The simplicity of a DVR, but without the DVR problems

Intransa introduces the VideoAppliance—is it the new way to store video?
Thursday, June 18, 2009

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Video surveillance storage manufacturer Intransa used this past week’s National Retail Federation Loss Prevention Conference to introduce the VideoAppliance, a server and storage combination that comes preconfigured with the integrator’s choice of five leading video management software makers: Exacq, Genetec, JDS Digital Security Systems, Milestone, or ONSSI.

“From a design standpoint,” said Intransa CEO Bud Broomhead, “the point was to make it as DVR-like as possible, but make it IP-based, and not bring the DVR problems along with it.” Because of a patented input/output engine, Broomhead said, the VideoAppliance is more reliable and will last longer than commodity servers used to create NVRs, and the storage is more sophisticated than that found in DVRs (with an expansion pack, the VideoAppliance can deliver up to 16TB, and serve up to 50 cameras).

“Out of the box it’s just like a DVR,” Broomhead said. “The integrator puts in the power chord, flips it on, and when it says ‘Genetec,’ he types in the code he bought from Genetec.”

Broomhead was clear that Intransa is not OEMing the technology from the VMS suppliers, rather Intransa is simply pre-loading and pre-configuring the software so that the integrator doesn’t have to bother with that and the configuration is consistent with every project.

“Most of the problems [VMS makers] see out there on commodity servers are because the integrator has mis-configured it. So something weird is happening, and this happens even to the most sophisticated integrators—the IP skills vary from office to office, from person to person. That’s what we’re solving—it’s a consistent platform.”

Broomhead said more VMS providers will be worked into the VideoAppliance, but that the ones chosen are the current market leaders and all are Windows-based, which provides a convenient starting point.

The VideoAppliance can also be used to augment a current DVR installation to create a hybrid solution or add more storage, and the VideoAppliances can be set up so that multiple units are controlled through one user interface. And, since it appears and can be controlled like other network appliances, the IT community should embrace it, Broomhead said.

As for pricing, “Our target is to come in at slightly more than commodity server/storage combinations,” Broomhead said. “We’re not trying to compete with 16-camera DVRs. We’re trying to enable this channel to more easily work with IP. Only about 10 percent of the channel has good IP skills. We’re trying to move further into the channel with simple to use and install products, something on par with what they’re accustomed to using.”