Member Discussion

Recommendation On An Independent VMS For A City-Size Project

I take part in a city-size project where the goal is to add facial recognition to identify known offenders from all available sources including street / public places / train station etc. cameras, cameras inside public transport, ATMs, parking and vending machines. It will indeed be a custom development but there is also a need in a VMS for standard tasks. Does somebody have experience with a similar project (not from the point of using FR but video surveillance)? What system did you use / prefer to manage video in such kind of situation? From my side I am interested in ability of VMS to be closely integrated with a 3d party application (events, analytics etc.) and in a direct access to a storage.

Thanks for your help.

If custom development and third party integrations are key, the two most commonly chosen for good reason are Genetec and Milestone Corporate.

Thanks John. I cannot fit all needed functions into the existing product so it has to be a standalone application. I do consider major vendors and will test them for the requirements of the project. I can say that Milestone can be an option and I dealt with this VMS previously. But here, on discussions, was a good list of not so known VMSs that can probably be more flexible. The question is whether any of them was used for large projects.

What type of 'flexibility' do you want?

What do you mean by 'large'? 100 cameras, 10,000 cameras?

Phase 1 - 1K cameras, phase 2 - 10-15K cameras

Might be easier if you'd list the good list of not so known VMSs and find out if anybody has used any of them in larger projects. There's so many 'lesser known' VMSs out there, it's difficult to guess which might fit your needs.

I meant this discussion and I do not have enough experience with different VMSs to narrow down list. At the same time I would like to test other than let's say Milestone options because it is usually easier to agree on some custom adjustment for the project with smaller players. And I expect that this project will be very specific.

So you want an independent VMS that has experience with large projects and is going to be ok with doing customizations for you? Assuming that:

Axxon and ipConfigure are both choices that fit. If you are in North America, ipConfigure might be better simple for geographic proximity. If you are in EMEA, Axxon might be better.

Exactly, thanks. Axxon is not an option for this project by some reasons, will try ipConfigure.

the problem will be custom integration looks really ambitious.

we can analyze the integration if you like.

Some of my government customers are liking AirshipDVR. I haven't had the chance to play with it myself, but I hear good things about it from customers we have in common.

Camio runs at much larger scale than city projects and has a REST/json API for deep integrations inclusive of callback hooks for custom applications. If your custom adjustments are primarily geared towards your having the API flexibility to do whatever you need to do with the video/snapshot content in your own application, then we'd work with you; we do not, however, do custom app development. So I'm not sure that Camio is a fit for your project, but I'm happy to discuss quickly if you contact me. I'm a co-founder/CEO of Camio at


Do you have any cities with more than 100 cameras using your service?

If yes, that I stand corrected, but otherwise calling it 'much larger scale than city projects' is spin.

Related, Camio is not really a VMS and certainly not a true alternative to something like Milestone or Genetec.

I am not intending to criticize your startup but making such an audacious demands some clarification.

John - No city government projects, but much bigger than the city-scale. Camio has already analyzed over 30 million events, so 100 cameras is trivial. I have no intent to spin, since we only want to work with well-matched projects (waste of everyone's time otherwise).

What do you mean by true VMS? I interpreted his question as "I need a way to write a custom application that helps track known criminals based on video recorded from 100+ cameras" and Camio can certainly enable that if he can use a cloud-based programming model. The whole point of our introducing the Camio API was to bring the open flexibility of web programming to make smarter video applications. Maybe there's another category than VMS for that?

I really don't see how your service is 'well matched' for a 1,000+ city surveillance project that is seeking an alternative to Milestone.

As A says in the beginning, "It will indeed be a custom development but there is also a need in a VMS for standard tasks."

Are you really saying that Camio is now an alternative to Milestone for standard city surveillance VMS tasks? There's hundreds of features that Milestone and other enterprise level VMSes have. Let's say the city wants to integrate with an access control system or export multiple streams of video in a proprietary player or control PTZs or set up rules, etc. These are all standard VMS tasks. How about running the VMS and storing the video on site? A standard VMS task but not something Camio is built to do.

No, Camio is not an on-site enterprise server system with PTZ controls, proprietary video players, setup rules, etc... If those are the tasks they were referring to, then Camio is not a fit.

If they want a way to store and index the video from 1,000+ cameras, to analyze it in real-time with customized callbacks to his own application/analyses, and they have the option to connect all the cameras to the cloud, then Camio *might* be a fit (not pushing if not)

The complexity of a city is not just the count of cameras. Real time. Many operators. Concurrence of management. Fail over. Redundancy. Multiple data centers. Hybrid networks (wireless, fo, cooper) Etc etc.

I know Dvtel has deployed in a system where phase one was 1~2k cameras, phase two 10~10K cameras and phase three another 2 ~ 4k cameras. It also has over 800 lanes of LPR and hundreds of cameras with facial capture and recognition. Selected cameras have advanced analytics. All camera events are integrated through the Detel VMS with the advanced analytics, integration to data mining, event manangment, and tracking provided by a custom command and control.

Thanks for all recommendations. In fact, I have all needed components for my side of the project and the question was exactly about VMS to cover typical tasks. As it was mentioned previously, for example Milestone could be a good fit and I tried to find good alternatives to consider.


Without trying to promote ourselves, I'd like to point out that ISS has done multi-thousand city surveillance projects, including one wrapping up right now with over 5000 cameras, LPR, and multiple command centers. We also do have a FCR offering and an open platform with an API available. We continually integrate new systems and devices into our VMS core to enhance the capabilities of our system as well as provide specific solutions for projects.

This said, I always advise caution when discussing FCR in an outdoor environment. One of the values I think ISS provides is working with our integration partners at a project management level to determine feasibility and any customization required for the project.

We would be happy to assist your subscriber in determining feasibility, support any integrations, and provide an enterprise VMS that’s already been battle-tested in a number of multi-thousand camera (and sensor) projects worldwide.

'A'... just to simply mention another VMS for your 'eval list' where I know they are involved with X thousand cam deployments.... VideoInsight (or IPVideo).

I do recommend you look at ISS. They don't have a lot of deployments in North America but they are big in South America and Asia. ISS has interfaces with many cameras and other sensors along with a suite of analytics including facial capture / recognition. They also are flexible with quick response for customization.