In case anyone was wondering "What's the earliest point at which you can put a product on deathwatch?"
Milestone Arcus Hybrid DVR/NVR
Milestone new VMS platform, Arcus, has gained huge attention, but the big question is who would partner with Milestone? Now, the first of them has been revealed. NAS provider iomega, now known as LenovoEMC, has partnered with Milestone to embed and resell Arcus [link no longer available] in their NAS appliances. In this note, we examine the details of the offering, how it compares to Milestone's traditional appliance options, Exacq and analog kit offerings.
LenovoEMC / Arcus
Scot, what are the problems you see with the product?
It's pretty obviously just a trial balloon. Lenovo and EMC are not "low rent" brands, and don't try to appeal to stingy buyers in any other segment. The only reason they would open at the low end like this is to safely test the waters with little cash at risk.
Milestone is very strong software, but this looks like they are making a move to borrow brand power from well-regarded IT hardware companies.
As the lesser known brand - by virtue of only being in surveillance - Milestone has a lot more to gain if this works than a larger hardware manufacturer does...while on the flip side, the manufacturer could lose a few different ways here if it goes south. I think that's why they're not announcing a truly Lenovo / EMC worthy offering. This one was always meant just to be a test.
This is not really Lenovo or EMC. This is iomega, being relabelled as LenovoEMC, offering a mid tier product. If there was any 'trial balloon', it would likely be the earlier iomega VMS offerings of Mindtree, Soleratec, or AVHS.
From what I know of iomega's approach over the last two years, they have been the ones who have been looking for a VMS partner and, the selection of Milestone, is a move upmarket for iomage / LenovoEMC.
It certainly could fail, but I don't think this is meant to be a test and see some strong advantages in it.
Lenovo's non-Think (non-IBM inherited) products are mostly cheap low end consumer designs. I do not really see the value in these - when you you could get something like the IPCorder with nice software for 16CH channels with 64Mbps guaranteed streaming/recording bandwidth for less.
When you use the LenovoEMC as a NVR - you are NOT going to access it as a NAS because that would be dangerous (transfer a single 8GB file could cause gaps in recording as 800Mbps of bandwidth is eaten up by that task - 100Mb/s is common for a good NAS).
"$1100 for a 4 channel recorder" Bleh! Not that exciting.
Sean, I think it's a matter of competitive matchup. Against a Dahua based HD IP kit, I agree as you can get the recorder plus cameras for the same price (or less). However, against many mid market players, it is more compelling.
That said, I still think there is opportunity for other NAS providers to embed Arcus and sell for a lot less than LenovoEMC. You should be able to get a solid NAS with storage for $500, add on 4 VMS channels, and still should be sub $700.
Bohan, as you point out, you can certainly find products for less. And if you are a smart integrator / reseller looking for the best value, you can go elsewhere.
The 'value' is (1) for those who want the backing of big brands (Lenovo, EMC, Milestone) and (2) those who already buy through their channels.
Arcus is not technically revolutionary, but it does empower other companies with lower cost solutions than they have been able to deliver before.