Member Discussion

Are You Interested In VMS Running On Macs?

As Macs continue to make headway into the Enterprise space thanks to BYOD programs and increased flexibility for support by IT departments I'm interesting to learn if IPVM system integrators see a similar or any increased level of demand by organizations for a VMS that supports both server and client applications.

I think in certain verticals it could make a difference. Education comes to mind. It seems Apple has made some big endroads there.

In lieu of 'native Apple support', usually 'Apple compatibility' means finding a way to emulate Windows on a Mac, but aside from a few turned up noses, it seems to be an agreeable workaround.

Telling a Mac person that only PC versions of a given software exist doesn't really cause much of a flinch. I think pricing between the two versions would have to be equal in order for an 'Apple Only' version to have success.

Another big barrier is overall integratability of other systems to an Apple-only VMS. Often you really need to get into the weeds with manual configurations and tying devices or systems into a VMS. Those aspects run counter to those 'Apple-esqe simple UI/ controls' design rules you often see.

Thanks for the thoughts, Brian.

I was looking more for insight into the level of demand in commercial applications (How often, if ever, do clients request a full Mac solution?) that Integrators see out there than in the challenges of implementing the solution.

You're absolutely right that Mac's approach to UI, etc has to be taken into account. Assuming we could make a Mac solution meet all those challenges you've laid out above do you think there is a large enough user demand for said solution?

In my experience, demand for 'native Apple' VMS is pretty tiny.

I recall responding to only one larger RFP (250+ cam) project that mentioned a preference for Apple-only VMS software (it was a highschool), but that preference may be higher if the target market is smaller systems.

However, the fact an Apple VMS is hardware-bound into smaller deployments seems like a big problem. Like Austin mentions, there isn't a good selection of Apple servers out there, and it doesn't seem like a VMS product is going to be too lucrative or have strong development behind it if lacks enterprise scale options. (ie: It's more profitable to sell one 10,000 cam system than 1000 ten camera systems.)

I was waiting to respond to your question in the other thread until you started a new discussion. I have had more time to think. I have thought it would be nice to be able to take, say a mac mini, add a cheap widescreen monitor and either an external HD or network drive, and put together a system for small camera counts. I prefer a custom build for higher camera count, but the mac mini is in a good price range and is small.

As far as any larger camera counts, I don't see a demand or a market for it. Speaking in terms of Network Optix, the iPhone app could be a lot better and support camera de-warping.

I see that DW released a horrible App that is supposed to support multi-view and tie all systems together with custom views. The only problem was that the UI looked horrible and it was cumbersom to use, especially on a phone.

Thanks Kyle & Brian - good feedback and in-line with what I anticipated.

And Kyle - new entirely redesigned mobile apps are in the works.

Thanks. Do you know if it will support dewarping of panoramic cameras and is there any approximate ETA? I know I spoke to someone from Network Optix middle of last year and they were saying by the end of 2014 but I suppose there was a delay.

The only reason I ask is because we have an option to use fewer cameras on a project using panoramic cameras because the only real goal of the project would be for general overview to confirm employees are actually working. The managers will be using the phone as their primary viewing source while the main office will be using the client. I'm trying to fit Spectrum in the budget without needing to use CVI just to fit a tight budget.


I haven't seen or heard of much demand for Mac OS X based VMS in a while though it used to be quite frequent. I don't do work in the schools any longer but they were once upon a time the primary proponent for OS X in the customer base we would work with. Unfortunately, since Apple pulled the XServe from the market and has made the new "Darth Vader" Mac Pro there isn't even a particularly great server alternative. Even worse, the Mac Pro is just not customisable any longer. I have seen a lot of attempts to cobble together a Mac server from third party suppliers (Sonnet). These solutions worry me on reliability/warranty.

The closed Apple eco system will hinder adoption. They make fantastic PCs/workstations (Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro) which would be great clients. The lack of a server is really a sad oversight and I wish Apple would license third parties to make them again if they refuse to do so... but the licensing of third party manufacturers didn't work so well last time.

If Apple ever brought back out a server I would be the first in line.

Austin - thanks. I agree.

Since a VMS server or NVR is normally a single purpose machine, it doesn't seem to be important to provide Apple OS versions, even in environments that primarily or all Apple. What is important is to be able to provide a Mac client.