Ocularis 2.0 Examined

By John Honovich, Published on Jul 10, 2011

This spring, OnSSI announced a new major product release [link no longer available], Ocularis 2.0. In this release, OnSSI not only changed product names but restructured their overall product tiers. While this can be confusing, we believe this is a major shift of the company that changes their competitive positioning. While the technology is similar, the way OnSSI is offering the technology is significantly different.

The most fundamental change in Ocularis 2.0 [link no longer available] is that all versions of Ocularis support simultaneous viewing of multiple sites and unlimited cameras. This is a significant change from industry practices and previous OnSSI versions. Like most VMS systems, OnSSI's previous entry level versions, ProSight and NetDVR, limited live viewing to only a single server at a time.

Product Offerings

Ocularis 2.0 is divided into four different feature sets, each of which is designed to meet different requirements.  

  • Ocularis PS: PS is best suited to sites which have simple requirements, and most likely will only record and play back video. It offers little in the way of integration on the Ocularis side, but will integrate to third-party systems. S2 Access Control, for example, can view video from Ocularis, but there is no communication in the reverse direction.
  • Ocularis IS: Ocularis IS contains all of the features of PS, with a few key additions: more advanced event management, push-video alerts (manual and automated), and multi-camera export.
  • Ocularis CS: Ocularis CS adds two key features: First, this version or higher is required for video wall control (with an optional add-on license). Second, organizations wishing to take advantage of OnSSI's OpenSight federation feature will need CS or ES. See our review of OpenSight for more information on this feature. CS is targeted at these organizations, which typically are those with more of a centralized command and control center operation.
  • Ocularis ES: The final version, Ocularis ES is aimed at true enterprise-level organizations, and adds Multicast support, central server management, and failover capabilities often required in large scale systems.

Like previous product offerings, the NVR component of OnSSI's Ocularis 2.0 line is an OEM of Milestone XProtect. However, the NetGuard EVS (a rebrand of XProtect SmartClient) is no longer available as part of Ocularis 2.0, with the shift now to using the Ocularis client.

Pricing and Competitive Analysis

Pricing has changed notably with Ocularis 2.0. Where a NetDVMS or NetEVS system required a number of licenses, Ocularis 2.0 requires only a base license and a license for each camera. The only add-on licenses [link no longer available] available are video analytics, video wall, and OpenSight. Other than these, systems are licensed simply by the number of cameras required. MSRP for each of the feature sets is as follows:

  • Ocularis PS: $199 base/$99 per camera
  • Ocularis IS: $999 base/$199 per camera
  • Ocularis CS: $2499 base/$299 per camera
  • Ocularis ES: $3499 base/$359 per camera

To compare this pricing to other offerings for yourself, see our VMS by Segment report.

Competitively speaking, Ocularis PS is more expensive than other lower-cost VMS products, such as Milestone Essential ($49 per camera), Digifort, and Argus. However, one advantage provided by PS which many of these systems don't have, is that multiple systems may be viewed simultaneously from the Ocularis client. So, the owner of a retail chain with multiple locations, for example, may view a number of stores without logging into and out of each system, instead seeing them all at once. 

Ocularis CS's pricing is comparable to as Genetec Omnicast Enterprise, DVTel Latitude, and Milestone XProtect Enterprise. ES is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum, however, being more expensive than any other VMS we have tested.  The next most expensive system we've tested being Milestone XProtect Corporate, at $329 per camera.  

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