Free Advanced VMS? Axxon Next Review

Author: Sarit Williams, Published on Jun 17, 2013

AxxonSoft, a Russian VMS power, made a splash globally with their 2011 release of a free 16 channel VMS version, which remains one of the most aggressive offers on the market. Now, AxxonSoft has released its follow-up 'Next' version with a host of new features including what they refer to as 3D maps and a Briefcam like video synopsis feature. In this note we examine its key features, what it lacks, and how it compares to what is already available in the market.

Key Features 

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Competitive **********

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Comments (22)

So for $300 you can get a 16CH license with unlimited storage, use of the Time Compressor feature as well as unlimited mobile app connections?

Actually the first 16 channels and 1TB storage are completely free, no need for ~$300; that's for 17+ channels and unlimited storage. It's worth an evaluation.

I was told that 16 cha free version is limited to 1TB storage - and you have to pay for extra. Last time IPVM mentioned it I thought it was like ~$300 per TB extra - is that right or wrong?

So you can have 16 channel system with like 6TB of storage all for free including the TIme Compressor and mobile access? Sounds way too "free" to be true!

Just to clarify..the storage is provided by the customer. When they discuss the storage limitation in the free version they are referring to the amount of storage their time compressor/Forensic search has to parse through.

Sorry this doe not make any senseto me - so you can record 6TB of video but only search 1TB? So whats the point of recording the other 5TB if you cannot search it?

And do you know how much it will cost to get 6TB storage?

Actually - how do you buy a key to activate into the commercial version?

I think they limit the search capability in the 1TB in order to have customers purchase the fully licensed version which is ~$300 USD and ~$100 USD per channel (17+). A purchase can be made via the downloaded free copy (I haven't gone through it myself so can't evaluate).

Regarding storage costs: I found 6TB starts $400.

Sorry, you misunderstood what I meant:

I am NOT talking about the the cost of 6TB of HDDs/NAS/SAN/etc...

I am asking the license cost of enabling the capability to record and search 6TB of video.

In IPVM's last review it was $395/TB licensing cost - which I found very high - I was wondering if anythign has changed.

Anybody from AxxonSoft (or a Axxon Next distributor/reseller) can comment on this?

oh I see. Are you referring to Axxon Smart review? if so that was a different offering all together (Smart was replaced by Next). Here is an overview of Next:

Demo – a free trial version

  • works from 8:00 to 18:00
  • works for 1 month after the first installation
  • unlimited number of cameras
  • unlimited number of servers
  • unlimited archive size
  • unlimited number of clients

Axxon Next - a completely free version

  • 16 cameras
  • 1 server
  • 1 TB video storage
  • unlimited number of clients

Axxon Next

  • unlimited number of cameras
  • unlimited number of servers
  • unlimited archive size
  • unlimited number of clients

Here is a response directly from AxxonSoft: "If user needs to have the bigger configuration that Axxon Free version provides, he needs to purchase Upgrade option to Axxon Next Pro, that includes unlimited storage size and 16 channels. Each additional channel, starting from 17th, is available for $105, according the pricelist. Upgrade option costs for $300."

I hope this helps.

I tried the free Axxon version approximately 1 year ago had 20 2.0 MP Arecont Vision cameras on one server. Their interface was pretty easy to get used to, there where some quirky things but overall not bad at all for a free setup. The issue I had was it kept crashing and/or skipping frames, I thought it was a network issue as I had the frame rate quite high. I then tested the same server setup, frame rate, and cameras with Genetec and Avigilion and didn't encounter any of the previous issues. I hope they've improved their offerings.

Undisclosed, thanks for the feedback. I wonder what impact their analytics have on overload load. Do you recall what CPU/RAM you used?

Sarit is checking for a response from Axxon.

Thanks. I'm waiting for Axxon to respond with a more detailed feedback regarding load.

Just logged in to check it's an i7 3.4 Ghz with 8GB of memory.

Thanks, look forward to hearing their feedback.

I just loaded up the Axxon Next 16-channel 1TB free version on a slice on one of our demo servers. Looking forward to experimenting with it.

I do think their lack of 64 bit native support is what, could have, caused the crashing so although the server has stellar specs it was limited by the software itself to manage resources properly. Axxon Next responded that they do anticipate a native 64 bit version to be released in July and said they couldn't share their test results with us, nor provide any specific details as to what could have caused the crashing.

Just a few first impressions of Axxon Next as I am only beginning to work with it, with only an hour or two of drive time:

- The license registration process was a bit klunky, having to generate and upload a file in order to receive an activation key.

- The lack of a built in contextual help is a bit frustrating. You can download the manuals from their website. But there does not appear to be a help button. Fortunately I have dual monitors on my PC and can keep it open while working with Axxon.

- Importing "ONVIF" cameras was pretty easy (Panasonic) but importing Axis cameras was a bit difficult. I ended up having to override the system use default password settings and tell it to manually use root/pass. That seemed to work.

- Still working on how to set up up the archiving. Whenever I try to set up an archive, the disk management utility tries to set it up my PC running the client rather than the server. Until I get that resolved I really can't play with the analytics or Time Compressor features.

- The interface takes a little getting used to, but I was able to create a layout, import a map, and place the cameras on the map in just a few minutes.

Will keep working with it. So far it's pretty good for a free VMS, but I'm not sure yet if it is something I would sell as an integrator.

Video analytics is quite demanding for CPU resources. 10 2Mpx cameras 25 FPS utilizes 60% CPU (i7 3770). But 8fps D1 resolution is also enough for tracking and in this case you can connect 60 cameras with 60% CPU utilization. The only limitation in current version is that video analytics uses recording stream. In 3.2 version you'll be able to configure separate stream for video analytics.

Thanks Sarit. It looks like they're not still not ready for commercial use. Probably best suited for home of small office use.

Undisclosed, commercial version has no any limits in size, but I can say openly what features we are still missing for upper enterprise projects which are scheduled for future versions:

3.2 (available for beta-testing, will be released in August):

- HealthCheck monitor;

- Bookmarks;

- H264 SVC support;

- Choice of video stream for video analytics (now is recording stream only);

3.3 (developing now, will be released in Q4):

- Manage remotely VideoWall connected to server;

- MultiDomain monitoring support;

- UDP unicast/multicast between server and client;

4.0 (scheduled for Q1 2014)

- FailOver support for recording servers (configuration servers are always FailOver ready);

- Multi-stage video storage and data grooming;

- 3rd party application events integration;

- Edge storage support.

Hi Murat,

Thank you for your response.

I am an Avigilon dealer, unlike most of their sales network I don't believe in their infallibility but in all of our customers that have utilized their system not one of them has praised an advanced feature or functionality but every single one of them mentioned the fact that the interface was intuitive and it has been the only system where we didn't have to walk the customer through the playback or export process. It looks like your company has quite a few features in the pipeline, which is great but I do think that if you go back to the basics of the software and make sure you have a killer easy to use interface, easy installation process, rock solid recording and minimal CPU usage for what 90%+ of your customers will be doing, viewing, recording and multicasting/unicasting over the LAN and/or WAN you will have an opportunity to make some serious inroads into the market. Then you can focus on more advanced features for enterprise customers and marketing purposes.

I'm not a manufacture or a software developer, so please take my advise with a grain of salt just wanted to offer you my presepective.

Hi Undisclosed,

Thanks, actually really good advice for all VMS manufacturers. You look at systems like Avigilon and Exacq and they don't have sexy analytics built in but they do a lot better than companies like 3VR and Aimetis who do.

Thank you for your advise regarding usability. This is undoubtedly true. And I believe that usability of monitoring interface in AxxonNext is one of the best (hope to see usability tests here one day), while configuring is a bit bulky. Especially configuring of recording. This is also because we support multiple archives and process is not as simple as with single archive. And we found one usability mistake (thank you, John Grocke for your comment) is a big button which runs windows console to configure partitions in case you need to create new one for SoldStore filesystem.

But we are in progress of redesigning the whole configuration interface for version 4.0. So, we still need half a year to become perfect :)
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