Which is best: Shared or a separate network?

These days it’s more than a bandwidth issue when deciding which approach to take
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Another way to address the issues related to bandwidth is to put security on its own network, rather than sharing the existing IT infrastructure. This addresses not only capacity problems, but also the increasingly difficult issue of who manages the network.

The question of which approach to take is as much a political one as a business one, according to Paul Smith, chief operating officer at DVTel, a Paramus, N.J.-based provider of integrated IP security products for surveillance and monitoring of assests and facilities.

“The security folks haven’t had the exposure to networking (that the IT department has), but now they need expertise and some core competency,” he said.

But the security department may also have some apprehension about sharing space - network or otherwise - with IT. “If you bring in IT, does it diminish my job? Does it expose what I don’t know,” Smith reports some security personnel asking.

Smith said corporate networks maintained by IT personnel are typically run under different requirements than those for a security system. So the question to ask, he said, is, “If security entrusts its system to IT, will they maintain and run it properly and get the right level of reliability?”

William L. Stuntz, chief executive officer at BroadWare Technologies, said because security needs to be 24/7 one way to ensure reliability is to put the video on a LAN so if the WAN is taken down for maintenance, it doesn’t affect the system.

It seems inevitable, said Ali Eghbal, president of Vigitron, a San Diego–based designer and manufacturer of high quality twisted pair transceivers, that security and IT are stepping into each others’ fields.

Smith said he has witnessed examples, such as in a casino project, where IT and security are working hand in glove.

The security company knows where to place the camera, while the IT peoples’ value, he added, “is the nuts and bolts.”

The network savvy of the IT department makes them a good partner, said Kristi Konotchick, an executive at Inetcam.

The decision making in many organizations, she said, has shifted from loss prevention to IT as software becomes more network friendly.