IONODES Cirrus NVR Appliances Examined

Published Apr 05, 2011 00:00 AM
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In this note, we examine a new line of NVR / Hybrid DVR appliances, named CIRRUS, from IONODES. The goal of these appliances is to provide an open hardware platform for use with leading VMS software providers. Inside, we contrast the positioning of IONODES Cirrus to Intransa and Pivot3 appliances.

Here are some key product particulars:

  • Model Options: CIRRUS consists of 3 small form factor models, 1 model, the CR10 is IP only while the other 2 models support up to 16 analog cameras through an embedded encoder (i.e., hybrid DVR).
  • Throughput: The current devices can support up to 64 Mb/s throughput or 32 IP cameras. The devices use an Intel Atom E66 Processor. An upcoming version at the end of 2011 is expected to support substantially more cameras / throughput (using an Intel I7 chip).
  • Hardware Feature Sets: All models offer a number of surveillance specific elements not found traditionally on PCs: 4 inputs and 1 output for I/O, a serial interface for legacy system integration, lock capable connectors, redundant power supplies and FLASH based booting (for OS / VMS software).
  • Storage: All models support 1 internal hard drive (3.5") and 1 external via eSATA. Network based storage can be integrated via dual 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports provided.
  • An industrialized version of each model is available

For more details, review the CIRRUS datasheet [link no longer available].

The IP only model (CR10) has just begun shipping. The hybrid DVR models will begin shipping over the next 2 quarters. 

IONODES goal is to pre-load VMS software from 3rd party providers on each device. IONODES has an existing relationship with Genetec. Additionally, IONODES is seeking to add support for other VMS software.

While MSRP pricing is not yet finalized, the goal is to provide a substantially less expensive option than the $3,000+ pricing common for Intransa's entry level offerings.

Competitive Positioning

Since CIRRUS has just started to roll out and important elements are not finalized (pricing, breadth of partner support), it is not possible to have a definitive view on the competitive positioning. That noted, we think the offering has potential for 3 main reasons:


  • Hybrid Support: This is the first open hardware offering that includes integrated support for analog cameras, a major need for the small camera count / multi-site operations common in the industry.
  • Surveillance Specific Feature Sets: Many applications require I/O, serial interfaces, spot monitors, etc. This series is better designed to accomodate this than the more traditional microPC systems used.
  • Lower Pricing: The storage players providing appliances have a relatively high starting price and are generally focused on supporting large scale storage arrays. While this is good for servers requiring dozens of TBs of storage, this tends to be overkill for many more modest applications.