Intransa vs Dell - Surveillance Storage

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Nov 15, 2011

Recently, an integrator member asked about using Intransa vs Dell for video surveillance storage. This note provides our feedback to the integrator based on my previous experience as an integrator specifying and deploying both product lines. We contrast based on time savings, operational differences, pricing, longevity risk and technical support.

Time Savings

Intransa's first claimed benefit is time savings for users, on multiple counts:

  • Software Preload: First is their "preload" of the user's choice of VMS system. This term is somewhat deceptive. What the preload actually consists of is a USB key with all required VMS software on it, up to current versions. When you boot the Intransa appliance and plug in the USB key, software is loaded. It doesn't skip the step of installing the VMS. However, it does remove the need for integrators to download (and subsequently keep up-to-date) VMS software. For some VMSs, it is quicker than installing all prerequisites, followed by the software. How much time this saves will vary by VMS. Integrators using VMSs requiring SQL or IIS will see more time savings than those using VMSs which do not.
  • Ordering Efficiency: The second point Intransa makes is that there is no quoting process which must be dealt with, such as with Dell e-quotes, for example. Since they have a limited number of models, it is likely simpler for integrators to know which ones fit their common applications, which may speed the design process.
  • Fast Shipping: Intransa has also tried to speed deployment by making a number of models available for fast shipping, which they refer to as "combos". These consists of commonly-ordered configurations, and are intended to be in stock at distributors or available in 1-2 days, instead of 1-2 weeks for built-to-order configurations and most COTS hardware.

Operational Advantages

Intransa provides multiple technologies with their Video Appliances which they claim are operational advantages. Their VDMR (Video and Data Management and Retention) technology is a suite of tools for installation and management, intended to increase performance and simplify deployment. There are two technologies which they especially highlight as advantages:

  • VSOP, which stands for Video Surveillance Optimization, is intended to remove fragmentation from video streams written to disk, as well as reduce the amount of space required. Fragmentation is pointed to as a cause of video frame loss, which could lead to video not being available when required.
  • VSA Energy Manager is used to spin-down disks when they're not being written to or read from for a settable period of time. When the disk is required again, for instance to retrieve archived video, it's spun up again. Intransa claims this may save energy costs, since obviously a spun-down disk requires no power.

Our issue with these claims is that they sound great on paper. Who would not be alarmed that fragmentation may cause frame loss? What user would not want to save disk space or energy? However, the only testing we have seen, and likely the only testing which exists, was performed by Intransa. We have seen no third-party verification of these claims. We have also never heard complaints from users about frame loss due to fragmentation, and we would be curious as to how exactly VSOP reduces disk space requirements, and by how much.

How does pricing compare?

One concern users have shared with us about Intransa is that it is substantially more expensive than COTS hardware. This may indeed be the case for many users, but it's difficult to say how it will compare for everyone, since it depends on many factors. The size of the server required, amount of storage required, and discounts on COTS and Intransa hardware all would need to be considered.

Integrators who are part of the Dell Premier program, for example, will see Dell pricing as more competitive. Intransa pricing will also vary heavily based on the partner level of each integrator. However, in general, we would imagine integrators paying retail prices for major-name COTS hardware would see much less difference in pricing between Dell and Intransa.

Longevity Risk

Another concern with the non-COTS providers such as Intransa is their longevity. While HP and Dell have a long history, with little concern of the companies failing, Pivot3 and Intransa are relative newcomers, funded by venture capital. There's really no risk of Dell or HP 'going away' but there certainly is one for Pivot3 and Intransa. Factoring in potential support and replacement issues 3 or 4 years from now is often an important factor.

Tech Support

Intransa currently maintains a list of preloads for nearly 30 VMS, access control, and analytic providers. These companies have all been recognized through Intransa's Video Appliance Certified partner program. As such, Intransa's technical support staff must be prepared to provide pre-sales and post-sales support for their products when used with all of these platforms. With different VMS platforms supporting different amounts of cameras per server, based on architecture, it would seem challenging, at least, and impossible, at best, to be able to provide in-depth tech support for all of these. 

That being said, to our knowledge, neither Dell nor HP have any sort of design assistance or tech support specific to surveillance projects, and surely they do not have knowledge of nearly 30 different platforms. Intransa is likely a step up in this respect. All-in-all, however, integrators would be wise to confirm server requirements with the VMS manufacturer, instead of the hardware vendor.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
Bluecherry Open Sources Entire VMS on May 13, 2019
Bluecherry announced they have "released the entire Bluecherry software application open source with a GPL license". We spoke to Bluecherry's...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
ADT's Top Dealer "The Defenders" Sued 20+ Times on May 07, 2019
ADT's largest authorized dealer, The Defenders, has been sued more than 20 times since 2012, IPVM has verified through analyzing legal...
Aegis AI Gun Detection Video Analytics Startup on May 07, 2019
Gun detection analytic startups are increasing as the promise of AI and the threats of active shooters grow.  One company, Aegis AI, is being led...
Restaurant Security Manager Interview on May 06, 2019
Wright’s Gourmet House in Tampa, Florida has been around for over 50 years. During most of that time, there were no security measures in place. Now...
Ranking Manufacturer Favorability 2019 on May 06, 2019
24 manufacturer's favorability was ranked based on 170+ integrators feedback. Voting plus in-depth comments revealed insights on which brands were...
Verkada Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on May 02, 2019
Verkada is arguably the most ambitious video surveillance startup in many years. The company is developing their own cameras, their own VMS, their...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Facial Recognition Systems Fail Simple Liveness Detection Test on May 17, 2019
Facial recognition is being widely promoted as a solution to physical access control but we were able to simply spoof 3 systems because they had no...
Inside Look Into Scam Market Research on May 17, 2019
Scam market research has exploded over the last few years becoming the most commonly cited 'statistics' for most industries, despite there clearly...
Maglock Selection Guide on May 16, 2019
One of the most misunderstood yet valuable pieces of electrified hardware is the maglock. Few locks are stronger, but myths and confusion surround...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Trump Signs 'Huawei Ban' - Executive Order Targeting Foreign Adversary Technology on May 16, 2019
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order targeting technology provided by 'foreign adversaries', in what is widely being called a...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
San Francisco Face Recognition Ban And Surveillance Regulation Details Examined on May 14, 2019
San Francisco passed the legislation 8-1 today. While the face recognition 'ban' has already received significant attention over the past few...
Security Fail: ASISNYC Auto Emails Passwords In Plain Text on May 14, 2019
ASIS NYC automatically emails a user with the password the user just entered, in plain text, when one registers for the site / event, as the...
Hikvision VP On Muslim Oppression on May 14, 2019
Hikvision has won tens of millions of dollars, at least, in direct contracts with the Chinese government that oppresses Muslims, including a forced...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact