NVR for IP Camera Security System

I’ve searched the posts and haven’t found an exact answer to what I’m looking for yet so here goes my question.

We are looking to upgrade the backend of our CCTV security systems at our campuses. We’ve got a combination of cameras from vendors like Axis, Hikvision, unifi, and others. We also have some analog SD cameras going into Axis encoders that we want to upgrade to HD IP cameras. Before we do that we want to get the recording side of things fixed. We’re using mostly Blue Iris, which has great features but is a resource hog. We find that it tops out at about 25-30 HD cameras and don’t want to add more computers. Our campuses range from about 20 to 48 cameras each (8 campuses).
So, I want to get something that will work across the board. The main systems I’ve heard are Exacq, Milestone XProtect, and our local installer recommends Nuuo. We’re also mostly Mac so either having a Mac client or web would be a requirement for us.

What are you using and what would you recommend for a max of 32-64 cameras?


Milestone is one of the most ubiquitous VMS around. Based on this, most of your cameras will have drivers and thus can be used with milestone. Also, Milestone has some awesome features that lower the overhead needed for both storage and compute power. Milestone does not have a Mac Viewing Client, but, all cameras can be viewed via a web browser.

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We are currently using exacqvision and we have a bunch of different cameras from Axis - Sony and all in between. I don’t think it will support Unifi. We are actually thinking of changing that to VideoInsights. It is actually cheaper and you don’t have to have yearly subs compare to exacqvision if you want to upgrade software.
We currently have about 80 cameras on 2 Dell servers running windows 2008 and we are thinking of adding more cameras,

We use exaqVision and have 40 plus cameras spread out over 3 campuses soon to be 4. We built an exaqVision Ubuntu Virtual Appliance on a Netgear ReadyNAS 3138. We have had it running trouble free for a couple of years now and are just getting ready to upgrade it to a newer version of exaqVision. It has been very stable, very easy to use and configure and it works well with our security system.

For the last 2 years, we have been using Milestone VMS for our 48 + Camera System running a variety of HD Axis Cameras. The system has been flawless with camera connections, system updates, etc. We are running Milestone on a Dell Server with Raid for redundancy. We deploy a security station for our ministry who overseeing security running on a Dell Optiplex and a 55" TV screen. Implementing an IP based camera system has a wide array of options and opinions based on experience and total cost of ownership.

Here is the difficult and often asked question. What about the systems you see from Costco or Sams Club? These systems are fine, however, meant for residential installations, not commercial, where reliability is most important. The commercial DVR or Windows Server Machine will last years and will offer growth for when you expand or choose to upgrade your cameras on the system. The downside of a commercial solution is that it requires knowledge of POE Switches, Networking Routing, Server Machine install, and maintenance, etc. Our experience has been with the Axis Cameras on the Milestone Platform has been excellent!!!


Have you looked at Synology yet? synology.com/en-global/surveillance We have about 50 cameras between two campuses and plan to add many more over the coming years. Our cameras are a mix of Hikvision and Bosch. It has native support for both Mac and PC.

I’ve been a big fan. Its only for IP based cameras, but you can buy third-party hardware to convert your analog cameras. A few things I like about the Synology option is that it has the ability to grow with you. You can add a hierarchy of NVRs as you need. It also has integration with AD if you want to use existing AD accounts for access.

Definitely worth a look. Give me a shout if you have more questions.

Tim Peterson

A vote here for Milestone. It is designed to scale to many thousands of cameras. This means you can build out racks and racks of NVR that can be managed through a single UI. Different parts of the processing can be spread out so that transcoding for Web/Mobile don’t interfere with recording. Very powerful system with the only limitations being what you’re willing to license.

Thanks Chris! Do you guys license Milestone? Who would I talk to about that?

Thanks Tim. We did look at it a few years ago but it didn’t work for what we needed. Then. I have a 5 disk Synology Nas that I’ll update and take a look at. Does it do edge motion detection or is it on the box? Thanks!

I’m not 100% sure if the heavy lifting for motion detection is done on the server side or the camera side. I do know you have to have the motion detection functionality enabled on the cameras themselves (at least for the Hikvision models we use) in order for motion detection to work. That would lead me to believe the section is happening on the camera, but you will want to verify.