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DMS – Device Manager Server
What is DMS?
(In our terminology device=media player=screen.)
DMS is a server application that is made to solve scalability (the system can handle more devices), poor network environments, and localized huge device clusters. DMS takes overload from the server providing the assets directly to the connected media players. So instead of each media player directly connecting to the central Wallboard server and downloading the assets through the same internet connection, the DMS downloads the assets and provides them to the connected media players on the local LAN. Also, it collects the reports and statistics from the local devices and reports them up to the central Wallboard server aggregated. It sits between the master server (CMS – Content Manager Server) and the devices. A device can connect to the master directly or to a DMS, from its point of view there is no difference. This means you can freely move a device to a DMS anytime, but you have to know that there are some minor differences in the management.
DMS-s are suggested to be planned into the design, when:
- There are several locations and these locations run hundred of media players
- The location doesn’t have a good internet connection
- The bandwidth is limited or needs to be sized
- The ping latency to the server is slow
Advantages of using DMS:
- The system can handle exponentially more devices. (Cloud and local DMS)
- Faster distribution of huge video files, contents, datasources to multiple devices under bad network environments. (With local DMS.)
Disadvantages of using DMS:
- Slight delay in some actions. (e.g. content assign, online-offline state change)
- Some minor features may not work. (e.g. preview template on device)
- DMS is durable and it updates itself but more components always mean more management and maintenance costs (+installment and the hardware cost).
Common use case
Imagine you have a shop with 300 screens and all of them should play a video synchronously. This means if you want to change the video all the 300 devices have to download it. On a 10Mbit/s internet, a 4k video (let’s say 3GB) would take about 50 minutes to download. Now multiply it by 300. Our solution to this problem is to put a DMS inside the shop’s network and connect all the devices to it. The DMS will start to download the video the moment you upload it to the master server. After the download is complete and the new video is assigned to the devices the DMS will trigger the content change and let the devices download it inside a local network. This method will be much more efficient through the speed still depends on the network capabilities.