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Innovative CCTV for large Australian Financial Institution

Supplier: SNP Security
11 June, 2009

SNP Security possesses expertise in delivering electronic surveillance systems, when quality and reliability are absolutely essential. A team of expert engineers design, install and maintain professional video surveillance systems in a variety of Corporate and Municipal settings.

One such account is one of the largest financial institutions in Australia, which hired SNP Security to completely overhaul its video surveillance system.  CCTV footage from the top of the building is used to stream live from the company website.

  • The Challenge
  • Needs of the new system
  • The Video Capture Solution
  • Storage Solution  
  • Results

The Challenge

The financial institutions video surveillance system employed dated technology that suffered from a variety of complications. Comprised of analog cameras and PC-based Digital Video Recorders (DVRs ), the system could no longer scale to meet the financial institutions changing needs. The system consisted of a single, 16-channel DVR that processed video input from cameras throughout the site. Since all 16 channels of the DVR were utilized by the existing system, the installation of any additional cameras would require an additional DVR to manage their operations.

Due to the inherent security risks of Windows-based DVRs, financial institutions policy also prohibited the video system from being attached to the network. This caused the system to become not only physically separated from the larger infrastructure, but from the IT consciousness, as well. This caused the video surveillance system to be omitted from routine system and network upgrades, since all planning revolved around the non-PC infrastructure that housed essential customer and business data. With each upgrade, the video surveillance system became increasingly isolated and thus largely neglected.

Needs of the New System

As it designed a new solution to the financial institutions needs, SNP Security first determined the need for an intelligent system with fully programmable cameras.
It was also essential that the cameras and their storage work in a non-PC environment for added reliability and enhanced security of the system, itself. This would enable the entire system to be integrated with the financial institutions existing IT infrastructure, thereby automatically including it in upgrade and routine maintenance plans.

SNP Security consultant Neil Whipp was passionate about employing new technology that would provide for high resolution images today, along with built-in flexibility for future growth to correspond with the financial institutions future needs. “Using newer digital technology, we can get anywhere from 1.3 megapixels to 3.0 megapixels, and it’s only going to get better”, explained Whipp. He was also determined to design a system that would write directly to storage and enable users to view live images from multiple cameras, as well as from the storage device.

The Video Capture Solution

Once the needs were fully assessed, SNP Security selected MOBOTIX IP network cameras as the video source. The MOBOTIX cameras were the ideal solution for the financial institutions needs, offering a fully intelligent system that could be pointed directly at storage. Each camera would provide 1.3 megapixel images, which is 12 times the resolution of the financial institutions existing analog cameras.

To complete the first installation, 33 MOBOTIX cameras were employed to provide 34 distinct images throughout the facility. The cameras were quickly set up and managed using the MxControlCenter, the MOBOTIX video management software that is available free of charge from the company’s Web site.
Each camera manages its own storage and was programmed to utilize the MOBOTIX proprietary MxPEG format to minimize network load. By setting the camera to use an MxPEG stream (codec), significantly lower data rates are required, as compared to MJPEG.

The Storage Solution

Adaptec was selected for the storage solution. Utilizing a Linux-based operating system for reliability and security, the Adaptec Snap Server line of storage systems were completely compatible with the MOBOTIX cameras and could be integrated into the financial institutions existing LAN without problems.

Since the financial institutions storage needs were relatively small, three Adaptec Snap Server 110, 500 GB units were chosen. 11 camera images were pointed at each Snap Server to balance the load and each Snap Server was configured to run independently on the Corporate LAN.


The new surveillance system has been in place for over one year and the results have exceeded the financial institutions expectations.

Hardware that was dramatically out of date in a continually worsening situation by virtue of its orphaned status was replaced with current technology attached directly to the Corporate LAN, thereby including it in all future upgrades and routine maintenance. Windows-based DVRs with stability and security issues have been replaced with Linux-based Snap Servers for maximum reliability and security. Low resolution analog video was replaced with 1.3 megapixel true color video with digital zoom, enabling the administrator to view details of specific images such as facial features.

By all measurements, the MOBOTIX/Snap Server solution implemented by SNP Security has been an overwhelming success. The financial institutions current video surveillance needs are well in hand and any future growth can be easily managed through the intelligence of the MOBOTIX cameras, coupled with the scalability of the Snap Servers. Moreover, the initial SNP Security plan incorporated the potential for growth in the financial institutions surveillance needs. Quite simply, the plan is to add more MOBOTIX cameras and Snap Server 110 units, as necessary, providing unlimited scalability of the solution.

“MOBOTIX and Snap Server provided the perfect solution”, said Whipp. “The cameras are fully intelligent and no third-party software is required to manage the cameras or the storage. By combining MOBOTIX and Adaptec Snap Server in a joint solution, we were able to provide this customer with distributed intelligence combined with distributed storage.”

For more information:
Neil Whipp, National Key Accounts - Electronic Security