Cisco Meraki vs. Verkada Hybrid Cloud Surveillance Side-by-Side Features

Cisco Meraki vs. Verkada Hybrid Cloud Surveillance Side-by-Side Features

This post focuses on primary feature sets for a side-by-side comparison between the two product lines. At the current date of this white paper, the Verkada solution provides a substantially improved platform over the Cisco Meraki MV product line when comparing features and release progress, with the guaranteed storage architecture being the most advantageous including the in-depth use of machine learning.

Comparison Introduction

Cisco Meraki MV and Verkada both offer an innovative approach to deploying cloud-managed surveillance for enterprises looking to upgrade, replace or implement surveillance – without having to deploy NVRs and server storage clusters to support such architectures. For this white paper, a side by side comparison has been constructed based on the primary enterprise features that are mostly requested or required in standard functional specifications.

Side-by-Side Comparison

The below table provides a side-by-side comparison of primary features of both solutions arrange by category.

Feature
Cisco Meraki
Verkada

Product Site

Cloud

Cloud Managed

Yes

Yes

Dedicated Mobile App

No (Mixed App)

Yes

Push Notifications

No

Yes

SMS Alerts

No

Yes

1:1 Device to License

Yes

Yes

Storage

Edge-Storage (Server-less)

Yes

Yes

Guaranteed Recording Days

No

Yes

Retention Based Recording

Yes

No

Cloud Archiving

Yes (1-Year)

Yes (Unlimited)

Unlimited Cloud Archiving

No

Yes

Cloud Backup Included

No (Additional License)

Yes (30-Days)

Tamper Bulk Upload

No

Yes

Data Storage Location

Cisco Signapore

AWS Australia

Hardware Warranty

3-Year

10-Year

Maps and Floorplans

Google Maps Integrated

Yes
Yes

Floorplans

Yes
Yes

Floorplan Motion Heatmaps

No
Yes

Floorplan Motion Plotting

No
Yes

Floorplan Levels

No
Yes

Motion Detection Signalling

No
Yes
Sharing

Live Stream Sharing Email

Yes
Yes

Live Stream Sharing SMS

No
Yes

Live Stream Sharing Link

No
Yes

Archived Video Sharing

No
Yes

Archived Video with Face Blur

No
Yes

Video Export Timestamps

Yes
Yes
Embed Video
No
Yes

Streaming

HLS Protocol
Yes
Yes
Distributed Proxy Streaming
No
Yes
Proxy Streaming
Yes
Yes
Local Streaming
Yes
Yes
Idle Bandwidth
200 Kbps
20 Kbps
Streaming Bandwidth
1.5 Mbps
1 Mbps
Analytics
Person Detection
Yes
Yes
Person Face Search
No
Yes
Advanced Person Filtering
No
Yes
Person Identification
No
Yes
Person Search via Photo
No
Yes
Person Filtered Motion Alert
Yes
Yes
Person Crowding Alert
No
Yes
Time-Lapse
No
Yes
Motion and Region Search
Yes
Yes
Heatmapping
Yes
Yes
Vehicle Recognition
Yes
Yes
Advanced Vehicle Analytics
No
Yes (Type, Colour and Make)
License Plate Recognition
No
Yes

User Management

User Access

Yes
Yes

Group Management

No
Yes

Active Directory Integration

Yes
Yes

Advanced Permission Sets

No
Yes

Controlled Guest Access

No
Yes

Conclusion

From an enterprise perspective, both systems have their unique use cases that are often determined based on the client’s functional specifications. In terms of primary solution specifics, the Verkada range offer a dedicated fixed storage recording time that cannot be achieved by Cisco Meraki due to the retention-based recording architecture (where the camera only records when it detects movement). From a recent proof of concept trial, high traffic areas were resulting in less than 10 days of footage recording on each Cisco Meraki camera vs. the Verkada solution which guaranteed at a minimum 30 days, this would introduce new problems such as having to apply the Cisco Meraki MV cloud backup license which would consume additional bandwidth and become cost-prohibitive on large scale deployments. This problem aside, the Cisco Meraki MV solution still requires reduced image quality to achieve higher recording time which is a problem Verkada does not have.

“Based on the results of recently completed proof-of-concept, it was determined that deploying 200 Cisco Meraki MV cameras with a policy of recording a minimum if 30 days storage would consume 243 Mbps of bandwidth. The same requirement but with Verkada would consume 13 Mbps – this was due to dedicated days of storage vs. having to apply cloud backup licenses with the Cisco Meraki solution.”

From a machine learning perspective, Verkada provides substantially improved analytical features when compared to Cisco Meraki, with the biggest improvement being the person recognition and POI identification capabilities for alerting and fast event finding. The ability to upload a photo of an individual and be alerted when seen is an example of how Verkada are ahead with their machine learning capabilities that can be applied to many different sectors and use cases. The ML Verkada have incorporated is evident across the platform with a range of features incorporating such AI, these include;

  • Person and vehicle recognition for video filtering and fast event search.
  • Person analytics to filter footage based on appearance, short colour and gender.
  • Vehicle analytics to filter footage based on make, model, colour and LPR.
  • Face filtering to identify individuals through face snapping and picture upload.
  • POI alerting for known individuals.
  • Crowding to alert based on a number of people within a frame to enforce safety protocols.
  • Motion detection with filtering such as ensuring motion alerts are only send when a person or vehicle is seen.

Lastly, Verkada have a dedicated mobile video security application that interfaces directly with the cameras (command is driven via the web-browser for desktop users), sites and users allowing direct push notifications within the native application – available on both android and iPhone. This application can be distributed across users in the enterprise and allow for controlled user access to sites and cameras. Cisco Meraki have an application which has been tailored for their wireless, switching and firewall products but is virtually un-usable for the MV line other than to view camera feeds.

With Cisco Meraki being specialists in wireless, switching and security appliances, the platform provides all the tools to manage such services however until substantial improvements are made on the MV product line, there is still a clear divide between solutions. For users who are willing to sacrifice all features Verkada provide in return for a single platform to manage wireless, switching, security and video, then Cisco Meraki will have this advantage over Verkada.

Common Cisco Meraki Questions

Compiled below are commonly asked questions regarding the Cisco Meraki MV product line.

How do Cisco Meraki camera’s work?

Each camera securely connects to the Cisco Meraki cloud enabling users to access any camera across any location. The cameras have inbuilt storage (known as edge-based storage) and inbuilt machine learning (known as edge-compute).

How do you configure Cisco Meraki cameras?

After purchase of a license and the hardware (1:1), each camera is added to the Cisco Meraki dashboard via the order or license and then configured. Cameras are powered via PoE+ and needs WAN access to connect to the Cisco Meraki cloud. Once added to the dashboard and associated network, you can then select the camera and start performing configuration and associated video analytics.

How many days recording will I receive from Cisco Meraki MV cameras?

Cisco Meraki MV uses a storage method known as retention-based storage to achieve longer recording timeframe. This method of recording means the camera will only record when there is motion in the frame. When no motion is detected (or no activity within the frame), the camera does not record. This results in breaks in the footage history but increased overall recording. The more activity occurring during the days results in less recording days – and vice-versa. Recording is performed at the camera as the Cisco Meraki MV product line is a NVR-less solution.

How do you use Cisco Meraki MV?

Once added to the dashboard and associated network, you can then select the camera and start performing configuration and associated video analytics.

What is the Cisco Meraki dashboard?

The Cisco Meraki dashboard is a cloud-managed tool used to manage all Cisco Meraki hardware across the enterprise and sites. Each site is treated as a network and can contain multiple pieces of hardware including wireless, switching, security appliances and cameras.

Why doesn’t Cisco Meraki MV require an NVR or server?

Cisco Meraki MV cameras utilize a storage method known as edge-storage, meaning the recording is performed locally to the camera. This is a decentralized solution meaning you can deploy unlimited cameras across unlimited sites. No recorded footage is saved in the cloud, only footage that is either being backed up (separate license) or archived snippets of footage are stored in the cloud.

What is the bandwidth consumption of Cisco Meraki MV?

Each camera at rest uploads approx. 200 Kbps of meta-data to the cloud. This includes a feature known as motion recap which displays a stitched thumbnail of activity. During playback, 1.5 Mbps per camera (HD) is consumed across the WAN with cloud backup consumed approx. 1.0 Mbps.

Common Verkada Questions

Compiled below are commonly asked questions regarding the Verkada product line.

How do Verkada cameras work?

Each camera securely connects to the Verkada cloud enabling users to access any camera across any location. The cameras have inbuilt storage (known as edge-based storage) and inbuilt machine learning (known as edge-compute). Command is the platform used to manage each camera, site and organization and includes a dedicated Android or iPhone app for granular access and notification management.

How do you configure Verkada cameras?

After purchase of a camera and license (1:1), each camera is added by serial number to the Verkada command platform. Each camera is powered by PoE+ and required WAN uplink to securely connect. Once added to command, you can then start configuration of surveillance platforms.

How many days recording will I receive from each Verkada camera?

This depends on the model camera you purchase. Verkada offer a range of dedicated recording days from 30 to 365. Each camera has different capabilities and sizes for both indoor and outdoor environments. Verkada records in high definition without impacting quality or utilizing motion retention-based storage. Regardless if there is activity or not, there will be recording.

Where are Verkada cameras made?

Verkada cameras are manufactured in America and utilize an American based chipset Ambarella to support the edge-compute requirements. Each camera includes a high-endurance solid state drive to support recording times.

How does Verkada compare to other traditional systems?

Over a 10-year period, Verkada always works out to be the more cost effective and easier to manage solution. In terms of value, Verkada are constantly updating the command platform to introduce new features and ML capabilities. Combined with a 10-year warranty, hardware turnover and supporting infrastructure is significantly reduced which equates to reduced maintenance, upgrades, replacements and software spend.

Where to buy Verkada?

SYNO Global is a approved and proud Australian partner for Verkada security technology. SYNO Global works with organization of all sizes to deploy next-generation smart surveillance innovation.


Next Steps

From an enterprise perspective, both systems have their unique use cases that are often determined on the client’s functional specifications. In terms of primary solution specifics, Verkada is currently providing the most advanced solution should guaranteed recording days, hardware warranty and people analytics be the highest priority requirements. If you are interested in trialling the Verkada platform, we are currently offering obligation free proof-of-concept trials to enterprises exploring the next-generation of surveillance innovation. Use the form below or visit the product page to get started.