March Networks overhauls video management software

Video surveillance has become a big part of security, big enough that some organizations have thousands of cameras spread across multiple sites.

To keep up, March Networks has overhauled its VideoSphere VMS video management software so it can keep up with the demands of the largest of organizations.

Now called Command and run from a browser, the Ottawa company says the Enterprise version can oversee up to 128,000 cameras, a significant increase over VMS.

It can also manage March’s new 7532 Hybrid NVR video recorder for analogue and IP cameras, and the older 4000 C Series NVR recorders.

But Net Payne (pictured), March’s chief marketing officer, says Command is easy to use.

“Instead of building many features that get used by a few people, we’ve really focused on building a few key features,” he said in an interview.

These include the ability to configure and patch large numbers of edge devices at a time, and to have the video replay, capture and tools an investigator needs.

In addition, the Enterprise version can take advantage of what the company calls server to server gateway technology to reduce bandwidth across the wide area network. Jesse Frye, a March product manager for IP video management solutions, explained that some customers don’t want the expense of adding a multicasting solution to overcome the problems of bandwidth going up when several people want to access a video feed.

So Command Enterprise reduces the number of live streams from recording servers to the central gateway server, which is then split to each client.

“It’s not as elegant as multicasting,” he said, “but this reduces the amount of traffic coming from the terminal to the central environment, and then the LAN can handle the extra megabytes of video.”

Because Command uses a browser as the client, it can be used in Windows and Mac environments, Payne said.

The gateway software itself runs on 64 bit Windows Server 2008 R2 using a server with the equivalent of an Intel Xeon 2.5 Ghz processor. It can also run in a VMware virtual environment.

In addition to the Enterprise version, Command also comes in a single-server Professional version which can support up to 128 video cameras.

For security, there is multi-level password protection using Microsoft LDAP authentication.

March sells Command in three ways: software-only, bundled with a server or with a 7000-series DVR as an appliance.

Command Enterprise server software carries a base price of US$3,695, plus a charge for every camera attached, although that is on a sliding scale. Command Professional costs only $150 per camera attached to the system.


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