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 prevention and ways to solve 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:

  1. Preparing Command for install

  2. Preparing the network

  3. Staging cameras before installation

  4. Installing cameras

  5. Finalizing deployment

  6. Troubleshooting installed cameras

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 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

Network requirements

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 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.

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.

Power budgeting

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 can avoid the costs and difficulties of troubleshooting a faulty installed camera (such as needing a lift to physically access the camera). This involves confirming the devices function correctly before they are installed at their intended locations. Once is staged correctly, further troubleshooting would focus on the physical and network environments. Stage devices as follows:

  1. Connect each device to your PoE switch

  2. Allow the device to check-in to the Command portal and update

    1. If the device does not check-in or update in 30 minutes you will need to troubleshoot

  3. Make sure that you are getting a video feed in Command

  4. 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:

  • Internet uplink

  • Managed PoE+ switch

  • Router (includes, DHCP, DNS)

  • Known good short ethernet patch cables

  • Computer with Ethernet adapter

  • PoE injector

  • 5G mobile hotspot router with adequate data plan (optional)

Typically your staging lab will use the customer network for Internet access. It’s 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! 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.


Installing cameras

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 day and at night when determining orientation and placement.

Pro Tip! 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 IRs 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 below checks to prove the install was successful before you leave the site.

  1. Make sure the plastic film is removed from all the camera domes

  2. Make sure at least two customer users are added as org admins and site admin for all sites

  3. Have the customer log in and confirm they can see all of their cameras

  4. Check with the customer to confirm the expected number of cameras are added to Command

  5. Verify IR glare is not present at night

  6. Check with the customer to confirm each camera is live streaming in HD, SD, Local, and recording history as expected

  7. 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 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 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

LED Status

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 Technical Support so they can help diagnose the problem in the staging environment

LED Status

Issue

Troubleshooting step 1

Troubleshooting step 2

Flashing Blue

Network issue

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's 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 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 Support

LED Flashing Orange

If the camera LED continues flashing orange for 30 minutes or more, it's 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 Support

No LED

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 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Disconnect the camera from the network. (This avoids an IP conflict when you configure your laptop to the same IP address.)

  3. Assign your laptop the same IP settings as the camera

  4. Connect your laptop to the same cable used previously by the camera

  5. Verify that you can access the URLs in your browser:

  6. 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 34.216.15.26

    • For Windows users, open a command prompt and enter

      • w32tm /stripchart /computer:time.control.verkada.com /samples:3 /dataonly

      • w32tm /stripchart /computer:34.216.15.26 /samples:3 /dataonly

If any of the above requests fail, work with the network administrator to permit outbound connections:

  • TCP port 443 to

    • access.control.verkada.com

    • api.control.verkada.com

    • relay.control.verkada.com

    • Index.control.verkada.com

    • Firmware.control.verkada.com

    • update.control.verkada.com

  • Bidirectional UDP port 123 for time.control.verkada.com and 34.216.15.26.

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 Support.

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