Without the need for hard wiring to a central control unit or central server, IP-based systems enable installations that are non-proprietary, flexible and scalable. This means not only a more versatile solution, but also a more cost efficient one. Freed from the constraints of enlarging the system in certain multiples, a network-based system can be enlarged – should it be necessary – by one door and one reader at a time.
Lower total costs
An IP edge solution has one controller for each door, which then is connected to the local network through a regular network switch. Since IP networks now are ubiquitous in offices, stores, factory plants and similar facilities, the cost of adding an IP-based door controller is minimal, as opposed to the multiple serial connections required when wiring back to a central server.
Cabling work can be even further facilitated with an IP system. By employing a PoE (Power over Ethernet) supported controller at each door, the need for a separate power cable is eliminated. Thus the total installation cost is reduced.
Integration with other systems
An IP-based solution makes implementation and integration of access control systems far more feasible. Integration with video is one example of a very common requirement which is much easier to meet with IP-based solutions.
In fact, a common, standardized digital environment has the potential to create countless opportunities to integrate other systems such as intrusion detection and, fire detection into uniform, manageable and user-friendly systems.
Possible integrations between an IP-based physical access control system, a network video surveillance system, and other IP-based third party applications.
Limitations in traditional access control solutions
Typically, a legacy access control system is dependent on having each device – card reader, handle, door lock, door position switch, etc. – hard wired with RS-485 cables into one central unit or central server. These traditional proprietary systems confine the end user to one single provider of hardware and software.
When expanding traditional analog systems, the process is complicated since a typical central controller is built to accommodate a certain maximum number of doors, normally 4, 8, 16 or 32.
Not only does this limitation make the system inflexible but also makes it difficult for the end user to match his requirements with products available, e.g. if there is a need for access control at, say, 9 or 17 doors.
The lack of flexibility brings high marginal costs, which can make the addition of one extra door unjustifiably expensive.
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