The just announced Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 is a security solution designed for healthcare, public sector and retail customers, and it is certified to run in Cisco's virtualized Unified Computing Systems environments.

Cisco is also introducing a new line of medianet-enabled, high-definition IP video surveillance cameras and remote management services. All of these are designed to help IT and security teams partner to implement what Cisco calls very large scale video deployments.

"Similar to the evolution of telephony, physical security is today becoming an IP-based solution to optimize scalability and reduce complexity and costs," said Guido Jouret, general manager and CTO of Emerging Technologies Group at Cisco. He said the new video surveillance manager is redesigned from the ground up with "Cisco DNA."

IT Managing Physical Security

Cisco points to data that shows more than 50 percent of all video surveillance deployments will be managed by IT on the IP network in order to support the deluge of bandwidth-heavy video data by 2013.

Cisco said these new technologies will add economies of scale to enable video-based innovations -- and that will drive applications of video beyond security. Some examples include remote patient observation solutions for healthcare, dramatically reducing shrinkage in retail and warehousing, and allowing urban video protection initiatives as well as increasing the efficiency in providing enhanced citizen services.

Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 and new versions of Cisco's related end-to-end Connected Physical Security Solutions, including Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration Solution 4.5.2, Cisco Physical Security Operations Manager 6.0 and Cisco Physical Access Manager 1.4.1 are now available for deployment with Unified Computing Systems.

One More Piece of the Network

When most enterprises think of Cisco, they think of networking. But video surveillance is part and parcel of Cisco's vision of the network. Cisco's fundamental premise is that the network becomes the foundation for IT innovation wherever it occurs in the enterprise Relevant Products/Services.

"Physical security and video surveillance have been a unique part of Cisco's overall video strategy," said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research. "When people think about video they tend to think about real-time collaborative video. But Cisco has a broad definition of what video is and what it can do. Video surveillance is one of those things."

Historically, video surveillance has been an island unto itself. Cisco is working to change that via partnerships with facilities infrastructure providers. The idea is to make buildings smarter. Bringing physical security into the confines of IT, for example, makes it possible to trigger a camera to begin recording when the elevator opens rather than recording air time for hours.

"You can make much smarter decisions when you connect everything together," Kerravala told us. "Cisco's vision has always been a connected world. In the past, it's been in IT but now we are starting to see more traditional facility components connected.

"When you live in a world in which everything is connected, not just IT elements, you are looking at a smarter, more efficient world."