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Saturday, December 24, 2011

HauteSpot and Network Optix

For the last year or so we have been collaborating with Network Optix to create a network video processing solution that is simple to use, compact, cost effective and bleeding edge. This solution combines Network Optix software with HauteSpot microNVR and WRAP hardware.

Network Optix is a software startup founded this year by Nathan Wheeler and Sergey Bystrov. I met Nathan and Sergey several years ago when they were working at Arecont Vision. Nathan was in charge of West Coast sales and Sergey was writing the software behind Arecont's products. Both are geniuses in their own right.

Nathan, a former Navy submariner, must have picked up a little atomic energy from the nuclear subs he served on, because it is really hard to keep up with his enthusiasm, excitement, and myriad of innovative ideas. Nathan not only can envision new ideas but he can make them practical and sell them.

Sergey is a software coding marvel unlike anyone else I have met. You can sit across the table from him, suggest a new product feature, and in minutes he will have coded, compiled and have running in the application not only your suggestion but additional extensions to your idea, all without breaking a sweat. His work is elegant, his understanding of complex video compression, processing, manipulation is unparalleled, and his focus is amazing.

EVE Media Player
Trinity Video Surveillance
The Networks Optix product set includes a multimedia client application named EVE for Extreme Video Environment (also named after Nathans year old daughter which is just darling), Trinity which is a "serverless" video surveillance system, and an upcoming client/server distributed video surveillance system. EVE was first announced in April last year and wowed users with its menuless, highly intuitive, user friendly, feature rich user interface.

Prior to ISC West in 2011 HauteSpot worked with Network Optix to port EVE onto our microNVR. Then we amazed show attendees with a demonstration of the microNVR running four 3 megapixel cameras and playing several dozen video files using the EVE media player. The video was in stunning 1080p High Definition and at full frame rate. The performance was excellent. ISC was a portend of things to come.

Much work has continued with HauteSpot updating the operating system build, driver set, and performance tuning the microNVR and Network Optix refining the performance of EVE, while also working on the development of Trinity and the new client server video processing architecture.

Nathan and I discussed our plans for product release and we agreed that we needed a demonstration system. So yesterday I drove down from San Luis Obispo to the Network Optix office in Burbank to set up our demonstration environment. I brought with me a HauteSpot WRAPSXC3E-N router and a microNVR.

Our plan was simple:

220 miles from Los Osos to Burbank
1. We have four cameras (Arecont, IQInvision, Axis, and Vivotek) all set up at our office in Los Osos (just outside San Luis Obispo). The cameras are connected to our WRAP wireless routers in a point to multipoint wireless network throughout and outside our office. The wireless camera network is connected to the Internet through a HauteSpot WRAPNXi router that supports VPN (Virtual Private Network) server and client capabilities. We also have a microNVR in Los Osos running Network Optix software for recording and transcoding.

2. In Burbank we set up the WRAPSXC3E-N router behind the SonicWall firewall router in the Network Optix office. The WRAPSXC3E-N automatically got a DHCP address from the SonicWall, it automatically configured itself for Internet connectivity, it automatically established a VPN tunnel connection to Los Osos, and the two networks (250 miles apart) were immediately connected as a layer 2 Ethernet network with a single IP broadcast domain. All by just plugging it into the network.

3. We set up the wireless interface of the WRAPSXC3E-N to be an access point for the new demonstration network. Then we also created a virtual access point (VAP) for local access to the Network Optix office network, replacing the low power-short range wireless that they were receiving from the SonicWall.

4. Everything was secured, end to end with AES-256 encryption, SHA-1 authentication, ssl certificates, and complex pass phrases. This is important when tunneling over public networks. However the set up of a remote client router really required no user intervention at all.

microNVR and EVE displaying a AV5105 camera over VPN tunnel
5. Then we connected a microNVR over wireless to the local network in Burbank running EVE. It automatically discovered and started to stream the live video from the Arecont and IQInvision cameras in Los Osos, as if they were local. The Axis and Vivotek cameras still needed some configuration modifications (you can't get everything right the first time :( )

6. Then we went one step further and set up dial in access to the WRAPSXC3E-N so that remote PCs could access the network over the VPN. This was a little more complicated and involved requesting and installing server certificates on the WRAP, setting up the VPN server, and port forwarding on the SonicWall. But this is something you would probably only need to do once at your central monitoring location, not at all of your remote sites.

In conclusion, our demonstration system went up without a hitch, it completely self configured itself, discovered all of the networks, established a secure VPN tunnel linking the two offices, discovered and self configured all of the cameras and was up and recording in minutes.

This model could be easily adopted for provisioning of remote monitoring sites by service provider. We are working on making it even easier and more cost effective. We are really excited about getting the finishing touches on this configuration so we can broadly deploy it. VPN tunneling is essential for remote service delivery and we have it nailed.

1 comment:

  1. Update...I am on a road trip around the Pacific Northwest with Charlotte. See my facebook for photos of our adventures.

    Nathan and Patrick just called and said that they wanted to shoot some video captures of the demonstration system and wanted to walk through the remote setup.

    From our hotel in Eureka, I used the public Internet to connect to the HauteSpot office in Los Osos, check on the remote VPN connection of the Network Optix office in Burbank, and set up remote access to the microNVR for Patrick. All of this over easy to use VPN connections that are entirely secure.

    In other words, we could completely manage all aspects of our demonstration network from a laptop on the road.

    How cool is that?

    Want a lesson...We will be conducting a webinar on VPN connectivity using HauteSpot routers.