What to consider when purchasing VMS
Source: William Pao, a&s International
Needless to say, video management software
(VMS) plays a critical role in an IP camera system, giving operators the ability to manage and control the system.
Purchasing the right VMS, meanwhile, depends on the needs and objectives of the end user entity. In a recent blogpost
by Genetec, the company mentioned several points to consider when selecting VMS. These are summed up as follows.
According to the company, the user needs to think ahead into the future. “You might need remote site monitoring, automatic license plate recognition
(ALPR), cloud storage solutions or high definition (HD) and 4K video
support. A VMS with an open architecture that’s flexible and modular will allow you to easily incorporate these upgrades and new features,” it said.
Unified solution and centralized operations
A unified VMS product keeps the user from maintaining multiple systems from different vendors, the post said. “With consolidated monitoring, reporting, and a map-centric approach to security management, you’ll be more efficient, make better decisions, and react to incidents faster,” it said.
Coupling that with centralized operations function will provide even more benefits, Genetec said. “You need a solution that provides a clear picture of your entire security system in one operator interface. This will allow personnel to immediately locate cameras, doors, and other devices from one central location,” it said.
According to the post, having a system that includes both mobile and web applications means security personnel have the security system with them no matter where they are. “When a system includes these applications, your security personnel can use their phones and tablets to monitor live or recorded video, control remote cameras, review access-control events, and receive and acknowledge system alarms,” it said.
Get in the cloud
Being able to add storage quickly and cost-effectively is important, the post said. “Cloud-based
storage with built-in redundancy and failover capabilities is a great option. A solution that allows you to maintain video recordings in the cloud while continuing to leverage your existing system will also give you the flexibility to increase or decrease your storage capacity without having to buy extra hardware,” it said.
Bandwidth and storage optimization
On a related note, it takes a lot of storage to accommodate streams from dozens or even hundreds of cameras. “You can reduce your total cost of ownership with a VMS that lets you optimize your use of bandwidth and storage and offers intelligent, flexible streaming options designed with HD video in mind,” the post said.
VMS with video analytics capabilities is ideal, the post said. “The VMS will alert you to the presence of an intruder, a car going in the wrong direction, or an object that shouldn’t be there. Then, you can quickly decide if a response is needed or not,” it said. “When you combine intelligence with automation, it’s even easier to stay on top of more routine tasks. One example is a system that automates camera checks to notify you if a camera has changed position or been tampered with. This can dramatically reduce the drudgery of manual checks.”
Cybersecurity and privacy
With video moving more and more towards IP, cybersecurity inevitably becomes a main concern. “Partnering with trusted vendors helps you protect your organization. Any device you put on your network or anyone you work with should be backed by a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. This will help ensure that your system is bolstered against potential attackers,” the post said.
Closely related to cybersecurity is the issue of privacy. “You need to deploy solutions that protect privacy by design. This includes secured authorization as well as encryption for video streams in transit and at rest,” the post said.