HID VertX Examined

By Brian Rhodes, Published Jul 17, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

HID's VertX [link no longer available] door access control system is the more powerful but lesser known sibling of HID's Edge product line. Unlike Edge, this system accomodates more doors and is built with enterprise management in mind. Why then, is the VertX seldom mentioned for enterprise access control solutions? In this note, we overview the cost and features of Vertx and compare with it Edge.

Overview

HID Global is a subsidiary of multinational security hardware conglomerate ASSA ABLOY, and that by some estimates controls upwards of 85% of the credentials used in PACS/EAC systems in used today. 

Unlike the 'single unit' Edge architecture, a VertX system is composed of several components networked together:

  • V1000 [link no longer available] Access Controller 'Master Controller'
  • V100 [link no longer available] A 2 Door/Reader interface
  • V200 [link no longer available] Input Interface
  • V300 [link no longer available] Output Interface
  • The V2000 [link no longer available] is a standalone combination of V1000 and a V100 in a single unit. 

A single V1000 can support any combination of 32 'Interface' panels. The components are networked together via LAN ethernet cabling, or direct RS-485 connections.

The VertX V1000 EVO 'Master' controller has the following technical features:

  • 64 MB RAM/256 MB Flash Memory, storing up to 250,000 cardholders
  • 1 RS 232 Port (USB Port 'Future Use')
  • Power: 12 or 24 VDC, or 802.3af PoE
  • Supports Readers using major credential formats: Wiegand, iCLASS, HID Prox, AWID, Indala

The VertX V1000 has an street pricing of $1000, with 'downstream' modules ranging from a two door interface (V100) $485 costing to Input/Output (V200/V300) interfaces costing $450.

IP Based Access Control

When VertX was released several years ago, it was one of the few 'IP addressable' enterprise access controllers. However, since this introduction, the number of competing products has dramatically increased to where many manufactures now support a networked access. However, one advantage VertX retains is it's close proximity to HID's credential development. The recent EVO update includes several provisions to encrypt data between the reader and controller, which enables it to be specified for use in high-security applications. EVO versions of VertX support "secure shell" and "secure transport protocols" that adopt the prevailing network security protocols when deployed. 

Price

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Compared to other systems costing around $1000 in hardware and cabling per opening, VertX becomes competitive compared to Edge above 4 or 6 doors. For smaller systems, HID's companion Edge product is less expensive. However, when more than 6 custom input or output devices are required, VertX offers a scalability not available with Edge alone.

For a sample 8 door system:

HID Edge Cost

  • 8 controllers: $385
  • 8 readers: $75
  • 1 8port PoE Switch: $120
  • Cabling for 8 doors: $225
  • Total: $5,600

HID VertX Cost

  • 1 V1000: $1000
  • 4 V100: $485
  • 8 readers: $75
  • Cabling for 8 doors: $85
  • Total: $4,220

Limitations

VertX is best applied to multi-site access control systems with opening counts between 4 and 32 doors. While it competes on a cost basis with other enterprise systems, the system is capped at 32 interfaces (a maximum of 64 doors) where true enterprise systems scale much higher.

Another weakness is that VertX is more limited in off-the-shelf integrations with VMS platforms and other systems than common competitor products. Integration with VertX is generally championed by the respective VMS vendor, so checking their information first is most helpful.  While manual integrations may be possible, end users nor integrators have the resources to commit developing those links. Even if integration is possible, most end users lack awareness of it, and most integrators are not comfortable in proposing custom solutions.

While the physcial installation process and instructions are well documented, VertX lacks well developed integrator/dealer installation training programs found in competitive offerings. 

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