Genetec's Expanded Hardware Examined (SV-PRO)

By Ethan Ace, Published Feb 19, 2012, 07:00pm EST

Historically, VMS provider Genetec has been a software only, hardware agnostic provider. This has made small and mid-sized deployments more complex and expensive, reducing Genetec's competitive positioning. Now, Genetec has significantly enhanced their own appliance line [link no longer available], introducing a larger scale appliance and integrating access control and video surveillance in a single 'box'.

In this update, we will look at these changes, how the compare to existing models and competitive options from Dell, Milestone, NLSS, Intransa and Pivot3.

SV-PRO Overview

The SV-PRO is a single rackspace Dell OEM server intended for mid-sized installations with the following features:

  • Dual-core Intel XEON processor and 4 GB of memory
  • 4, 8, or 12 TB of storage on-board. RAID is currently not supported.
  • 3-year Dell support agreement, including next day on-site service

The SV-PRO may be used with Security Center in either video-only or integrated video and access configurations. In video only mode, up to 100 cameras with a total of 200 Mbps throughput are supported. 128 readers and 50 cameras with a total of 100 Mbps throughput are supported in its unified configuration. 

The appliance ships pre-loaded with Security Center, though licenses are purchased separately. MSRP pricing is as follows:

  • SVPRO-4TB: $4,500 USD
  • SVPRO-8TB: $6,450
  • SVPRO-12TB: $9,000

Genetec's discount levels fall somewhere between traditional security dealer pricing and IT dealer discounts, resulting in street pricing modestly lower than MSRP (5-10%).

Lack of RAID

We find the lack of RAID options in the SV-PRO surprising. Genetec informs us that this may be added at a later date. Given our recent survey results, with 45% of integrators preferring RAID storage, this will disappoint many integrators, who will need to seek other options if this is a requirement.

SV-16 Changes

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The SV-16, a small form factor appliance, has been available since 2010. Previously, it was loaded with a specialized version of Omnicast for up to 16 cameras. It is now availble loaded with Security Center, able to manage 16 cameras in a video-only configuration, or eight cameras and eight readers in a video/access "unified" version. For users who have standardized on Omnicast, the SV-16 is still available preloaded with it, as well. 

The updated SV-16 is immediately available, with the following MSRP:

  • Video only, with 160 GB HDD: $1,540 USD
  • Video/Access, with 500 GB HDD: $3,270
  • Camera Connection License: $120

The video-only configuration of the SV-16 has not changed in price, with Security Center and Omnicast options costing the same. Note that camera licenses are sold separately, but reader licenses are free of charge, as long as the reader hardware is purchased from Genetec.

SV-PRO vs. COTS

The pricing of the SV-PRO amounts to about a $500 premium for Genetec's pre-load of the system, as well as the benefit of the SV-PRO being a fully vetted hardware configuration, which may reduce support issues. A Dell R310 in similar configuration to a 4 TB SV-PRO retails for about $3,500. This includes the same hardware specifications, as well as a 3-year ProSupport contract, same as offered with the SV-PRO. A 4 TB SV-PRO, on the other hand, has a street price of approximately $4,000. 

SV-PRO vs. Intransa/Pivot3

For small-to-midsize deployments, which the SV-PRO is appropriate for, surveillance-specific appliances such as Intransa and Pivot3 will likely be 20-30% higher in price, or more. However, as we found in our Fall 2011 survey, Genetec was the most popular VMS among those deploying larger system sizes. For these higher-end systems, with large camera counts, the SV-PRO is most likely not a fit. Intransa and Pivot3, however, with their ability to manage large amounts of storage, and multiple options for redundancy, are a better fit in this space.

SV-16 vs. NLSS and S2

The SV-16 is priced in between two likely competitors: the NLSS Gateway Micro [link no longer available], and the S2 Pronto VR. However, these two options differ in capacity and featureset:

  • The NLSS Gateway Micro is capable of managing up to 16 cameras and 64 doors, double the SV-16's capacity. NLSS also supports Mercury and Sargent Wi-Fi hardware, in addition to the HID Edge supported by Genetec.
  • The S2 ProntoVR is sold in 8- or 16-camera models, utilizing Exacq as a recording platform, with a proprietary client. It is capable of managing up to 32 doors, and supports only S2's own proprietary controller hardware.

These two models compare an 8-camera/8-door SV-16 as follows:

  • SV-16, unified + 8 camera licenses: ~$3,800 estimated street price
  • NLSS Gateway Micro: ~$2,300 online
  • S2 Pronto VR, 8-camera: ~5,500 estimated street price

The SV-16 falls in between these two options, though with lower door-handling capacity. This may or may not be an issue, depending on facility size. For small facilities, or multi-site projects, eight doors is often more than sufficient, however.

SV-16 vs. Milestone Essential NVR

For projects between eight and sixteen cameras, the SV-16 and Milestone Essential NVR are similarly priced, though they do have differences in capabilities:

  • The Milestone NVR is a video-only appliance, in 8- and 16-channel versions, with up to 2 TB of storage on board. It is intended to be an all-in-one NVR, able to handle viewing of video, in addition to recording.
  • The SV-16, on the other hand, is a lower-powered embedded PC, intended only for recording or access control management, not viewing. Its main differentiator from the Essential NVR is its ability to handle up to eight doors of access control. Milestone users seeking integrated access and surveillance must turn to third-party systems for this functionality, also requiring XProtect Express or above, not essential.

Comparing the two in pricing, we see the following:

  • SV-16, video only + 16 camera licenses: ~$3,300 USD, estimated street pricing
  • Milestone Essential NVR, 16-channel: ~$3,000, estimated street price

Milestone has a modest pricing advantage, in addition to the fact that no client workstation is needed. This may be an important factor in some instances, though small installs are often remotely accessed from user PCs, regardless.

Positioning

Given Genetec's tightly-controlled integrator channel, much of the market will be uninterested in these releases, as they do not represent substantial pricing or technological breakthroughs. However, they will likely appeal most to existing Genetec dealers, with the SV-PRO giving them an option for quicker deployment of mid-size systems, as opposed to COTS servers, and the SV-16 providing a more cost-effective option for small systems. End users who have standardized on Genetec, with numerous smaller sites, may also be especially interested in the updated SV-16 as a less expensive route to deploying video and access across many locations.

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Video Surveillance / Access Control Integration Guide on Mar 12, 2012
One of the most desired high end security system features is integrating...
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