How to Use - Promise Technology, Inc.

How to Use - Promise Technology, Inc.
Surveillance Design Tool
User Guide
Version 1.0
© 2015 PROMISE Technology, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Navigating the User interface
Information needed
Using the Project Design Tool
Camera Settings 5
Recording Settings
Advanced Settings
Calculate 10
Recommended Topology
Description of Full Report (PDF download)
Surveillance Project Design Tool
User Guide
The PROMISE Surveillance Project Design Tool helps to simplify planning a video surveillance network. The
project design tool is useful for project planners, administrators, contractors, or anyone charged with the task of
creation and deployment of a surveillance network. The focus of the design tool is on the storage subsystems and
the recording server hardware required for storing and managing video data, and processing live video streams
using the most popular video management software platforms used in large scale surveillance.
To use the project design tool, simply enter some basic information such as the number of cameras to be used
and the length of time video data is required to be archived, then a recommendation for a topology is created.
To view the PROMISE Surveillance Project Design Tool online, go to this link:
The home menu should look like this:
Surveillance Solution Surveillance Design Tool home menu
Surveillance Project Design Tool
Promise Technology
Navigating the User interface
The Surveillance Project Design Tool is easy to navigate and use. All the menus needed to produce the
recommendation are located in the front page of the user interface. See below for a quick introduction.
Click here for a brief
overview of the steps to
complete the topology
Log In / Sign Up
Use your personal PROMISE account,
or set one up.
Expand / Collapse
settings menu
Click here to view
an explanation of
the various settings in the menu
Click to view the
recommended topology once all the
settings have been
Please sign in with your personal PROMISE account in order to fully
utilize all the features of the design tool. If you have not set up an
account, please do so by clicking on the Sign Up link in the upper
right corner of the menu.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
User Guide
Information needed
Some basic information about the surveillance network is needed to produce a recommended topology. Ideally
you will have specific Camera Settings (encoding, resolution, video quality, frame rate, bit rate) and Recording
Setting (how much recording is stored and how long the data is retained). Then you will use this information
to produce a suggested topology. The Camera Settings and Recording Setting can be customized for different
groups of cameras, or camera sets.
Don’t be concerned if you have not determined all the settings mentioned above. One of the purposes of the
tool is to allow comparisons to be made using different combinations of camera settings and camera sets, in order
to better understand where some cost savings might be realized. By grouping cameras according to need and
tweeking settings for each group accordingly, the required storage recording server hardware can be minimized.
For example, some areas might not require 24-hour high resolution recording. So you can create a camera set
for this area using camera settings that will be less taxing on recording and storage hardware such as lower
resolution, lower frame rate, fewer hours per day, etc. The point is to let you determine the right quantity and
combination of hardware needed to get the job done, without piling on unnecessary costs.
Other features include a choice of VMS platforms and High Availability Settings. The most commonly used
VMS platforms are included in the project deign tool. Differences in how live video streams and data recording
are managed on the available VMS can also impact the quantity and combination of hardware that appears in
the recommended topology.
Please see the relevant sections that follow for a more detailed explanation of the settings. It is a good idea
to check the user documentation of the Video Management Software you plan to use to see if there are any
recommended settings or if there are any limitations as far as what settings are supported.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
Promise Technology
Using the Project Design Tool
To begin using the Surveillance Project Design Tool, expand the uppermost menu, Camera Settings, enter
the information for each camera set as completely as you can, then proceed to the next menu down, Advanced
Settings, choose the VMS to use, and, if applicable, enable the High Density option. Next, use the PROMISE
Solutions menu to choose to allow the Design Tool to automatically choose a package of PROMISE Vess line
RAID storage and NVR storage appliance hardware, or to specify the PROMISE hardware models you prefer to
include in the final recommendation. Finally, click on the Calculate button to produce the recommended topology.
Follow the instructions for the input menus in the sections that follow below.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
User Guide
Camera Settings
The amount of storage needed and topology is effected by the camera settings. Different encoding, higher
resolution and video quality settings can significantly increase the recording server count and storage capacity
required. Use this menu to create camera groups and assign the same settings to the entire group. You create
up to ten camera sets per topology. To add a new camera set, click on the camera icon with the plus (+) sign, a
new row of settings appears below.
Camera Settings menu (default settings)
Click icon to add
new camera set
See the table below for descriptions of the first part of the menu inputs How many camera groups do you have?
For part 2, What’s your Recording Setting? see the next section.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
Promise Technology
Camera Settings part 1
Setting Description
Encoding Select the type of video encoding. Supported encoding include H.264, Motion JPG
(MJPEG) and MPEG4. These are the most common formats used in surveillance
applications and are supported by most VMS. It is recommended to choose the codec
supported, recommended or suggested in the VMS you will use.
Resolution There are hundreds of different resolutions supported by different cameras. The design
tool provides a list of commonly used resolutions. If the specific resolution you want is not
listed, choose one that is closest .
Video Quality PROMISE Surveillance Design Tool provides three levels of video quality, High, Medium
and Low (also called Fine, Normal and Low in vendor documentation). Video quality of
the camera is determined by compression ratio. Select the quality of video. Higher quality
indicated better picture quality and bigger data size.
Frame Rate This is also known as Frame Per Second (FPS). It is an important setting for surveillance
video input. Most surveillance cameras support frame rates between 1 and 30 frames per
second. The amount of data storage needed increases with the increase in FPS value.
The higher frame rate might be used for example, where automobile traffic in motion
is recorded. If the frame rate is too low, some needed detail might be missed if the car
moves rapidly through the camera view. For other circumstances, where object are not
moving fast, a lower frame rate works just fine.
Bitrate All video settings listed above combine to generate a video data stream. A common
measure for the video data stream is the bitrate. The bitrate or bandwidth of any given
camera can vary and depends on circumstances of what is recorded and details of how it
is recorded. The PROMISE Surveillance Design Tool provides an approximate suggested
bitrate for the given video setting. Some VMS allow the user to set the bitrate to preserve
bandwidth. If you plan on setting this in the VMS, use the same value you will use in the
VMS. Also, see user documentation from the camera manufacturers for information on
how to accurately estimate bitrate.
Camera Settings menu example
Surveillance Project Design Tool
User Guide
Recording Settings
The second part of the Camera Settings menu is used to determine how much the cameras are going to be
used. Enter settings to the best of your estimation, then proceed to the next menu, Advanced Settings. See the
table below for descriptions of the settings.
Recording Setting menu (default settings)
Camera Settings part 2 (Recording Setting)
Setting Description
Hours to Record This is the number of hours recording per day on averaged across all cameras. This
is a major feature of VMS used to manage and control recording for the cameras. If
cameras or camera groups will be operating on different schedules, determine the
average number of hours to record and enter that value.
Default value of this setting is 24 hours.
Days to Record This is the number of days the user wants to keep recorded data, before the video
is overwritten by new recording. This setting is a major factor in determining overall
storage space requirement.
Default value of this setting is 30 days.
Recording Rate Recording Rate is a feature based on motion detection capabilities provided by many
advance cameras and in VMS.
Moving objects trigger recording, and no recording happens if the motion detector
is not triggered. The amount of recording varies tremendously depending on the
circumstances of the environment.
Default value of this setting is 100%.
Remote Live view For surveillance installations live streams are available for viewing in real time, and
playback of the recorded videos occurs as required.
The number of live views and playbacks vary between installations; i.e., a casino might
want to view each camera all the time, while drive way cameras might not require
constant human watch.
This is the most difficult value of the record settings to accurately determine, but try to
guess as close as possible. Default value of this setting is 20%.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
Promise Technology
Advanced Settings
The Advanced Settings menu is used to determine what VMS you are going to use, and to enable the High
Availability option according to your preference.
Advanced Settings (default)
Choose the VMS platform you will use from the pull-down menu. The available VMS options are:
Milestone XProtect Corporate
Axxonsoft AxxonNext
SeeTec Cayuga Infinity X
Surveillance Project Design Tool
User Guide
Enable High Availability option
To implement High Availability for a surveillance network means building redundancy and robustness into the
plan. For storage and recording servers, this typically involves duplication of the RAID controllers on the storage
and a backup recording server acting in a failover capacity. You also have the option of using failover for the
management server for some of the VMS options.
You must be logged in to enable the High Availability option. To enable, click on the toggle switch icon so it
displays the ON position. To disable, click the icon to display the OFF position.
See blow for menu example and settings descriptions.
High Availability options
Setting Description
Management Server Failover Some VMS include the option to embed the management server in the
Vess NVR Storage Appliance. For these VMS offerings, you can choose
to include failover for the management server.
NVR Storage Appliance Failover This is a VMS supported feature. In the event that any of the recording
server in an array of recording servers fail, the standby server takes over
the operation.
RAID Storage Subsystem Mode This is used to determine the operation mode of dual-controller storage
Vess R2000 and Vtrak Ex30 are dual controller storage subsystems. Both
of the controllers can be used as Active-Active or as Active-Standby.
Default value is Active-Standby mode, for it is a failsafe mode.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
Promise Technology
Sample Topology - Setup #1
Based on user and default inputs,
the Surveillance Design Tool calculates
overall requirement. That includes
total storage requirement, total
bandwidth requirement, power
budget requirements, total rack space
requirement, etc.
The summery and recommendations
are listed in a new display,
Recommended Topology.
Summary of topology components
Click on Setup buttons to view
different solution setups.
PROMISE Solution Setup Overview
Click here to create and download a PDF
version of this same Recommended Topology
Note: Suggested topology is strictly a best practice guideline, not the
only solution.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
User Guide
Recommended Topology
There are 3 sections in this topics, Summary, How to Deploy the and the PROMISE Solutions recommended.
Sample Topology - Setup #2
This is the summary of the recommended components and topology.
Installation components include, camera input, live view and playback clients, management setup and recording
and archiving infrastructure.
Solution Setup Overview
Solution setup describes detailed interconnection of suggested topology.
Recommended Products
List of recommended PROMISE solution products.
Download Full Report
Click the button to download full report of PROMISE Surveillance Planner calculations and recommendations.
The report includes the same information listed in the web page summary, plus an Input Summary at the top of
the report. See the description below.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
Promise Technology
Definitions of terms in the Summary
The Summary of the Recommended Topology at the top of the web page, or on page 2 of the downloaded PDF
report, summarizes the layers of the topology recommendations. Definitions of key terms used in the overview
are listed below.
VMS Servers
Video Management Software or VMS platforms are highly differentiated and have different requirements for NVR
and storage systems. Different VMS platforms can be hosted in one or many servers and provide a narrow range
of function or perform many roles simultaneously.
If the VMS Server block appears in the summary block diagram, this means the VMS can support a large scale
surveillance project. Otherwise the VMS is for small surveillance system.
NVR Server
The Network Video Recording (NVR) Server is responsible for managing recording and playback of video
data streams on a network. Some VMS platforms allow an NVR server to transmit a Live-View stream to client
systems. Each NVR server has a limit on the number of cameras it can support. PROMISE Vess A Series NVR
appliances include an embedded NVR server capable of fulfilling this key role.
Storage Subsystem
A Storage Subsystem is used to provide addition storage capacity when the native storage of the NVR appliance
is not adequate to meet the storage requirement of a deployment. A Storage Subsystem utilizes RAID storage for
redundancy, operates on either a Fibre Channel or iSCSI interface with the NVR appliance, and can be scaled
up for additional capacity using attached JBOD systems.
Input Cameras
Cameras are obviously an extremely important element in a surveillance system. There is tremendous variation
in the capabilities, features and quality of different cameras. The abilities of each camera need to be taken into
account when determining where and when different camera types are operated. For example, some cameras
are better suited to low light environments, while other cameras are better for areas of high activity, or can cover
larger areas.
VMS Clients
VMS platforms typically support a client tool used for system management, watching a live video stream and for
playback of stored video. VMS Client software often run on multiple operating systems such as Windows, iOS
and Android.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
User Guide
Definitions of terms in the Setup Overview
The PROMISE Solution Setup Overview displays details of each NVR appliance and RAID storage subsystem
deployment. Definitions of key terms used in the overview are listed below.
Video Settings
These are the video stream configuration settings for individual cameras. Camera settings mainly affect the
amount of video data storage capacity needed. Cameras with the same configuration settings are categorized
together in the same set.
Camera Group
A Camera Group is used to assign individual cameras into groups that are associated with a particular NVR
deployment. For example: Camera Group 1 belongs to NVR 1, Camera Group 2 to NVR 2, and so on. A Camera
Group can be made up of cameras with different Video Settings.
A deployment consists of one NVR appliance, or one NVR failover cluster of two appliances for the HA option.
Each deployment represents storage for the video stream of a single Camera Group. Each deployment can
consist of one or more NVR appliance, with additional storage capacity depending on the requirement. Additional
storage capacity will be one RAID storage subsystem, and JBOD units if needed.
A Setup describes the number or NVR appliances and storage devices needed for a deployment. Two or more
deployments can have identical Setups, that is, each deployment is made up of the same number and type of
devices. When identical Setups are created in the PROMISE Solution Setup Overview they are displayed as a
single Setup, and listing the number of deployments using the same Setup.
Video Stream Source
This is a list of all cameras assigned to an NVR appliance or NVR cluster for video stream data storage.
Cameras are listed by the number individual cameras that share the same video stream configuration settings.
For example, “7 from Config1” means there are seven cameras with “Config1” Video Settings.
If the word “Dual” appears in the top-right corner, this indicates that the users has selected the HA Option for the
RAID Storage Subsystem.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
Promise Technology
Description of Full Report (PDF download)
The PDF file or files you can download contains the same information as that presented in the web page, except
it includes an additional section at the top, Input Summary, and another section at the end with tables describing
Camera Recording Distribution. The Input Summary let’s you see the user inputs at a glance, including VMS &
HA settings, Recording settings, PROMISE Storage Products and camera settings.
Input Summary sample in downloaded ‘Full Report’ file
Surveillance Project Design Tool
User Guide
Use the Camera Assignment tables to quickly evaluate bandwidth and storage costs and see
each Video Stream Source and its associated NVR appliance.
Camera Recording Distribution tables sample in downloaded ‘Full Report’ file
The deployment ID should be the same as the Camera Group ID, i.e. Camera Group 1
belongs to NVR 1, Camera Group 2 to NVR 2, and so on.
Deployments using an identical device count and device type (NVR, RAID Storage,
JBOD are the same) should have the same Setup ID.
Surveillance Project Design Tool
Promise Technology
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a representative about PROMISE Surveillance Solutions or
other products and services, go to for contact details.
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