From hardware to mobile networks and licensing, your questions about VOLO are answered here.
VOLO is an access control solution hosted in the cloud. It consists of Access Control Units (ACUs) that interface with door locking equipment and cloud-based software. The software facilitates communication with ACUs, empowering users to remotely administer and control their access control needs using any browser-enabled device, regardless of their location in the world.
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, as the controller can be connected via an Ethernet connection.
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 handover all stored events to the cloud. The controller can store up to 4,000 events locally.
Yes, VOLO can support all clock and data reader as well as Weigand readers (up to 64bit). If you wish to check this further please contact us on [email protected] or 01896 292200.
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.
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.
Yes this can be achieved and the file type of the existing database must be a CSV file format.
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.
At the time of an expired license we must highlight that all events are not retained in the system so the events during a period of no license cover are lost.
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 (September 2019 update). Users are timed out after 15 minutes of inactivity. Users have restricted access to viewing and administration depending on defined user /operator rights.
Amazon Web Services: http://aws.amazon.com
VOLO offers a cell information strength indicator function to indicate the chosen/preferred network and the available cells for the device to connect to. Plus it will relay live updates on the signal strength at all times.
SIMs are 'roaming' and switch to the strongest and most stable 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.
Want to find out more about VOLO?
CIE-Group are one of the UK's distributors of VOLO.
For advice or more information on VOLO, please contact the CIE team on T. 0115 9770075 or email us at [email protected]