Milestone Launches Professional NVRs (Husky)By: John Honovich, Published on Sep 12, 2013
Suddenly, Milestone loves boxes! The former software only provider is now launching a series of NVR appliances, called Husky [link no longer available], to target the professional market.
Of course, this is not Milestone's first NVR as you may recall their ill fated, poorly received HP Essential NVRs from 2 years ago. Indeed, introduced this Spring, their new VMS platform, Arcus, has enabled a series of third party NVRs, including from LenovoEMC, Razberi and Coldstore.
Now, though, Husky represents Milestone's most ambitious, broadest NVR offering. In this note, we break it down comparing it to Exacq, Intransa and Arcus partners.
The Husky series is available with 3 configurations ranging from M10 to M50, each covering a different set of options:
- Camera Channels: Fixed 8 channels for the M10; M30 - 10 to 20 cameras and the M50 up to 80 channels.
- Internal Storage: Ranging from 1TB/1 bay for the M10, 1TB/4 bays for the M30 (2.5", RAID card upgrade 0, 1, 5, 10), and finally the M50 rack mount with up to 24TB (8 bays, 3.5"). Easy Swap drives on the M10 and M30 while the M50 offers hot swappable drive bays.
- External Storage: No external storage is supported which requires one to either buy a bigger box (M30 instead of M10, M50 instead of M30), use COTS hardware or purchase from Arcus partners (LenovoEMC, Coldstore, etc.).
- SSD Card Used: OS and application runs on separate SSD card making the boxes more fault tolerant to losing hard drives.
- Headed / Headless: The M10 is headless, i.e., no local viewing but the M30 and 50s do support local viewing.
- Support: a 3 year (next business day service) support, and software upgrade plan is included
- Network: All NVRs have dual NIC support
Hardware: The devices range in size and are constructed of aluminum with flush, recessed I/O ports in rear panel for elegant design and no protruding ports to snag or damage and easy to service design. The M10 is fanless and is said to operate in 0 to 40 degrees C (104 F).
Software: The M10 is Linux based and comes pre-loaded with Arcus. M30 and M50 have pre-loaded Xprotect Professional on Windows 7, and upgrade to a different edition product (Expert or Corporate) cannot be done- through Interconnect at an additional $119 per channel is available. NVRs also include pre-loaded 3rd party camera finders for auto discovery of cameras.
- Clients: Webclient, iOS, and Android apps can all be used
- Scalability: Multiple NVRs can be utilized in the same organization while setting one to Master and the others to Slave (like other Milestone versions).
You can customize your own NVR with online selections of storage, memory and processor. The NVRs will be available in Canda and the U.S for its initial launch at ASIS with a general availability in November of 2013.
Pricing will be similar to moderately higher than 'professional' Western NVR offerings, with the M10 8 channel unit at a $1,499 MSRP, the 10 - 20 channel M30 units between $4k and $6k MSRP and the larger M50s at ~$10k+
Unlike some of Milestone's other announcements over the last few years, this does not drop price levels or create a significant cost advantage. In particular, the cost will be attractive to those comparing against Chinese NVRs, like QSee/Dahua.
Risks / Limitations
Key things to keep in mind:
- Hardware Support: This will be a first run for Milestone supporting their own hardware. Most importantly, with new hardware, there can be problems - design flaws, build issues, etc. This will require adjusting to higher call volume, different Tech-Support skill sets, and a streamlined process for RMA's; weakness in any of these areas could delay a replacement or support for these NVRs.
- No external storage poses challenges to storage heavy use cases (8 cameras needing more than 1TB, 20 cameras needing 4TBs, etc.).
- Local monitoring: If this is required, the higher priced M30s would be needed.
- Fan-Less Design: The M10 Fan-less design could be troublesome, when placed in high or low temperatures those devices could require frequent or early replacements. Operation temperatures provided are 0 to 40 degrees C (104 F).
Overall, we see this as a solid, necessary development for Milestone to serve the mid-market that wants turnkey solutions. In particular:
- Exacq: Before Milestone had nothing to compete against Exacq's appliances. Now they have a credible offering plus integrator's fear about the Tyco acquisition.
- Genetec: Genetec has two small camera count appliances, but the new Milestone line is significantly broader overall, which will help Milestone target less technical integrators (who Milestone likely wants more than Genetec anyway).
- Arcus partners: While Arcus partners have niche advantages (storage flexibility with the LenovoEMC Arcus units, built in PoE switch for the Razberis, mega low cost storage for Coldstore), Milestone is addressing the most common use cases with the Husky series, limiting potential for partners.
- Intransa: The implosion of Intransa shows that the dream of VMS companies selling software only with partners pre-loading hardware is dead. Milestone needed an easier way of delivering this and Husky offers that.
- Iomnis / BCDV / Other Server Resellers: This will be a net negative for them as most integrators will prefer to get a turn key solution directly from the manufacturer.
- Pivot3: Likely not to be impacted by this a Pivot3's target is the higher end of the market than what Husky addresses.