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I performed an independent, no-money-changed-hands evaluation of three products advertising video surveillance management plus video analytics management. Here is a short video explaining my process and what I learned from my experience with Milestone XProtect, Aimetis Symphony, and Verint Nextiva.
All three products performed admirably, but there was one standout. A few vendors chickened out, er, I mean, decided it was not of interest to them to participate. :) So kudos to Milestone, Aimetis and Verint for being proud of their products – as they should be.
What We Loved: Complete, unified video and analytics management
Price: Starts at $13,600
Overall Score: 4.4 out of possible 5
Aimetis Symphony Enterprise Edition is a very satisfying
product, mainly because it does everything you hope it will, easily and
affordably. I mean, if you’ve gone
to the trouble to set up a surveillance environment using video analytics,
you’d probably want a single, easy-to-use system: to manage the video received
from many cameras; control pan tilt and zoom; select a variety of detections
using analytics; manage storage; set up alerts on certain activities and
detected behaviors; and create reports about those alerts. Simply put, you’d want a system that
For the full Review Summary:Download DreamerGear Aimetis Symphony
Related Product Reviews
What We Loved: Integration & Support for many different cameras
What We Didn't: Poor reporting and incident management tools
Overall Score: 3.5 out of possible 5
Milestone Systems is the video management company with the
fastest growing brand recognition.
I rarely hear an integrator or end user talk about surveillance video
management without Milestone being mentioned. The company’s XProtect Analytics
is enjoying the same buzz largely because of the effective marketing and press
exposure to the system. For me, it was Milestone that put the concept of video
management merged with analytics management on the map. So of course I had high expectations
when I evaluated the product.
For the full Review Summary: Download DreamerGear Milestone XProtect
Related Product Reviews
What We Loved: Powerful What We Didn’t: Price: Starts Overview In general, our entire experience using and testing Verint Nextiva For the full Review Summary: Download DreamerGear Verint Nextiva Related Product Reviews
and professional look and feel
Too many separate products to get full functionality
to manage both video and video analytics was positive. Nextiva has the power and capability to
handle video management and analytics deployments from moderate sizes to the
very largest. It is obvious that
Verint put a lot of thought into every aspect of the product architecture and
design with, among other benefits, a very usable graphical interface and
excellent product support.
What We Loved: Powerful
What We Didn’t:
In general, our entire experience using and testing Verint Nextiva
For the full Review Summary: Download DreamerGear Verint Nextiva
Related Product Reviews
Exact Name and Version of the Product: Waterfall IP Surveillance Enabler Plus – WF ISE+
Manufacturer and Website: Waterfall Solutions www.waterfall-solutions.com
Type of Product: Video Camera Security
Uses: Protect IP camera infrastructure from hackers and malware
What We Loved: Easy setup and no-nonsense architecture.
What We Didn’t: The price
Price: Prices are not available for public distribution.
Overall Rating: 4 out of possible 5
Lior and Avner took the redeye to Chicago, so when they walked in I immediately started the coffee pot. One cup to set up the equipment, another to describe the overall architecture and functionality. By the third cup of coffee, I completely understood the Waterfall technology. A single pot of coffee is the entire investment I made to qualify as a systems engineer of this elegant and useful product.
I’m a big believer in the value that IP video surveillance cameras give to large organizations. Easier video sharing, analysis and data gathering are just a few of the benefits. Unfortunately, IP cameras have a serious drawback. Not cost – prices are dropping and functionality is rising quickly enough that price doesn’t concern most buyers seeking flexibility and functionality. No, my concern is security. Security of the cameras and the network they share. Bad guys can turn a network camera into a network access point, shutting down or diverting video, or worse, connecting to internal systems and stealing corporate data. Think of the camera as a little, unprotected web server and you get the idea.
Network pros immediately think of standard IT security measures like firewalls, encryption, authentication, anti-malware software and the like. However, building that kind of infrastructure will take extensive involvement of IT professionals, and even then, the firewall may prove powerless against an internal Trojan horse.
Waterfall employs a networking concept called an air-gap to create a secure infrastructure for IP video surveillance. The IP connection from the camera is actually severed, then, reducing the payload to pure video stream in a non TCP/IP format, forwarded over a one-way optical connection to the receiver. The transmitter physically cannot receive, nor can the receiver send, so it is impossible to send any malware upstream or to divert video traffic. For those rare times when a PTZ command must be sent upstream, or when the camera needs a configuration change, the system opens a separate, firewalled, temporary connection that closes immediately after use.
This type of straightforward IT security, using standard technologies and best practices is just what the physical security industry needs to win the embrace of their IT brethren. We liked the easy setup and no-nonsense architecture. We didn’t like the price. We think the product should be priced about the same as an IT firewall protecting an equivalent number of ports. We recommend the Waterfall solution for any end user, distributor or integrator of large numbers of IP cameras.
I’m heading off to Israel today, the home of some of the greatest innovations in security (I was going to say the "Mecca" of security, but somehow that didn’t seem quite right), for a week of visiting security companies. I’ll keep you posted.