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MVaaS is an acronym for managed video as a service. It refers to a systems architecture used by companies that provide or enable video monitoring services, to allow them and their customers to more easily manage large numbers of digital video recorders (DVRs) or network video recorders (NVRs).

In any scalable video monitoring architecture, the information about a customer’s physical locations, the video recorders and cameras at those locations, and the customer’s users, must be stored in a central database. In a traditional architecture, each customer is responsible for hosting their own database.

In an MVaaS architecture, this database is managed by the video monitoring provider, not by the customer. The customer interacts with the database, and with their video recorders, using a website also managed by the video monitoring provider. Because the customer is freed from the details of hosting the database and web site, this information is sometimes said to be “in the cloud”. Indeed, the term MVaaS is intentionally similar to the more common term SaaS, software as a service.

The term managed video refers to the fact that in this architecture, the customer’s video remains on the video recorders at the customer premises and is not stored in the central database. The central database holds all the information that mediates access to this video and is important for maintaining and configuring the video recorders, but does not contain the video itself. This ensures that the customer always has ultimate control of their video, and frees the customer and the video monitoring company from having to continuously consume bandwidth to transfer video from the video recorders to the central database.

Under an MVaaS architecture, additional information may be stored in the central database besides just the information about the video recorders and users. For example, the video monitoring company may store observations or comments for each camera, or a log of which camera was monitored when.