Milestone to offer its XProtect VMS platform via the AWS cloud

Feb. 19, 2020
Company looks to change the cloud video paradigm by bringing the cloud on-premises

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

Speaking to attendees during a keynote presentation, Keven Marier, the company’s 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, Marier said Milestone will allow customers to bring their existing licenses over to the AWS cloud in what the company is referring to as 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 makes this year so exciting is what is actually happening and that 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 let’s take 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 a separate interview with on Tuesday, Marier said  joining up with a cloud partner like AWS isn’t a new idea but rather 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 was 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 also called local zones,” he explained. “They announced the first local zone is sitting in Los Angeles because they have big customers like Netflix that are creating movies and that content has to go from there up to streaming and they have to do it fast. Then they need to potentially do video editing so in order to meet those latency requirements they had to move the cloud to Los Angeles so that they could have 10 millisecond latency to AWS. We measure our industry in milliseconds. Do you know what they measure their latency on their nitro network controllers in? Microseconds. That’s crazy. That’s a hundred times faster than we’re measuring it.”

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

“This decision isn’t going to be for everybody. This decision was specifically for customers that have AWS and this is the whole Apple analogy where 400 million peoples’ credit cards are one click away from a purchase. That’s a pretty lucrative situation for them. Now take more than one million AWS enterprise customers ­– 95% of the Fortune 500 have already figured out who’s doing the DevOps, who owns the data, all of the heavy lifting on cloud problems, including security, that’s already figured out. Now they’re one click away from launching XProtect in an EC2 instance in their private AWS catalog for that corporation. So, those more than one million customers are the people we’re targeting.”

Leave No One Behind

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, which is 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. Why is multi-casting important? Multi-casting is important because it changes how much bandwidth you need to use in order to move the data around. This is going to help solve those bandwidth questions, the egress and ingress I talked about. If we wanted to have the biggest addressable market for our primary and secondary customers, you take the biggest (provider).”

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. “Same, same, no changes,” he said. “It’s again, too good to be true, but it is true. And AWS is extremely smart for providing and fixing that and being early to fix it.”

In a way, 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-premises, in the cloud or a hybrid approach between the two.

Eliminating Friction

Steve Mueller, Chief Technologist for HyperSive and the former Software Development Manager for Amazon Protective Services, provided attendees with 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.

“The majority of the work to get there was what we considered undifferentiated heavy lifting. So the question we asked then at Amazon and what we’re asking the industry now is how can the cloud remove that undifferentiated work that you have to do?” said Mueller  “It’s really quite easy. This is not meant for education but rather to remove ambiguity about how difficult cloud is to use. 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 undifferentiated heavy lifting I talked about 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.” 

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of and a veteran security journalist. You can reach him at [email protected].  

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief,

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.