Network managers given means to expand their thinking

The benefits of a converged network are clear: move to IP or fall behind.

The true age of the Internet

Despite a few wobbles along the way, the true age of the Internet is finally with us. Its technology and potential are transforming the way we work, develop and interact. And in its wake, the IT networking industry and system integrators need help to respond to some unique opportunities.

Until now most companies have installed separate networks for voice, data and video applications, usually deployed autonomously and operated in isolation, and implemented and managed by separate teams. Witness the mix of disparate networks such as PBX equipment communicating over leased lines, video using H.320 protocols over the same circuits, and data being carried over frame-relay or ATM, for example.

The complexities in supporting such networks are hugely costly to implement and maintain. And with data traffic increasing at a faster rate than any other type, technologies such as the Internet, e-commerce and video streaming using IP Multicast pose a real challenge for companies to optimise their networking infrastructure to carry data, voice and video traffic.

Converged Networks

Hence the rapid move towards Converged Networks. At the physical layer of the OSI model, one cabling system can support all applications required, transporting voice, video and data over the same infrastructure. So with IP (Internet Protocol) now the chosen method, the message is clear: move IP-wards or fall behind.

Network managers are being invited to expand their remit, acting in decisions traditionally the business of the telephone manager and security manager – issues such as CCTV and video monitoring, access control and intruder systems. The benefits of a converged network using IP are just as clear, though: increased bandwidth efficiency, ease of management, rapid deployment of new applications, and increased return on investment.

Integrated Systems

Having identified the emergence of TCP/IP products being developed by some of the major security manufacturers, Gardiner Security - the UK’s leading security distributor of CCTV, Access control, Intruder and Fire products - took the decision in 2001 to establish a dedicated Integrated Systems Division.

Advising and serving IT managers and network integrators, the division has seen a massive growth in interest from the industry for IP video networking, CCTV products, intruder and access control solutions. At the same time, fruitful partnerships have been forged with leading consultants.

"Besides combining over 20 years of experience in the security industry with in-house expertise in network systems, the Integrated Systems Division offers access to a whole range of support services to an installation, such as full CAD facilities and system design," says manager Ray Ashby.

"We provide a totally independent product solution, not restricted by manufacturer, plus access to technical support, on site surveys, demonstration facilities and training, with on site delivery from any of our National UK branches."

- article written by Ray Ashby, Manager at Gardiner Security Ltd, in December 2003.