Favorite Large Scale VMSes 2015By John Honovich, Published Aug 10, 2015, 12:00am EDT
If you have 100+ cameras in your system, what should you use for recording? What is used for recording?
This table shows the breakdown across manufacturers:
Genetec, who was not among the top choices for SMB, takes the top spot clearly. Their rival, Milestone comes in next, who was also second in the SMB race.
Third and fourth was close between Exacq and Avigilon. Relative to the SMB market, Exacq did worse for large systems, while Avigilon did modestly better.
The Next 6
Genetec, Milestone, Exacq and Avigilon were clearly the overall favorites with significant separation from the pack. However, 4 other manufacturers received notable consideration, with the next 4 combined getting ~14% of selections.
They are OnSSI, Pelco, Verint, Aimetis, NICE and DVTel. All of these companies had either negligible or no selections in the SMB results. However, all of these offering's features and pricing is more optimized for large systems than SMB.
Missing - Boxes / Chinese
Notably missing were DVR / NVR appliance manufacturers and especially Chinese low-cost recorders. Virtually no respondents suggested or recommended using such offerings, underscoring the importance of premium feature sets and the willingness for larger buyers to pay for them.
Limited Large VMS Selections for Integrators
On the large scale camera side, most integrators picked 2 or even 3 camera manufacturers that they use / favor. However, on the large VMS side, almost all integrators picked one or two.
We believe the reason is the amount of training and time needed for staff to become strong at configuring and maintaining larger more complex VMSes with the advanced features that are frequently used.
Integrators emphasized Genetec's advanced integrations and functions for their section:
- "We usually only lead with Genetec. Often, the environments where we are deploying large camera systems also have a need or possible future need for access control, so we lead with a PSIM-type solution"
- "For bigger projects we would specify Enterprise of Federated systems, such as Genetec or Milestone, and use SAN for video storage"
- "Genetec. This has the ability to scale with camera quantities, as well as become a unified software solution."
- "Genetec - the most features for tiered recording architecture, multi-casting, and boost on motion. We find Genetec's base price point is much more palatable for large systems. for small systems we're looking to drive the cost down and will go elsewhere."
Common Differentiators of Large Scale VMSes
All of the VMSes selected by integrators here share most of the following differentiators generally not found in 'smaller' scale recorders:
- Software only option: Many low-end recorders are only available as appliances. However, most large-scale users want the flexibility to run the recording application on their own choice of servers.
- 3rd Party System Integration: Most low-end recorders have limited access control, PoS, intrusion, PSIM, etc. integrations. However, most large-scale users have one or many of those other systems, desiring integration between them.
- Broad 3rd Party IP Camera Support: Many low-end recorders only support their own cameras or best-effort via ONVIF. However, large-scale users often need the flexibility to integrate various cameras, either due to specialized needs or changes in purchasing decisions over time, etc. It is not surprising, therefore, that the top choices are here are two of the best at broad and deep 3rd party integrations.
- Enterprise Management: Many low-end recorders require logging into each unit individually to configure cameras as well as independent logins / passwords for each recorder. This can be very time-consuming and difficult to coordinate. Most large-scale VMSes allow centralized administration and accounts.
- Network Video Wall: Most low-end recorders do not allow users to share or push video to other users, as this is not a common use case for small systems. However, many large-scale users will have multiple simultaneous monitors / users who can benefit from being able to dynamically share video feeds in real-time.
- Rules / Actions: Most low-end recorders just display video. However, larger systems often need specific responses to be taken if events happen. Most large-scale VMSes allow administrators to define rules, such as if camera 3 detects motion between midnight and 5am, send PTZ 5 to position X and trigger a sound in the guard shack.
- Server Redundancy: Most low-end recorders, if offline for any reason, will lose video for that period. However, many large-scale users will not allow or accept this. As such, many large-scale VMSes allow a secondary machine / recorder to quickly take over for a machine that temporarily goes offline.
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