The first product update of 2017 enables record-breaking performance for XProtect users, lower hardware costs and lower total cost of ownership. Cybersecurity is another focus in the new version of the award-winning VMS.

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in networked video management software (VMS), has released XProtect 2017 R1. Milestone is committed to delivering three VMS product releases every year, in addition to bi-monthly device pack releases supporting third-party devices. This frequent release schedule will ensure Milestone’s rapid response to market and Milestone community needs.

Highest VMS performance

Thanks to the true open platform technology in XProtect, Milestone can rapidly respond to community needs and enable cost-efficiency in large installations. For XProtect, this entails a recording server performance of 3.1 Gigabit/S. This high-performance level enables Milestone community partners to offer large solutions using a reduced number of servers, or even smaller servers. This contributes to hardware costs savings and a simplified infrastructure. In short, it significantly reduces the total cost of a Milestone solution.

Pioneering hardware acceleration

In the latest XProtect releases, Milestone has harvested the advantages of the close relationships with Intel and Microsoft by implementing hardware acceleration. The processor-intensive task of decoding (rendering) video is offloaded to the dedicated graphics system (GPU) inside the processer, leaving the main processor free to take on other tasks. The GPU is optimised to handle computer graphics and video, meaning these tasks will be greatly accelerated. Using the technology in servers can save even more expensive computer muscle.

Hardware-accelerated video motion detection is new in XProtect 2017 R1 - another industry first for VMS software. Customers can have twice as many cameras on the same server with the same CPU load, or experience up to 90 percent reduction in the CPU load with the same number of cameras on the server. This use of hardware acceleration lets mid- to large-scale installations experience improved performance at a lower hardware cost.

Hardware acceleration was already implemented in the XProtect 2016 Smart Client. This provided an 80 percent reduction in the processor load on computers with selected Intel processors, firmware, drivers and Microsoft operating systems. This paves the way for the use of 4K cameras and processing-intensive video compressions like H.265.

New cybersecurity features

As video management systems are becoming more and more business-critical, cybersecurity is a natural focus. In 2016, Milestone launched several initiatives aimed at strengthening security in Milestone software. Like the Hardening Guide that details how an XProtect installation can be better secured against cyber threats and the Kerberos strict user-verification in XProtect.

"As video management systems are becoming more and more business-critical, cybersecurity is a natural focus"

The XProtect 2017 R1 update includes several security enhancements for improved cybersecurity, including two-step verification and greater control when granting user permissions for the Milestone Advanced VMS products.

Two-step verification

Two-step verification is an industry-first security feature for XProtect 2017 R1. It is designed to prevent unauthorised access to the VMS when a password is compromised, as a code from the user’s mobile phone is needed to complete login.

Keeping VMS systems isolated from the Internet is one important element when it comes to keeping a high security level. XProtect Smart Maps (introduced last year) now include support for OpenStreetMap offline maps: This means that customers with offline installations can take advantage of improved situational awareness by using maps, without exposing their XProtect system to online threats.

“We take cybersecurity very seriously. Milestone is constantly adding security features to XProtect software and helping the Milestone community focus on VMS security,” Eilertsen says.

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