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IP based security cameras

April 11, 2018

I have been supporting this system for a few years, but on occasion, feel like capturing a few points around it.  We have 4 locations in our organization that have security cameras.  They all live in a VLAN, a type of secure network.  Most of the time the system is stable, but from time to time, cameras drop off line in the system.  When this happens, I get to act as the system analysis and help coordinate the resolution of the problems.

I liked this note from my customer the other day, it explained in simple terms a key component of understanding how to look at issues like this.

Dave,

We have three cameras off line. One at each of the locations (Williamson,Newark,Flint). I went to Flint today and verified camera was working. It can be either vlan or cable. Not sure where closet is in the OLD  CES building. Once you find where it terminates in closet you will be able to find out what port camera is on and check vlan as well. Newark, I have a handle on. I will be heading to Williamson first in the a.m. to look at that camera and will update you and James on that one

Thanks

Jake

Frontrunner Networks

Main point

When a camera is off line or down, the problem is either

a – the camera

b – the network port where the camera is plugged into

c – the network is not speaking to the port.

When I get a report of a camera down, I will log into the Configuration tool and try to bring it back on line.  Usually I cannot, the resolution required either a reclying of the camera (unplug) or a unplugging of the cable in the port (this is done by our network engineers, not me).

What I can do

Succinctly state the problem and ensure it gets to the right people.

1 – whats the problem

2 – whats the solution

3 – who needs to know

One concrete thing I can do is reboot the server where the cameras archive their footage.  Yesterday, all the cameras were down for our warehouse – All the cameras down is indicative of a problem with the archiving server, not the camera or the port or the network.  Sure enough, when I remoted into the archiver (server) and issued a reboot command, it came back on line and all the cameras were back up.

James,

I just left you a voice message regarding the warehouse cameras being down. 

Would you please look into the warehouse cameras for us?

Thanks,

Bob

 

Bob,  I recycled the server and checked via the desktop client and the Warehouse cameras are back on line.

James

 

You are correct, sir.

Thank you for a speedy reply… and enjoy your day!

Bob

Moral of the story?

Be a good investigator of the problem.  Understand it first, all of it.  Try to resolve the problem yourself, if you cannot, succinctly describe the issue to the people who need to know and help get it resolved.

 

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