Cisco Virtualizes Video Surveillance on UCS

The move to bring its video surveillance solutions to the UCS converged data center platform is the first step in a larger physical security strategy.

Cisco Systems is virtualizing its Video Surveillance software, integrating it into the networking vendor€™s Unified Computing System to offer businesses a more scalable and flexible offering.

The move, announced March 21, comes several months after Cisco officials in September 2011 laid out the company€™s strategy around physical security technology. The larger initiative includes a focus on large-scale deployments, leveraging Cisco€™s strengths in networking, data center infrastructure, video, collaboration and physical security products with offerings from third-party vendors.

According to Cisco officials, virtualizing the Video Surveillance Manager software on the UCS is the first significant step in creating solutions that meet the vendor€™s large-scale deployment ambitions.

"Virtualizing video surveillance offers organizations reduced infrastructure costs, faster disaster recovery and deployment, reduced staffing needs and cooling costs, and improved application performance,€ Guido Jouret, general manager of Cisco€™s Enterprise Video Group, said in a statement. €œOur solutions-led building block strategy focuses on virtualizing all Cisco software applications with Cisco Unified Data Center applications to support optimal end-to-end video quality."

The aim is to offer enterprises contemplating large-scale video surveillance deployments the kind of scalability and capacity they need while offering lower costs and easier management, according to Cisco.

The UCS is a key part of the solution. The UCS is a converged data center solution that offers a tighly integrated bundle that includes servers, networking and management software from Cisco with storage products from EMC and NetApp and virtualization technology from VMware. Cisco released the first UCS three years ago, and quickly has grown the number of customers to more than 11,000. The solution€™s success also has made the networking vendor a strong player in the worldwide x86-based blade server market.

Cisco made significant enhancements to the solution earlier this month, with the rollout of USC 3.0.

According to Cisco, UCS€™ modular platform offers 1,000 percent better scalability than dedicated server offerings, which means that enterprises and government agencies can scale to tens of thousands of surveillance cameras. UCS Express also offers video surveillance as a service, which can be deployed as a virtual solution on blade servers for equipment that already exists in many branch offices.

Cisco also is offering fast deployment for large-scale programs in such areas as municipalities, campuses, heath care and energy through its Video Surveillance Manager software, which offers centralized management, situational awareness and a real-time response feature.