The Trends We are Seeing
- By Brian Carle
- Feb 01, 2015
The themes for VMS product
development can be
summarized as bigger,
better and faster. In 2015,
look for capabilities that
range from those which deliver more
information to architectures that optimize
VMS performance on purpose
built hardware offerings. VMS development
will be focused on system usability,
total solution costs and true
Single interface: One trend driving
VMS product development is the integration
of multiple sets of security
data. Combining information from several
different but complimentary security
systems together with video creates
a powerful tool set for the security user.
This is a common occurrence in highend
security operation centers. Video,
access, intrusion, weather and risk
awareness information are presented together
helping security operators get the
best picture of the situation at hand.
The trend can be seen with VMS
products integrating more deeply with
access control. Traditionally VMS and
access control integration was relatively
lightweight, and commonly presented
in the access control software interface.
Because of this, integrations didn’t always
fit the needs of video-centric users.
More video products today are
providing a level of access control functionality
in the VMS interface shifting
the center point of the integration to
the video systems.
Access control, point of sale and
mass notification are all common targets of deeper integration which are driving VMS towards being the primary interface
of the security system.
Scalability: VMS is a technology which for a long time has been deployed by
large organizations but without true enterprise management capabilities.
Features that allow for rapid deployment, centralized system management and
the ability to perform actions across multiple network video recorders and clients
simultaneously will be more widely adopted.
Larger and more distributed systems also need to take bandwidth consumption
into account to make remote viewing and investigations practical. Bandwidth throttling,
dual streaming and other techniques have been available but specialized techniques
that better optimize transmission of video will be more frequently introduced.
For example, bandwidth can be minimized without sacrificing quality by resizing the
video resolution to the size of the target display area before transmitting video.
Cloud: Cloud based video recording, or VSaaS, continues to be an interesting
yet emerging technology. There are some inherent benefits to cloud based recording
which make it a clear direction for the market. Offsite recordings, lower upfront
cost model, built-in system management are all attractive attributes of the VSaaS
for consumers. For security system providers cloud offers a way to differentiate as
well as add recurring revenue.
The main challenges with VSaaS are availability and scalability. Adoption may
accelerate over the next few years as more companies look to provide a cloud
offering. The scalability of a cloud recording deployment is limited by available
bandwidth at the user’s site, meaning it will be most practical with residential and
smaller camera count commercial deployments.
Total recording solutions: One of the most challenging aspects of designing a
video security system is determining the minimum hardware requirements for the
VMS. As the camera count, resolution, frame rate and other factors increase so do
the CPU and storage requirements of the network video recorder.
To further complicate matters, the components of a server running VMS software
are being used 24x7 and typically to their fullest capability. A network video
recorder’s CPU is always used heavily, the hard drives are spinning all the time, the
cooling system is being utilized constantly and so forth. As such, the best NVRs
utilize 24x7 rated components, designed for long life span.
The risk of over specifying hardware or deploying an underperforming solution
is driving many security integrators and consumers towards specially built NVR
recording platforms. VMS providers have been following suit and will continue to
expand hardware offerings. The trend for 2015 will be towards more specialized
appliance products incorporating wireless, PoE and other connection modules
providing all-in-one devices that combine software, hardware and connection infrastructure.
Specialized form factors will also be in demand for space constrained
and other unique installation scenarios.
Hardware optimized products: Because more VMS providers are now offering
NVRs, the total recording solution cost is starting to take focus. If a VMS can run a
recording configuration on fewer and less expensive NVRs, the system may be more
competitive than alternative offerings, even if the software license cost is higher.
This trend can be seen in part by the push for processing to the edge, like when
using camera based motion detection or video analytics. More advanced techniques
may become the norm such as offloading processing from the NVRs CPU
to the video card’s GPU. Such a design would result in lower total hardware cost
for the consumer.
Another driver for this trend will be H.265 cameras becoming
more widely available. Without processing-optimized VMS products,
adoption of H.265 based may be slow to take off due to
higher processing requirements.
This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of Security Today.