A few years ago, NAS appliances with embedded NVR software seemed to be a growing alternative. Instead of buying a PC/server and loading VMS software, the NAS came ready to go, enabling cameras to essentially be directly connected to storage.
While edge storage / direct to NAS is now a growing phenomenon for IP camera manufacturers (e.g., Axis Camera Companion), NAS NVR providers like QNAP and Synology continue to be niche players with not much traction or momentum. Why?
The big plus of NAS NVR providers is that they support a wide array of 3rd party IP cameras so unlike camera manufacturer offerings, you are not locked in.
The two big minuses I suspect are cost: QNAP is actually fairly expensive (e.g., $2400 for a 16 channel model w/o hard drives). Synology is less but they charge ~$50 per camera license, which begs the question of why not buy Milestone or Exacq for the same price.
The other big question would be feature sets. I have not seen or used either NVR NAS in a few years so I am not sure how they stack up.
Can anyone share any experience / thoughts on this?
Btw, last year, iomega announced that it was opening up its NASes to run 3rd party VMS software - an interesting and different approach but it still seems limited in what 3rd parties run on it.
[UPDATE: Now Milestone has announced a new platform that, among other things, runs on NAS appliances. This could reinvigorate the NAS NVR market.]