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The day our door(s) went down

November 4, 2015

The doors are entities on a network running on Genetec software.   They have a special provision in the software – they are able to unlock the doors, 4 of them between 3 buildings.  People monitor and let people into the building from.  You could call this, building entrance way security software (Genetec).  The doors along with about 25 cameras on the main campus are all part of the network via IP based architecture (I really should learn more about network architecture, like switches, ports, servers, ips domains in a Windows environment.  Anyway, I digress.

One of the door monitors reported the problem on a Monday morning (when else, right?).  The issue reported to our Helpdesk, who then have a inquiry / action diagram that i put together to help them know how to direct/filter the issue.


This is a priority 1 level issue, according to our Helpdesk staffers…even though the doors can still be monitored and opened via the old technology.  But, I digress again.

I logged into the thick Genetec client program to look at the doors entities to see what the issue was.  I was able to quickly find some useful information to share with the vendor, Frontrunner.  The Access Manager was down.  This is a service, I think, running on a server at another location.  Not sure why the service for the doors at main campus are on a server at a remote location, but, I digress yet again.

I was able to coordinate with someone at the remote location as the technician from the vendor had not been to this location.   They meet up there and reset a service probably is all.  Derrick said to me that it was likely a Windows update that restarted the server, which caused on of the services to not come back on line.   Stupid Windows.  We discussed ensuring that Windows updates are not automatically pushed onto the server.  We would prefer a more managed pull solution, where we could get the update and monitor it to ensure that all our necessary services on the server restart.

I am requesting remote access to this server too.  I have access to a server here at the main location, but not to the one at remote location.  I want access so I can restart services or the server itself, if necessary.  If a problem occurs in the system (usually something, a camera or door, has gone offline) – these are good steps that I could perform in the interest of not having to have the vendor come on site to do something, like restart a service.  I call this low hanging fruit.  Let me try it, see if we can resolve it, then contact the vendor.

Genetec software information.

Finally, another co-worker vested on the network side of things said to me “Can we have the server at williamson moved into a better closet?”.  When the server was initially set up, our network engineer was not there and so the server ended up in the wrong closet – wrong in terms of no climate control.  It was moved and everything is up and running.

It is two things I am asking the vendor for

1 – remote access to both servers

2 – with permission to restart services and the server


From → camera security

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