Understanding Today’s Cloud

May 10, 2023 by ONVIF

Today’s cloud picture is quite bright for security providers and their customers because it’s become the superior enabling technology for many new services and revenue streams.

For system integrators, the current landscape is expanding in tandem to the growth of loT, connected products, smart edge devices as well as the maturity of cloud ecosystems. Along with the move to standardize communication between devices, software clients and cloud services, this expansion within cloud is propelling a new era of interoperability. The cloud makes it easier to add additional services and extend the footprint of physical security and safety around the premises – when the right processes are in place.

What is cloud?

Video surveillance systems and devices were traditionally using on-premises network topology, with data processed on the local network and stored on local servers. Now, system components are moving to the cloud for greater performance in management, capacity and efficiency.

Many functions have moved off-site, including monitoring and management, which permit remote access; analytics using AI capabilities of cloud resources like Azure or AWS; and cloud storage to retain video or other metadata. These primary use cases also include any combinations of these types of functions.

ONVIF recognizes and responds to what we believe is the future of cloud interoperability: open systems standardized to fully leverage the value of the data generated by edge devices in a hybrid system. This has resulted in discussions on how to promote a standardized interface and protocols in the cloud space.

Change is here: Profile M

ONVIF Profile M provides a taste of new developments as cloud connectivity gains traction. Profile M standardizes the handling of analytics metadata between cameras, VMS and other software platforms. Devices are free to produce data depending on their capabilities, machine-learning models and other algorithms, and the way in which data is communicated can be standardized.

The profile supports a common communications protocol used by loT systems/distributed device infrastructures called MQTT. Profile M offers new flexibility to include cloud-and server-based services and software as Profile M conformant devices that can send metadata. This is a departure from the traditional understanding of conformant devices being physical hardware. This opens opportunities for new integrated applications and the ability to connect to different entities in an loT or automation ecosystem.

To properly harness the new opportunities presented with cloud services, interoperability and openness through standardization are critical as we move into this next stage of connectivity and digital technologies. The goal is a common set of specifications that can serve the market in a stable way, paired with industry-standard protocols that are not proprietary for any cloud vendor.

The mission of ONVIF is to provide and promote standardized interfaces for effective interoperability of IP-based physical security products. Now, the cloud is part of that ecosystem as well.


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