Milestone to offer its XProtect VMS platform via the AWS cloud

During its annual MIPS event in Dallas, video management software provider Milestone Systems announced that its XProtect platform will be made available via Amazon Web Services (AWS), a move that marks a dramatic shift in the company’s cloud strategy.

Keven Marier, Director of Technology Business Development, said that Milestone has officially become a member of the Amazon partner network and that they will launch their first two products on the AWS Marketplace in July. In addition, Milestone will allow customers to bring their existing licenses over to the AWS cloud in a “bring your own license” model.

According to Marier, a big driver in their decision to launch on AWS was influenced by a growing trend of bringing the cloud to on-premise applications like video surveillance.

“Our data starts on-premise; it has to then move from there to another location which may also include cloud. We think of it so much  as moving the on-premise world to the cloud but what is actually happening is that cloud is actually moving on-premise… which is where the remaining 85% of compute infrastructure is still operating,” he told attendees. “So what if we were to take the challenge of this opportunity, how would we win and how would we play? Let’s take XProtect and run it on AWS with an AWS Marketplace.”

In an interview with SecurityInfoWatch.com, Marier said  joining up with a cloud partner like AWS isn’t a new idea but the notion of the cloud coming onto the premises is, and he expects that will have significant implications for the industry in the months and years ahead.

“Our industry has a tie to the premise,” he said. “The announcement that we will teach you how to do it is an important part. I think a lot of people in this industry will start their learning journey and today was a part of making that happen.”

Though most people think about cloud versus on-premise solutions in terms of a technology stack, Marier said that you really have to think about it more from a geographic standpoint.

“AWS isn’t just in a data center in some part of the United States; they’re moving that into what’s called local zones,” he explained. “They announced the first local zone is sitting in Los Angeles because they have big customers there like Netflix.”

Marier acknowledged that the move to put XProtect on AWS isn’t going to meet the needs of all of their customers, but for the ones already leveraging cloud services from the company, it will make a big difference.

Why did Milestone opt to go with AWS over some of the other cloud service behemoths like Microsoft Azure or Google? According to Marier, the answer came to down to not wanting to leave any of their existing customers or partners behind.

“It was about having a bring-your-own-license (policy), having a marketplace, and having a network that is the only network secured end-to-end that matched almost exactly where our software was sold,” he said. “They’re also the only provider today that supports multi-casting, which is important because it changes how much bandwidth you need to use in order to move the data around.”

Marier said the bring-your-own-license policy for AWS includes exactly the same end-user licensing agreement and involves the same distribution, resellers and business models already being employed by Milestone.

Marier told attendees that Milestone has one eye toward the future while simultaneously supporting where customers are today in this journey, whether that be all on-premise, in the cloud or a hybrid approach between the two.

Steve Mueller, Chief Technologies for HyperSive and the former Software Development Manager for Amazon Protective Services, provided a demo of just how simple it was for integrators to get their clients up and running with XProtect on AWS versus traditional on-site deployments. Whereas in the past it would have taken weeks or even months to spec, buy and install video hardware and the accompanying software platform, setting up and launching XProtect on AWS takes mere minutes.

“With just a few clicks, we can launch a virtual machine, which we call an instance, we’re going to select a base operating system… and now we select the hardware, so all of that heavy lifting of ordering, buying and unboxing, racking and stacking comes down to one point here and is reduced to about five minutes. Milestone is changing the game.”

The full article by Joel Griffin, Editor-in-Chief of SecurityInfoWatch.com, appeared on February 18, 2020.