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How can I install video surveillance at the office and keep it on the server. I'm new to this business. So what can explain in detail what's what. And are there any good resources on this topic?

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closed as off topic by Ben Pilbrow, Iain, dyasny, Dennis Williamson, Tom O'Connor Jan 15 '11 at 15:29

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Of course the easiest may be what Ben has already suggested, and also probably most hassle-free over long run. However if you are the DiY kind who'd like to get your hands dirty, there are few things you could try, depending on how many cameras you have, what type are they, what kind of internet connectivity do you have out of your office, how much are you willing to spare for surveillance activity and finally, what's you budget ?

If this is a small-office, and say upto 4 IP cameras may do the job for you, you are not particularly picky about video quality (i.e. VGA resolution with BW night vision would do), and you are on a budget, you could start from a very simple setup comprising of the el-cheapo Chinese/Taiwanese $80-$100 IP cameras that send a Motion-JPEG stream out. They aren't very difficult to configure. All you need to do is to do a bit of network configuration (IP, port, and DynDNS setup) on them, and then make sure to setup port-forwarding on your Firewall/Router, and you are all set to go. As for the cloud-infrastructure, you could use an Ubuntu AMI on EC2, and run 4 instances of VLC, tapping on those 4 streams, and store them on disk (EBS/S3). This becomes your DVR (of sorts), not PTZ controls, no on-DVR motion-sensing/detection, and no timelines etc.

Hope that this gives you enough hints. Of course this is an ultra-simple/basic surveillance setup... and not a realistic surveillance setup. Just for playing around :)

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Beautiful, i'd never considered a linux cloud host with vlc for capture.... – Michael Henry Jan 24 '11 at 17:01

While you may want to save video on a server, what you are trying to achieve isn't really related to system administration.

You would be best phoning up a company who specialises in surveillance (try the company who deal with your intruder alarm) and explain to them what you want to do.

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