VMS Competitive Comparison 2010

By John Honovich, Published on May 22, 2010

This report provides the most extensive comparison of Video Management System software in the world. Inside the premium section, members may watch 1 hour of video screencasts, review 20+ comparison tables and benefit from dozens of recommendations on strength and weaknesses.

Vendors Compared

This comparison is based on our test results of 14 VMS systems:

  • Axis Camera Station (ACS)
  • Axis Video Hosted Service (AVHS)
  • Avigilon Control Center
  • Digifort
  • DVTel Latitude
  • Genetec Omnicast
  • ipConfigure
  • Exacq
  • Luxriot
  • Milestone Corporate
  • Milestone Enterprise
  • Mobotix
  • NUUO
  • OnSSI NetDVMS & Ocularis Client Lite
  • Pelco Digital Sentry

This collection provides a broad range of global VMS system from basic to advanced, from free to very expensive. Additionally, we will continue to test more VMS systems on an ongoing basis and those systems to future versions of this report.

Pre-Requisite

Optimally understanding and using this comparison requires review of our 2 hour VMS training or hands-on experience with multiple VMS systems.

Comparison by Differentiators

We identified 9 elements important to many specifiers where VMS systems materially differed:

  • Price
  • Simplicity
  • 3rd Party IP Camera Support
  • 3rd Party Security System Support
  • Enterprise Management
  • Analytics
  • Redundancy
  • Video Distribution
  • Alarm / Event Management

We analyze each of these elements and assess the relative strength of each VMS system in all of these elements.

Comparison by Vertical / Segment

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We identified 5 verticals / market segments, providing recommendations on best fits for each. These segments are:

  • Residential
  • Small / Medium Business
  • Single Site Corporation
  • Multi-Branch Corporation
  • Municipal / Government

Restrictions on Use

This comparison is for the private use of members to make better decisions on VMS selection. No one is allowed to use these comparisons to publicly promote products.

As in all research we perform, IP Video Market accepts no advertising, no sponsorships, no consulting nor reprint fees from manufacturers. We are here to help integrators and end users make better decisions, not manufacturers market.

Preview of the Competitive Comparison

The following 2 minute video provides a look of what's inside:

In this introductory video below, we explain what we found to be the key 9 differentiators. For more details, read our 3 page report explaining the drivers and metrics for the top 9 differentiators.

  • Why top 9 differentiators? (00:16 min)
  • Pricing (01:49 min)
  • Enterprise Management (03:48 min)
  • 3rd Party System Integration (06:21 min)
  • Redundancy (07:52 min)
  • Analytics (10:07 min)
  • Alarm / Event Monitoring (11:50 min)
  • Video Distribution (13:30 min)
  • Simplicity (14:50 min)
  • 3rd Party Camera Support (19:27 min)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VMS Vendor Competitive Overview

In the video below, we provide commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of each VMS system one vendor at a time, for all 14 systems.

Best and Worst for Each Top 9 Differentiator

 

 

 

 

In the following video screencast, we examine each differentiator and analyze how strong or weak each VMS provider was for that item.

  • Pricing (00:50 min)
  • Enterprise Management (02:13 min)
  • 3rd Party System Integration (03:22 min)
  • Redundancy (04:30 min)
  • Analytics (05:22 min)
  • Event Monitoring (06:37 min)
  • Video Distribution (07:41 min)
  • Simplicity (08:28 min)
  • 3rd Party Camera Support (11:09 min)

Top VMS Fits for Market Segments

In the video below, we provide an overview of different market segments and the best fits for each segment.

  • Vertical Markets Explained (00:51 min)
  • Residential - 'family size' (01:14 min)
  • Small Business (SMB), Less than 20 Employess (04:30 min)
  • Single Site Corporation, 50 + Employess (06:57 min)
  • Multi-Branch Corporation, 100s - 1000s of Employees (09:57 min)
  • Municipal / Government, 100 - 1000+ Cameras (12:35 min)

Master Comparison Table

The following table provides a summary comparison of all VMS systems and all differentiators.

Vendor Pricing Simplicity 3rd Party IP Camera Support 3rd Party System Support Analytics Support Enterprise Management Alarm Monitoring Video Distribution Redundancy
Milestone Corporate Weak Moderately Weak Strong Strong Strong Strong Moderate Strong Strong
Mobotix Strong Weak Weak Moderately Weak Moderate Moderately Weak Moderately Strong Moderate Strong
Pelco DS Moderately Weak Moderately Strong Moderate Weak Weak Weak Moderate None None
Axis Camera Station Moderate Moderate None None Weak Moderately Weak Moderate None None
Avigilon Moderately Weak Strong Moderately Weak Moderate Moderately Weak None Moderately Strong None Moderate
Digifort Moderately Strong Moderate Strong None None None None None None
DVTel Moderately Weak Moderately Weak Moderately Weak Moderate Moderate Strong Strong Strong Strong
Genetec Moderately Weak Weak Moderately Strong Strong Moderately Strong Strong Strong Strong Strong
ipConfigure Moderate Moderate Moderately Weak None Weak Strong Moderate None None
Exacq Moderately Strong Strong Moderate  Moderately Strong Moderately Weak Moderate Moderate None None
Luxriot Strong Moderately Strong Strong Weak None None None None None
Milestone Enterprise Weak Moderately Weak Strong Strong Strong Moderately Strong Moderate None None
NUUO Moderately Strong Weak Moderately Strong Weak Moderately weak Weak Moderate Moderate None
OnSSI Weak Moderate Strong  Moderately Strong Moderate Moderately Strong None Strong None

Comparison Table by Differentiator

These 9 tables show results for all VMS systems divided by differentiator.

Vendor Pricing
Mobotix Strong
Luxriot Strong
Digifort Moderately Strong
Exacq Moderately Strong
NUUO Moderately Strong
Axis Camera Station Moderate
ipConfigure Moderate
Pelco DS Moderately Weak
Avigilon Moderately Weak
DVTel Moderately Weak
Genetec Moderately Weak
Milestone Corporate Weak
Milestone Enterprise Weak
OnSSI NetDVMS Weak

 

Vendor Simplicity
Exacq Strong
Avigilon Strong
Luxriot Moderately Strong
Pelco DS Moderately Strong
Digifort Moderate
Axis Camera Station Moderate
ipConfigure Moderate
OnSSI NetDVMS Moderate
DVTel Moderately Weak
Milestone Corporate Moderately Weak
Milestone Enterprise Moderately Weak
Mobotix Weak
NUUO Weak
Genetec Weak

 

Vendor 3rd Party IP Camera Support
Luxriot Strong
Digifort Strong
OnSSI NetDVMS Strong
Milestone Corporate Strong
Milestone Enterprise Strong
NUUO Moderately Strong
Genetec Moderately Strong
Exacq Moderate
Pelco DS Moderate
Avigilon Moderately Weak
ipConfigure Moderately Weak
DVTel Moderately Weak
Mobotix Weak
Axis Camera Station None

 

Vendor 3rd Party System Support
Milestone Corporate Strong
Milestone Enterprise Strong
Genetec Strong
OnSSI NetDVMS Moderately Strong
Exacq Moderately Strong
Avigilon Moderate
DVTel Moderate
Mobotix Moderately Weak
Luxriot Weak
NUUO Weak
Pelco DS Weak
Digifort None
ipConfigure None
Axis Camera Station None

 

Vendor Analytics Support
Milestone Corporate Strong
Milestone Enterprise Strong
Genetec Moderately Strong
OnSSI NetDVMS Moderate
DVTel Moderate
Mobotix Moderate
Exacq Moderately Weak
Avigilon Moderately Weak
Luxriot Moderately Weak
NUUO Moderately Weak
Pelco DS Weak
ipConfigure Weak
Axis Camera Station Weak
Digifort None

 

Vendor Enterprise Management
Milestone Corporate Strong
Genetec Strong
DVTel Strong
ipConfigure Strong
Milestone Enterprise Moderately Strong
OnSSI NetDVMS NetDVMS Moderately Strong
Exacq Moderate
Mobotix Moderately Weak
Axis Camera Station Moderately Weak
NUUO Weak
Pelco DS Weak
Avigilon None
Luxriot None
Digifort None

 

Vendor Alarm Monitoring
Genetec Strong
DVTel Strong
Milestone Corporate Moderately Strong
Mobotix Moderately Strong
Avigilon Moderately Strong
ipConfigure Moderate
Exacq Moderate
Axis Camera Station Moderate
NUUO Moderate
Pelco DS Moderate
OnSSI NetDVMS None
Luxriot None
Digifort None

 

Vendor Video Distribution
Genetec Strong
Milestone Corporate Strong
DVTel Strong
OnSSI NetDVMS Strong
Mobotix Moderate
NUUO Moderate
Avigilon None
ipConfigure None
Exacq None
Axis Camera Station None
Pelco DS None
Milestone Enterprise None
Luxriot None
Digifort None

 

Vendor Redundancy
Genetec Strong
Milestone Corporate Strong
DVTel Strong
Mobotix Strong
Avigilon Moderate
OnSSI NetDVMS None
NUUO None
ipConfigure None
Exacq None
Axis Camera Station None
Pelco DS None
Milestone Enterprise None
Luxriot None
Digifort None

 

Differentiator Table for each VMS

These 14 tables show the results for all differentiators divided by VMS system.

  Axis Camera Station
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing  Moderate Single server, limited to Axis cameras
 Simplicity  Moderate Investigations can be confusing
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  None Not supported
 3rd Party System Support  None Not supported
 Analytics Support  Weak Next version supports Axis Tripwire
 Enterprise Management  Moderately Weak Via ACM, provides camera configuration, none on VMS
 Alarm Monitoring  Moderate Built in monitoring pane
 Video Distribution None Not supported
 Redundancy None Not supported

 

  Avigilon
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing  Moderately Weak Only provides one tier pricing, cameras require storage intensive JPEG2000, pricing offset by inexpensive camera costs
 Simplicity  Strong Setup / configuration simple, investigations straightforward
 3rd Party IP Camera Support Moderately weak Limited to handful of predominately large vendors
 3rd Party System Support Moderately Weak Support for some leading access control systems
 Analytics Support Moderately Weak LPR, SightLogix
 Enterprise Management None Not supported
 Alarm Monitoring Moderately strong Alarm button provides alarm tab
 Video Distribution None Not supported
 Redundancy Moderate Recording channel failover

 

  Digifort
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing  Moderately Strong Pricing can be fairly low but certain functionalities limited to higher pricing
 Simplicity  Moderate Investigations challenging, administration in separate client
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Strong Fairly extensive
 3rd Party System Support  None Not supported
 Analytics Support  None Not supported
 Enterprise Management  None Not supported
 Alarm Monitoring None None supported
 Video Distribution None Not supported
 Redundancy None Not supported

 

  DVTel
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing  Moderately weak Multi-tier pricing structure, less expensive compared to some competitors
 Simplicity  Moderately Weak Wizards and logical layout but extensive options
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Moderately Weak Limited to 10 vendors, plus DVTel's product line
 3rd Party System Support  Moderate Supports 5 ACS's including Lenel
 Analytics Support  Moderate Supports handful of analytics providers
 Enterprise Management  Strong Is a core feature, not an add-on
 Alarm Monitoring Strong Integrated management, Advanced Use Options
 Video Distribution Strong Video distribution supported
 Redundancy  Strong For both Archiver and Directory

 

 Genetec
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing Moderately Weak Tiered pricing structure
 Simplicity Weak Multiple admin & multiple monitoring applications, buried options
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Moderately Strong Broad support but not as extensive than a few VMS providers
 3rd Party System Support Strong Supports PSIM, matrix switches, keyboard, etc.
 Analytics Support  Moderately Strong Handful of providers
 Enterprise Management  Strong Including Federation for multiple Genetec system
 Alarm Monitoring  Strong Integrated pane plus alarm forwarding & management
 Video Distribution Strong Integrated virtual matrix, keyboard controls
 Redundancy  Strong On management side, plus on the camera side

 

ipConfigure
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing  Moderate Lower than many direct competitors
 Simplicity  Moderate Advanced IT skill required installation, some common functions confusing on web client
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Moderately Weak Limited number of  vendors
 3rd Party System Support  None Not supported
 Analytics Support  Weak LPR support
 Enterprise Management  Strong Built into interface
 Alarm Monitoring  Moderate Separate window, w/out db change, refresh rate minimum 15 sec.
 Video Distribution None No network distribution
 Redundancy None  Not supported

 

  Exacq
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing Modeately Strong Enterprise management relatively inexpensive add-on
 Simplicity Strong Single client, limited number of features laid out logically
 3rd Party IP Camera Support Moderate Good selection of commonly used cameras
 3rd Party System Support Moderately Strong Supports 9 ACS's including Lenel and S2
 Analytics Support Moderately Weak Supports Viasys & ioimage
 Enterprise Management Moderate  
 Alarm Monitoring Moderate Integrated pane and pop-up can be difficult to setup and use
 Video Distribution None Not supported
 Redundancy None Not supported

 

 Luxriot
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing Strong Lowest priced open VMS we tested
 Simplicity Moderately Strong Some common functionalities can be difficult to find
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Strong Broad for top-selling / niche cameras
 3rd Party System Support Weak only one supported
 Analytics Support None Not supported
 Enterprise Management None Not supported
 Alarm Monitoring None Not supported
 Video Distribution None Not supported
 Redundancy None Not supported

 

  Milestone Corporate
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing  Weak High even for large scale systems, plus many separately purchased add ons needed for full functionality
 Simplicity  Moderately Weak Investigations especially weak, need for add-ons (e.g., Central, Analytics, etc.) increases complexity; administration fairly simple
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Strong Strong but be careful as some cameras are supported by Enterprise but not Corporate version
 3rd Party System Support  Strong Be careful that some 3rd party systems integrate with Milestone Enterprise but not Corporate
 Analytics Support  Strong With addition of Video Analytics add-on [link no longer available]
 Enterprise Management  Strong Be aware of requirement for using Windows only authentication
 Alarm Monitoring  Moderate With addition of Central and use of second client
 Video Distribution  Strong With addition of SmartWall (expensive $20k MSRP flat)
 Redundancy  Strong Be aware that Management Server redundancy requires Windows Clustering to be enabled/deployed

 

Milestone Enterprise
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing Weak Significant base license + higher per camera fee
 Simplicity Moderately Weak Investigations complex, admin settings complex
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Strong Support key manufacturers but limited total number
 3rd Party System Support Strong Strong but be careful as some cameras are supported by Enterprise but not Corporate version
 Analytics Support Strong XProtect Analytics framework
 Enterprise Management Moderately Strong Awkward master / slave setup
 Alarm Monitoring Moderate Requires Add-on of XProtect Central and use of second client
 Video Distribution None Does not support Video Wall (only in Milestone Corporate)
 Redundancy None Not supported

 

NUUO
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing  Moderately Strong Even including CMS, price is still fairly low
 Simplicity Weak Problematic defaults, maze of options, fractured monitoring between VMS / CMS
 3rd Party IP Camera Support Moderately Strong Broad support
 3rd Party System Support  Weak Less than a handful of systems
 Analytics Support Moderately weak Extensive built-in options but questionable accuracy
 Enterprise Management Weak No enterprise administration, only enterprise monitoring via CMS
 Alarm Monitoring Moderate Fragmented administration and operation with VMS / CMS
 Video Distribution Moderate Fragmented with VMS / Matrix Client
 Redundancy None Not supported

 

  MOBOTIX
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing Strong VMS Software Free, Storage can be done entirely and directly to low cost NAS devices
 Simplicity Weak Training critical, infeasible for people to learn by experimentation; violates standard conventions making it hard for even experience operators to figure out without training
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Weak Limited range of support, only MJPEG encoding, only continuous recording
 3rd Party System Support Moderately Weak Little to no 'out of box' integrations, requires custom integration using IP Notify/Receive
 Analytics Support  Moderate Not true video analytics but complex event configuration possible with VMD and audio analytics
 Enterprise Management  Moderately Weak Limited enterprise management, requires 'work-arounds' to centralize configuration
 Alarm Monitoring  Moderately Strong Integrated column, provides tracking of alarms, instructions for guards
 Video Distribution  Moderate IP Notify can trigger changes to applications and switching to preferred views
 Redundancy Strong Eliminates VMS Server as central point of failure

 

  Pelco DS
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing  Moderate - Weak Depends on sales promotion and use of 3rd party cameras
 Simplicity  Moderately Strong Be careful for advanced administration in DSAdmin
 3rd Party IP Camera Support  Moderate Support key manufacturers but limited total number
 3rd Party System Support  Weak Amag and Continuum being the two
 Analytics Support  Weak Active Alert from Pelco is offered in various DS models
 Enterprise Management  Weak No enterprise user management and very limited central server administration
 Alarm Monitoring  Moderate Integrated pane and provides tracking of alarms
 Video Distribution None Not supported
 Redundancy None  Not supported

 

OnSSI
Criteria Strength Description
 Pricing Weak Significant base license + higher per camera fee
 Simplicity Moderate Somewhat complex but two client options
 3rd Party IP Camera Support Strong Support key manufacturers but limited total number
 3rd Party System Support Moderately Strong Supports 10 ACS's including a number of top selling ACS's
 Analytics Support Moderate OEM AgentVi, supports Briefcam
 Enterprise Management Moderately Strong Awkward master / slave setup
 Alarm Monitoring None Not supported
 Video Distribution Strong NetSwitcher [link no longer available]
 Redundancy None Not supported

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