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Network World - This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter’s approach.
Power-over-Ethernet networks inject power to the LAN cable to power attached devices, which turns out to be handy for IP-based surveillance systems. The same LAN cable that carries the IP video traffic can power an IP camera up to 330 ft. away.
PoE switches fall into three basic categories: unmanaged, smart and managed.
When designing an IP Surveillance network, it makes smart sense to step up from an unmanaged PoE switch to a Smart PoE switch. For just a small increase in cost, network administrators can gain significant added capabilities, tools and benefits for their surveillance networks.
Smart PoE switches, for example, feature an easy-to-use, browser-based user interface and straightforward communication. An administrator simply browses to the IP address of the switch, and then uses the intuitive GUI as a simple vehicle for configuring and monitoring important elements and features in the network.
With Smart switches, an administrator can remotely turn off/on the PoE power to each camera via the graphical user interface. This comes in especially handy when a camera needs to be rebooted. This action can be manually controlled at anytime from anywhere on the network, or over the Internet. The administrator need not be at the camera’s location, nor be in the same room as the PoE switch, which avoids truck rolls, saves time and money.
Some Smart PoE switches also support Time-Based PoE—an option that allows administrators to set a time window that determines when each camera is powered off and on. This can be useful for networks that need to be shut down during certain times of the day, or for automatically scheduling IP camera reboots on a periodic basis with no manual intervention.
Network administrators often need to know the power consumption for each switch port and the overall PoE power budget utilization. Capturing this data simply isn’t possible with an unmanaged switch. A Smart PoE switch, however, can provide the following power consumption statistics in real time:
As the network grows and additional cameras are added, a PoE switch will be asked to supply more power. A Smart PoE switch allows an administrator to manage these increased power demands in a much more controlled manner, through user-defined port-priority assignments and policies.