Michael Dell Invests In Cloud Video Surveillance Specialist Eagle Eye

Cloud managed video surveillance vendor Eagle Eye Networks said it received a multimillion dollar investment from Dell founder Michael S. Dell and his family.

The Austin, Texas-based company said the investment will enable it to expand the infrastructure supporting its Security Camera Video Management System to meet growing customer demand for the service. Michael Dell told CRN Eagle Eye is the first company in video components where he personally led the investment decision.

"The cloud will transform video surveillance just as it has other areas," Dell said in an email. "Companies may not replace existing systems immediately, and the cloud may not be right for all of them, but for many customers it makes sense and they will move over time.’

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Dell also is participating in the round with Austin Ventures and notable security industry luminary Enrique Salem, former CEO of Symantec and current board member at FireEye, Eagle Eye said.

Eagle Eye's cloud managed security and operations video management system provides both cloud and on-premise recording. The fully managed cloud-based surveillance system offers encrypted recording, camera management, mobile viewing and alerts.

Dean Drako, president and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks, told CRN his company is modernizing a market hampered by minimal technology improvements.

"I think there's an opportunity to take the whole $30 billion industry and move it to the cloud," said Drako, an entrepreneur and angel investor who co-founded network security vendor Barracuda Networks. "This is really modern, high-powered implementation; we have full audit trails and full triple redundancy that you would find in modern cloud systems."

Large enterprises and office complexes often use video cameras tied to legacy management platforms connected to digital video recorders or network video recording systems, on-premise storage and minimal capabilities, Drako said. Restaurant chains, gas stations and other small or regional businesses often use poorly functioning equipment resulting in insufficient quality video when a security incident takes place, he said.

"The recording equipment and old-fashioned cameras wired into the buildings were all designed in a different day and age, and it's ready to be shaken up by the technology developed in Silicon Valley that is cheaper and more reliable," Drako said.

Drako said the company developed an architecture similar to the backup technology used by Barracuda Networks, which can support large amounts of encrypted and compressed video in the cloud under current bandwidth constraints. A small on-site device will continue to operate and record for hours during an outage.

Video surveillance is becoming increasingly adopted for crime deterrence, but business owners also gain visibility into operations to boost productivity, said George Mitchell of Foley, Ala.-based Eagle Eye Networks reseller RAD Security. During discussions with potential clients, businesses often can't show their current video because of a problem or lack of knowledge about how the outdated equipment works, Mitchell said.

"Even in places with people running software on a video capture board they don't know if it's up or down, and when they need critical video it isn't there," Mitchell said. "With our technology, it's there 100 percent of the time, and we are monitoring the bridges and cameras."