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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

BSIA IP guide review

18 September, 2007
We take a look at the BSIA's PDF guide to IP technology in the security industry.
Yesterday, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) released its latest guide to the security industry in the form of "A user guide to the use of internet protocol (IP) in the security industry".

The guide is free to download from the BSIA web site and takes the form of a relatively small PDF file with 10 pages of simple text and neat Visio schematics which is understandable to its intended audience of end users in the security industry. Its hard to avoid using jargon in such a document but the guide handles this well and provides a glossary at the end in case you lose your way between your LANs and your WLANs or your WANs and your VPNs.

The guide provides an introduction to using IP technology for security systems which everyone except the most hardened luddite will have to face sooner or later because its hard to think of any convincing argument not to make the step at some point in the near future.

In this respect, I think the guide could have given more credit to the knowledge of the user community and provided a more in-depth insight into the advantages of migrating to an IP based system as well as the problems associated with it.
Costs were shown as an advantage with the only quoted figures being for public domain network access costs which are completely insignificant compared to the infrastructure costs for example and, apart from the cabling, there was no mention made of the increased storage capacity requirements on the network which IP video demands.

Similarly, in terms of advantages, there was no mention of industry trends or the demands of emerging analytic or biometric technologies that require integrated IP technologies in order to be viable. In short, in order to stay ahead of the game and have a scalable architecture that enables future technologies to be built in as required, an IP architecture is essential.

However, as an introduction to the topic for end users who are asking the question of what IP is all about, the guide fulfils its purpose.
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