I have some really good experience with Dahua's IP cameras. The edge recording works nice, have the option to overwrite the old files when SD is full or to stop recording. Not sure if all models have the playback functions, but the ones I used had it. And no damaged/fried cards too.
Sam, thanks for the feedback. I've passed this along to Axis as well for any additional comment.
We recently did a survey on worst VMS experiences and Axis Camera Companion got 2 votes:
- "Cameras failing to write to SD cards, Axis changing their "Approved" NAS spec 3-4 times over the last year, very poor/useless Axis support until we got a hold of someone from Sweden. You get what you pay for"
- "It sometimes doesn't delete files within the time frames given, filling up disks. Then you have to manually delete files, messing up indexes, and eventually the camera's just won't show in the software"
I wasn't aware of this - Thank you Sam
I have 2 installations both with under 7 Axis cams / 64GB micro SDXC edge / Camera Companion which are now 7 and 5 months in the field. Thankfully no issues. I'm disappointed to read that issues are now surfacing with this application. I like it.
I was justing finishing up a proposal consisting of this very solution when I read this thread. I have decided to trash it in light of this information. Thank you for the heads up.
It would be nice of AXIS to weigh in on this and volunteer some info. on the issue. Looking forward to their reply to you, John.
I believe ExacQ also offers an edge solution. I haven't tried it yet. I also believe only certain cameras are compatible with it.
This is interesting to us as we are just about to release our own version of VMS software that only works with edge recording. (www.netgenium.co.uk/NGxView.html) We have been soak testing axis products for months and not had any issues so far - but I am with them next week and so will dig into the matter.
Is it a specific camera model that has issues? If so let us know and we'll do our independant testing and let you know the results.
Our developers cannot see that it is a software issue - but more likely to be camera hardware based.
We also work with Canon cameras and LG with edge recordings and have no problems so far with these brands.
Believe it or not i even checked the Cisco cameras on test - (But these are Vivotek OEM products) and these also seem OK. (Amazingly enough).
We don't want to release a product that has issues with Axis cameras as we view them as a key partner and so I will get some more info and post it - but wait till the end of next week before I can update.
Btw, can anyone clarify what SD cards they are using? That might be a factor as well, especially since some SD cards, like the ones they hand out at trade shows or corner markets are not terribly robust.
I've only had one bad SD card when using Axis Camera Companion systems (out of 20). I have used the SanDisk Ultra 32GB Class 10 SDHC card. SDSDU-032G-A11 is the part number I think. I've had issues where the Axis camera losses video but still is still recording. Powering down the camera and it back up fixed the problem. Newer firmware 184.108.40.206 seems to be more stable.
I don't know the exact cards we used, I usually shopped Tiger Direct for the least expensive brand I could find that did not have horrible reviews.
SanDisk Ulta Class 10 SDXC 64GB is what i use. I have done both Exacq Edge and ACC. I haven't had any issues yet. I am now worried though. I really like edge recording on smaller builds. Ive also have done a "exacq edge" on one vivotek fisheye camera seems to work fine.
My Installs are only about 4 months old for exacq edge with 7 cameras. ACC is 1 month with 9 cameras.
Fingers crossed :-/
We have only used the SanDisk Class 10 SDXC for SD cards. We have also used the "approved" spec'd iomega (not approved anymore) and QNAP NAS devices. All 3 systems worked well for the first 5-6 months (between 1 and 13 cameras). After a certain length of time we had M3005-V and M3004-V cameras drop offline, refuse to record, stop recognizing the SD card, etc. We now have syslog file servers running on 2 of the sites to try and troubleshoot the problems. The most insane part of the offering is that Axis is designing this for small systems, where customers demand/expect to be able to see video from their iPhone/Pad, Android devices; but they haven't bothered to write their own mobile app. You're stuck using some third party app that they can easily point the finger at and take no ownership in the issues; as long is it is working in thier PC-only "thick" client.
I have to think someone has this figured out and has been successful with it, but we haven't found the magic combination of parts, pieces and firmware at this point.
I am having the same issue with an Axis P7214 encoder, set up using ACC and local storage to an SD card. The card is a Sandisk 64GB SDXC and is officially supported by Axis. The encoder is set to record 3 channels continuously and 1 channel with motion only - all are 4CIF / 8 fps. Periodically (usually after about 2 to 3 weeks), it will encounter some issue where the CPU load goes up to 10 to 12% (about 4 times normal), and it can no longer access anything on the SD card. Worse yet, when this occurs there is no notification of a recording failure and live view remains on-line (even with an event set up to notifiy on storage disruption)...also when it gets in this "mode", performing a remote reset from the device configuration screen causes it to become completely unresponsive requiring a site visit to power cycle.
So, in order to troubleshoot I set up a remote syslog server to capture events. Late last week, the issue finally occurred again and I was able to get a few specific error messages pertaining to an issue with the SD card and "local recovery strategy failed". I've sent these to Axis and am awaiting a response...
I feel well qualified to address this thread. We have been an Axis channel for years & originally embraced the ACC edge storage concept for small channel count systems (typically 1 through 4 or 5 cams total).
EPIC failure. We have stopped deploying these as of late last year. Problems too numerous to mention. Literally hours & days on the phone with Axis TS and going back out to sites, sending Axis countless log files. Firmware updates. Firmware rollbacks. We used only cards that Axis recommended, typically Sandisk Class 10.
The problem seems to be based on how intensive the read/write starts/stops activity is from the camera (not the volume of data). It's my feeling that if you recorded continuously, you'd have fewer problems... but most customers want record on motion, as it makes it much faster to find evidence. The more motion events, the more problems with ACC. The cards can't keep up with what the camera is trying to do.
We did extensive testing on the bench using SD cards compared with NAS boxes. You can't use a simple really cheap NAS because they can't handle the processor load. You have to use a better NAS with at least a 1GHz processor. The better NAS boxes can keep up with the recording, but at this point you basically have as much money sunk into it as an NVR, and you've lost the advantage of edge recording. For a low cost, small NAS that seems to keep up with small channel count, look at the Tonido Plug.
Axis can't support ACC in its current form. Their TS is next to useless on ACC. Until they can support their own product, we won't sell ACC any more. I won't even get into the problems with the 3rd party app that customers have to use...
We still like Axis.... :) Just not ACC.
I am the Co-founder of WitnessAll, we are a managed web-based VMS solution for SMB. We record on the Edge and manage the cameras through a cloud web-based VMS. We have preformed many tests on edge recording and encountered some of the issues that were discussed earlier. Below are my comments:
1- John and Alain, for your comments on SD cards type, I would also like to add that that there is a big market for non Genuine SD cards. As you know, the large size SD cards can be more valuable than gold by weight. We experienced this issue ourselves. We purchased SD cards from an Amazon 3rd parts re-seller during our initial testing that turned out to be fake. Make sure you purchased your cards through an authorized dealer. To make sure this issue does not happen to our dealer, we are now including storage with our cameras.
For folks that used Scan disk, for some reason this brand had the highest failure rate. We have had great success with the 64 G Transcend. I would recommend trying Transcend if it is compatible with your camera brand.
For Greg and Brian that experienced issues with hardware, We believe that the simple answer is that most hardware is not really designed for this type of application just like you mentioned Greg. We had similar issues as well at the begining. Initially we were testing with 1.3 MP camera an we experienced locking up/freezing etc. We then moved the testing to a 5 MP model that has more CPU/RAM/Bus than the 1.3MP model but kept the recording @ 1.3MP. the issues went away. Of course this was becuase we lowered down the load. I would say, beef-up the hardware since many of the cost effective cameras even though they claim to support to support edge recording, they are not designed to function as a standalone NVR.
Hope this helps and feel free to reach out if you would like to see a demo.
Following this thread is both encouraging and dissapointing. Encouraging that we are not the only integrator finding significant instability with edge recording on the Axis platform, dissapointing that it may be a systemic issue and not easy to resolve. So far we have two open support cases and no resolution. This has happened on multiple models of cameras.
Edge recording does fit a number of specific niches - one of our is for remote outdoor cameras. Need it work.
Brad/Greg, One possible solution you might want to try that could fix this is to limit the Baudrate on the camera to a constant at 1500MB. We worked close during our intial test with our camera manfacture and we found that this worked to create a stable solution. Like I mentioned before, we had to use the 5MP board with a 1.3MP sensor to get the baudrate up to 4000MB. Maybe Axis has the same issue. Hope this helps... Please let me know if you decide to try and keep me in the loop if it works. Best of Luck
Yes, sorry. This is embarrassing. My applogies, I dont have experiance with recording on the Edge with AXIS. Not sure were to go from here.
Hi everyone – my name is Domenic Locapo and I am the communications manager in North America at Axis. I’m sorry to see people in the IPVM community having issues with AXIS Camera Companion. I’ve talked with product management and technical services to understand the situation.
There have been customer support cases related to SD-card storage for AXIS Camera Companion, including Sam’s, that the team has been working on. We’re not directing people to avoid SD-card storage with AXIS Camera Companion because, compared to the number of Companion installations deployed worldwide, there is a small minority of these reported issues. That said, even though it’s a small minority of installations, our engineering team is giving this the highest priority.
Due to the sporadic and infrequent nature of the reported faults combined with the many potential hardware combinations of individual installations, pinpointing root causes and clear solution verification is more difficult. That’s why for those running into any technical issues, it’s important to register the cases with us, use the latest camera firmware and version of AXIS Camera Companion, and troubleshoot through our normal channels so we have this documented.
We are taking this very seriously and will continue to work with our integrator partners. We apologize for anyone experiencing issues – for those who are, please continue to work through Axis' technical services channels (phone, chat, email).
SanDisk Ultra Class 10 Micro SDXC 64GB
I have four Axis P3384 cameras recording on a NAS used with Camera Companion. I have exactly the same issue.
The problem happens when using event based recording (motion recording to be more specific). There are more problems. The camera cannot handle events over a certain limit. Altough it does not stop recording, it just cannot display the events either in camera or in Camera Companion software. VLC is able to play back old as weel as new recordings. Limiting the amount of video stored by the camera helps to solve this problem. Depending on amount of motion, I'm using 1 week of recording which make the cameras continuously. This creates roughly 5500 events on one of the cameras that makes the camera slow but still working.
Freezing is a seperate issue which does not happen too often. I still don't know the reason but I'm working on it.
Does anyone have similar experience?
Mate: I've been doing some testing with a 4-channel enocder (P7214) over the past few weeks, and I have seen the issue occur even when ACC is set to continuous recording on all channels - it will stop recording to the SD card without warning and become very unstable it is power cycled.
I'm now evaluating how well it works with all events switched off, and simply using the "continuous recording" setting for all channels...it's been running for about 48 hours without a problem so far. (I've left all other ACC settings alone). Unfortunately this is in a live customer installation in an environment where I can't readily install a NAS so I don't have much choice.
Unfortunately, Axis TS has not been helpful whatsoever - other than to echo Dominic's statements above that it is "a top priority".
I feel your pain we installed 2 companion systems to two high profile customers after being assured the software was good to go by multiple Axis Reps. One was using NAS storage and the other SD cards. Both systems a total loss. We went through 3 software upgrades on the 1st one rebuilt the system at least 5 times and each time we have other issues that were unexplainable to tech support. The second one(shame on me) was the "well maybe it's just that loctions issue" to I tried again. Complete failure, tech support said the customer must be uploading random files into the cameras???? Not the case, very disappointed in Axis on this one. Between the 2 projects we lost major credit points with both customers and probably 80 hours of billable tech time(not exagerating). Did I say "very disappointed"? I tried to get my rep to foot the bill on there camera station software to save face, to no avail. I was able to get one customer to by Milestone VMS at cost and installed for free, the other is still a pain in my a** and will likely end in me forking out for a server and VMS. Fortunatley I was able to score a very nice demo kit from Axis for free at the end of the year so I almost forgot about the Axis Companion software... I am a huge promoter of Axis products and to this day they are my goto, but I would tell anyone to stay away from the Compnaion Software especially for demo's.
Just thought I'd give a brief update on my findings with this. Perhaps it can benefit someone else looking for a stop-gap for ACC installs without having to install a separate DVR/VMS (yet).
In a last-ditch attempt to save a customer install that was experiencing constant problems with ACC (encoder lockups, recordings stopping without notice, etc.), I tried the following:
1. Start with a default ACC configuration; then unmount and format the SD card (64GB SanDisk in this case)
2. Disable all action rules
3. Create a new stream profile (for this application, 4CIF / 8fps)
4. Set maximum retention time to 7 days (this results in about 50% usage...I wanted to start conservatively)
5. Enable continuous record for all channels using the stream profile created in Step #3
This set-up has been working continuously for > 30 days with no issues. The major drawback is that when a recording is required, I need to manually retrieve it by FTP. However, the customer can continue to view the camera feed using the ACC app.
Unfortunately absolutely no solution or suggestion from Axis tech support...
Norris, Inc., S. Portland, ME | 04/03/14 10:07am
You expect to install a system and not worry for at least 3 years. Even if this was stable, how can any of you guys sleep at night knowing that critical forensic video may be lost at any moment. I normally use one customer as a guinea pig for at least a year on something like this (still scheptical about SD card lif span) before other deployments.
Last summer I did deploy many cameras, running Exacq Edge, in a Citywide deployment. These were all on remote poles (in bad areas of town) with connected WIFI radios (for access locally) and mesh radios (when in range) for remote access. Raytec illuminators also used. Stream 1 recorded continuous to SDXC 1080P 2 Mbps CBR and stream 2 D1 sent via RTSP to off site Exacq servers (via mesh network). Original cards were Kingston SDXC 128 (lasted about two months, good thing for the second stream). Once replaced with Sandisk Ultra, everything has worked great. (Interesting Note: A major crime was solved using the secondary off site stream, after the Kingston on-site HD stream/SD failed- Phewww).
I think that is a great application for Edge (quick deployment remote applications and those that do not or may not have network access). I would not think that selling as a low cost surveillance option is a good idea. (Hikvision 500 GB POE NVR + 4 IP camera system is $900 right now).
I have IP camera systems that have been running for 6-7 years (50+ cameras) that normally, even today, only experience limited outages with a high probability at any moment that forensic video will be available. If I had a solution that was questionable (will the video be there when you need it), I would replace on my dime. Nothing is more embarrassing as an Integrator than getting the call from a customer that an incident happened: "Where is my video". We all know this happens, time to time, but it is our job, as professional integrators, to minimize the odds of this happening.
IPVMU Certified | 04/03/14 01:19pm
Those are great comments, Jeff. Sometimes we put too much confidence in an advertised solution because it sounds so good we strongly want it to work. But validation and testing need to be objective and we have to be willing to pull back the curtain and see what's really behind there.
Norris, Inc., S. Portland, ME | 04/03/14 07:13pm
It did seem like "Edge" was the "Tweet" or "Cloud" of 2013.
Ive noticed sometime after one of the lastest firmwares i can no longer manage the sd cards in the web interface. It doesnt show up under storage on almost all my cameras now. In the system log it shows as mounted and available though
I talked to someone who wishes to remain anonymous but has been working on similar issues with edge storage (non Axis). One thing he found from talking to multiple SD card manufacturers is that they actually pushed back on streaming video 24/7, with 1 saying that they would not officially support and another saying that they were working on a future SD card for surveillance. His analogy was to hard drives and the emergence of hard drives optimized for surveillance.
I thought this was an interesting comment worth considering and tracking as we talk to different industry people.
Has anyone heard any feedback from Axis regarding this? I thought I had found a temporary solution by preventing user access to the recordings (to reduce SD card I/Os) and by using only continuous recordings (to prevent additional load from motion events), but it failed again sometime this week after a few months of up-time.
Also related: Synology is now apparently offering an SD NAS. If the root problem is truly a hardware limitation of SD cards it will be interesting to see how this device functions, particularly since Synology is claiming it can record up to 5 camera streams.
We have had the same continued issues with cameras dropping "offline", "losing" the SD cards, not recording, etc... fortunately we only sold 3 of them before figuring out how worthless and painful a "product" Camera Companion is. I'd like to say I'm holding out hope that they release some new firmware and a new version of Camera Companion and everything will actually work, but I'd be better off hoping that they're going to offer a free server and VMS of the customers choice just for making them suffer through this entomological disaster.
Axis added some features related to edge storage in latest firmware releases:
5.55.1:F02 Edge Storage Disruption Detection, ability to be notified when Edge
Storage detects disruptions that may need administrative attention,
typically disk unavailable, read/write error, disk full or disk locked.
5.55.1:F11 Edge Storage Device Redundancy, ability to automatically switch recording
device between SD Card and NAS if one device detects disruption.
5.55.1:C16 The Edge Storage disc utilization has been improved, this will also result in
increased video retention time especially for larger discs.
5.55.1:C26 Improved SD card recording when using ext4 file system.
They tell us that these have been in progress for some time and are not in response to issues discussed here. Not sure if they'll fix any of the above issues or not, unfortunately.
Undisclosed D: Glad you only installed 3. Fortunately I have a small number of installations as well, however one happens to be on a fire department boat...which doesn't exactly lend itself well to large VMS installations. The reason I decided to go with ACC is because I have had no issues with SD card edge storage on Axis cameras (using their "continuous record" function). I have quite a few of these running (with 2 day retention times) and storing to various styles of SD cards with no issues. Seems strange it would truly be a hardware limitation, but perhaps it is...
Ethan: Thanks for the new info on this. Unfortunately 5.55.1 isn't availble for the P7214, but I'll keep checking.
Yes Sam, I have had the same issues on numerous occasions with different models. I posted this issue on the IPVM discussion forum some time ago and John made a connection for me with Axis. At the time they released a new firmware version which was supposed to rectify the SD card storage corruption issue but the problem continues. Using a NAS will rectify the issue but it really defeats the purpose of using this technology. I have always used the Sandisk cards recommended by Axis.
Reducing the resolution and FPS and pre&post record times seems to help but this really shouldn't be necessary. I am at the point now where I just done trust the technolgy. If your cameras are being used in a mission critical installation I stongly suggest not using them!
As documented in this thread, Axis has received some customer troubleshooting cases related to SD card storage using AXIS Camera Companion. The reported situation involves a timeout issue where the camera/encoder records fine for a period of time, but then suddenly stops recording.
First, let me apologize for taking this long to post a solution. Since we take recording reliability very seriously, the Axis team has undergone tens of thousands of man-hours extensively testing the system with tight collaboration with some of the major SD card manufacturers since this issue came to light. We’ve found that the identified problem can specifically occur in certain SanDisk Ultra memory cards.
Customers and partners facing issues with SanDisk Ultra cards when used in Axis cameras are instructed to contact Axis Technical Support directly at http://www.axis.com/techsup/index.htm for further instructions how to replace their card.
Moving forward, Axis strongly recommends using SanDisk Extreme cards as these were extensively tested without timeout failure. Similarly, newer versions of SanDisk Ultra cards work equally as well.
Enhanced memory cards like SanDisk Extreme are much better suited for demanding applications, such as professional 24/7 surveillance applications. Lower graded consumer SD cards – mainly used for multimedia applications – will in many cases work fine, but the bigger variation in quality and durability of these cards makes them less suitable.
For instructions on how to confirm if you’ve had this recording problem and for replacement card information, visit this page: http://www.axis.com/techsup/faq/index.php/index.htm?sid=6878260&lang=en&action=artikel&&cat=436&id=116040&artlang=en.
See here for compatible components and recommended products for any AXIS Camera Companion edge recording solutions: http://www.axis.com/en/products/cam_companion_software/supported.htm.
Again, apologies for the delay in response, but we wanted to ensure we could test and provide a complete solution to the issue. All future questions must be routed through Axis' Technical Services or your local Axis sales representative for additional details.
Communications Manager, Axis Communications, North America
Thanks Domenic. Since I started this thread and have remained on the sidelines during the debate, it may be time for me to comment again.
Regardless of the troubles with the ACC edge storage instability, Axis remains our favorite camera partner. They still have the best line of cameras and fantstic support.
The fact that they have spent "tens of thousands of hours" sorting out this problem is an indication of their committment to providing the top quality products on the market. Unfortunately, this report citing the type and quality of the SD cards does not jive with our experience.
We have 2 locations which never had SD cards. The ACC + NAS solution for these 2 locations could not remain functional for more than a coupe of weeks at a time. We replaced ACC with the free version of Milestone and have had no problems since.
At the other location, there are 2- P1346E cameras with SanDisk Class 10 Extreme cards. 4 of these Class 10 cards got fried before we swapped the ACC for Milestone's free version. No problems since the ACC was removed.
So while it is good to know that there is a recognition on the part of SanDisk that a problem with some of their products exists, the question remains for us if Axis Camera Companion is viable.
It is clear that the problems are not caused by the cameras, which are the strongest brand on the market.
We are still looking for the solution that allows edge storage cameras to be viewed and managed as well as if they were attached to a server based VMS.
Very well said Sam, agree 100%. We had the same experience with the NAS recommended in Axis documentation and SanDisk cards.
If Axis is having trouble recreating the issue I still have one of these installs in the feild that plagues me. My customer has been dragged through a minefield on this venture. I hope the take the software off the website soon.
I figured I'd post an update to this since it was mentioned in a recent post about Edge Storage. We deployed ACC across a few sites over a year ago and initially had nothing but problems. We spent countless hours replacing Axis devices, swapping SD cards, factory defaulting units, etc, etc all with no luck in getting a stable solution. Unfortunately many of these installations were in unique locations that were nearly impossible to transition to a standard VMS solution.
A few months into this, Axis finally issued their statement about the issue being related to the SD card. We were still having issues, so we decided to give it another shot. We set up the RMA through SanDisk and received a new SanDisk Extreme 64GB SDXC card for use in the encoder. We swapped it out, and things were looking better: no more random device lockups and no more lost video...for a while... Once the card filled up, the problems returned however this time the Axis event log entries were much more useful - pointing to multiple errors on the SD card, failed card formats, etc.
After numerous discussions with Axis and a few in-house discussions, we shook our heads and made the (probably unintelligent) decision of buying a brand new SanDisk Extreme SDXC card on Amazon and giving this one more shot. So, once again we made a site visit and swapped the SD card.
That last swap occurred in August, and since that point there has not been a single issue. We changed no settings and made no firmware updates...the only difference was swapping the SD card. All error messages in the system log went away, there have been no system lockups, recordings have been available and the system correctly deletes older recordings once they hit their retention time. We are happy and the customer is happy.
(As an interesting side note, that SD card we received through the SanDisk RMA program failed all of our bench tests after being removed from the Axis encoder...)
I realize this is a very small sample size, but hopefully it at least shows the ACC system _can_ work properly...
Undisclosed F - thanks for that update. 7 months in is promising, however what we've heard is the there is Finite amount of R/W the SD card can take before failure. That number fluctuates wildly depending on who says it with the low being 9-12 months and the high being 3 years.
We've been burned badly with a major customer trying to deploy the solution, and without some sort of real world benchmark to provide (as opposed to guesstimates) I will not recommend the solution
I do wish you success and hope you continue to update this thread periodcally