Cisco Video Surveillance Is Dead, Long Live Cisco Meraki Video Surveillance

By John Honovich, Published Feb 11, 2020, 10:58am EST (Info+)

A dozen years ago much of the industry thought that Cisco was destined to dominate video surveillance. They stumbled repeatedly, failing. Now it is over.

However, Cisco is not out of video surveillance, as they confirmed to IPVM, while the original Cisco is all being EOLed, Cisco is now focusing on Meraki as the future of video surveillance.

Inside this note, we examined what went wrong for Cisco over the past decade and how Cisco is taking aim at the market with Meraki.

Related: Cisco Meraki Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested

Executive *******

***** *** ****** ****** ***** ************ as ** ********* ** ***** ******* networking ********. ******* ** ****, ***** never ********* * *********** ***** ************ offering *** ******* ***** ****, *** Cisco ***** ************ ******** *** ***** a ***** ******** ******.

***, **** ****** ******* ****** ** networking *********, **** *** ******** ***** efforts ** ********* ******'* ********* ** include ***** ************. *** **** ****, instead ** ******** ** **** ************ (Cisco ******* ****, *** ** ***** organization **** ******* ***** **** *********), Cisco ****** ** *** *** ** the ******* ** ********* ***** ****-** ********. *** **** **** **** *** the ***** ******* ******* ******* ** be ****.

Cisco *** *************

***, *******,***** *** ********** ******** ********* ****** ***** ***** ************ products.

***** ******** ** ******* ******* ** the ****** *** *** ********* **** their *** ******* **** *** **** updated ** ********* ***** ** ****** to ******, ******* *****:

Failing ** ***** ************

**** **** **** ** *****'* ******* in ***** ************ ** * ********** ********* **** *****'* ********** ******** *** ***** ************:

**** **'** ****** ** **** ***** [a ******** ****** ***** *******, ********, security *** ****], ** ****they'll *** ******** **** '*****' ** *** ***. [emphasis added]

***** ****** *** *** **** ***** making *******, *********** ***** ************ ********. That ********* *** *** ** *******. We ***** **** ***** **** *** years *** ** *** ********* **** really ******** ****.

***, ** ****, *** ***** **** they *********** ***** ************, **** ********* with *****:

**** ***** ** **** ******** ** a ******* ********** ** ***** ************ than ** **** ** ***** *** help?

*** **** *** **** *** *****, they ***** * ******* ** ****** - ****** ** ** ********.

*** **** ******, **** *** ******* ****************** **** ****** ***** ************ **** cybersecurity *** *** *********** ******** ********.

** ****, *************** / ****** **** ***** ******** access ******* ** *******.

***, ** ****,***** **** ********** ******** ***** ******** ********* ******** Including '******** *****', ****** ** *** ***** ***** what *** **** ** ****.

*** ** ****** *** ****** ** Those *** ***** ******

**** ** ******** ******, *** ***** EOLing ***** ** *********** *** ********* impact. ***** *** ***** * ***** factor *** *** *** **** * minor *** *** **** ** *** last ******.

** ** * ******* *** ***** Cisco ***** *** ****** ***** ***** surveillance ******* ***** ** ** ******* migration ****. ***** **** ********* *** their *** ***** *** ****** *** Meraki *** ******* ****** ** * closed ****** **** ******** ******* *** party ******* *** *****, ** **** be * ******** ******** *******.

Future ** ******

***********, ****** **** *** ****** ** networking, *********, *** ***** ************, ************ as ***** * ****** ***** ************. And ** ****** ********* *******, **** makes ** **** ****** ** *** up *** ******.

****** *** ************ **** **** ** networking.

Future ** ***** ****** ** ***** ************

***** ** ***** * **** *******, with ~$** ******* ** ****** *******, though ** *** **** ********** **** declines *** ******* **** * ****** of *****. *** ****** ** ******* a ******** ****** ****** *** ***** portfolio.

***** / ******'* ******** ** ** continue ** ******** *** ***** *****, Cisco ********* **** *** ***** *******. To *** ****** **** ** **** that, ** ****** ***** ***** ************ to ** * ******** ****** ** the ******* ******, *** * ****** in *** ******* ****** *** ******** in ******** ***** ****** **** ****.

*** *** ******** **** *** ***** is **** ******* ***** *** ****** else ** ***** ************ ** ********* or ******* **** ***** **** ******** the ***** ** ** **** **** a ****** ***.

**********, *** ******* *** ******** ** making * *** ** **** ********** is **-****** *********** *********'********.

Comments (21)

we know they'll buy anything with 'Cisco' on the box.

That's interesting, especially when you compare it with Ubiquiti. I know a lot of small IT departments are gobbling up UniFi Protect, largely because they already use UniFi for their network and love it. I think Cisco's problem is that their clientele is high-end, which didn't match their product or strategy. It's easier for Ubiquiti to push cheap CCTV systems to small-to-medium businesses who have one or two IT guys and no security department.

Agree: 5
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

I just don’t find Ubiquiti that inexpensive when you look at wha you are getting compared to the competition. But if you are primarily IT, UniFi is the easy grab as the software isn’t terrible. UniFi made missteps and are now trying to fix it with the newer platform. However, the newer platform has the software locked to he hardware I believe, making it a lot more costly.

I like hosting the controller, but the Dream Machine products can’t be hosted on your own controller at the current time, which is rather frustrating.

Though compared to Meraki/Cisco, Ubiquiti is an easy sell for cameras.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

And this time, instead of offering an open architecture (Cisco founded PSIA, the IP video organization that spurred ONVIF into existence), Cisco Meraki is now one of the leaders of the closed cloud lock-in movement.

Meraki Founder: We'll need to write a protocol that nobody can crack; one shrouded in obscurity, full of misleading syntax and implementation vagaries, virtually indecipherable to humans...

Meraki Engineer: PSIA!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 15

I always doubt why it’s not Cisco who acquires Avigilon because it would give them huge advantage in video surveillance over IP. Wow they’re actually doing on their own Meraki! Go go Cisco!

Agree
Disagree: 3
Informative
Unhelpful: 2
Funny

So long VSOM! Lmao, your building on Tasman Drive, the one with the 40 cameras on top of it has been dormant for many years.

I bet Verkada is trying to scoop up all the Bay Area School Districts right about now.

(Right About Now, Funk Soul Brotha). Now that song is stuck in my head. :-\

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny: 3

Meraki are making big strides in the UK market currently, especially where they already have a foot hold through their WiFi offering.

Their pitch is strong and their customer base is loyal and that alone opens many doors. I have first hand experience of this.

I think your comment re Meraki being moderate in “their markets” could be an understatement in time. They (Meraki) know their market and are targeting their customers accordingly.

The Cisco charge in previous years is like night and day compared to now. I think this will be interesting to see developments over the next 24 months.

Agree: 2
Disagree: 1
Informative: 1
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

your comment re Meraki being moderate in “their markets”

David, thanks for your first comment! To clarify, this is what I said:

we expect Cisco video surveillance to be a moderate player in the overall market, not a player in the broader market but sizeable in segments where Meraki does well.

I didn't say they would be moderate in "their markets", I said they would be moderate in the "overall market".

Now, if Meraki comes to dominate the networking market generally (which I think they won't but could be wrong since that's not my/our space), Meraki would likely become a major player in video surveillance.

Overall, my thesis is that Meraki video surveillance will remain effectively some sub-segment of their overall networking business.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

John

Thanks for your reply and apologies for the slight misread on my part.

Your comments are a fair reflection of the current state of play I believe and, as I say in my initial comment, it will be an interesting watch over the next 24 months.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

it will be an interesting watch over the next 24 months.

Indeed! Between Cisco backed Meraki and Silicon Valley VC funded Verkada, I am very interested to see how it all plays out.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Update:

Cisco declined to comment further on the record but did emphasize that their EOL notices have now been updated to encourage users to switch to Meraki, excerpt below:

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

you bought a BRICK! No migration to Meraki, they don't do ONVIF devices......

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

As a Cisco route/switch guy for over a decade...the migration path for Cisco is very commonly; you can buy this new Cisco instead!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Cisco remains a formidable company in the IT universe. Their level of support and control is unmatched. Funny thing is that, usually when a company is acquired, it takes on the mentality and product line of the acquirer. Cisco has gobbled thousands of companies over the years and they were always thoroughly assimilated. Not much remained of the original products or ecosystem. Not so .. Cisco became Meraki.

Surveillance is however a different , mature industry. There are thousands of companies out there producing fine equipment at all levels of prices. Even worse some components are commodities. Cameras, Switches, Network Infrastructure components have become commodities. I see little value in acquiring a Cisco switch when a Trendnet does the exact same thing at 1/10th the cost... It happens to have a lifetime warranty too... We are at a stage where $90 cameras match the Image Quality of $500 models... and with the new compression schemes ( H264, H265 and their variants), one doesn't need spectacular performance for switches... I have seen 4 MP cameras never exceeding 2 Mb/s on busy areas. 24-port PoE Gig Ethernet Managed Switches are routinely around $300 or under and they last: You install them and forget them ...

Where I believe Cisco may still have some relevancy is in Cyber-security. They remain a leader in that , often overlooked area. The risk of having someone overtaking your security system remains real. I tend to believe in subscription-based cyber-security because the level of expertise, knowledge and dedication is not easily matched by even modest companies IT departments, IOW they simply can't keep up. The name and the level of service of Cisco may be needed by some in this area... Else , no way I would think about Cisco for a Security Project except perhaps for the Network Infrastructure Elements: Main Switches, Main Router, Firewall.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny

I really cannot agree on the camera quality piece.

Axis' P3245-v's are $500 cameras - I would love to see an IPVM shootout where a $90 camera fares any where near to that image quality.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Funny thing is that, usually when a company is acquired, it takes on the mentality and product line of the acquirer. Cisco has gobbled thousands of companies over the years and they were always thoroughly assimilated. Not much remained of the original products or ecosystem. Not so .. Cisco became Meraki.

I totally agree. I could hardly see Cisco following with another company’s name. Cisco completely absorbed the company called TANDBERG, where I used to work, and now it’s basically their Collaboration/WebEx product line, though still designed in Oslo.

But I also believe that if Cisco decides to come to security, they could approach this industry from networking perspective, especially when AI and cloud video surveillance become hot topics. Bandwidth is a big factor in video conferencing, and it is a big factor in the security too.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

just by calling their VMS a VSM, Cisco displayed an equal measure of industry arrogance and ignorance.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

One of my IT friends sent me a link to this article.
Cisco CDP vulnerability

He was asking if we install any of those cameras. Thought id share here

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

All manufacturers suffer bugs and vulnerabilities, and what matters is their response time in fixing such issues. Cisco's support is world-class; SmartNet gives customers access to the most robust team of network engineers in the world. The cost and quality of their support is absurdly good.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Does anyone know of a VMS that supports these legacy Cisco cameras?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Do you have specific models in mind? In a past job I was able to add older Cisco (Pelco) cameras to Exacq and Genetec, but those were really old 3500 or 3600 series Cisco cameras using RTSP.

The newer 7000 series report ONVIF conformance:

Open API: Support for Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) 2.0 and Profile S allows for standards-based interoperability and communications with other ONVIF appliances.

Which matches up with the listing on ONVIF:

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

The customer has "all of the above". Good info - thanks

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts reporting, tutorials and software funded by subscriber's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.
Loading Related Reports