3 Types of Host Systems for Your Building: PC/Server Software-based vs. Browser-based vs. Cloud-based

Did you know there are different types of software management systems for your building’s access control and security system?  Each of these systems has its advantages. The three systems include PC\Server Software-based (the oldest technology, 40+ years) Browser-based (technology less than 10 years old) and Cloud-based (the newest technology).

1.)    PC/Server Software Based System

Access Control (entry throughout the building):

This system requires a personal computer (PC) or Server for software installation and operation.   Depending on software, there is the ability to interface the data with other computer systems, but this leads to a more specialized system. This is the most common and traditional approach to host sytems.

Connection Availability:

Although the building’s access system will still control the building’s security, if the PC or Server crashes, you will not be able to make changes to the software. The system will be forever the same. To allow system editing capability to return, the computer would need to be rebuilt, the software would need to be re-install and system data would need to be restored, which can become very costly.

Common Uses:

The PC/Server Software based system is most common for large enterprise systems.  This system is appropriate for those with an full-time IT/computer staff that can manage the data because there is a medium to high need for continuous motoring and editing.

Cost:

There is a one-time installation and set-up fee for this type of system, but it typically requires a dedicated PC or Server to maintain software.  There are no recurring fees for the system itself.

2.)    Brower Based System

Access Control:

The access control in this system is controlled through your internal computer network. Given the proper permissions, any computer or device connected to the network can access the system via a browser based interface like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari.  The Internet is not required to connect to this system.

Connection Availability:

This system does not require a PC/Server for control, since there is no software to be installed.  The system’s software resides on a system controller (a small unit, like a modem, usually based in an office) and accessed via a browser.  If the system controller crashes or fails, it will need to be replaced and the backup information restored to the system controller.

Common Uses:

This system is appropriate for small to medium size businesses with low to medium need for a IT/computer staff to motor the system’s changes and capabilities.

Cost:

There is a one-time installation and set-up fee.  There are no recurring fees.

3.)    Cloud Based  

Access Control:

To control the access controls in this system and for the controls to function properly, the Internet is required.  The Cloud based computing system is very similar to on-line banking.  The software resides on a secure server on the World Wide Web and the software can be accessed from anywhere with internet connection.

Connection Availability:

This system does not require software to be installed on a PC/Server; the software resides on a secure website.  No need to worry about data, backups or computer failures.

In the event the Internet is unavailable, the building’s access system will still control the building’s security, but you will not be able to make changes to the software.

Common Uses:

This system is appropriate for property management companies, where there is little to no IT/computer staff available to monitor or make changes to the system.

Cost:

There is a one-time installation and set-up fee and the system’s owner is responsible for monthly, quarterly or annual recurring fees. These fees can become costly.

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