Compared to hardware, in which it is relatively easy to define an end-of-support concept based on the expected lifetime, software behaves totally different. In theory, when the environment does not change, software can still be running ten years after it has been installed. As new versions of the software are released regularly, it is important for customers to know what they can expect from Bosch Building Technologies when the software is purchased. This document describes how Bosch Building Technologies handles the life-cycle of the BVMS, BIS, AMS, and APE, and in which state a specific release can reside. Additionally this document lists the up-to-date situation for all of those software packages.
The attached documents should help you to make the upgrade process as smooth as possible. The upgrade itself is not restricted to BVMS software only. The supported software and firmware versions can be found in the release notes of the related BVMS version.
An attachment is added to this article for each BVMS version. Currently the upgrade guides for BVMS 8.0 and 9.0 are attached to this article. From BVMS 10.0 onwards a description on how to migrate systems has been included as well.
The attached documents show the different design options that are available when designing a BVMS system.
For BVMS 10.1, we have extended the blueprints with Person Identification, the Access Management System, and updated the Enterprise overview.
The attached document describes how a Tattile camera can be connected to BVMS and describes the provided functionality in the BVMS operator client. We recommend keeping the Tattile camera documentation and BVMS configuration manual at hand to fine tune the system configuration to the specific needs of your project.
The BVMS Project Checklist is an Excel-based tool which makes it easier to design a BVMS system. The attachments include a document describing how to use the project checklist and the project checklist itself.
What is the decoding performance of BVMS? How many cameras can I open on the screen before the systems is overloaded (and frames are being dropped)?
The BVMS client performance overview is attached to this article and shows, based on several workstation configurations and a specific BVMS version, how many cameras can be opened before the workstation is overloaded.
Security guards as well as operators are all member of this Slack channel and use the channel to collaborate. Guards can use their mobile phones to upload still images or movies to the channel for archiving by the security operators. Security operators are able to send snapshots (directly from BVMS), videos (exported), or chat messages to instruct security guards.
BVMS automatically posts events to the channel and, optionally, can post camera snapshots or short video clips of incidents into the channel automatically.
The attached document provides more insights into the system configuration.
How can I protect my security system, from an IT security perspective?
The attached document explains how the security system can be hardened. Additionally the BVMS - Network Design Guide includes best practices for desgning a secure network.
This article describes how to create a Certification Authority (CA) signed certificates for multiple cameras and distribute the CA certificate to multiple workstations. The attached step-by-step description was created for setting up BVMS recording authenticity feature in large systems.
BVMS Lite and BVMS Viewer are BVMS editions that you can download and activate free-of-charge.
How can I set-up a basic (live and recorded video) BVMS system?
First, you need to download the software package, active the BVMS Lite license and install the software. This is described in this article: BVMS - Activating a license.
Second, you need to prepare an iSCSI environment which is suitable for recording video. Any Windows Server based operating system will do. This is described in this article: BVMS - Configuring a Microsoft iSCSI target.
Last, you need to add cameras to the system and start the recording. This is described in this youtube video: How to add a new camera using Configuration Client (BVMS).
Now, have a look at the Operator Client quick guide and you're ready to go!
Where can I get more information on advanced functionality?
Once the software (configuration client or operator client) is running you can press F1 at any time to open the embedded software help! All of the advanced functionality BVMS offers is explained in the help files.
The VRM eXport wizard is a tool that allows you to export video directly from the VRM. You can find the VRM eXport wizard setup file in the bonus directory of the BVMS zip file. Exports made with the VRM eXport Wizard 1.20.0010 can be open in BVMS (Viewer) 9.0 or newer. The attached document describes how to use the VRM eXport Wizard. BVMS 10 comes with the VRM eXport Wizard 1.20.0016.
How can I use "virtual" cameras to demonstrate BVMS?
Demonstrating a video surveillance system typically requires a couple of cameras. However, when you only have a couple of cameras, the screen can look boring and empty. Did you know you can use the video streaming gateway to pull in any online JPEG picture as a camera into BVMS? This makes your demonstration more interesting! Additionally, you can set-up your own webserver and host customer JPEG images yourself. You can find a warehouse example below, fully based on JPEG based static images.
The attached document describes how to configure JPEG cameras.
My customers asks me to store the field of view of the cameras connected to BVMS. Is there an easy way to achieve this without opening every camera manually?
The embedded BVMS script engine makes this easy to achieve. The attached document explains how to achieve this and included an example script.
How does BVMS 10.0.1 (or newer) configure the firewall during the installation of the system?
The firewall configuration dialog is a fixed step in the setup process and will allow automatic configuration of all required firewall settings to run BVMS. The applied rules and settings can be found in the readable command script file "C:\Program Files\Bosch\VMS\bin\FirewallConfig.cmd".
The firewall rules that have been applied with the setup cannot be reverted and must be manually changed/removed if required.
In many cases a minimum and maximum retention time needs to be defined in a video surveillance systems due to legal requirements. While the minimum retention time defines the time period for how long video recordings need to be stored, the maximum retention time defines after which period of time the recordings have to be deleted. Thus, the minimum retention time is going to influence the amount of storage needed. The higher the minimum retention time the more storage space is required.
Hence, the storage space needs to be large enough to store the recordings for the minimum retention. For the maximum retention time this doesn’t have to be the case. Still users might be confused why recordings gaps might appear sort-of randomly, if the system does not have enough storage space to keep all recordings until the maximum retention time is reached. To understand what is going on we have to remember the principle of the VRM block assignment first.
For each camera in the system the BOSCH Video Recording Manager (VRM) generates a list of recording blocks (LUNs) on which the camera can next record. Therefore, the VRM makes an estimation based on the data rate and the amount of data of each camera in the system (global optimization). Basically, the VRM predicts when which camera needs a new block and always lists the block which will be the oldest block at the time the camera needs to record on the next block. One could think of it as a “next oldest block” estimation done by the VRM. But the prediction of the VRM might differ from the reality (mainly because of variance in recording bitrate) and this can cause recording gaps if the storage space is not large enough to support the maximum retention time.
Let’s have a closer look on the following two cases:
Sufficient storage space for maximum retention time
Insufficient storage space for maximum retention time
Sufficient storage space for maximum retention time
In case of sufficient storage space to fulfill the maximum retention time for every camera in the system no random recording gaps will appear, because the VRM will always assign a block containing recordings, which are older than the maximum retention time. Thus, for each camera the recording blocks will be kept until the maximum retention time is reached as illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Enough storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
Insufficient storage space for maximum retention time
In case the system is designed such that the storage space is not large enough to store all recordings from all cameras until the maximum retention time is reached, the VRM will of course still do its estimation and predict the oldest recording block when a camera will ask for a new block. Assuming an ideal setup (with ideal network connection where each camera has the same data rate and all cameras record the same amount of video data simultaneously), the oldest block would always be assigned by the VRM. Hence, no recordings gaps should appear for recordings older than the minimum retention time, compare Figure 2. This is was most customers falsely assume or expect.
Figure 2: Customer expectation of the system behaviour in case of insufficient storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
However, in reality the stated assumptions do not apply. Network connection, data rate, amount of recorded video data, etc. varies. Thus, the “next oldest block” estimation of the VRM can differ from reality. Since each camera already got its block list from the VRM and records according to this block list, it can happen that not the truly oldest block is used and recording gaps appear as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: System behaviour in case of insufficient storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
How to avoid or minimize this effect
To avoid this effect of random recording gaps simply add enough storage to your system. To get the best out of your system in terms of storage usage, the optimum would be to set the maximum retention time to storage limit, see Figure 4, but that is almost impossible to realize in practice.
Figure 4: In principle a maximum retention time set to the storage limit would avoid random recording gaps
Option 1 to minimize the effect in practice is to estimate the maximum retention time so that it will not exceed the storage limit of the system as illustrated in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Maximum retention very close to the storage limit will minimize the random recording gaps
Another less recommended option is to set a smaller time difference between the minimum and maximum retention time. But especially when the minimum retention time is shifted closer to the maximum retention time that introduces the risk that the VRM cannot free up storage space in case the minimum retention time is reached, which might result in a recording stop. Thus, we recommend to go for the first option.
One last hint: Changing the retention time on a running system is not going to influence the retention time of already recorded blocks. but will of cousre only be applied to new recorded video footage. Hence, changing the retention time is no option for an immediate change of required storage.