Subscriber Discussion

Who Offers VMS Healthcheck?

Do VMS manufacturers offer a health check dashboard as standard or do they charge as a bolt on ? if so who are they ?

I can only say about Milestone and Bosch BVMS.

Milestone has features in their larger version which allows you to see server status, such as CPU usage, memory free, etc.
The new Corporate version (most expensive one) has a fancy looking health status option build in its management system which gives off quite some information. They aren't add-ons are availible with the standard software. But it's mostly for the larger (and thus more expensive) packages.

As for BVMS. It's VRM (recording manager) has some nice graphs on how each camera's is doing in regards of bandwidth and storage. I haven't seen features which shows CPU health etc. Also here, standard software.

I can also only say about Genetec Security Center 5.x, which does, and it is standard across all versions

There is also a real-time System Status task:

This can be run for any parts of the system, cameras, doors, servers, etc.

I know Exacq has some built in hardware monitoring if you use their hardware. We also use OnSSI but that's just using the Milestone recording engine.

When I install Dell servers I install Open Manager on it and it emails me alerts when anything fails, except if the server crashes because then it can't email. If the whole server crashes though the end user is going to notice pretty quick. SNMP can also be used to monitor a variety of network devices, some of the software is free but requires some fine tuning.

Jason, how easy/useful in something like Open Manager to manage? Does it provide an central management of the systems and alerts, or do you just treat each box as its only little system (i.e. if you have a site with 8 servers, do you have to set up all the emails and alerts on each box, or can you set it up once and then do some sort of import/export that alert config to each server?

Gents, thanks for the comments so far.

Manufacturers, please feel free to comment on your capabilities. Cite details and, if available, link to documentation.

For monitoring SNMP you can look at free solutions like Zenoss or Nagios. Not only can you monitor your VMS servers, Cameras, but you cal also monitor UPS systems, Network Switches and environmental sensors.

Monitoring can be done on different aspects of the system. SNMP is a good option for many, but it will depend on the data disclosed over the protocol. SNMP originatet as a pure network management system.

The most "standard" SNMP support is to hvae the MIB-II supportet. This is specified in the RFC.

Some suppliers can support aditional company specific data. This can be P/T/Z status, VMD events, image status etc.

This will then be described in their own sompany specific MIB. You can find a list over companies that have reserved their own MIN OID.

To use this infomrmation in a sensible way you would need to have the MIB in your Network Management System(NMS). Duncan Miller mentions two very good systems above. I would recomend Zenoss for newcommers to SNMP. Nagios is great, but needs more competence is my expereince. There are also numerous comercial options which are very good.

Our company has both SNMP capabilities and a separate monitoring system. Most customers prefere our own management system as it's easier to get going and fully integrated in to our VMS. customer that have large setups and already have a NMS running often require SNMP.

DVTET Latitude has a system status dashboard when you first open the Admin Center application (application that configures the system).

Sean - Open Manage is pretty easy but it's local to each server. I just load OMA and then I found a script online that automates the setup of the alerts. There's a second script that sends the email out. Dell does have their Enterprise style management software but I haven't used that as OMA has fit my needs for now.

Thanks Jason

Vigil has a pretty inclusive VCM (Vigil Central Management) program for monitoring your sites. It will show at a glance, things like freespace, retention times (compared to desired retentions), drive and CPU temperatures, CPU usage, active vs. recording vs. total cameras, and a lot more. Anything that doesn't match desired spec is color coded - a camera offline or a system only getting 88 days' retention where you want 90, will appear in yellow, an overtemp drive as red, etc.

Hmmm thought I had a screen capture of its display, but apparently nothing is handy... if I find one, I'll post it.

Our UltraIP VMS has this version of health check:

It is quite basic the information, most regarding to hardware and service availability. You can generate events from any disconnection of any server/device, etc. But it is helpful to see at a glance quite big installations status:

We are working to make the system being monitored by a standard SNMP client/server. This way, it is possible to use the specific features of tools like Nagios, PRTG, etc

I'm looking into OpenNMS. Has anyone used that for monitoring cameras, CPUs, memory usage or storage devices?

I've been experimenting with Zabbix lately. It is an open-source and offered for free. Moreover, it enables the monitoring of a great variety of platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, amongst others) via SNMP, Web monitoring, Zabbix agent, Java application servers over JMX, etc. I must say that so far so good. I'm able to monitor IP cameras and switches via SNMP and the servers via Zabbix agents. The only shortcoming I see about Zabbix is the lack of auto discovery of network topology.

Manufacturers of IP cameras could make monitoring much simpler by means of providing extra SNMP MIBs. So far, with MIB-II I can monitor the IP camera's throughput, but other relevant information such as number of streams, CPU load, storage usage, etc., are not available via SNMP.

OpenEye Radius offers Health Check will monitor the status of connected DVRs and notify users of video loss, recording failures or storage failures via e-mail alerts or trigger an audio warning to notify the Radius operator.

I think every "major VMS" (Milestone, ONSSI, ExacQ, Verint, Genetec, NICE ...) has their HeatlhCheck system as a Standard. some including details or info that other don't, but all of them can trigger email alert when detecting HDD fails, or diaplay a board indicating CPU/Memory usage, throughput..., this can be founf even in lower cost VMS like Digifort, ISS, LuxRiot...

What I have see is talking about enterprise DVRs manufacturers charge for their HealtchCheck function / software, but talking about VMS healtcheck is included as a standard.