Free Advanced VMS? Axxon Next ReviewBy 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.
Axxon Next offers several bundled features typically offered at much higher prices, for no additional charge.
- Interactive 3D map- which is different than traditional flat camera overlays but is really more like 2.5D. Images, including 360, can be overlaid on the map with a FOV cone detailing both the location and a live image of the camera and the ability to zoom in to the image.
- Time Compressor- ‘shrinks’ motion events with a time/date range into a single viewable file, click any object and access the specific motion event for that object. This is similar, at least at a high level, to Briefcam though Briefcam requires separate purchase and integration with a third party VMS. That noted, we would need to test both before rendering any further opinion.
- MomentQuest2- Forensic Search using metadata such as color, size and location of object. This is more granular search than typical in VMSes.
- iOS/Android support- The free apps are available and allow for live and archived viewing. (Others offer several additional features)
- Solid Store- AxxonSoft claims a propitiatory file system I/O feature optimizes archiving (Fragmentation is usually a sore subject for most VMSes and this claim would have to be tested to confirm speed and reliability improvements)
- AxxonSoft claims ‘Next’ supports ONVIF 2.2.1 and PSIA 1.1 (though ONVIF only lists support for earlier 1.x release) and maintains a long list of directly supported cameras. Camera integration releases are separate than the base product releases, similarly to Milestone.
- 'Axxon Domain' - Once a server is added to the client the user has the ability to view all servers' cameras and manage the servers from one client.
Here's their product marketing overview video:
And here's their marketing video on the TimeCompressor feature:
The first 16 channels for Axxon Next are free and include 1 server and 1TB of archived storage. Each additional channel is ~$100 USD. For systems with more than 16 channels (or 1TB), a ~$300 USD base server license is also charged. All features are included with the exception of Forensic Search, MomentQuest2, which is priced, per server at ~$866 USD.
Support in the Americas
Full Support, maintenance and driver (camera integrations) updates are all included in the open free version. The challenge is that company has no American based call centers requiring all support needs to be logged via their online portal only. A delay in receiving a response due to the time differences can be expected; their hours of operation are 9AM-6PM Moscow time which translate to 12AM-9AM CST. Axxon states they will expand support to the Americas sometime in the future.
Other Axxon Options
Axxon has higher end tiers including Intellect Lite and Intellect Enterprise offers modularized add-ons (e.g. Facial Recognition, ATM Intellect, etc.) that can be licensed individually. Additionally, Active Directory / LDAP integration is offered and batch camera add/configuration, not available in Next. Be cautious though, choosing to upgrade to the Intellect series from Next is not available; Next would have to be uninstalled and all data would have to be transferred to the newly installed Intellect product.
Axxon's two big competitive differentiators are:
- Price: Even for an entry level offering, the 16 free channels to start, can save hundreds of dollars.
- Advanced Features: Next includes a number of features like analytics, video synopsis and maps that are frequently not included in entry level, low cost kits.
Two common options for open VMS software are Exacq’s Start and Milestone's Essential VMS that average ~$50 per camera for more traditional / basic features, but they don't allow multi server management.
With the low price and advanced feature combo, Next is worth taking a closer look at and we plan to do a detailed test in the future to examine product performance.