Product Manager, Cameras, Camera Software and Computer Vision
In June, we launched Enterprise Bandwidth Manager (EBM) – allowing customers to allocate bandwidth appropriately between Verkada cameras and other mission-critical systems on site. Today, we are introducing new EBM capabilities to unlock even greater flexibility and control. EBM bandwidth limits now apply to all camera upload traffic, including video archiving, cloud backup and timelapse. In addition, Org Admins and Site Admins can now monitor real-time bandwidth usage and selectively terminate active video streams to free up bandwidth. These new capabilities are available in beta today.
At Verkada, our approach from day one was to unlock the benefits of the cloud in a bandwidth-efficient way. Verkada cameras have a bandwidth footprint of 20-50 Kbps in steady state, or 5-10 Kbps in low bandwidth mode. With EBM, customers have even more tools to manage large-scale deployments, where cameras must coexist with other critical systems under tight bandwidth constraints.
For example, a large retailer with multiple locations could use EBM to maintain critical store systems like point-of-sale systems and IP phones while still conducting video investigations or responding to incidents. Large retailers often have dozens of cameras in each store and monitor them remotely at a security operations center. During an investigation, many people may try to stream footage from a store’s cameras, straining the network and putting critical systems at risk. With EBM, the retailer can not only limit the total bandwidth used by Verkada cameras at the store, but also control how it is used. In this case, the Site Admin could terminate non-essential video streams to clear bandwidth for investigators to access footage immediately.
How to use EBM
Set bandwidth limits
Org Admins and Site Admins can set bandwidth limits for each leaf of the site hierarchy, meaning any site or subsite that does not contain subsites of its own. Simply select Set Bandwidth Limit from the site options menu or the Manage Sites page.
Once configured, EBM will automatically start to monitor and manage the total upload bandwidth of all cameras* at that leaf. To enforce the bandwidth limit, EBM may prevent users from initiating bandwidth-consuming activities like video streaming or archiving.
Previously, EBM bandwidth limits did not apply to video archiving, and cloud backup and timelapse were automatically disabled for cameras subject to a bandwidth limit. Now that EBM manages all camera upload traffic, customers can leverage these features while ensuring that bandwidth limits aren't exceeded.
Monitor and manage in real time
In addition to setting bandwidth limits, EBM allows Org Admins and Site Admins to monitor bandwidth usage and selectively terminate active video streams. This allows customers to free up bandwidth for time-sensitive video investigations.
For each leaf, Org Admins and Site Admins can see a list of active video streams and their real-time bandwidth consumption. A multiplexed stream with more than one viewer will appear as one stream in this view. Terminating a stream will lock out the associated user(s) for at least 30 seconds. After 30 seconds have elapsed, users may reopen the stream if sufficient bandwidth is available; otherwise, the lockout period will continue. During this time, users can still stream from another site or subsite provided there is sufficient bandwidth.
How EBM works
EBM enforces the configured bandwidth limit with a traffic shaper in the Verkada cloud. The traffic shaper dynamically adjusts the transmission rate for all camera upload traffic, including steady state thumbnails, analytics, video archiving, cloud backup and video streams. It does so by tracking all data packets at the transport layer and using TCP’s built-in congestion control algorithm to rate-limit the camera’s egress traffic to Verkada endpoints. Similar to how TCP uses congestion window sizes on applications to avoid saturating the receiver of a data stream, EBM leverages TCP’s congestion window to prevent Verkada cameras from exceeding the configured bandwidth limit.
Because it is agnostic to traffic type, EBM is designed to be forward compatible with features that Verkada launches in the future. Organizations can have peace of mind that their video security system will not impact other critical systems.
Ready to learn more?
The new EBM capabilities are available in beta today. If interested, please reach out to [email protected]. For more information about EBM, please see our knowledge base article. To learn more about how we optimize the bandwidth footprint of Verkada cameras, check out this whitepaper.
*EBM does not currently manage traffic from the TD52 video intercom or live streams from the CP52 PTZ, which may exceed the bandwidth limit.