When you invest in a video surveillance system, you are trying to protect whatever is important to you - your home, people, business, and assets. Your surveillance system is much more than a collection of hardware and software. Video management software is a part of a surveillance system that allows users to access real time videos, record, store, and playback recorded videos. A Digital video management platform acts as the interface to the operators of the security system. It is the most visible component in a security and surveillance installation and hence a lot of care and diligence is put into its selection.
Advances in the last few decades have completely transformed the video surveillance industry. The Internet Protocol (IP) has drastically changed the way we manage, view, and retrieve data in the surveillance field. The IP video surveillance delivers high quality surveillance recordings, fast search, and retrievals and easy maintenance. The features of the video management system and its level of integration with the cameras will ultimately determine if the needs of the organization are met.
The video management system platform is a software that an organization installs on separately purchased computers to record video for IP cameras and encoders. The system also attracts networking capabilities and may integrate with many other third party systems and act as an interface for the entire security system. It offers the flexibility of running multiple cameras on the same network. In other words, a video management system platform delivers intelligent software for the operations and functions related to video surveillance hardware on IP backed network.
A video surveillance system consists of:
- Network infrastructure
- Storage solution
- Software for managing the system, viewing live and recorded video, etc.
Cloud-based Video Management System
Traditionally, CCTV surveillance systems used analog cameras, connected over an infrastructure of coaxial cables to a DVR, which functioned as a storage solution. The incurring maintenance cost of such systems is high. It is also difficult to expand from a single site to multiple sites in cases where the enterprise decides to expand its business.
More and more businesses are feeling the need to upgrade their systems to a cloud-based system. The analog devices have limited functionality to monitor and track the events in the camera vicinity, but the new-age cloud based systems can record, analyze, and playback the captured events in real time as well as later. Cloud based Video Surveillance systems are equipped with high quality IP cameras that give high quality image. Storage is the greatest advantage as data is stored over the cloud and can be fetched anytime, anywhere. These systems are easy to install and are also easily customizable in terms of camera numbers, software features, and video analytics.
Core Functionalities of a Video Management System Platform
An ideal video management system must offer:
- Simultaneous management of analog cameras and IP cameras positioned to capture live video content.
- It is essential for any video management system to be reliable and it must have a support system on a twenty four hour basis.
- The system must have the ability to integrate with third party systems like video analytics.
- It should have capabilities such as playback of videos and retrieval from database archives.
- An able video management system should offer basic video processing features and also have provision to create secure video evidence.
- The Video management system must offer interoperability between devices of different brands.
- A good video management platform must be able to handle software upgrades without the need for reconfiguring hardware components.
- Scalability of the video management system is one of the key considerations while choosing a digital video management platform.
- A reliable video management platform must provide regular health status report for the devices involved. The functioning status of each camera must be centrally managed and corrective action must be deployed for proactive support.
Classification of Video Management Software
Video management software can be classified based on its deployment type:
1. On-premise VMS solutions
On-premise VMS solutions are best utilized for managing surveillance of a single site. All servers and storage devices and applications are installed locally on site. This allows the user to manage their security and connected devices from the site itself.
2. Cloud based VMS
The cloud based VMS offers greater flexibility and scalability. This is used by users who need to manage multiple sites at the same time - from any location at any time.
3. Hybrid VMS
Hybrid systems are flexible solutions that can manage both analog and IP video signals. Enterprises using hybrid systems can traditional surveillance system with the functionalities of cloud based video surveillance.
Modern innovations in video analysis and technology have applications far beyond just video surveillance. They are being used from assuring quality control to analyze shopper preferences in the retail environment. And for this reason, the name video surveillance is being aptly changed to “intelligent video”.