Device To Store Individual Video Files On

We have several buildings outside our corporate headquarters that will be receiving 3-6 cameras in the near future. We’d like to record video from Axis cameras onto a device on the buildings local subnet. We don’t require a VMS for viewing footage, we only require the video files to be stored onto this local device, files which can be retrieved individually, similar to how you view individual video files from an SD card via the Axis cameras GUI.

Any suggestions on the type of device we could use?

Tony, when you say "files which can be retrieved individually", does that mean someone manually / physically will pull the storage when needed or that you want to retrieve the files over the network? I wanted to clarify before we gave any recommendations.

Over the network. Probably via network share.

They are low priority areas where we want the peace of mind to have recorded video available, but have traditionally had little reason to ever need it. The managers of the buildings are very sensitive to cost, so we want to have access to video, but don’t require a full-blown VMS system per say.

I indicated network share earlier, but if there’s another method of retrieval I’m all ears. I thought a NAS device would be good, but, unless I’m mistaking, based on research it appears a NAS device is just a type of NVR with built-in VMS software, such as the Buffalo LS420DS. My initial thought was a NAS device (a simple external drive device) that I could set up as a network share.

I understand my terminology/semantics may be off, but I hope you get the gist of what I’m looking to do.

Axis Camera Companion allows recording to NAS devices. Then you could use the Camera Companion client to retrieve. Yes/no?

Axis Camera Companion VMS Tested

Tony, have you looked at the cost difference of a NAS appliance and a surveillance appliance? I think you'd be surprised at the cost of some of the small appliances being offered by the big manufacturers. Hikvision, Milestone, Exacq, Avigilon, and many others all offer cost-effective solutions.

Otherwise, Axis Camera Companion can pull the video from the camera even if you are not on the same subnet. The camera itself will work with the NAS to pull you the video. I personally have had mixed results with Axis Camera Companion with storage issues on a NAS and SD card.

I thought ACC was limited to the subnet the cameras and recording device are on? If we could record in, say, New York and view in Michigan via ACC that would be great.

That might be for 'auto' connections but I believe they also support manual NAS / recording setup:

ACC Manual page 12

Sorry I missed this. You can definitely view using ACC across subnets. I've done it here in PA on two subnets and even with a camera in Oklahoma at Brian's office.

I'm not 100% sure if you can record across subnets. The NAS may have to be on the same network as the camera. But I've not tried that and it sounds like that's not your issue, anyway.

Did you already rule out edge recording due to a long retention period requirement, or possibly due to higher costs, or concerns about reliability?

Mostly reliability concerns. We want the peace of mind of having a good piece of gear in place to record the video, but have a hard time convincing the building principles of coughing up the cost of an NVR.

Did you consider a cloud solution? Otherwise consider a Synology:

Given the relatively low cost of some available systems, I am not sure why you would want to do this. There are several NVR's that are just as competitively priced as any NAS you can find, and the VMS is often free. If feels like you want to reinvent the wheel, but if you have your heart set on it, here is one option for NAS software.

Mark, what are a few of the relatively low cost systems? You talking about things like the Razberi? I'd like a few ideas.

You are speaking of NAS device and I am speaking strictly about some pretty good, low-cost NVR's. You can buy a Hikvision NVR (just for example) and get the software for free. It is purpose-built to store and retrieve video. Sanyo, Samsung and others have good machines too by the way.

Just my opinion only, but to purchase a NAS for the sake of doing it is cutting your nose off to spite your face, respectfully. Don't get so hung up looking at the trees that you miss the forest. Enough metaphors probably.

My point is there are some really good, sound, purpose-built devices that will accomplish what you are looking to accomplish; and they are virtually plug and play. My advice would be more specific if I knew the camera models you want to employ. That makes it easy. I would research the NVR's that are actually tested with your camera models and go from there. I don't think you will save significant dollars, and your headaches could be compounded.

While Razberi is a good device, you would need to purchase an NVR software package with licenses and that is not what you are going for, as I read.

Our corporate standard is Axis cameras.

We currently have a few sites that have cameras with SD cards. No recording server of any kind and no VMS. If an event happens I access the recorded video as individual video files via the Axis camera GUI.

My boss has tasked me with finding an alternative to the SD card, but wants the same ease of retrieval without having to introduce a VMS, additional licenses, etc.

I know I'm getting confused with terminology, but isn't there a simple devise that can store recorded files that are sent to it via network share? I have created a network share in my office between an Axis camera and my laptop, and it worked great. Now all I need to do is find an alternative to my laptop as the storage device.

Thanks for all the help and support.

From the ACC manual:

A network share can be a share on a NAS (Network Attached Storage) or any server that uses CIFS (Common Internet File System).It is possible to add multiple network shares, but only one per camera. Note: CIFS is used by Windows operating systems. Configure the NAS to use a fixed IP address. Using a dynamic (DHCP) address might cause recording problems if the NAS is restarted. Click Connect Network Share to search for available network shares.

How long do you need to have the recorded clips stored?

The longer the retention time, the more difficult it will be to review - especially if your 'storage unit' contains video sent from many cameras.

This is what a VMS is all about...

To clarify, you seem to be saying that the suits will pay to for a device that can store your video (from many cameras) but they don't want to pay for the licenses required by lots of the big boy VMS's?

Pro Tip: always check the dates of the original post before you reply to something that is months old with no resolution given like I just did... :)