From hardware to mobile networks and licensing, your questions about VOLO are answered here.
VOLO is an innovative cloud based and hosted physical access control solution, comprising electronic Access Control Units (ACUs) which connect to the door locking equipment and cloud hosted software which communicates with ACUs to allow users to administer and control their access control requirements via any browser enabled device from anywhere in the world.
VOLO is a brand and registered trademark of Norbain SD Ltd, the UK’s largest distributor of electronic security equipment.
VOLO is only available to Authorised VOLO Security Integrators via Norbain SD Ltd.
Contact Norbain SD Ltd. for more information. [email protected]
VOLO is designed and manufactured in the UK.
Currently only English is supported for the hosting site software and documentation
More Master ACUs, each with up to 24 Slave ACUs can be added to act as a single site solution. However: an additional annual Hosting Licence is required per Master ACU.
No, not at present. However, the SIM on the standard GSM/GPRS Master Controller does not need to be activated for the system to work.
No, not at present. However, it is theoretically possible to plug the Master into a wi-fi transmitter, but specific Wi-Fi transmitters have not been tested.
Yes, a 2.5m antenna cable is provided with each Master ACU, but a longer length antenna and specialist antennas can be used for weak signal areas.
The hardware needs to make an outgoing TCP/IP connection on port 2215. The communication is TCP/IP and the broker maintains the connection, so no incoming rule is required.
Yes, it can be moved away but the cable carries power as well as RS485 signals so it should be limited to 10 metres. If power is provided locally to the GSM module it can be extended to over 100m.
No, the Master ACU has a single RS485 output and the Slave has a single RS485 input and a single RS485 output allowing 500m between each ACU
The local Access Control Units (Masters and Slaves) will continue to operate as normal, but changes to access rights will not be enabled. As soon as the connection is restored, the system will automatically synchronise.
Yes, please contact us for the latest list and new format requests. [email protected]
There are several reasons for this, the big one being that VOLO is designed from the ground up to do this. Nearly all the competitor systems are older technology with GSM modems bolted on and constantly poll control units even when there is no activity. The communications protocols used, essentially serial based protocols, are not designed for efficiency.
In contrast, VOLO uses multiple publish/subscribe brokers in the cloud with the message protocol, Message Queue Transport Technology (MQTT), developed by IBM for the Internet of Things (IoT). It runs over standard TCP/IP networks and is a very efficient protocol for short messages and deals well with unreliable networks managing and restoring lost connections at the broker level, relieving the application of this duty. VOLO doesn’t poll connected devices as comms are ‘event driven’; so apart from an occasional heartbeat to check on-line status the control units only communicate when they have something to say. This considerably reduces the congestion in large systems.
In addition, the VPN and load balancers play their part. The VPN in restricting access (usually pings) from other devices and the load balancer in spreading the load created by connecting multiple units to multiple brokers.
Operation & System
Each Master Control Unit can control 2 readers and 2 releases (i.e. 1 door with read-in and read-out or 2 doors with read-in). Up to 24 additional VOLO Slave Access Control Units can be added per Master to allow up to 50 readers/doors. Multiple Master units can be used on a single site and logically grouped for systems larger than this.
In excess of 1,000,000
Via a USB card enrolment reader attached to a compatible PC connected to VOLO hosting website or by manual entering of card details, including bulk upload of contiguous card numbers. Card numbers can be extracted by requesting the user to present their card on-site.
No, not at present
It is possible, but subject to the business case as it requires specific software development. In the longer term a standard import functionality. Please contact us for more information or project requirements.
The Master Access Control Unit and connected Slaves will continue to operate, but access to the controller via the VOLO hosting service will cease, preventing all access to the ACUs including changing users, access levels etc. The purchase of a 12-month licence will restore connections.
No, only the Master Access Control Unit.
Both the Hosting Licence and the SIM Airtime Licence are 12-month contracts, after which they must be renewed for the system to remain operational.
No, operation is only available via the Internet and logging into the VOLO Hosting. Only engineering updates can be made locally.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) are ISO 27001 certificated and validated as a Level 1 service provider under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). AWS undergo SOC 1 audits and are evaluated at the Moderate level for Federal government systems as well as DIACAP Level 2 for DoD systems (Jan 2014).
For more information: http://aws.amazon.com/security
Access to the VOLO software is via a 6-digit minimum password with strength verification (August ’14 update).? Users are timed out after 15 minutes of inactivity.? Users have restricted access to viewing and administration depending on defined user rights.
Amazon Web Services: http://aws.amazon.com
Sim and mobile data
European Union only.
Please contact us if operation outside of this region is required as SIM compatibility and data restrictions might apply.
GSM testers are available and should be used if there is any doubt before a VOLO ACU is installed.
SIMs are ‘global’ and switch to the strongest available network.
No, the licences must only be used with the VOLO Master Access Control Units. Use in other devices could result in penalties or GSM SIM card cancellation
No, the SIMs are programmed at the factory and come pre-loaded in the Master ACU are specific for that Master Access Control Unit
No, all the data usage that VOLO requires is included in the annual charge. N.B. the SIM should not be transferred to another VOLO Master Access Control Unit and must not be used in any other device. Please refer to our terms and conditions for more information.
Like “Polo”, i.e.: ‘voh-loh’.