One of the most fundamental decisions in IP video surveillance is: Should you buy your own PC/server and load VMS software on it or get a turnkey appliance (both hardware and software, e.g., NVR, Hybrid DVR) from a VMS/NVR manufacturer?
While many feel strongly in both directions, both approaches have advantages depending on the scale of the system and the expertise of the deploying organizations. For what is most used in the field and why, read our VMS/NVR deployment survey results. In this report, we will examine the main drivers for both options.
Here are the key advantages of appliances:
- Less time to setup
- Less knowledge required
- Lower cost labor
- Simpler troubleshooting
- No annual software costs
- Simpler for analog / migrated systems
- Simpler for small camera count deployments
By contrast, here are the key advantages of Software Only
- Pick your own hardware
- More flexibility to scale hardware / software
- VMS not locked to hardware
- Lower cost for hardware
- Best option for many top tier vendors
- More effective for large camera count deployments
Inside, we explain and detail each advantage.