VOCORD Tahion is a video surveillance system with advanced video analytics designed for deploying geographically distributed video surveillance systems in “Safe City” projects.
VOCORD Tahion system supports unlimited number of cameras, servers or workstations. The system architecture is modular: additional video cameras and servers can be added to the installation on demand, without affecting other system components.
The system upgrade is performed on the fly, without shutting down of the entire system. For example, a city-level video surveillance system could be easily expanded to a region-level one without re-installing and shutting down of the existing city-level systems. Such architecture enables expanding with retention of all initial investments.
Distribution of the functions between services
The key functions of VOCORD Tahion – video broadcasting, archiving, video analysis and event management – are implemented as different services. Depending on system configuration and system load, services can be installed on a single server or distributed between various servers. This enables optimizing server load.
The system architecture is based on a domain-hierarchical principle. Each domain is a full-featured system capable of working independently. Several domains can be combined into the whole system and hierarchical relations can be established between these domains.
The top-level domain users have access to the low-level ones, but the low-level domains have no access to the upper-levell domains, and may even be unaware of their presence. In case of network breakdowns between domains of different levels, the domains switch to autonomous mode of operation.
Special video stream routers Tahion NetScale manage data streams while balancing network loading, and guarantee data integrity, availability and safety.
Tahion Archive server software is a cloud-based video data storage system that enables distributing data between a set of servers. For video data archiving, VOCORD Tahion uses a proprietary indexed metafile system running over standard file system NTFS. It permits recording video data at frame rate close to the maximum recording rate used by the data storage system. This guarantees high robustness and performance of VOCORD Tahion archive servers.
The system supports video analytics implemented in terminal devices (IP-cameras, video codecs) and on dedicated video analytical servers. This allows the customers on step-by-step basis to add new types of video detectors to the core video surveillance system functionality as new requirements and budgets for them come into existence.
VOCORD Tahion implements a list of video analytical detectors:
VOCORD Tahion system can be integrated with third-party video analysis libraries.
Support of IP-equipment and open standards
VOCORD Tahion supports IP equipment major vendors and international open standard ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum).
The system supports video walls with unlimited number of monitors and displayed channels.
VOCORD Tahion can be integrated with third-party systems such as an access control system, a fire and security alarm system, etc. using Software Development Kit (SDK) provided by Vocord.
The system configuration can be based on data-transmission networks with different topologies and different types of physical transmission (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, WiMax, xDSL, PON, SDH, DWDM). Heterogeneous networks can be combined according to standard TCP/IP protocol.
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Smart routing and data protection
In most video surveillance systems connection to a video channel establishes directly: a video stream is requested by many operators, is writing to archive or outputting to a video wall simultaneously.. This results in high loading of video channel.
In VOCORD Tahion system routing module Tahion NetScale was developed to optimize the network load. Tahion NetScale establishes a single connection to the video source and then distributes video data upon the requests from different “consumers”.
Tahion NetScale provides following benefits:
The maximum amount of data processed by Tahion NetScale is limited only by server’s technical specifications.
Tahion NetScale is designed as an application router for video data translation purposes: it doesn’t only transmit data but also analyzes a video stream's data structure.
In any video surveillance system when transmitted over network, each video frame is split into several IP-packets. When using unguaranteed delivery protocols (UDP, RTP), IP-packets may be lost, for example in case of unexpected network peak loading. This results in poor quality of video (artifacts) received by the end user. Such video records are unsuitable for forensic purposes, for example.
Unlike standard network routers, Tahion NetScale is aware which IP-packets belong to the given frame. In case of network overload and congestion, Tahion NetScale will pass only those IP-packets which represent only full-fledged frames. This algorithm sometimes reduces frame rate but guarantees high quality of each frame – video with no artifacts.
Performance and reliability of video management system
For data archiving VOCORD Tahion uses proprietary indexed metafile system running over standard file system (NTFS): video data are archived sequentially, by large blocks. Corrupted indexing is rebuilt automatically. This approach ensures zero disk fragmentation, even after multiple data recording.
At that, all advantages of a standard file system can be utilized. This guarantees high robustness and performance of archive servers. Software component Tahion Archive can record up to 700 PAL channels simultaneously supporting resolution of 720х576 and a frame rate of 25 frames per second (17,500 frames per second). At that, the average recording frame rate is 2 Mb/s per channel.
VOCORD Tahion system is based on on a cloud storage architecture obviating a necessity of using expensive data storage networks (DSN). To increase the archive capacity, it is necessary just to add more servers to the archive cluster. Thus, the user can work with the single large logical archive.
The video archiving procedure can be set up using a scheduler – on a single occasion, by days, or by weeks. Flexible schedule setting is performed for each category. The archiving parameters can be set flexibly: the same video stream can be stored into multiple archives with different frame rates and different storage periods. This allows to optimize storage volume and to cut expenses on storage media (the cost of hard disks for archiving often takes up a huge portion of the total project budget).
Usability and administration
A geographically distributed video surveillance system can contain servers located in different places but users always have a single login point to the system for operation and administration purposes – Tahion Admin and Tahion Client applications.
While being installed, the system automatically detects all IP-cameras and network video recorders as soon as they are attached to the network.
Unified security policy is applied to all system components. Operators can modify settings related to their personal workstations only, while global system settings are hidden to them. Therefore, the system is protected from any actions of operators that can be potentially harmful for it.
VOCORD Tahion supports detailed event logging: all cases of detector activation, hardware connection, disconnection, or malfunction of equipment, users’ activities are registered in the system log.
For all operators and administrators, an automatic event alerting can be set for any types of events including system ones: from detector activation to equipment shutdown. The alerts can be received via e-mail and SMS.
VOCORD Tahion has flexible use’s rights management. It is possible to create unlimited number of users groups and set-up their access rights to particular device and specified operations with data records and channels.
All system settings and attributes are stored in the kernel component of VOCORD Tahion system – Tahion Core. In large-scale geographically distributed video surveillance installations, Tahion Core normally runs on a dedicated server. Number of Tahion Core servers, as well as Tahion Archive servers or Tahion NetScale routers, is unlimited. Their rights are distributed according to the domain architecture. For example, in a regional video surveillance system, the top-level domain will have top-level administrative rights, and the lower domains in different cities will be responsible for administering their own tier.
High video recording quality
The system guarantees high quality of video materials received from analog cameras. JPEG 2000 algorithm allows to receive images in resolution of 720х576. The image can be formatted on-the-fly and transfered to operators in a required resolution (720х576, 360х288 or 180х144).< Description > Architecture Up
1. Video cameras: IP-cameras, PTZ-cameras.
2. Video recorders and video capture boards VOCORD VE-16.
3. Tahion Core.
4. Tahion NetScale.
5. Tahion Archive.
6. Tahion VideoAnalytics.
7. Tahion VideoWall.
8. Tahion Admin.
9. Tahion Client.
In large-scale geographically distributed video surveillance systems, all software components are installed on separate servers: there can be an unlimited number of servers. To extend the system, it is necessary just to add more servers and licenses without any need to reinstall software or change the equipment. In small-scale systems (maximum number of cameras – 64), all software modules can be deployed on a single server.