ExacqVision Edge Recording Reviewed / Tested
Edge recording is a big trend at ISC West 2012 with Axis's Camera Companion release generating a lot of debate. Now, VMS povider Exacq has released their own edge recording offering that allows IP cameras to act as fully-featured Exacq recorders. In this note, we will look at its features and pricing, comparing it to Axis ACC and existing edge storage offerings from rivas Genetec and Milestone. [Updated to include test results at the end of the review.]
Key technical details of ExacqVision Edge include:
- A full version of Exacq Enterprise is loaded onto compatible cameras, equipped with MIPS or ARM processors.
- Once loaded, the camera is configured as a standard Exacq server with video stored to on-board SD cards or mapped network drives, such as low-cost NASes.
- ExacqVision Edge cameras may be viewed in the standard Exacq client alongside ExacqVision Start, Pro, and Enterprice systems.
- Initially, Axis cameras are supported, with intent to add IQinVision in the near future. Exacq plans to expand support to other IP cameras and possibly other platforms, like NAS devices.
ExacqVision Edge licenses will be available in Q2 2012, with an MSRP of $200 USD per camera. This pricing is the highest in the ExacqVision line (Start and Pro have, respecitvely, MSRPs of $50 and $150).
Comparison to Axis Camera Companion
Though similar in functionality, Axis ACC and Exacq edge are targeted at opposing ends of the market. While both eliminate the need for recording servers, ACC is limited to basic VMS functionality, intended for small deployments with light requirements. On the other hand, Edge is a fully functional version of ExacqVision Enterprise, offering third-party integrations, enterprise management, and other features found in larger systems. This is also reflected in pricing, as ACC is offered at no additional cost, while ExacqVision Edge is more costly than standard Exacq licenses.
Comparison to Milestone
While Exacq Edge supports long-term archiving in the camera, Milestone's edge recording is used for failover only, in case of network loss. Additionally, this feature is found only in XProtect Corporate, and is compatible with Sony and Axis cameras. More information about Milestone's edge storage feature may be found in this video [link no longer available]. Milestone offers this feature at no additional charge with XProtect Corporate licenses.
Comparison to Genetec
ExacqVision Edge lacks much of the flexibility of Genetec's Video Trickling feature. When using trickling, users have options as to how edge video is handled. It may be left on the camera, retrieved manually or automatically, on a schedule, or used for failover. It is also available in all versions of their software, with no additional license fees required. However, ExacqVision Edge does have key advantage: no central server (a directory, in Genetec's case) is needed, as the Exacq client connects directly to the camera/Exacq recorder.
In the short term, adding this feature is a good move to differentiate against Milestone and catch up with Genetec in an area with growing interest. While Exacq tends to be respected for its low cost and ease of use, it is typically (and correctly) viewed as having less high end features that Milestone and Genetec. Edge recording should help in large projects with more complex requirements such as remote sites and cameras connected with weak or unreliable network connections.
In the long term, it will be interesting to see how broadly Exacq can deploy on IP cameras and storage devices. Exacq's support for Linux is a major advantage here, as nearly all IP cameras and storage devices run on Linux yet Milestone and Genetec's VMSes are Windows only. Theoretically, this should make it easier and less time consuming for Exacq to add edge recording on cameras and storage devices. If the industry shifts to more edge recording, Exacq could have an advantage. Nonetheless, it is too early to determine what will happen. The growth of edge storage support will be an interesting element.
Exacq Edge Test
The Exacq approach is fairly simple and works basically like any other Exacq recorder, except that it is physically running inside of a camera rather than on a PC: