NVR Security: Set up in Minutes, Not Days

February 28, 2020 Brian T. Horowitz

NVR security system, video surveillance system

While video surveillance is commonplace, new technologies allow businesses to do far more than they could have imagined three years ago. But the path forward is paved with uncertainties. What does it take to upgrade my current system? What new hardware and software do I need?

And gaining all the benefits of a modern security solution does not come without challenges. The different components—from cameras and NVRs to storage and software—don’t necessarily play well together. Deploying, managing, and maintaining the system may take IT personnel outside their comfort zone.

To tackle these challenges, enterprise organizations and the solution integrators that serve them have a choice.

They can go through their Rolodex of vendors and select best-of-breed hardware and software to “roll their own” system. But even with standard protocols, interfaces, and APIs, this can lead to extra work along the way. There’s the risk of investing too much time and resources. And where do they go when there’s a system glitch?

The other route is working with a company that’s already done the hard work of vetting these very system elements. A trusted partner that can put it all together creates more confidence that the solution is the right one, it goes in correctly, and is easy to maintain and scale.

The Elements of an NVR Security System

Seneca Data Distributors, Inc. offers the best of both worlds—bringing all the elements together by collaborating with leading companies like Dell, Intel®, and Milestone.

The Balto by Seneca solution starts with a set of Intel-based scalable Dell systems running NVR and management software, as well as data storage. And while the hardware sets the stage, Maestro software orchestrates system-wide configuration, setup, backup and recovery, and the integration of Milestone XProtect video management software (VMS) suite.

Add Seneca’s xConnect remote management and monitoring application and you have a robust video surveillance system that can be tailored for an organization’s unique needs (Figure 1).

The Balto by Seneca NVR Security System hardware components. (Source: Arrow)
Figure 1. The Balto by Seneca NVR Security System hardware components. (Source: Arrow)

But the solution is far more than the sum of its parts. Seneca solutions integrate and optimize all of these elements for the best possible performance and the easiest management. End-users and SIs benefit from the company’s expertise and services, including:

  • Guidance that helps integrators choose the right design and equipment
  • Professional services ranging from remote setup and configuration to on-site support
  • Timely and efficient global delivery of inventory
  • Pre- and post-sale support
  • Financial services such as leasing models to shift CapEx to OpEx

“Customers end up with a turnkey appliance that’s 100 percent dedicated to running the Milestone video management software,” said Jami McGraw, Global Product Team Manager for Arrow. “We do performance optimization, alignment to specific cameras, resolution counts, and things like that. We’ve summed up decades of experience into an application that can be up and running in minutes instead of hours or days.”

“Customers end up with a turnkey appliance that’s 100 percent dedicated to running the Milestone video management software.”
—Jami McGraw, @ArrowGlobal

One Customer’s Experience

One Seneca customer chose the Balto  system for its portfolio breadth, direct Milestone integration, and the ease of sizing the solution to its end-users’ specific needs.

“They were able to pick up almost the entire install from a compute standpoint off our portfolio, benefiting from a single partner for the entirety of the solution,” said Ron Van Tassel, Market Development Manager for Seneca. “Monitoring the system in the field using integration to the XProtect event server saved them hundreds of clicks and hours of time.”

And once the solution was up and running, the Balto experience continued to be beneficial. When a power surge  brought a server down, IT was able to see in real time what was going on via the XConnect application.

When the team was alerted via the system’s integration to the XProtect event server, they were able to quickly solve the problem. In the past, a problem like this may have gone unnoticed, leaving blind spots in cameras and other vulnerabilities. They not only saved time and energy on the front end, but it saved them from a truck roll and potential other costs. That sort of safety net was developed in concert with the partner that helped their solution not just go to market but maintain maximum uptime (Figure 2).

The xConnect software displays the status of servers and other devices it monitors across the video surveillance system. (Source: Arrow)
Figure 2. The xConnect software displays the status of servers and other devices it monitors across the video surveillance system. (Source: Arrow)

The Partner Ecosystem

Intel is the matchmaker that brought Milestone, Dell, and Seneca together to make the experience smooth for customers. The Seneca team described Intel as both a full-spectrum technology player and an important industry influencer.

“The idea of having multiple vendors’ solutions integrated into one turnkey surveillance solution allows our customers to spend more time with their customers, rather than setting up and configuring servers,” said McGraw. And ultimately what we can bring to the table is a white-glove service for the entire solution lifecycle—making our system integrators accountable only for the “on button.”

About the Author

Brian T. Horowitz

Brian T. Horowitz is a technology journalist who has written extensively about enterprise technology, AI, IoT, innovation, and digital health. His work has been published in outlets such as eWEEK, Fast Company, PCMag, Scientific American, and USA Weekend. In addition, he has spent time in the world of branded content, writing everything from articles and e-books to white papers and infographics for tech clients. Brian is a graduate of Hofstra University in New York.

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