VMS Health Monitoring Shootout

Author: Sarit Williams, Published on Sep 18, 2013

Monitoring the health of video surveillance systems is critical to ensuring reliability and eliminating the security risks of outages. VMS software, as the central component of viewing, recording and managing video is typically looked at for monitoring the health of the overall system. However, what features do these VMSes provide?

Which VMSes are better or worse at health monitoring? In this report, we share the results of our study.

We tested Milestone, Genetec, Avigilon, Exacq, Network Optix / Digital Watchdog, and Video Insight VMSes.

11 Key Differentiators

Our testing revealed 11 differentiators:

  • Views Offered: The main options included (1) real time dashboards, (2) exceptions, (3) statistics and (4) logs. Some offered only one of these with others offered 2 or 3 of these options.
  • Default RulesWhether fundamental rules were activated out of the box or required user setup.
  • Server Down Rule: Whether the VMS allowed for notifications if the VMS was down.
  • Camera Rules: Whether the VMS notified if cameras were down and what type of details were offered.
  • Storage, Database and Network Problem Rules on these specific low level issues
  • Communication Methods: Whether the VMS offered client onscreen notifications, Email, SMS/Text, and/or System Logs.
  • Reporting Options: What VMS allowed for - HTML, CSV, and/or PDF (or none).
  • Maintenance Mode: Whether the VMS allows temporarily turning off notifications when scheduled maintenance is being performed.
  • Server Independence: Whether the VMS ran health monitoring as part of the server or separately so it can still notify even in case of a VMS server problem.

********** *** ****** ** ***** ************ ******* ** ******** ** ensuring *********** *** *********** *** ******** ***** ** *******. *** software, ** *** ******* ********* ** *******, ********* *** ******** video ** ********* ****** ** *** ********** *** ****** ** the ******* ******. *******, **** ******** ** ***** ***** *******?

***** ***** *** ****** ** ***** ** ****** **********? ** this ******, ** ***** *** ******* ** *** *****.

** ****** *********, *******, ********, *****, ******* ***** / ******* Watchdog, *** ***** ******* *****.

11 *** ***************

*** ******* ******** ** ***************:

  • ***** *******: *** **** ******* ******** (*) **** **** **********, (*) exceptions, (*) ********** *** (*) ****. **** ******* **** *** of ***** **** ****** ******* * ** * ** ***** options.
  • ******* ************ *********** ***** **** ********* *** ** *** *** ** required **** *****.
  • ****** **** ****: ******* *** *** ******* *** ************* ** *** *** was ****.
  • ****** *****: ******* *** *** ******** ** ******* **** **** *** what **** ** ******* **** *******.
  • *******, ******** *** ******* ******* ***** ** ***** ******** *** ***** ******
  • ************* *******: ******* *** *** ******* ****** ******** *************, *****, ***/****, and/or ****** ****.
  • ********* *******: **** *** ******* *** - ****, ***, ***/** *** (** none).
  • *********** ****: ******* *** *** ****** *********** ******* *** ************* **** scheduled *********** ** ***** *********.
  • ****** ************: ******* *** *** *** ****** ********** ** **** ** the ****** ** ********** ** ** *** ***** ****** **** in **** ** * *** ****** *******.

[***************]

**** ** *** *** ** *** *************** ******** ****** *****:

  • ***** *******: ** ********** * ***** ** *****. *** ***** ** * real **** ********* **** ** ******* ** *********, *** ******* Optix/Digital ******** (****** *** ** ******** ** *********'*). *** **** of *** ***** ******* * ********** ** **** **** **** of **********, **** (********, ***** *******, *** *****) *** **** term ********** (******* *** *********).
  • ******* *****: ******* *****/******* ********, *** ********* **** **** * **** preset ******* ***** (**/** ******* ******** ****, ***** ********* ******* generic ******** *** ******* ** **).  *** ***** ***** ******** an ************* ** ********* **** *** ***** **** *** *** implementation (**** ** ******* **/**** (***** ******* *******) ** ****** issues).
  • ****** **** ****: *** ** *** **** ******** ****.  ********, ***** ******* (***** HM *** **), ******* *****/******* ********, ********* *** ******* ***** server **** *****, *** ***** **** *** (****** ********** *** purchased ** *** ** ****).
  • ****** *****: *** ***** ***** ****** ******, *** ******* ********* ** ********* type (********* ******* ** ****** **** ******).
  • ******* *****: ******* *****/******* ********, *********, ********, ***** ******* (****** ** ***** errors ****) *** ******* ***** ***** ******* ** *******. ***** does ***.
  • ******** *****:***** ******* ****** * ******* ***'* ******* *****.  ***** *** rest ** *** ***** ***** ******** ******** ******* ****** **** the ********* ** ***** ******** ** ******** ******* ******.
  • ******* ****** ****: ******* *****/******* ********, ******* *** ********* **** ******* **** *******, while ********, ***** *******, ******* *** ****** **** *** ****** or ******* *** *** *********.
  • ************* *******: ***** *** * ************ *****: ****** ******** *************, ***** (*** *****), SMS/Text, *** ****** ****. *** ***** ******* **** **** ** client ************* **** *** ********* ** ***** (****** ******* ****). Texting ** ********* (************ *** **********) *** ***** ************. *** VMSes ******* ****** ****.
  • *********: ****, ***, *** *** **** *** **** ****** ***** ****** all *****. *******, *** ******* ******** * *****: ****-**** ********* and *********** *******. ********* ****** **** **** *********** ******* ** PDF. ******* ****** ***, ***, *** *****. ***** ******* ****** an **** ******** ****, ***** ******* *****/******* ******** (***, ****), Avigilon (***), *** ***** ***** ** *********** ******* (**** ****** log **** ****).
  • *********** ****: ******* *** *** **** *** ** ***** * '*********** Mode' ***** ************* *** ********** ** ************* ****** ******* ********. The **** ******** ***** ** ****** ******* *** ****** ***** in ** (***** *******), ** *****: ******* **** *** ***** rule ************ *** ********** **** *********** ** ********* ** ****** inundated **** **** *************.
  • ****** ************: ****** ******* (**) ****** ** **** ** ******* **** ******* and ******* *** *** ***** ** *** **** ****** ** is ***** ** ******. ********, *****, ******* (******** ******), ********* (only ** *********/******), *** ******* *****/******* ******** *** ******* *** HM ***** **** ******- ****** **** ****, ** ** *** notifications. Video ******* *** ***** ***** ** ******** ******** ******* ** that *** ****** ** * ******** ****** (** ********* ** same ****** ******* **** ** **** **** ** *****, ********* must ******** * ********* ****** ** ** ***** ** ***** cost) ********* ****** ** *********** ******* ***** *********. 

**** ** ** ******** ******* ** ********:

***** *******'* ****** ******* *********** ** ******** ** *** **** and *****'* ********** ****** *******'* **** ** $***. *********'* ********** customer ********* ** ********* ** **********, ************, *******, *** *********. *** rest ** *** ***** ** *** **** *** ********** **** associated **** ****** **********.

Views *********

************** *********** *** ********** *** ****** ** ***** ******** *********** must **** * *** ** ************ **** *** ******** ********** via * ********* ********* ** * ****** *********. ** ****** users ** ** **** ** ******* ******** ***** ***** *** or **** ***** ***** ** ******* *** **** ********* ******.

********* (*********) ******* **** **** *** ******** ***** *** ********** graphs ********** **** ****** ** ********** ************ ** * *** screen **** (**. ********* ***** ** ** *** **** ** the *****). **** *********** ******* ********* ****** ******** *** **** to **** *** ********* ********** ** *** ***** ** ****** (proactive), ***** ** *** ***** ***** **** ********** (********).

***** ******** ** ********* ***** * ******* ******** *** * pie ***** ** ****:

******* *****/******* ******** ******* ******** **** ** ***, ***, *** writing ********, *** *** ***** ********. *** **** **** ** client ************ **** ** **** *** * **** ** '******' and **********. 

******** ******* * **** ******* **** **** ****** **** **** information **** *** ** **** **** *** ***** ********* ******'* Task ******* ******* **** ***** ****** ********** ***********:

***** *******'* ****** ********** ***-** ****** ******* ********* ******* *********** ranging **** ***/*** ** ****** ** ******* ******* ***** *** bandwidth **** *** ******* ** ***, ***** *** ***-** ** a **** **** ******* **** *** ** ******.  ** **** require *** **** ** **** *** ***-** ****** ******* ****** to ******** *** ****** ** ***** *****.

 

******* ****** * ****** ******* **** ** ******** ******** **** both ******** ****'* ************ **** ** *** ****** ****.  *** information *** ** ********, *** ********* ** * **** **** view ********* *** **** ** **** ******* ********, ******, ** informational ********. *******, ***** ******** **** ***** **** *** ***** OS ****** **** **: "*/**/**** *:**:** ** * ********* ********** for **** *********** *** *** ** *****. ***** ********* *** performance *** *** **********. ******* *** ********* ******** ** **** order: ********* **** *********. **** *** ** ***** ** **** installation *** ***** *** **** \********\*********".

***** ****** ** ************* *** ****** ********** ****** *** ***** interface, ***** **** *** ***** *** ****** *** ***** *** informational *** ****** ***** ****** *** * ***** ********** **** where *** ******* ** ***** ****** ***** ** *********. **** is * ****** *****:

Default *****

**** **** *** ************ ***** *** ***** ***** *** *** all *********** *** ********* ***** ****, ***** ******* *** ******** components ** * ******** ******: *******, *******, ******* *** ******* Storage. ******* *** ************* ** *** ************* *** ****** ** errors ***** **** ********* *** **** ** ***** *****, ********* in ******** ************* ****.

********* ******* * ***** ***** **** ** ****** ********, *** and ******, **** ******** ** ******** ********** ********** *********. ******* *****/******* Watchdog, *** ******** ******* *** **** ***** ************ ********** *** critical ********** ** **** ******* ** ******** ***** *** ** started ***** ****** *** ****** ******* ***********, ****** ****.

*******, *** ***** **** *** ***** ** *** ******** **** of *** ******** ********** *************/***** ******* **********. ***** ******* ******* ****** **/**** *** **, *** ******* *** ***** ***** * ***** **** ** Signal **** ***** ** ******'* ****** ****.

Rules ********

**** ** *** ***** ******* * ******* ** ********* *****, with ***** *** ***** ******* ***** *** **** *******. *****'* Event ****** *********** **** ****** ******* *** ********* ***** ***** on ****** ****: '***** ****' *** ****** *** "** ****** Connection' *** ** *******, *** *** *** ****** ***** ** the **** *** *** *** ****- **** ** ***** ** why ****** *** ******** *****?

*****'* ***** ******* ****** ** ***** ****** ****, ****** ******, Network (*********, ****** ****, ***) *** ******** ******.  **** * event ***** ******* **** ***** **** ** *********. **** ** however ***** *** ******* ** ******* ****** ** **** ****** ** *********** problems **** *******, *** ********** ***** ** ******* ***** ******** (good ** ***** ***** ******).  

***** *******'* ***** **** *******, **** ***** ***** ******** ****** monitor ***** * ********** **** *****: ******* *** *****. ********, the ************* **** ******* ** ****** **** ** ******* **/**** emails.

*********, *******, ******** *** ******* *****/******* ******** ******* * **** list ** ***** ******** *** ** *** ****** *** **** more ****, **** **********, **** ****** *** **** ** ********* notified.

*********

**** ** *** ***** ******* **** **** ** ******* ** they ****** ** ****** **********.  ********* ******* *** **** ******* reports *** **** **** *********** ******** ** **** ******* *** cameras *** ***** *** *****, ****** *** ** **** ********* ********* quick ** ****** ****** *** **** (***).  ******* *****/******* ******** offers **** * *** *** ** **** ****** (***** ******* as ****).  ******* ****** *** **** **** ******* *** *** user: ***, ***** *** *** ******* (******** ** ****). ***** was *** ***** ** ******** * ***** **** **** ****** of ***** *** ****.

Maintenance ****

******* ****** * *********** **** ** *** ****** ******* **** allowing *** *** ***** ** ******** ****** **** ** ****** down ****** ** ** ********** ** ************* ********; **** ************* and ********* *** ******** ********* ******* ********* ********** *********** *******.  Users ***** **** ** ******* **** *** ***** **** ************ or ****** * **** ** ******/************* ** *** ***** *****, making ** ********* ** ******** ***** *** **** ****** *** which *** ***** ******** ** ********* ***** ******* *************.

External ****** ******* ******

***** ******* (******** ** *** **** ** ***), ***** (**** is $***), *** ********* (******** ** ***) **** *** **** VMSes **** ******* ** ******** ****** ******* *********** ** *** server ***** *** *** ******** ****** ******. **** ** ********** beneficial ** ***** ***** *** *** ****** ** ****** ******* issues ** * ***** ****** *** ***'* **********, *** ****** monitor *** ***** **** *************.  *** ***** *** ***** ******* It **** ******* ******* * ******** ****** ******** ** ******* the ** *** **** ******* ********** **** *** ***********.  *********'* Dashboard ** ** ******* ***** *** ******* ** ***** *****.

*********

********* (*********, *** ******) ************ ** ******** * ******* ********* dashboard ********** *** ********** ** ****** ************. *** ********* ******* displays *** ******* *** ******* *** **** ***** ******* ****** along **** * ********** **** *** ****. ********, **** ***** a **** ** ***** *** ********, ******, ******* *** ******* issues. ******** ***** ******** ***** ** ******* ***** ** ** added ****** *******. **** ** ********* *** ****** *** *******.

*********'* ******** ******** (********* **, ****) ***********' ******** ********* ******* increases ***** *********** ********* ****. ** **** *** ******* *** own ****** *** ** ********** ******* *****. **** *** ********* will ***** *********** ** ****** *** ********'* *******, *******, *******, and ***** ******** **********. **** **** ********* *** **** ** setup ***** ** **** ****** ******** *** **** *** ******* configuration. *******, **** ******** ****** *** ************** ****** ******* ** ******* ** *********'* ************ ******** **** (**********, ************, Express, *** *********), *** ********* ************* ***** *** ****** ********* is ********* *** * ************* ******* ** ******** ** ***.**** ** *********'* ******** *****.

**** ** * ********** ** *** *** ********** *********:

**** ** ** ******** *****:

Video *******

***** *******'* *** ***** ****** ********** ***** ************ *** *********** reports. ** **** ***** * ******** ****** ********** ***** *** pop-up **** ***** **/**** **** ** *** ******* *** ***** number ** ********, ****** ** ******* ** *** ** ** the ******* **** **** ** ***** (*******/*******/********?). ***********, ** ****** one ******* **** **** ******* *** **/**** *** * ***-** notifying ****** ** ***** ****.  **** ***** * ******* '****** to ***** *****" **** **** ** ****** ** ****** *** and *** ***** ***** **** *** *** **** ** ******** of ****** ********** **** ***** (****** *******, */*, ****** *********, etc).  **** ** ******* **** ** ******** ****** ******* *********** that *** ** ********* ** * ******** ****** **** ****** (We *** ******** ****** ********* ****** *** ******** ****** **** attempting ** ***) **** ******, *** ****** ******.  **** ********* ** **** **** ****** ** *** ******* ******

**** ** ** ******** *****:


Network *****/******* ********

******* *****/******* ******** ****** * ***** ******** ***** ******* (*** be ****** ***** ********** **** *****) ** ****** ***** **** as ***, *** *** ******* ********.  ** *** *** ************* tucked **** **** *** **** ****** **** **** *** ** quickly ******** ** **** *** ********.  ** * ******* **** also ***** * ***** ******** *** ******** ****** ********** **** as ******, *******, *******, ******* *** ***** ******- *** * user *** ** ** ** ********* ***** ****** *** *** system ** *** *********.  ** **** ******* **** *********** ******* and *** ***** ******** *** ********* ** *** **** **** requiring *******, ********* *** ********* *******.* ****** *** ** ******** ** ****** **** ** ***.

**** ** ** ******** *****:

********

******** ** ******** ********* *****. ** *** ** ********* ** ****** current ******** ** ****** ******. ************* **** ***** *** **** via *** ****** ********* (** *****), *** ***** ** * very ******* ****** ****** *********** (***, ******, ******* ******).  **** do ******* ***** ***** * *** ***** (********* ** **********, 3 ** ******** *** **** ** ****) **** ***** *** critical ****** ********** *********.**** ***** * *** ****** ** *** ****** *****.

**** ** ** ******** *****:

*******

******* ******** ****** ****** **** *** **** ** ******* (*** rules) ******** **** ******* *** ***** ** *** ****** ******** and ******* ******.  *******, *** ***** ********* ** *** **** with *** ** **** *********** ** ***** ** ************* ** still **** *********; **** **** ***** *** * ************ **** without * ****** ******** ********. **** ** ***** * ****** Statistics **** (*****) **** *********** ** **/**** ******** ** **** range ******** *** ********** ********.  *******, ***** ***** **** ** be ******** ** *****, ** ******* ******* ** ****** * graphical **************.  *** *** ****** ***** ******* ** *****, ***, *** ***** ********* *****

**** ** ** ******** *****:

*****

***** ************ ** **** ******* *** ***** ** ********* *** users ** ***** *** ****** ** ***** ******* ** * proactive ******.  ********, ***** ***** **** ** ***** **** ******* up *****; ** ***** *** **** *******, *** ******** *** Database, *******, ** ****** **** ******.  ************* ** ********* *** emails ** ***/**** *** ** ****** **** ** ****** ************ of ****** ******* ***** ** ****** * **** ******* ** informational ******** *** *********** ******* ** ******** ****** ********** ******. ********* of ****** ******* ** ******* *** ****** *** ****** ** * **** **** (.***).

*****'* ********** ******* ****** * ***** ******** **** **** * current ****** **** **** **** *******, *******, *** ******* ******, while ******** ***** ** ***** ***** *** **** *** ***** reason ** * **** ***.

***** **** ****** * ***** ***** ********** ****** ******* (***) for ** ***** $*** (*** ********** ******** ****) **** *** **** difference **** ** *** ******* ******* ******* ** ****, ***** would ** ****** *** ***** **** *********/*******.

**** ** * ********** ** *** *******:

*** ** *** *** *** *****, *** ***** ********* ** similar ** **** ** ******* ***** ** ** ************:

**** ** ** ******** *****:

health-monitoring-exacq

*** ******** ******

  • ******* ******** ****** ******* ******/****** *.*.****.**** ***
  • ********* ********** ******* ********** ****** ******* *.**/****** *.** *** ********* ****
  • ******** ******/****** *.*.*.**
  • ***** ******/****** ******* *.*.*.*****
  • ******* *****/******* ******** ******/****** ******* *.*.*
  • ***** ******* ******* *.*.**.* *** ** *.*

Comments (14)

***** ******* ********** *****. ** ** **** ** *** *** each ******* ****** ** *** **** ****** ***** ** ****.

*'* ******* ** **** **** ****** ****** ****** *** ** HM?

*) **** ** **** ******* *********** ***** ****?
*) **** ** *** ****** **/****?

*** *** *** *** *** ******** **** **** **********?

******* ** **** ******* *** ****** ********** ************ ** *** systems, *** ***** ***** ***-***. ** ** **** *** ***** on ******** (********). ** *** ******** ******** ** ****** *********** / ***** but ******* *** ******* ******* **** ********** ** ******* **** is (** ** ***) ******** ** *** ******** ******.

***** *****- **** ** ** ******** ******** **** **** **** two ***** *******- ***** / ****** ******* *** ********** *******. The ****** ********** **** *** ******* **** ***** ***** **** a ***** *** *** *** ***** ** ****** ******** ******.

******** *** * ******** ** ***** ******** ******** ****+ ******* 100+ *******. **** * **** ***** ** **** ******* ******* typically ** *** ****** *** **** ** ****** *** **** it **. ** ********* ****** *** ****** ********** **** **** information **** **** *** ******* ***** ** *** ********** / *********** ** ************.

* *** **** ******** ** ***** ******* ****** ********** ** the *** **** *** *********** ** ******* ********** (***** ** basically **** ******** ****). ** ****** *** ‘****’ *** ** network/ ****** ********** ** ** ********** **** ******* ******* ** the ****, ***** *** ************* ** ******* ******* ** *********** properly ** *** *** (******* ********** ******).

** **** ***** *** * ************ ******* **** ******** ** the *****, ****** ********** ** **! (***** ** *********). * health ******* ** *** ******* ***** ********* ***** *****, ** does ****** ***** **** **** *** ** *** ******** ** dedicate ** ********** *** *** **** **** *******.

**** *****,

**** ****** ***** *** ******** *** *** ******. * ***** one **** ****** ************ ***** ** ***** "*** *********** *** indicator ****** *** ******"

******, *****

*'* ****** ** *** **** ** *** ********* ** **** aspect?

*** *********** **** ** ******** ********* *** **** ****** **** camera **/****, **** ** ***** ****** ***. ** **** ** have ********* ** *** ********* ******.

***** **** *** ****, ****** ***** *** ******* ****** ** more ** ******* *** ****** ********** *** ** ** ** the ** *********** **** ** **********.

** *** *** **** ******* * ************ ** "****** ****" and "****** ****" ** *** ******* * ************ **** *** server ** ******* ** ***** ** **** ***** ** ********?

** ****,

***** *** *** ******* ********. ***, **** ** *** ***** offered ***** **** *** ****** *** *** ********** ******* (*****/****** notification/SMS) **** * **** ********** *** **** ********.

*****,

** ******* ** *** *****.

**** ** ** *****, *** **** **** *** ****** "**** a **** ********** *** **** ********." ************* *** *** ******** ****** **** ******?

*** *** **** ****** *** ******* ****** ******* ***** *** actions *** ********* ** ****** ** ***** * ***** *** example.

** *** ***** *** **** ***** ** "********" ****** **** runs ********* ******* *** ******, ** **** ********** ******** ** that ****** ** ** * ********* ******** **** *** ******?

***,** *** ******* *** ******* ****** * ******** ****** ****** *** ****** **** ** ******* *** ***** ****. For *******, ***** ******* ***** ** **** **,***.

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