Testing: Edge Recording (Genetec Trickling)by Antony Look, posted on Mar 13, 2011
Edge recording is one of the most promising emerging video surveillance technologies. In many scenarios, it is highly desirable to record video (at least temporarily) on the camera. For instance:
- You have a remote site that only needs a few cameras. Rather than purchasing and deploying a recorder, it would be easier and cheaper to record video 'inside' the camera itself. Only when you need to watch the video would you recall the video from the camera.
- You are concerned about losing video during network outages. Usually, when a network (or connection from a camera to a VMS system) goes off line, video during that time period is lost. With edge recording, the camera could keep recording video and then send it back to the VMS.
- You have a situation where the camera is mobile and is not connected to any network. If you can record video on the camera and then synch it up later when you get back to your facility, operations are greatly simplified.
Historically, implementing edge recording has been challenging.
Traditionally, all video recording was 'centralized'. Cameras generated video. The video was streamed to recorders (DVRs, hDVRs, VMS systems, etc. ) and then the video was stored in the dedicated recording system. While users could deploy many recorders, video was always stored in one of those recorders (or connected storage systems). No video was stored in cameras / at the 'farthest' edge.
On the other hand, IP cameras are computers, specialized appliances of course, but computers nonetheless. Like any computer, IP cameras can manage storage. While all IP cameras always have some level of storage on board, it was generally rare for cameras to have significant storage (e.g., SD cards or hard drives).
In the last few years, support for SD cards on IP cameras has become increasingly commonplace. For example, nearly half of the 500+ cameras in our IP Camera Database support on-board storage.
However, VMS support for on-board storage has been limited. Most VMS systems offer no support for a camera's on-board storage. This meant that users deploying cameras with on-board storage would either have to use the cameras's web interface to manually recall stored video or, worse, pull the SD card from the camera. A few VMS systems offer support for a camera's on-board storage but only for the manufacturer's own cameras (e.g., March, Mobotix, VideoIQ). The most well known of these approaches is from Mobotix who emphasizes the benefits of their 'decentralized' architecture (see our Mobotix edge recording test results).
Genetec's 'trickling' feature is the first VMS offering to provide 3rd party IP camera storage support. Trickling is designed to support camera only recording or periodic transferring of recorded video from the camera to their VMS archivers.
In this test, we wanted to better understand the complexity of using trickling and the usability of accessing on-board storage. We tested Genetec's Omnicast 4.7 VMS with an Axis IP camera to better understand the interoperability between 3rd party VMS and IP camera vendors.
For background on Genetec's VMS, review our Genetec Omnicast VMS test results. This is not necessary for understanding Genetec's edge recording support but can help provide an overall background to Genetec's approach to video management.
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