Jack Plunkett, CTO of IPVideo Corp shared thoughts on using a pre-configured video appliance (such as a purpose-built NVR with preinstalled software) versus software running on an off-the-shelf serverWe recently ran across a Round Table Discussion sponsored bywww.SourceSecurity.com on How To Choose Between An NVR And VMS Running On An Off-The-Shelf Server.  We consulted with IPVideo Corporation’s Chief Technology Officer, Jack Plunkett to get his thoughts on this subject.  Here is what he had to say:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a pre-configured video appliance (such as a purpose-built NVR with preinstalled software) versus software running on an off-the-shelf server?

Aside from cost, performance and reliability are the primary deciding factors when determining whether to use an appliance based solution versus a server based solution.  When an installation calls for a small number of cameras that will record at a moderate frame rate, the appliance based solutions are typically well suited.  One advantage that appliance based solutions have over server based ones is ease of setup.  Appliances can be setup quickly via wizard driven interfaces which require little if any IT or networking expertise.  The main drawback to appliance based solutions is that they lack redundancy with regard to power supply, hard drives and network connections which can dramatically lower the reliability of the appliance.  Another concern is expandability.  Most appliances act as standalone systems and cannot be easily federated.

Purpose built server based solutions provide not only redundancy, but improved performance based on throughput, leveraging faster processors and hard drives.  Installations that call for large numbers of cameras to be recorded at high resolution and frame rate will require the flexibility of a Video Management Software suite, the performance of a purpose built server, and the reliability provided by the redundant components.  While the management and maintenance of the server based solution is greater than that of an appliance, the ability to optimize the software is critical to achieve enterprise class performance.  Server based solutions can be easily expanded to create an almost infinitely scalable environment.

About Jack Plunkett:

With over 18 years’ experience in the network video market, Mr. Plunkett has been developing video management solutions since the advent of the first IP-addressable camera. Mr. Plunkett has a strong reputation in the surveillance industry and is frequently sought out for his technical opinions by the manufacturer and distributor communities. He is the author of many trade articles and white papers and often speaks at trade shows and seminars about the benefits of IP surveillance technology. Prior to entering the video surveillance market, Mr. Plunkett was website design and SEO consultant for Fortune 500 companies.


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