A video management system, also known as video management software or a video management server, is a component of a security camera system that in general:
- Collects video from cameras and other sources
- Records / stores that video to a storage device
- Provides an interface to both view the live video, and access recorded video
- Often provide integration gateways to other components ( ie Video analytics or Access control) in a security system
A VMS can be the software component of a network video recorder and digital video recorder, though in general a VMS tends to be more sophisticated and provide more options and capabilities than a packaged NVR device.
For a very large and complex security camera system, there may be too many cameras, too much network bandwidth, too much data to be analyzed, or too much storage required for a single server device to handle the workload.
In this case the workload is divided across multiple server devices, each handling a slice of the overall workload.
The VMS provides a single management interface allowing clients to access camera sources across all servers, making them appear to be a unified collection rather than isolated on multiple independent sources.