Subscriber Discussion

Fail Over Option Between Two Different VMSes

Is it possible to achieve fall-over (redundant) option between two different VMS (say example between Milestone & Synectics). if any one system fails automatically working VMS should take care both locations.....

I don't think so because you are dealing with two different databases. I think the only option is to have two complete standalone systems working side by side and if one system fail then the users will switch to the other working client. But in this case you will introduce sycnhronization problem between the two systems. As an example, if you changed any thing in one system then you have to change it manually in the other system. Moreover, you have to check if the cameras support multiple streams (one stream to each system) or you may consider the multicasting.

Milestone has this feature builtin for Corporate Edition:


Reliability that meets the demand for mission-critical application
Failover servers ensure you have uninterrupted access to both live and recorded
video even if a server should fail. User access rights are strictly managed, so that only
authorized staff have access to system functions and sensitive stored data.


Genetec Security Center also has this:


The Failover Directory solution built-in the Security Center can provide hot standby and load balancing simultaneously. A Security Center system can be protected with up to five (5) failover directories. Each Directory is continually up and running and can accept client connections to load balance the system. The user doesn’t have to worry about which Directory to connect to; the system will take care of this by using the less busy Directory. Therefore, even with multiple directories, there is still a single point of connection to the user which is the Primary Directory.


Axxon Intellect Enterprise:


The new Failover module offers more features for managing and configuring handoff from an offline server to other system servers. Failover is particularly crucial for maintaining uptime on large distributed systems.



I don't know about Genetec or Axxon, but Milestone Corporate's built-in failover server function is not product-agnostic. Failover servers are for monitoring other Milestone recording servers - not a secondary recording server running some other brand of VMS.

As Tariq mentions, failover is difficult (impossible?) if the databases are not compatible.

Well Marty is seems I misunderstood the question. Undisclosed: WHY TWO VMS SYSTEMS? Failover can be achieved with just running multiple instances or the same VMS on two, three, ... N systems.

Bohan: Agreed, I don't understand the dual-VMS requirement either... :)

Undisclosed: If you want two separate systems running as some kind of uber-redundancy scheme, why not just run the same VMS (2 separate full systems; sharing camera streams), side by side - as Bohan mentions?

For support reasons alone, this would be far superior.

The only reason to run 2 different VMSs, in my mind, would be if there were certain features specific to each of the two VMS that didnt crossover - and you needed both specific features for some reason. But if this were the case, then failover clearly wouldnt be your issue.

I think most techs reading the original question would first wonder why you are asking this question before they seriously thought about a viable solution (for which there may be none anyway)... :)

Thanks Marty / Tariq / Bohan..........

Scenario is like this....

There are two facilities, one is new facility (under construction) and another one is old facility... Old facility has Synectics VMS, to achieve the fail-over option I am forced to purchase only Synectics for new facility!!!?!!!! we will not any price benefit if I go with only one brand... it like compulsion... other than this feature we can achieve all the features from any VMS such as Milestone/Genetec/Axxon ...

is there anyway to achieve this????

If you are happy with Synectics then use them in the new facility as this will reduce the support, training, and the troupleshooting costs. Also, did you consider where you will place the recordings in case of the failover as you may need storage replication solution for that.

Undisclosed: I do not know the budget, but as software developer, I would write a watchdog program and use the builtin Windows commands to start Miestone remotely:

1. Profile Synectics to find a way to detect when its not working (Off the top of my head, one way I could think of is have a permanent thick client running locally on a dedicated small PC next to the Synectics server, and measure the bandwidth getting sent from VMS server to the small PC, if bandwidth drops below a threshold, we can deem Synectics server has crashed)

2. Remotely start the Milestone services through the network by using this tool (or similar):

psservice.exe from the Sysinternals PSTools would also be doing the job:

psservice \\server restart service

3. Send an email to the administrator/integrator to alert them so they can go fix the Synectics server before the Milestone server fails!

I would say to properly design, develop, test and deploy this custom solution would be a weeks worth of labour for a competent software engineer, so probably ~$2000-4000 worth. Of course onces you have it you can license it to others and profit!

Thanks for the idea Bohan, let us think about it :)