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For Milestone, D-Link is more than a switch supplier – they’ve become a strategic partner

As the network infrastructure becomes business-critical, it's important to choose well.

When a successful IT company is achieving fast growth, the IT demands increase along with it.
In 2006, the fast-expanding Milestone Systems therefore needed to streamline their network infrastructure. This led to a cooperation with a leading network provider, D-Link, which has been scaled in parallel with the growth of Milestone.

Milestone Systems is a globally leading developer of advanced IP-based software for video surveillance. The company's products today are used worldwide in many different sectors from museum security to production control and traffic management. One reason for their success is that the software support of video and computer hardware is independent of any one supplier: customers can choose best-of-breed components for their solutions.

A significant reason for Milestone's success is that the software acts independently from the camera models or brands of server equipment used. This means not only greater choice for customers in the design and implementation of their video surveillance systems, but also a wider customer base for the company.

One of the biggest internal challenges in connection with software development is the network infrastructure in the company. Milestone Systems has two ultimate demands for their network: capacity and flexibility. Video surveillance data has high capacity demands. Each image frame can take up circa 500 KB, and since a camera can record up to 25 frames per second, the system can quickly accumulate large volumes of data. The company can therefore end up with extremely high requirements for network capacity. Because employees must be able to develop software for many different cameras at one time - and with the number of both employees and cameras constantly growing - the need for flexibility increased constantly, as well.

From entrepreneur to growth company

When Milestone Systems was founded 10 years ago, it was a start-up company. During the initial years, almost all of the employees were software programrs, perhaps a reason why not much attention was given to their internal network infrastructure in the beginning. It was the staff themselves who took care of building up and maintaining the network as needed. This sort of worked as long as the company was small and relatively uncomplicated.

But when expansions seriously took off in 2005, and the company progressed with more professional initiatives that were necessary to break through on a global scale, not only were more employees required but also new organizational functions such as an internal IT department. Morten Skaarup and Michael Hegelund today run this department and among other things are responsible for ensuring that the network infrastructure is running optimally in relation to the developers' needs. With about 100 programrs and system engineers, over 500 different camera models and around 1,000 elements altogether, this network is a comprehensive task.

The partnership grows closer

"Things move fast in a growth company," says Morten Skaarup: "This makes it unbelievably tough to maintain the optimal infrastructure. One of the first things we did to optimize the network was to clean up the equipment setup and choose a primary supplier as our partner in this area. I knew
D-Link well for their quality products, but the primary reason for starting a partnership with them is that their price/performance ratio is so excellent. It's important that the network functions, but the price also plays a key role. With D-Link the balance is perfect."

When Milestone Systems choose D-Link as a partner for network equipment in the summer of 2006, the relationship involved primarily the delivery of backbone and LAN switches. Parallel to the company's growth over time, the cooperation has expanded. Today D-Link functions as both a strategic and brainstorming partner in the development of the network and as a supplier of equipment for all Milestone offices. This refers not only to just the LAN, but also a parallel WAN and a redundant firewall setup.

Even smaller deliveries can be mission critical. "One of our requirements was to address our needs in the American market, for example that we must support IPv6. D-Link has helped us with this," says Skaarup. "Another reason we are satisfied with our D-Link relationship is their phenomenal support. We communicate with many support staff from a lot of companies, but D-Link's support is outstanding. They have dedicated first-line support people, who know us and our network really well – which means that they can react promptly to our requests. If there's anything they can't solve immediately, they are quick to get back to us with a solution. Regarding the implementation of the IPv6 switch, we called on a Friday afternoon for some help, and on Monday morning there was a detailed description on how to get the most out of the network changes. We will continue the cooperation with D-Link for many years to come. In fact, we are talking with D-Link right now about also implementing their security solution called ZoneDefense."

About Milestone
Milestone Systems is the leading developer of IP video management software. Their XProtect product series is designed with open standards and supports over 500 different models of network hardware via LAN, WAN or the internet. Milestone has more than 45,000 customer installations worldwide and authorized partners in 90 countries. Founded in 1998, Milestone has its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, and offices in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Dubai, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

About D-Link
D-Link is a world-leading and award-winning producer of communications products, supplying complete network solutions for digital homes and business small or large. D-Link's philosophy is simplicity and quality in its products. Based on research and development, D-Link delivers innovative network solutions within managed switching, wireless networks, security, broadband and IP-telephony. D-Link was founded in 1986, and the global sales have since risen to over a million USD. With 1,800 employees worldwide, D-Link is represented in more than 100 countries with 87 offices.

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