Milestone Launches Multiple Cloud Solutions

By John Honovich and Sean Patton, Published Feb 18, 2020, 02:08pm EST (Info+)

Milestone is going to the cloud, becoming one of the last prominent VMSes to do so. Milestone is clearly late but how competitive do these new cloud solutions make them?

IPVM Image

At their annual MIPS conference and with their sister company Arcules, Milestone has announced:

  • XProtect Server on Cloud with Amazon AWS Marketplace
  • XProtect SmartClient on Cloud in Amazon AppStream 2.0
  • Milestone and Arcules Integration

Inside this note, we examine each of them, based on discussions with Milestone, examining how they compare to competitors including Avigilon, Genetec, Exacq, and Network Optix, concluding with our outlook on Milestone's cloud future.

XProtect ****** ** ***** **** ****** *** ***********

*** **** *********** ************ **** **** is ********* ******* ******** ******** ** a ***** ******** ******** *** ***********. ********* ********* ******** ** *** cloud ** ********-**-*-*******, ***** *** ********, OS, *** ********** *** ********. **** emphasized **** ***** ** ** ********** to ******** ********* ** *** ******** to **-******* *******.

**** ** **** ********* **** ***** VMSes ******** ** ******** *****. ********* is *** ******* ******** ** *** cloud ******, ****** ********, *******, *****, and ******. **** ******** **** ******* partner ** *** ** ***** *** servers, *************, ********* ** ***:

IPVM Image

********* **** ***** ***** ** * licensing ****** ** ***** ******** ******* through ****** *** ***********:

  • ***** **** *** *******:*** ******** ******** ********* **** ******** installations/purchased ******* ****** ************ ********
  • **********+:****** * *** ******** ** *-******* free******** **********+, ***** *** ** ********/******** ** paid ********.

********* **** **** *** ***** ** initial ****** ** **** *********** *** are *** ******** *** ******* ************ until ***-****, ****** *** ******* ** XProtect **** **.

XProtect *********** ** ***** ** ****** ********* *.*

********* **** ********* **** **** ** offering ********* ***** ****** ***** ****** AppStream *.*. ********* ** ****** ******** *********** ********* ******* **** Amazon. ********* **** *** ********* ****** can ** *** ** *** ****** and ****** *** **** ******** ****** functionality, ********* * ************* ** *** joystick ******* ** * ***.

*******, ***** ********* ** ****** ********* SmartClient ** ***** ** * ***** installation ** ***********, ** * *********** operational ******. **** ** *** * one-click "*****-****" ****** ***** ****** ***** that ******** ****** *********** ** ***** XProtect *******, ****** ********* **** ********, Exacq, ** ******* *****.

********* **** ***** *** *** ****** client ***** *** ******* ***** ****** cost **** ******* ***** ** ** egress ********* *** **** *** **** using *********, ******** ** ********* ***** from *** ** * ***** ***********, which ***** ****** ** ********* **** with ***. **** **** ********** **** there ** **** ****** ******** *********/**********, as ****** ******* ***** ** ******** as * ****** ********.

Milestone / ******* *********** ********* **** ******** **** **

********* ********* *********** ******* *** ****** *** ** integrated**** ******** ********* ***** * *** Arcules ****** ********* ******. ***** **** supports **** *** ******** ******* ** the ******** ***** ******, ******* ******** cameras ******* ******* ***** ******** *** searching ******* ** ********* *** *** supported.

IPVM Image

********* **** **** *** *********** ******** an ******** ************ ******* (~$** ****) per ******* ******, *** ***** **** through ******** ****, ****, ************ ******** will ** ******* **** ** ****** (with * **-***** ******* ********).

**** ** * ******* ************ ** Genetec ********** ********* ** ******** ******, which **** ****** ****** ***** ****** integration ** ****** **-******* *******. ******* requires ** **-**** ******* ********* *** also ****** *****-***** ** ********* (******* ***** *** ******), ***** ** *** *** **** with ********** (******* ********** ***** ******)

Presentation *****

*** ************* **** **** ** ***** Marier, *********'* ******** ** ********** ******** Development:

Confusing *** *********/***********

***** ********* ** *** ******** ******** a ****** *****, ******** ********** ***, it ** **** **** ********* *** complicated **** *** ***********. *********** **** need ** ***** *** ************ ** AWS ***** **************.

**** ** * ****** ** ** IPVM *** ****** ******** ** *** AWS ********** ******* (***** ******** *** demonstration ****):

IPVM Image

********* **** **** **** ***** ** better *** *********** ******* ** *** specialized ****** *** ******** ********, *** the "********" **** ** **********. **** is ****** **** ***** ***** ********* which ********* ****** ****-**-************** *** ****-***-**** installations ** *** ******* ****** ** their *********.

Compared ** ***********

*********'* *********** ********* ***** ***** ** a *****-** ******* ** ***** *** (Avigilon, *****, ******* *****) ** ******** to *** **** *** ****** *** complicated ******** ********* ** *****. **** of **** ***** *********'* ****** ***** it ******** ***** ********.

*******'* ***** ******** ** **** *********** than ********, *****, *** ******* ***** but **** **** *********. ****** *********, Genetec ****** ******* ***** *******, ***-********** storage, ********* *** ************ *** *** channel *******. *******, ******* ** *********, they ** *** ***** * ****** remote ****** ***** ******** *** ***** core ***, ******* ************ * **** cloud ******.

********* ********** **** **** *** *** against ****** * ********** ******* *** remote ***** ******, *** **** ******* their ******* ***** ** ****** *** integrators. *** ********* ************ **** ****** of **** ******* ******. ** **** add **** ******** **** ********* **** the **** ** ***** ** ******** or **** *** ******* ** * statement.

Outlook **********

*********'* ***** *********** *** ********* ******** compared ** ***** **** **** **** month, **** ********* *******. *** *** those *** ****** **** ** ***** out ***** *** ***** *******, ********* is ********* * ******* ********. *******, we *** ********* ***** **** ********** of *** ****** ****** ***** ** do **** ****** * ******* ******** that *********** *****.

Vote / ****

Comments (51)

Being open has benefits but certain functionalities need to become a native part of the platform. Cloud is one of them and Milestone's approach leaves them at a marked disadvantage to their competitors.

To use an example, a decade ago, when mobile clients were first becoming a thing, Milestone did not have its own mobile client app, deferring and recommending people to apps like LexTech Labs (infamous 'most expensive' $899 app), D-Complex, Mobideos, etc. It was the 'open' thing to do.

But it became very clear, as their competitors offered their own app, with lower cost and tighter integration, that Milestone had to build its own, and they finally did, see our 2011 report "Milestone became the last major VMS vendor to launch their own mobile application".

Milestone will inevitably have to course correct (MIPS 2021 or MIPS 2022, etc.) and offer their own or suffer even more competitive problems.

I am sure that a small percentage of integrators and end-users will be happy with deploying their own AWS instances and setting up Citrix Appstream for remote viewing but most are going to find this to be a pain that they can avoid by using Milestone's competitors.

Agree: 4
Disagree: 1
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

Milestone said that this model is better for integrators because of the specialized skills and training required, and the "friction" that it introduces. This is unlike most other VSaaS offerings which typically market ease-of-initialization and plug-and-play installations as key selling points of their solutions.

I'm curious if the additional features and complexity makes it more "Enterprise Grade" than competing solutions. Regarding traditional, non-cloud VMS: Most of the other products on the market are, at best, capable of being deployed in the enterprise but seriously lack enterprise management features that some of our clients ask for... a lot. Milestone and Genetec are two notable exceptions that do scale well to the enterprise. If this is Milestone AWS Cloud's differentiator when compared to Avigilon Blue, Verkada, etc. then they may have a niche.

Agree: 2
Disagree: 2
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

If this is Milestone AWS Cloud's differentiator when compared to Avigilon Blue, Verkada, etc. then they may have a niche.

Milestone is more of an 'enterprise' VMS than Verkada, for sure. But Milestone would be more of an enterprise VMS whether they offered it in the AWS marketplace or they hosted it for you.

If I am Verkda, I attack the AWS marketplace angle:

Come on bro, we do it all for you. Plug it in and your done. You do Milestone you are going to be spending your nights and weekends configuring AWS, ensuring it is secure, updating software, etc. You go Verkada and we do all that all AWS mumbo jumbo for you. That's what our team of nerds do. Let me send you another Yeti and close the deal.

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 20

JH Post of the year, lol.

"Come on bro, we do it all for you. Plug it in and your done. You do Milestone you are going to be spending your nights and weekends configuring AWS, ensuring it is secure, updating software, etc. You go Verkada and we do all that all AWS mumbo jumbo for you. That's what our team of nerds do. Let me send you another Yeti and close the deal".

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Seems confusing. Can someone just tell me if Milestone is still a dinosaur?

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 18

How large is their booth at ISC West? Dinosaurs are BIG!!! Verkada will be in a janitor closet next year to prove a point.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful: 1
Funny: 11

Verkada has too many artifacts, and problems. Lot of promise.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Not anymore. Milestone just introduced Multiple Clouds with AWS servers and RDP access.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 7

I’m at MIPS 2020. The funniest thing was that the big cloud presentation got interrupted by lightening! It’s as if the cloud was angry.....

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 20

This is a joke right?

"Milestone said using a hosted client keeps the overall cloud system cost down because less bandwidth is used in the virtual desktop, compared to streaming video to a local SmartClient."

If you can't build a full featured web-based UI this is your only option apparently. This is previous generation fat-client Windows dinosaurs struggling embarrassingly to stay relevant in a web-based future (or more accurately, present).

-Chris Uiterwyk

CEO

IPConfigure Inc.

Agree: 11
Disagree: 3
Informative: 2
Unhelpful: 2
Funny: 4

It's a "hack" (basically, it's low latency remote desktop), but is it a bad choice?

Milestone is certainly capable of writing a web client (they have one already), but I think there are good reasons to go this route instead of investing more heavily in the existing web client and recorder.

With this solution A client can use a low spec PC, and get great performance as they navigate the UI. Milestone probably won't have to make a lot of changes to their XProtect fat client to get this to run.

Plugins will probably also work - don't forget that Milestone has their app store, where 90% of the plugins won't work in a web-only client.

The bandwidth argument holds up too. Say the user is looking at a 3x3 matrix with 4K cameras in each cell. A naive approach would be to send the 9 x 4K video streams to the client. If the client screen is a 1080, then you are sending a lot of data that will never be shown. You're also decoding and scaling all those pixels on the client. So a low spec client will struggle. With this solution, the AWS infrastructure will only ever send the pixels that are actually shown on the screen (Ocularis Media Server V1 did exactly this). If there is no changes to the pixels (no motion, or paused video) the bitstream sent from AWS to the client is going to be much, much smaller than if you send 9 x 4K streams.

To accomplish the same for a "pure" web client, you'd need to transcode the 9 x 4K streams (just like AWS does), so it's possible - but a lot of extra code and complexity and in the end, the user probably can't tell the difference.

Sure, you can use multiple stream profiles (supported by XProtect today), but for Milestone, this just works out of the box.

Naturally, this remote desktop solution is being launched as a cure for COVID-19 - because that's how you do things in marketing - even if us coders can tell that how lame it is (coding wise).

Agree: 4
Disagree: 2
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

"A naive approach would be to send the 9 x 4K video streams to the client. If the client screen is a 1080"

Why can't smart client do this now? (I've asked for this many times to Milestone reps)

Answer: Because Milestone doesn't listen to the needs over their Customer/Installers

Sorry I should probably re phrase that - "they do listen but only if you buy corporate"

Agree: 1
Disagree: 2
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Are you complaining that the "dynamic stream selection" is not available in the lower end XProtect tiers? Or am I missing something here?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Yes - everything is an "up sell"

example small system less than 48 cameras, you want monitoring that needs audio to challenge people - you need Professional

You need fewer versions of Milestone and just sell bolt-ons. If it can't be justified to the customer then I don't even offer it and use another system from somebody else. Its only Milestone that loses out in that case I still sell something else. Also my clients get confused by all the versions they understand camera count and they would understand bolt-ons.

You try and justify a small system that has to go up to very expensive software just for a feature! Customers won't have it, they go else where.

And yes you only listen to big customers I have personally experienced that at IFSEC . You're all "whale hunters".

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Apologies Morten I thought you were a Milestone rep

Ignore the last line its directed at them.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I'm not a fan of Milestone either; Their products are costly, complex, and they carry around a lot of technical debt that I don't think they can ever repay.

They've been treading water since they cashed out to Canon (in terms of innovation), and it seems that the generosity of their parent has made them more than complacent.

The tactic of getting through the door with a handicapped low tier solution, has worked quite well for them. People invest a lot of time and effort on getting locked into Milestone, and when they suddenly need a critical feature - BAM! ALL cameras must be upgraded to the costly tier. Most buckle and pay the ransom as switching to another player will be too costly too... yeah, the customer gets pissed off, but they pay, and that's all that matters.

But there's no reason for Milestone to invest heavily in a "proper" cloud solution if the AppStream solution solves the problem for them and whichever customers want this thing.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

there's no reason for Milestone to invest heavily in a "proper" cloud solution if the AppStream solution solves the problem for them and whichever customers want this thing.

Why are so many of Milestone's competitors than investing in a 'proper' cloud solution? Because AppStream does not solve the problem for most customers that want cloud to automatically work for viewing video on an app on their phones.

To be clear, my point is not that Amazon AWS / Appstream thing should not be done. Sure, offer it but also offer a simple setup cloud for the average user.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Because AppStream does not solve the problem for most customers that want cloud to automatically work for viewing video on an app on their phones.

There's a difference between cloud and mobile; just because something is hosted on AWS does not make it suitable for a phone. The form factor, processing power, bandwidth (which is often metered and fluctuates wildly from WIFI/LTE to 2G). That said, a mobile app just needs to connect to a server somewhere. It can be on AWS, or on-prem. It's pretty simple to set up a VM on Azure, install your favorite VMS and call it "a cloud solution". This option has been available for many years, and requires no changes to any of the VMS's - yet people don't seem to want to do it. Possibly because "cloud" is not really practical in most installs (hundreds of cameras, video walls and so on).

Yet, I'll argue that sticking things on AWS, and in this case it's the fat client, makes at least some sense, because AFAIK you pay for the usage you need. In other words, the end user doesn't need to invest in a costly high-end hardware from the get go. Instead you just ask for better HW at AWS. You just turn the dial, and you get more juice (at a higher and recurring cost of course).

Sure, offer it but also offer a simple setup cloud for the average user.

We are talking about Milestone here, so don't hold your breath waiting for "simple".

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

With this solution, the AWS infrastructure will only ever send the pixels that are actually shown on the screen (Ocularis Media Server V1 did exactly this). If there is no changes to the pixels (no motion, or paused video) the bitstream sent from AWS to the client is going to be much, much smaller than if you send 9 x 4K streams.

No doubt, however those pixels are still going to be slogged around somewhere in AWS, right? I have not had the time to fully read through how this is implemented, and the costs associated with Amazon AppStream, but my general experience with AWS stuff has been that it can get expensive quick if you are not careful about how/when/where data is moved around and compute is consumed.

It may not get expensive for the end user (at first), but I am wondering how much of a handle Milestone has on the costs of scaling this and dealing with users who feel no financial burden in streaming 9 x 4K streams endlessly while away, just because they can.

I see a lot of potential upsides to this hosted client approach for larger enterprise-y customers, if the costs to host it are tolerable.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Right, the CPU/GPU load does not magically disappear just because you stick it on AWS (the cloud, after all, is just someone else's computer).

The AWS instance will have to decode the 9 streams, render them to a virtual screen, and AWS then captures and encodes the screen. Finally, this is streamed to the client. The encoding step is relatively cheap, but the decoding and rendering is pretty costly.

Amazon AppStream 2.0 pricing | application streaming pricing

What tier you'll need for tolerable performance remains to be seen.

That said, I am puzzled as to the intended audience for this. For low end users, Milestone is in-appropriate, and high end users usually have a lot of cameras, C&C rooms that stream 24/7 from hundreds of cameras - in which case this solution doesn't make any sense either.

Agree: 5
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Just to be clear here, are you really asserting that Orchid's web-based UI has the same functionality across the board as the thick clients from companies like Milestone or Genetec?

If so, would you be willing to give a point-by-point video demonstration of 8-10 things that I would love to see your web-based UI do? You use awfully strong rhetoric on things like this, so I'm expecting that you'll be able to back it up across the board.

Agree
Disagree: 2
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

I think I just spotted the fabled straw-man in the wild.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

IPConfigure's Orchid Core VMS doesn't compete with Milestone on sheer breadth of feature set. We compete on capabilities, and luckily we have some unique ones.

For all of their feature might, Milestone's offerings come with increasingly obvious engineering and design debt. The product is entrenched in and, I believe, burdened with certain technologies that are driving really awkward solutions and product positioning. Such as extolling the virtues of hosting a fat client GUI in a centralized VM -- basically a Citrix sales pitch from 25 years ago.

To be sure, the fat client VMSes have a head start, and the purely web-based VMSes are still positioned largely in terms of their modern UIs and unique capabilities rather than feature parity. But the future is browser based, and the companies that continue to invest in their legacy fat clients while dismissing the browser are, I predict, on a dead-end path.

- Cort Tompkins, VP Engineering IPConfigure

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

But the future is browser based, and the companies that continue to invest in their legacy fat clients while dismissing the browser are, I predict, on a dead-end path.

I am curious, why do you think so? I am not arguing against your statement. But I would especially like to understand why do you think "future is browser based". Do you refer to browser as GUI layer or in general as Cloud concept or?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

A little bit of both. Big picture, my feeling is that there is no reason to believe that VMSes are immune from the forces that have driven email, office productivity, multimedia, CRM, source control, video conferencing, and darn near everything else from fat clients to the web.

The VMS does have some unique challenges -- the transition to the cloud has and will continue to be rocky due to bandwidth and storage requirements. But even now, cloud-based management of on-prem storage appliances is bridging the gap. And in the long term, I feel strongly that there's nothing so special about the VMS that it won't follow the same path as every other application in the enterprise.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny

The problem, which I was getting at with my original comment above, is that a real "Enterprise" VMS is not just a VMS. The ones that are doing "Enterprise functionality" the right way (Genetec for sure -- maybe Milestone can be included in this) are pulling in substantial feature sets that are not VMS-centric, but that obviously require video as part of what they are doing.

Additionally, the problem with mentioning things like "email, office productivity, multimedia, CRM...and darn near everything" is that those are applications that are used by the masses and benefit greatly from being widely available via web clients on multiple platforms. While there are certain situations and use-cases for Enterprise-grade VMS's to have web-based functionality, the vast majority of "security" use-cases are in a (relatively) closed environment with a (relatively) small number of users and access points/methods.

Bottom line -- suggesting that VMS or security manufacturers are somehow doing their clients a disservice by continuing to invest in "fat clients" is utter insanity and ignores the realities of how security platforms are used at an Enterprise level. I'm not going to say that thin-/web-clients will never match the functionality of a full-feature thick client, but we are nowhere near real parity in terms of feature-sets, nor do I think we will be there for a long time.

Agree: 6
Disagree: 1
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

They realized they were loosing market-share to true cloud solutions, scalable for true enterprises, especially after their strategic partnership with Lenel, and Lenel’s history of burning bridges who themselves are cloud-challenged.

It’s a desperate move to stay competitive, “let’s build a could client and offer remote connections, then put a positive spin on it about infrastructure”.

Trying to stay relevant while disruptive tech companies blow by them.

Agree: 5
Disagree: 5
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

It’s a desperate move to stay competitive

I don't know if it is but I can see why it comes off that way, instead of doing their own, just basically say "Hey, use Amazon".

The part that confuses me is that the most common approach is to add a component to one's on-site software that phones home to a cloud service facilitating remote cloud access. This is solved technology so I can't imagine Milestone not having considered this. On the other hand, I struggle to understand why Milestone did not pursue that very obvious and mature option. As I argued late last year, Milestone Has Problems, and this does little to dispel that notion.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

i think there is another point to consider here:

AWS is very popular with IT people among the end user crowd. Maybe for a traditional integrator it will be a pain to configure a solution on AWS, but for a savvy IT department in a bank, retail chain store, or any large end user AWS should be familiar territory.

this means the end-user IT department tasked with supporting the solution after it is rolled out might even lean in favor of milestone compared to other providers they are not familiar with.

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Agreed. And will also add that in many instances at least in the Middle East region, it is the IT department that is increasingly the main influencer/decision maker when it comes to IP security purchases. For them, AWS support, as you said is something that they feel comfortable with. So from a marketing perspective, AWS support might be a good thing for Milestone to promote, regarding of the real technical advantages/disadvantages of such an approach

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Here is an audio transcript for the Milestone / AWS Introduction presentation for those who want to skim through or search text. It also skips through the dead space on the video above due to the power outage.

At the end of that presentation, they announce free training on how to deploy Milestone XProtect on AWS:

And so today, another announcement that I have related to our AWS announcement is that we will be bringing a dedicated training and certification program in our Learning and Performance on how to teach you how to run x protect on AWS

Just like we did for 15 years on teaching you how to run s protect on enterprise IT that will be available at launch. There'll be a pre subscription or pre sign up for that. This is a training that's free for you. It's available online.

It is understandably necessary for the approach they take but it's so odd in comparison to competitors. Does Avigilon or Exacq or Verkada require training to use their VMS / system on the cloud? Of course, not.

I think #6 has a good point about AWS-centric users but still as a proportion of video surveillance users (even enterprise ones) is quite a small percentage. What do all the other Milestone users do?

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Curious how the full desktop client will render on different devices?

Ran into issues using “web” clients on mobile because the UI was designed to work on a full size desktop when you have a mouse and keyboard.

A true mobile app is allows you to navigate and interact with devices in a specific way geared to smaller touch screens and optimizes real estate. I can see this approach being a battle, constantly zooming in to select a checkbox, drop down menus etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the simplicity and elegance of this deployment, but I see this as a “hack” when it comes to the quality of mobile which will affect uptake, adoption and longevity.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

I almost posted a comment similar to yours in response to Christopher. I get that some view a web client as a superior technology to a thick client, but I have yet to see any really compelling reasons to use web client. With Milestone and Avigilon the web client is pretty weak in both features and performance. RS2s web client never impressed me over the (admittedly dated looking) full client. Perhaps product that is developed from the ground up with NO thick client may be different, but Red Cloud/Avigilon Access and Brivo are samples that I find to be almost useless.

If someone can demonstrate a high performance web client that has parity with a significant competitor product's thick client I would be interested.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Download Orchid Core VMS and try it out... IPConfigure, Inc.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Chris, if every manufacturer with a trial download link and bold claims on IPVM said the same I would be spending months testing. If you want to ship us a pre-built server to put in place in a couple hours, sure. At that point we may give it a spin... but I shipped back an IronYun trial server a year or so back that sat unused for 2 months. No promises. Unless there is something truly compelling that you can illustrate beyond a web client we just cannot go down the rabbit hole of VMS testing. We leave that to IPVM.

Elevator pitches... not trial links will win the day.

Agree: 2
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful: 1
Funny

In lieu of an elevator, chris.uiterwyk@ipconfigure.com

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

If someone can demonstrate a high performance web client that has parity with a significant competitor product's thick client I would be interested.

High performance - sure. We have user accounts with 1000+ cameras, 100k+ events daily, 100+ simultaneous live stream playback in your regular Chrome without any 3rd party software setup/addons running 24/7. It's a given that you would require good computer with Nvidia GPU to decode such amount of live streams simultaneously. Inbound internet connection and browser/computer becomes a bottleneck when you go to large numbers. Of course good local VMS can show more impressive numbers without having to worry about browser middle layer or network, but browsers/internet are getting much better.

Functionality wise, I don't think Cloud VMSes in general are close to local VMS such as Milestone. They have done a great job! But Cloud VMSes are not trying to compete feature wise. IMO we are there to solve different use cases - multiple locations, centralized management, remote monitoring, flexible reliable storage, analytics on demand, notifications (push,sms), ease of use for end-users and integrations with other cloud services.

Agree: 7
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

Its an interesting move in a few ways and I will give them kudos for having gusto to go a different route.

Milestones major customers likely already operate large cloud environments and having a turn-key app in the marketplace is a fairly easy task for those giant customers that have entire cloud teams.

This will be interesting to watch.

Agree: 5
Disagree: 4
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Yawn. Seems very complicated with limited functionality.

Agree: 2
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

We are currently deploying 100% of our new Enterprise Video Systems using a cloud based product. We are using a pretty easy and well designed VSaaS platform thats as close to plug and play as it gets. And our customers still require an unusual amount of hand holding during the sales process. So having integrators setup and control their own CP accounts and do what amounts to custom account development and cloud hardware configuration on their own is not going to make integrators happy. It will make them sad. And it will make the product harder to sell to a lot of customers out there who lack "certain technical savvy and skill sets" as a foundation in order to make the right buying decision. Our experience has shown, from time to time, that the more buying power and decision making authority granted to the technology decision maker is directly proportional to the decision makers lack of technical savvy. Milestones approach will further aggravate that situation when it appears that those conditions are in play during the sale.

Agree: 3
Disagree: 1
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

AWS storage and computer is expensive. We purchased a server with 20 cores, 128GB RAM, and 90TB storage. The AWS equivalent seems to cost over $3500/month. Looking at 5 year price that comes to $210,000 which is more than 10 times what we paid for our server. How will their cloud offering ever be competitive?

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

How will their cloud offering ever be competitive?

From our experience using AWS for IPVM and from what I've read, the benefits are more for scaling up web services for public distribution. Rather than us manually upgrading periodically as our traffic scales or dealing with outages when we face a traffic spike, AWS (or other such cloud services) can be automatically configured to handle that.

With video surveillance, the application and flow are different. Its a lot of data, its all generated with a single network (typically) and its primarily watched in a single network. Plus, one's video surveillance, unlike a web service, is rarely going to increase 10x in a day or year or whatever. I don't think AWS solves the problems for facility-based video surveillance like it does for web services / sites / apps.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Definitely agree with you. Cloud has certain excellent use cases, websites like you mention are a great example. Doesn't sound like a good fit for traditional video surveillance.

"Lift and shift" is generally not a great strategy for dealing with the cloud. Certainly doable, but typically with lots of cost and not much of the benefits of an application that is built from the ground up around the cloud.

It seems a baffling strategy to me. I find it surprising that a company with as much experience and know-how as Milestone can't come up with a coherent strategy for this segment of the video surveillance market.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

The report has been updated based on a discussion with Milestone to clarify that the Amazon AWS cloud offerings are not hosted/fully-hosted by Milestone, and there is no difference in XProtect on Amazon compared to a typical on-premise installation.

Additionally, we clarified that one of the advantages / savings of the AppStream supported XProtect SmartClient is there are no egress bandwidth charges when streaming video from AWS Server Instances (XProtect Server) to AppStream (XProtect SmartClient). This could be significant savings compared to streaming to a local/on-premise SmartClient from an AWS-installed XProtect Server.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

Additionally, we clarified that one of the advantages / savings of the AppStream supported XProtect SmartClient is there are no egress bandwidth charges when streaming video from AWS Server Instances (XProtect Server) to AppStream (XProtect SmartClient). This could be significant savings compared to streaming to a local/on-premise SmartClient from an AWS-installed XProtect Server.

Yes, unless instances are in different zones there is no traffic charge in AWS.

But can you explain how saving works? You are still going to pay for traffic download regardless from AWS. And considering instances are on customer own AWS account, customer most likely going to pay by highest AWS Data Transfer bracket due to low volume on such account.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Milestone said they were working on cost comparisons of locally installed/on-premise XProtect versus AWS-hosted XProtect, noting in their MIPS presentation that they are targeting large enterprise (hundreds of cameras) end users that are AWS customers already. From their presentation:

The savings noted in the report is reference of using an AWS-hosted XProtect Server with on-premise PC SmartClient, which could result in significant charges due to data egress, while an AWS AppStream hosted SmartClient would have significantly fewer egress charges.

Customers would still see AWS charges, but Milestone said they are primarily focusing on end users that already are using and paying for AWS as part of their business operations.

We will be testing this when it is generally available and certainly AWS costs will be examined and reported as part of the test.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny

In my experience cloud for VMS doesn’t make sense for most enterprise VMS deployments. When you look at all of the costs for cloud, on-prem starts to sound pretty cheap. A cloud offering needs to address a specific problem in order to make sense.

Full disclosure: I work with a manufacturer that is a Milestone partner. IONODES Cloud angle is to layer cloud on top of a small appliance with XProtect Essential Plus. So store and manage video on-prem and have the option to store video redundantly in the cloud. The “problem” we are targeting is the risk that the on-premise video could be stolen or destroyed by the guys that break into the coffee shop overnight... Very basic stuff.

Dell presented at MIPS as well. I’m paraphrasing but they essentially said that they loved cloud and that they have excellent “edge-cloud” solutions. Because data has gravity and sometimes the “cloud” needs to be on-premise.... Whatever you think of the corporate-speak, I agree with their basic point....

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

We spoke with Milestone last week. Some new thoughts based on that.

My interpretation now is that the Milestone / AWS Marketplace move has its best shot for very large corporations that want to eliminate boxes on-site. To that end, this is less of a 'normal' VSaaS and more of a shot at virtualizing the VMS, if you will.

The scenario would be something like: huge company has historically had VMS servers at dozens or hundreds of different locations. Now, they have gigabit to each of those locations, plenty of low-cost bandwidth but still headaches of dealing with VMS servers at each site (updating, outages, service, etc.). For them, they can eliminate those on-site servers, centralize in the cloud, save money, reduce hassles of on-site management.

This could be useful for whale / enterprise account hunting. It is still quite clear this is a pain for the normal even mid-market user with dozens to a few hundreds of cameras. But if Milestone could win a handful of 10,000+ camera customers with this, it could be material for them.

They still need to figure out a solution for regular cloud usage but this looks to have a shot at the very high end. Agree? Disagree?

Agree: 3
Disagree: 1
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

I guess for large organizations like this the cost savings will probably be mainly savings in costs associated of managing several sites (extra IT staff to manage several locations, etc) rather than actual savings in hardware itself. This is incidently one of the main drivers for the adoption of cloud network solutions such as Cisco Meraki and Aerohive (now part of Extreme Networks) with multi-site customers such as large hotel chains and school districts.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

While I think Milestone is wise in offering a primitive remote desktop solution, but I think Milestones spiel is incomprehensible from a business perspective.

huge company has historically had VMS servers at dozens or hundreds of different locations.

OK, so users with many sites. Not small installs, not large single-site installs either.

Now, they have gigabit to each of those locations, plenty of low-cost bandwidth

Really? So, the Venn diagram now has another circle : cheap reliable, high bandwidth is available on every site and paid for every month + cost of AWS/XProtect.

but still headaches of dealing with VMS servers at each site (updating, outages, service, etc.).

Partially because of Milestones own platform based on Windows, SQL server etc. It's so convoluted and bloated that it becomes a problem for most users to maintain (even single-site installs). Furthermore, moving to a single point of failure across the entire organization seems like a bad idea. I'd like to see a breakdown of Milestone issues that are due to HW failing vs software errors (OS and VMS), and understand better how often a failure at a customer would be saved by having it run in the cloud vs their own HW.

Consider a chain of retail stores (seemingly a target for the solution); I think Milestone is getting pushed out of that market because of the complexity and cost. I don't see this band aid helping. It's true that corporate IT should be able to monitor and configure each site remotely, but there's very little value in centralizing recordings, CPU, user management, and AFAIK centralized management of many sites is actually available today.

For them, they can eliminate those on-site servers, centralize in the cloud, save money, reduce hassles of on-site management.

I think they'd save more money by going with another product entirely, rather than this 1980's era mainframe solution.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

Worth noting that part of the Milestone/ AWS strategic pitch for this was in upselling existing AWS users to Milestone - ie. they are already large AWS users (with fat data pipes etc) and so they have low organizational resistance to moving their video management across.

For AWS its all gravy (ever growing monthly bills for processing and data as video storage endlessly grows and as processor heavy analytics get added on) and for Milestone it potentially exposes them to a whole new group of AWS customers as well as helping fight off the growing threat from cloud VSaaS solutions.

Agree: 2
Disagree: 1
Informative: 8
Unhelpful
Funny
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts reporting, tutorials and software funded by subscriber's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.
Loading Related Reports