OnSSI Mix and Match - Save Money on VMS?

By John Honovich, Published Jul 09, 2014, 12:00am EDT

OnSSI is promoting what it calls 'Mix and Match [link no longer available]' that they say will save money on VMS purchases.

Generally, VMS software is offered on multiple tiers, like "Basic", "Medium", "Advanced", at increasingly higher prices. A user typically has to pick the same tier for all cameras.

What OnSSI is offering is to mix and match some cameras at the higher priced "Advanced" level and others at "Basic" or "Medium" on the same system (or in OnSSI's terminology, ES, CS, PS, etc.).

In this note, we break down the potential savings, its application and how it contrasts to Milestone's Interconnect.

Version Differences

The savings comes from picking different versions for different sets of cameras that have varying functional needs.

For OnSSI, there are 5 versions, which we term 'PICLE' for short - PS, IS, CS, LS, and ES, going from the entry level PS to the most full featured ES. (See OnSSI's version feature comparison).

Key differences include:

  • PS maxes at 26 cameras per recorder, IS at 64 and the top 3 versions are license unlimited.
  • PS does not support network based storage. All others do.
  • ES is the only version that supports server and hot standby failover.
  • LS and ES support edge recording for redundancy, but none of the 3 lower versions do.

Applications of Mix and Match

To save money, one identified cameras that do not need higher end capabilities and purchases the less expensive lower end version, while only paying for the higher end versions for specific recorders / set of cameras.

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Given that OnSSI's per camera licencing ranges from $99 to $349 MSRP, this can be up to a $250 MSRP savings, easily a reduction of 50% or more of cost for those channels that can forego the higher end licenses.

No Fee For Mix and Matching

Unlike Milestone, who charges an additional $119 per channel (on top of the basic version fee) for their version of mix and match, OnSSI does not charge anything beyond the regular license fees.

Milestone vs OnSSI Pricing / Packaging

A number of other important differences exist:

  • Milestone's lowest end version has a ~$50 MSRP, half the price of OnSSI's lowest, which partially offsets the $119 Milestone Interconnect fee.
  • OnSSI allows for live video monitoring of cameras from multiple recorders on the same client simultaneously, even from their lowest end offering without mix and matching, while Milestone requires Interconnect or higher end version for this.
  • OnSSI allows integration with access control systems even from their lowest end offering without mix and matching, while Milestone requires Interconnect or higher end version for this.
  • Milestone allows specific cameras to be interconnected while OnSSI requires all the cameras on a given recorder to be on the same license version (even if some of those cameras do not need that license level of functionality).


As we discussed in Huge Discounts On Enterprise VMS Software, VMS providers often give sizeable discounts to larger customers, simply because of competitive price pressures. Both OnSSI mix and match and Milestone Interconnect are ways to give discounts yet to push customers to make tradeoffs in what feature sets they enable for specific cameras.

Overall, both are limited by having a substantial amount of cameras that one can forego premium features, but are useful tools for some to lower prices.

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