During a hardware installation, problems can arise. Issues can be caused by the network, physical environment, component failure, misconfiguration, or improper installation techniques. This guide covers ways to solve and prevent installation challenges by presenting a best-practice deployment approach in the field. It also suggests a simple staging process intended to mitigate costs and complexities related to post-install troubleshooting. The six parts to deployment are:
Preparing Command for Install
Create an Organization and set up your Command account
A Command organization is required to manage Verkada devices. Each camera needs to be added to the organization
The installer should be an organization admin and a site admin for all sites containing cameras so they can confirm the devices are working and provide a support access token at the request of Verkada Technical Support in the event there is a technical issue
The installer can add the camera(s) to the organization using their order number which can be found on the packing slip or in the order confirmation email
For security purposes, ensure that all Verkada devices are added to the organization prior to installation
Note: Verkada Technical Support requires a support access token to troubleshoot Verkada cameras. This token can only be generated by users who have admin permissions in the organization containing their cameras.
Preparing the network
Verkada cameras require connectivity to the Verkada Cloud and NTP servers located on the internet. Without network connectivity, the platform will have limited functionality and may report inaccurately in Command.
Before installing a Verkada system, the network environment needs to support the following protocols and services:
DHCP - Cameras receive their IP address and network settings via the DHCP protocol. They do not support static IP configurations. A DHCP server must be present on the LAN to provide the cameras with an IP address, default gateway, subnet mask, and DNS servers
DNS - Cameras use the Domain Name System to resolve Verkada URLs to their associated IP addresses
HTTPS - Cameras communicate with Verkada Command using HTTPS over TCP port 443
NTP - Each camera is hardcoded with well-known NTP servers on the internet. NTP is used to sync the camera time so footage timestamps are correct. The correct time is also required for HTTPS to work
Refer to this KB for more detail on network requirements.
Verkada Technical Support will ask to troubleshoot these services when there is a network issue. The troubleshooting process can require a packet capture of network traffic to analyze the root cause.
Note: Cable integrity is important to supply PoE and data to a camera. Cable termination, interconnects, distance, and bends must all be taken into account.
Each Camera requires PoE power to function. Make sure your network switch has enough PoE power to support all of the connected cameras at full power draw.
Don't forget: Cameras use less power during the day. When cameras switch to night mode, the IR emitters activate to illuminate the scene for better visibility. The IRs increase power draw. If multiple cameras are connected to the same PoE switch, the PoE draw can increase significantly at night. If the switch does not have enough power to deliver to all the cameras, cameras will go offline. A telltale sign of your switch not having enough power is that cameras will go offline each night around the same time as other cameras on the same switch when entering into night mode.
An easy way to spec power on a switch is to multiply the number of cameras connected by 30 Watts which is the maximum power delivered by PoE+. For example, if you had 10 cameras you would calculate like this:
10 cameras X 30 Watts = 300 Watt PoE budget on the switch
Note: Full power draw can be found on the datasheet for your camera model. Remember, each switch port should be able to supply the maximum amount of power required by the camera.
Staging cameras before installation
Staging devices helps you to avoid the costs and difficulties of troubleshooting a faulty camera after it has been installed (such as needing a lift to physically access the camera). Staging involves confirming the devices function correctly before they are installed at their intended locations. Once a camera is staged correctly, further troubleshooting can focus on the physical and network environments.
Stage devices as follows:
Connect each device to your PoE switch
Allow the device to check-in to the Command portal and update
If the device does not check in or update in 30 minutes you will need to troubleshoot
Make sure that you are getting a video feed in Command
Make sure history is being populated in Command
Note: The plastic protective film on the camera dome should not be removed before installing at the actual end location.
Building a staging lab
Verkada Technical Support recommends investing in a mobile staging environment to test and upgrade devices before installing them at their final install location. A mobile staging lab can be transported in a case and shipped to a site before installation. The staging lab is made up of the following components:
Managed PoE+ switch
Router (includes, DHCP, DNS)
Known good short ethernet patch cables
Computer with Ethernet adapter
5G mobile hotspot router with adequate data plan (optional)
Typically your staging lab will use the customer network for internet access. It is good practice to include a 5G mobile hotspot router in your staging kit so the cameras can get internet access when the customer network is not prepared or is having issues.
Pro Tip: Verkada Technical Support recommends not using a firewall in your staging environment because blocking the camera's traffic could result in additional troubleshooting. The staging lab should only contain what is necessary for the cameras to operate.
Once staging is complete the cameras should be ready to install in their intended locations. You can find step-by-step guides to installing each camera model here. When you install cameras be sure to take into account image quality during the day and the night when determining orientation and placement.
Pro Tip: Verkada Technical Support recommends using the Verkada Command Mobile App during the installation process. You will be able to see the camera stream on your phone which will allow more accurate placement and orientation of the device when installing it in its final location.
Keep the following in mind when installing cameras:
If IRs are reflected or obstructed they will cause glare in the image in night mode
Ensure the IRs are not facing a white or reflective surface
Ensure the IRs are not obstructed by camera housing
Make sure outdoor cameras have a water-tight seal. Confirm the cable gland is properly secured and the seal is properly tightened
Make sure the desiccant pack is installed inside the camera case to prevent condensation build-up
Do not remove the plastic film on the camera dome until you have positioned the camera properly to cover it until properly installed on location. If a dome gets grime it will show as glare in night mode. It may even make the image blurry in day mode
Do not touch the inside or outside of the camera dome because it will get fingerprints that cause glare when the IR illuminators come on
If you remove the plastic cover, wipe down the dome with a microfiber cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove grime and fingerprints
Finalizing the deployment
The most important aspect of an installation is delivering a working solution to the customer that they can maintain and get help on when you leave. This means demonstrating to them that they have access to all of the devices they purchased and that the devices are fully functional. Complete the checks below to demonstrate that the installation was successful before you leave the site.
Make sure the plastic film is removed from all the camera domes
Make sure at least two customer users are added as org admins and site admin for all sites
Have the customer log in and confirm they can see all of their cameras
Check with the customer to confirm the expected number of cameras are added to Command
Verify IR glare is not present at night
Check with the customer to confirm each camera is live streaming in HD, SD, local streaming, and recording history as expected
Once you confirm all the cameras are working and accessible, have the customer remove your account from their org if you are not going to manage their account on their behalf. You will want to confirm the customer access to the support page so they can leverage Verkada Technical Support if needed
Troubleshooting deployed hardware
When installing cameras into production, issues may surface that were not present during staging.
Pro tip: Before contacting Verkada Technical Support for camera troubleshooting assistance:
Find the serial number on the back of the camera and ensure you can find that serial number in Verkada Command
Have an active support token available for Technical Support. If the issue involves live streaming or history, ensure video access is enabled for the token
Most issues yield LED behavior that suggests a probable root cause. Below are the LED statuses, their associated causes, and remediation steps. The LED is located on the front bezel of any Verkada camera.
What if the camera worked in staging, but doesn’t work when installed in the install location?
If a camera worked in staging but not when it is installed, take the device back to your staging lab to see if it works
If it does, you can show this to the customer and work with them to resolve the issue
If the device does not work in staging, contact Verkada Technical Support so they can help diagnose the problem in the staging environment
Troubleshooting step 1
Troubleshooting step 2
Connect the camera with a known-good short patch cable to a known-good switch port
If the camera continues flashing blue, go through Troubleshooting network issues at the bottom of this document
LED Solid Orange
If the camera is solid orange for more than 5 minutes, it is not receiving enough power or the boot process has failed
Connect the camera with a known-good short patch cable to a known-good switch port
If the camera remains solid orange, take the camera to the staging lab and contact Verkada Technical Support
LED Solid Blue and the device shows offline in Command
The camera is not added to Command
Confirm the serial number on the backplate of the camera matches the serial number of the camera in Command. If they don’t match, add the correct serial number and wait for the camera to check-in
If the serials match, take a picture of the serial number on the device and contact Verkada Technical Support
LED Flashing Orange
If the camera LED continues flashing orange for 30 minutes or more, it is unable to finish a firmware upgrade
Connect the camera with a known-good short patch cable to a known-good switch port and wait 30 minutes to see if it clears
If the camera does not upgrade on the direct connection, take the camera to the staging lab and contact Verkada Technical Support
If LED is not illuminated it is not receiving power
Connect the camera with a known-good short patch cable to a known-good switch port. Try using a PoE injector
If the camera LED does not illuminate, take the camera to the staging lab and contact Verkada Technical Support
Troubleshooting network issues
First, try to eliminate the core network as the issue. With your mobile testing kit, you can test using your mobile hotspot, taking the customer network out of the equation.
Network Diagnostic Tests
This simple battery of tests uses your laptop and the IP address used by the camera to confirm the network is configured to work with Verkada.
Work with the DHCP server admin to get the following for the Camera: IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS servers. The camera can be identified on the DHCP server by its MAC address. You can find the MAC address on the backplate of the camera.
Disconnect the camera from the network. (This avoids an IP conflict when you configure your laptop to the same IP address.)
Assign your laptop the same IP settings as the camera
Connect your laptop to the same cable used previously by the camera
Verify that you can access the URLs in your browser:
Verify NTP reachability for Verkada’s NTP servers
For Mac users, open a terminal window and enter
sudo sntp -sS time.control.verkada.com
sudo sntp -sS 126.96.36.199
For Windows users, open a command prompt and enter
w32tm /stripchart /computer:time.control.verkada.com /samples:3 /dataonly
w32tm /stripchart /computer:188.8.131.52 /samples:3 /dataonly
If any of the above requests fail, work with the network administrator to permit outbound connections:
TCP port 443 to
Bidirectional UDP port 123 for
Checking network bandwidth
Run an Internet speed test to confirm the network has adequate upload and download bandwidth. You should have enough upload bandwidth to support the number of cameras the customer plans to view simultaneously.
If all the above tests succeed yet the camera LED continues to flash blue, reach out to Verkada Technical Support.