorded if the cams were on line.  

Thanks,
Dennis Bohn
Manager of Network and Systems
Adelphi University
bohn@adelphi.edu
5168773327

*One cannot 'prove' a negative, however we have ruled out the network with the following info: When a camera has stopped communicating, the port shows up/up but port counters increment going out the cameras but do not increment coming in from cameras.  Spanning an affected port and doing packet captures show the servers arping for the cameras with no response.  Cutting power and restoring power reboots camera and it works till it doesn't.  
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Every vendor is going to have some pros and cons but Axis it typically held in decent regard in this market.   That is a pretty old camera at this point and has been discontinued.  The last firmware I see for that device is 4.47.3.  I’d give one a test with the new firmware and move out from there as you see fit.  I imagine the more recent firmware helping with the issue.  Another factor would be to make sure they are on a separate network (which means different things to different folks) to isolate them from anything that shouldn’t need to get to them.   I have seen issues with several brands of cameras that will keel over from various types of even simple scanning/probes.  Ultimately that’s a firmware issue too but those probes from internal or external sources shouldn’t be able to get to those types of devices anyway IMO.

 

In our production environment for video surveillance we are almost exclusively Axis with a variety of models deployed to suit the need of the particular install. We no longer have any 216FD’s deployed though.

 

--

Thanks,

 

Jeppie Sumpter

Director of Communication Technologies

Western Kentucky University

 

Dennis,

 

I have a couple of thoughts. Yes, we have seen the network get blamed for problems with cameras, and that is an understatement. We currently have about 300 cameras. None of them are Axis. We visited another installation recently and they had Axis and were very happy with them. (That’s just another data point FWIW). Our view is that what really matters is how well the cameras meet the needs of the end user, which is Public Safety, and they should be the ultimate judge of the quality of a camera and the reliability.

 

A recent survey by ipvm.com revealed that lack of understanding of networking was one of the biggest if not the biggest frustration with systems integrators who install and support IP cameras. So, you are not alone. I think it helps to keep this in mind because when you have people coming in with barely a CCNA under their belt, questioning staff with decades of combined, deep networking experience, it can get frustrating who are supporting the network. In spite of that, sometimes it is easier just to go through the drill to convince them why it is not the network. This can be as simple as checking switch ports and logs for errors on the switches, as well as putting another reliable camera on the same network connection that was exhibiting the problems and asking them to explain how that could be if the network is bad. Then again, it sounds like you have cameras on your network that are quite reliable so that in and of itself tends to repudiate the network.  We actually went as far as submitting the results of our cabling tests when we installed a new connection just to take that out of the discussion.

 

I should add that we have all of our cameras on their own VLAN, and we do QOS on the switches, especially to make sure traffic on the uplink from the building is prioritized. However, if bandwidth is not an issue, then it is not likely going to make much difference.

 

Pete M.

 

 

 

Dennis, We have had many issues with the Axis cameras specifically the 216 and 225 models and are moving away from them as fast as we can. We found many news groups where others were complaining about the same issue. Upgrading the firmware (Axis' recommendation) does not fix the problem. We have found a 'pseudo-fix' for about 75% of them, by basically having the cameras reboot daily at a scheduled time. The other 25% of the time this didn't fix the issue because they were locking up more frequently than once per day. Those we have replaced. So, we have felt your pain. It is clearly an Axis problem although they don't seem to ever admit it. We have started putting in Arecont Vision cameras and our campus police love them. Arecont has some nice 20 MP 180 and 360 degree cameras (basically four 5MP cameras) able to create one large image with lots of detail. Our campus police have been very successful in recovering stolen assets on campus using the video system (including some of our stolen access points) and their closure rate on cases has gone up. When a new area wants video surveillance, we go out there with the campus police. Our campus police determine where the cameras will be placed and how they will be oriented. We install the cameras per their recommendations and then they will sign off on it when we are completed. We then handle any maintenance issues and they handle any police issues. This has worked very well for us over the last several years. Mark… Mark Strandskov Associate Director – Networks Central Michigan University Office of Information Technology 100 Telecom Drive, 007F Woldt LL Mount Pleasant MI 48859 989.774.6881 From: Dennis Bohn > Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE Network Management Constituent Group Listserv > Date: Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:38 AM To: "NETMAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" > Subject: [NETMAN] Video Surveillance (again) Hello Friends, There was a thread recently around IP cctv safety monitoring systems. As it turns out, our ip video runs over the network, but is owned by Public Safety who outsources this to a security company. There are a number of cameras that are four years old that frequently stop transmitting and (naturally) the vendor is 'certain' it is the network. Long story short, I have verified to my satisfaction that the cameras are the problem* and am wondering if anyone has seen something similar. The cameras are AXIS 216FD Network Camera version 4.40. Some of our a/v nerd types are not impressed with the Axis brand, so am also wondering what camera others are using and are happy with. I am basically following up because Public Safety is concerned that an incident might occur when cameras are off-line that would have been recorded if the cams were on line. Thanks, Dennis Bohn Manager of Network and Systems Adelphi University bohn@adelphi.edu 5168773327 *One cannot 'prove' a negative, however we have ruled out the network with the following info: When a camera has stopped communicating, the port shows up/up but port counters increment going out the cameras but do not increment coming in from cameras. Spanning an affected port and doing packet captures show the servers arping for the cameras with no response. Cutting power and restoring power reboots camera and it works till it doesn't. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
Mark, Would you mind sharing some more details regarding the video management software, storage architecture etc behind your cameras? Pete
Thanks everyone for the info.  Jeff mentioned MAC_addrs and I should have mentioned that the mac address table for an affected port is empty when the problem arises.  Also, the network is entirely segmented: in fact the cameras are unable to communicate with anything that is not on the subnet.
best,
Dennis Bohn
Manager of Network and Systems
Adelphi University
bohn@adelphi.edu
5168773327



********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Close
Close


EDUCAUSE Connect
View dates and locations

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.

Close

EDUCAUSE Institute
Leadership/Management Programs
Explore More

Career Center


Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management

 

 

Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.

 

Close
EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas

 

 

Join These Programs If Your Focus Is

Close

Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.
 

 

Close

2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations


Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.