On the Edge of Innovation
IP Video Surveillance Market Solutions Building Strong Industry Partnerships
- By Nicole Segura
- Feb 01, 2015
Often taken for granted—as video surveillance
cameras and systems can be found
in virtually any public space—the ability to
deliver quality live and recorded video is a
complex mechanism requiring hardware,
software and networking. Because leading
security providers excel in different areas, companies often
join together to create market solutions that are the result of
the best each has to offer.
One of the strongest partnerships to emerge in the security
industry migration to IP network video surveillance has been
Milestone Systems and Razberi Technologies. This team is bringing
distributed architecture out to the edge while still obtaining
visibility in a security operations center that could be just down
They might be a relatively young company at just a few years
old, but Carrollton, Texas, based Razberi Technologies has made
quite a splash in the security industry with a product that seems
amazingly simple. The Razberi ServerSwitch is a network video
recorder, a PoE switch, storage and video management software
(VMS) in one easy-to-use and easy-to-install appliance. The
ServerSwitch has been purpose-built for recording and managing
megapixel network video. Its embedded SmartSwitch has been
designed to its internal surveillance-grade hard drives. A web interface
enables remote control of the network switch and measurement
of PoE consumption and data transmission.
Rather than employing the use of traditionally large and expensive
network servers, the VMS runs directly on the Razberi
ServerSwitch. This allows system integrators to assemble smaller,
more compact systems that don’t require a large IT infrastructure.
By combining these functions into one device, the installer
saves a tremendous amount of time, and the risk of purchasing a
component that can’t support the demands of a megapixel environment
As Razberi has grown, so has their market. Designed for integrators
with little IP expertise, Razberi has found that because
they offered plug-and-play capability combined with robust VMS
software, they became an attractive cost-saving solution for even
the most sophisticated integrator.
Known as the world’s leading provider of open platform IP
video surveillance, Milestone’s XProtect VMS is easy to use and
provides customers the ability to view live and playback video
recordings, investigate suspicious incidents, and export video evidence
for any-size camera deployment. Headquartered in Denmark—
with American operations in Oregon—Milestone is used
by more than 100,000 customers worldwide.
Naturally, Razberi has worked closely with Milestone as they
desired to provide integrations with the leading VMS solutions
in the security market. But, the partnership has grown and has
developed into quite an innovative video surveillance solution.
“Razberi has brought the market the
concept of a distributed architecture
where they have the server in a distributed
environment and closer out to the
edge—a practice that has not been
done as much with the industry move
to centralization,” said Reinier Tuinzing,
Milestone Systems strategic alliance
partner manager, Americas.
“What is unique—and attractive—is
that even though the appliance is closer
to the edge, the unit is visible from anywhere just as it would be in
a centralized configuration.”
The Razberi ServerSwitch works seamlessly with the Milestone
XProtect Corporate VMS to deliver a robust solution that
provides easy-to-use, yet powerful, software for controlling video
“The Razberi ServerSwitch has improved the delivery of the
Milestone VMS product because our customers want to have the
storage and processing capability out at the edge,” Tuinzing said.
“What we’ve added is the capability to pull that information back
to an operation center and make it the entire network.
“What’s really impressive is with the ServerSwitch the complexity
is there but it’s hidden by the simplicity of the chassis. We want the
depth of the product, but we don’t want to make it complicated.”
Milestone has recognized Razberi Technologies with the Technology
Partner Award and in the related article, Q&A: A Sitdown
With Razberi Technologies President Tom Galvin, the Server-
Switch inventor discusses their partnership with Milestone and the
strong foundation they have established for a productive future.
Security Products Q&A:
A Sitdown With Razberi Technologies President Tom Galvin
What is the impact of IP networking and how has it impacted
your product development?
IP networking has been around a long
time, but the fact that the protocols
haven’t changed a whole lot in 30 or 40
years is a testament to the simplicity
and the foresight these guys had when
they put it together. What’s changed is
IP networking has become more pervasive
and certainly we’ve seen that in the
physical security industry with video
surveillance, access control and other
products. How we view our job at Razberi
is: We didn’t invent IP networking. We didn’t invent megapixel
cameras. We didn’t invent NVRs. What we have done, however,
is we have found ways to combine these things in simplified
packages. We view our mission and our value add as taking the
complexity of IP networking—particularly for video surveillance—
and putting that technology into simplified form factors
that enable the integrator to do the job at a lower cost.
How have physical security systems evolved in terms of
developing ample storage for streaming video?
It’s really amazing how storage systems are getting larger, and
price points more attractive. The demand for storage is growing
exponentially. Look at megapixel cameras: A few years ago, I
would have said that the 2-megapixel camera was the sweet spot
in our industry and now the quotes that we’re generating are going
to 5 megapixel. I don’t know where the 80/20 rule is right now,
but the megapixel counts are increasing significantly—increasing
storage demands—and that’s creating some unique problems.
We have a very good solution working with the Milestone
XProtect VMS. What Razberi can do with our architecture is
distribute storage—distribute it on the edge—and that has a
number of advantages. One of the advantages is that you don’t
have to backhaul all of the video to a central location or server
room. What Milestone software allows us to do is store video
on the edge, which is more cost effective. The Milestone VMS
with the Razberi ServerSwitch solution also allows us to move
video into longer-term archive. So, you can move the storage for
longer term into that centrally-controlled computer and server
room. It’s a very unique architecture. It allows distribution, and it
allows redundancy, and the combination of the Razberi with the
Milestone VMS is really a unique proposition for the enterprise.
Because the IP video surveillance world seems to be all about
making partnerships, how have you managed your partnership
Our partnerships are really the key to our success, particularly on
the VMS side. Milestone has invested quite a bit into what they
call their ecosystem. They promote partnerships through programs,
training, and the MIPS (Milestone Integrator Platform
Symposium) conference they have annually. We are a proud winner
of the Milestone Systems Technology Partner Award. Milestone
does a wonderful job of creating that ecosystem of complimentary
products. We’ve really embraced that with Razberi. We
participate in everything we can—trade shows, co-selling, collateral,
technology partnerships. We’re all in with the Milestone ecosystem
and that’s been a boost for both Milestone and Razberi as
you look at the project wins we have together.
Because you are constantly improving product development
with your own products, how deeply do you work with your partners
to make sure they are in sync with what you are doing?
The partnerships are a real key component of what we do. One
of the measures of the level of cooperation are the certifications
we do. For example, Milestone has an infrastructure certification
program. Razberi was one of the first products certified
by this program. What that involved is a lot of detailed performance
testing and benchmark testing which we collaborated
with in the Milestone labs in Portland. We get very deep in the
certifications—that’s a real important part of our business so
our customers understand how well the Milestone and Razberi
systems work together.
Please explain how the process of implementing your product
works with the IP camera and a VMS system?
We certify these relationships so that our customers are confident
we have a working solution both on the Razberi appliance, and
with the VMS, such as Milestone. We extensively test each partner’s
software on our appliance, and in the case of Milestone, we
did so at their lab in Oregon. That gives our integrators confidence
that we’ve done the benchmarking and that we understand
it’s a working solution. We also try to participate in the road maps
with our partners—whether it’s with Milestone or a camera vendor.
We want to understand where they are taking their product,
where they are taking their application programming interfaces,
so that we maintain those certifications as both the VMS and our
Does that mean that your technical people work with their
technical people to make this continue to communicate?
Absolutely, and particularly with Milestone, we have a very deep
relationship where we are working engineer-to-engineer on a
number of projects. Whether it’s system engineers in Portland,
or with product development engineers in Copenhagen—we have
that tight relationship. It’s really a unique partnership.
Technology in the security industry can be very complex. How
are you able to meet the expectation of a superior product, yet
keep that product simple for the server, PoE and the workstation?
It’s not easy to simplify. These are complex systems we’re dealing
with—large storage systems, megapixel video, maintaining certifications—
so we put a lot of effort into the simplification process.
The only way we can continue to be successful with that is to maintain
the partnerships we have developed. That’s the key to success.
Your security device offers numerous functions, how does it
save the installer time?
We’ve been surprised—and pleased—not only by the rapid adoption
of the Razberi and who has adopted the Razberi. Originally,
we designed the Razberi appliance with the idea that we would
target dealers and installers who didn’t have extensive IP expertise.
It seemed like a good fit because we could offer the time savings
of plug-and-play video and reduce the network complexity.
What we’ve been pleasantly surprised by is that some of the most
sophisticated integrator partners in our industry have adopted
the Razberi. Even though they have CISCO certifications, Milestone
certifications, Microsoft certifications—despite that high
level of expertise—they still see the value of the Razberi appliance
and how they can simplify the installation and reduce the
time of the installation. So, it’s a total cost of ownership savings
even for the most sophisticated integrator.
The Razberi appliance was designed to help an integrator
make the leap into IP, but now the Razberi product is being
embraced by everybody?
We are pleased to see that trend. I think it’s a testament to the
simplified form factor or the fact that the Razberi embodies the
switching element, the network element, and the power element.
That really drives cost savings through reducing installation time.
These things—simplicity and cost savings—transcend across any
integrator and I think that’s why we’ve seen such a growing adoption
rate, even with the most sophisticated integrators.
Do System Integrators now have the ability to assemble
smaller, more compact systems that don’t require a large IT
Absolutely. And there are many definitions of enterprise systems.
Some of the biggest successes that we’ve had with Milestone, for
example, have been individual installations where we may only
have four to eight cameras, particularly in the retail sector. But
what we see is there may be hundreds or thousands of these individual
four-to-eight camera locations—particularly with a multilocation
retailer. That is the power of the combined Milestone
and Razberi solution. Razberi offers the simplicity of the infrastructure
for a four -to eight- camera system but the Milestone
software allows us to integrate thousands of eight-camera systems
so that a retailer can have a global view and global management
of thousands of locations. That’s actually where we’ve had
quite a bit of success with the Milestone VMS.
This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of Security Today.