VMS: How Easy Can It Be?
While rummaging through the closet searching for an Exacto knife to perform some minor self-inflicted surgery (splinter removal) I was confronted with another of my half-baked projects that never was completed.
As a child, I always wanted to build the “Visible V-8,” a plastic see-through model of what was the standard type of auto engine in those days. Fast-forward 40 years and I purchased the model, thinking it would be a great father-daughter project that would impress my girl with Daddy’s great model-building skills along with the wonders of the internal combustion engine.
Unfortunately, we reached a point early in the process where we were stymied, as we could not figure out how to get the parts together, particularly when covered in airplane glue. So once more I was defeated, with only the pleasant smell of the glue to remind me of earlier modeling successes.
Security dealers can run into a similar problem when trying to formulate the computer server/software configurations needed to properly record various types of video streams along with providing the proper platform for the running of video management system (VMS) software. While many vendors provide VMS software, often the software will only work with that vendor’s IP cameras and video encoders, limiting security dealers’ options on what camera type will work best for a particular project.
This issue is amplified by the need for dealers to provide an IP-enabled upgrade path for existing end-users’ analog cameras.
Another potential problem is whether the chosen software will work with clients’ various viewing devices, such as smartphones and iPads. Add this issue to the problems of whether specific cameras will work, how much hard-drive storage will be needed, licensing of software and costs for upgrading — and the net result is many dealers aren’t providing the latest technology for their clients for fear of device integration problems and potential installation cost overruns.
An Indiana-based company started in 2006, Exacq Technologies provides pre-loaded and configured network servers ready and able to process and record both analog and a wide variety of IP cameras. Its ExacqVision software/hardware combination is available in a wide variety of types, including servers that are either Linux- or Windows-based. Users can access the live or recorded video from a variety of PC and smart devices including Apple Macs, Windows and Linux PCs, and all popular mobile device types with the current exception of Windows-based smartphones. The servers provided can be either rack-mount or stand alone, and can be pre-configured to provide whatever amount of video storage that meets the client’s requirements.
But Dave, you say, this sounds like the same problem I had before. How do I know what I need in a VMS server, what type of processor, how big a hard drive, etc.?
Exacq Technologies solves this knowledge-gap problem with a very simple-to-use configuration website, available at https://www.exacq.com/config. Below you see an example of an existing nine-analog camera system, where two IP cameras are being added:
Later fields in the configuration website will prod the dealer for the proper info needed and will indicate which of many servers will meet the needs for the system desired.
What makes ExacqVision unique is that they program, configure, and ship the exact server with all of the programming already done. All the security technician needs to do is to connect the server onto the client’s network, plug in the coax connections from the existing analog cameras, install and program the IP cameras and the system is up and running.
Exacq servers include the selected number of analog camera inputs and licenses for the IP cameras. There is no cost for client viewing software, and every Exacq supplied video server has a three-year warranty. So existing DVRs can be jerked out, and the Exacq server can be installed that will record and provide VMS software features for the existing cameras as well as any new IP cameras or encoders.
Selling the ExacqVision software is a simple process. Demonstration client software is available that, when loaded onto a laptop and connected to the Internet, shows just how simple and convenient the software is to use and the wide variety of camera types and vendors that are supported.
The beauty of ExacqVision is the precision of the configuration program, the pre-installation and bundling of the software and server, the analog video support, and the expandable IP camera interfacing. All of this comes at a very competitive cost, with typical loaded servers selling to dealers at a cost south of $3,000.
If VMS system configuration issues are scaring you from providing your clients with the latest video control and access benefits, then it’s time to check out Exacq Technologies at www.exacq.com. Their servers are available through industry distributors such as ADI and others.