Member Discussion

The Right NAS For A 14 Camera MP Project?

Before I started researching my options I figured I would see what the group's recommendations are. I have 14 cameras going in with Axis Camera Companion (by customer insistence). I know I need to consider capacity & throughput, the camera counts are 7 1MP and 7 3MP. Thanks all. (And please, if you are a rep or a manufacturer, don't try selling me something, only respond if a member gives incorrect info on your product - thx.)

OK. Thank you John

For 300 cameras, you likely need a VMS anyway. Outside of using Bosch or Mobotix, there are not many VMS serverless offerings for that many cameras.

Hi John,

More or less for 300 cameras, each one at 1Mbps (H.264) and continous recording for 15 days, it takes around 53TB. So it will be necessary 2 Iomega NAS.

So, this will work? which software will manage acces to video in this boxes?

Iomega NASes appear to top out at 36TB (see product lineup) which would be quite constraining for a 300 camera project. You would likely need numerous boxes with this approach. If all the cameras are being recorded in the same place, you might be better off looking for hardware that supports more drive bays in a given unit.

Yes Brian, I know that, but I was thinking on the hardware solution. Are IOMEGA px4-300d or Netgear suitable for this size of installation? IOMEGA has a very low cost for 12TB capacity.
Hi Francesc, Axis Camera companion is limited to 16 cameras. For an installation that size I would recommend Milestone (Enterprise or Corporate versions), Avigilon or Genetec. There are many other VMS solutions out there as well. Best of luck.
Hello, Is this solution suitable for a 300 cameras installation in a building? Thank you
Brian, thanks! According to this site, essentially every NAS on the list supports at least 15 MB/s write throughput both in pure file copy and in RAID5 Since that's 120Mb/s, that would handle quite a lot of cameras - 20 or more even full frame megapixel ones. Has it been your experience than that any on this list handles a lot of cameras successfully? Or am I reading this wrong?
Guys if I may; I've been using several different NAS devices over the last few years and this site (NAS Charts - File Copy Write Performance) does a pretty good job with testing different (but not all) brands. It lets you choose the different Read/Write RAID levels and view the results of each. Cheers, Brian
That's what I figured. RAID 0 will help with latency but if you lose a disk you lose everything in that RAID 0 set. RAID 1 is good for improving read times. Not being picky or anything :) but there is no redundancy really, just less loss of data if you map your cameras to different drives and one fails. RAID 5 or RAID 1 would give you redundancy but I would hate to see the rebuild times on those NAS boxes if a drive fails *shuddders*
Hi Jason, in this scenario we are choosing not to use RAID, the boxes do have that option. I think you will get better throughput using JBOD in regard to reading data. I think I remember reading that RAID 0 can increase seek times, or maybe it was latency, either of which are important in playback. JBOD will also give you a layer of redundancy over RAID 0, if one drive fails you only lose those camera's footage.
I didn't look at any of the units but do these NAS boxes not have a RAID controller or are you just not using the RAID? I find it interesting that you have to split the camera recording up among various drives. I see why if you just have 4x2TB drives and you pull in 4x2TB drives into windows but anything different and the OS/drive controller are going to handle that anyways.
Brian, good feedback. Axis did mention the general rule but I forgot to include. Thanks for adding that in. I am curious about the 512MB RAM / Atom 1.6 recommendation. That seems pretty low even for a NAS. By contrast, the iomega unit they recommend is much 'beefier' with a dual core 1.8Ghz with 2GB of RAM -
Good information, thanks for following up John. We already split up cameras across different hard drives manually on our Milestone deployments so that makes sense to us. I guess I will try out the Netgear model and see how it goes. I had an open support ticket with Axis on a related matter so I decided to ask them just how much one of the recommended NAS devices could handle. I asked: "Can any of the recommended NAS devices handle a qty of 16 1347 5MP Cameras running at 30fps in a busy scene environment with compression set to 30?" Their response was very similar to yours (probably answered by the same tech\engineer) but did include one more item: "As a general rule we suggest to use a NAS with the following minimum specifications: CPU – Intel® Atom 1.6GHz RAM – 512MB DDR2/DDR3 Moving up in resolution will increase the load on the NAS, but the total load according to the described settings should still be within the scope of our tests." I will try to update this post after I have some results from our deployment. Thanks again.

Brian, Axis responded with some useful feedback. Let me recap: On the AXIS Camera Companion compatibility page we have listed 3 different NAS drives that are used as reference products.

They are:

Axis noted that "These three models have been extensively tested with 16 cameras recording frequent motion detection with 720p resolution at 30fps. They also passed the test with simultaneous read/write (playback/recording)." Interestingly, all the models listed are higher end SMB / professional units, NOT the entry level consumer ones. They are not a huge difference in price but more in the $400 rather than $200 range. Axis also had these recommendations: * Make sure the NAS is updated to the latest available firmware * Use hard drives recommended by the NAS manufacturer * Split up the cameras between the hard drives to decrease the load on each drive * Set up quotas for each camera on the NAS to make sure every single camera has its dedicated space on the hard drive I though the splitting up cameras between hard drives was interesting. It requires some more configuration and I am not sure how much benefit it will provide but something to think about.

Not capping the bandwidth at night is going to have a big impact on maximum bandwidth consumption, even indoors (unless its so dark that the Axis cameras capture nothing - see this test report bandwidth tracking. My guess for average daytime bandwidth is 12Mb/s total - 300kb/s each for interior 1MP, 2Mb/s each for outside 3MP cameras, 1Mb/s for indoor 3mp But for peak bandwidth use, it could easily be 5x more (without a cap) - 60Mb/s Let me forward this to Axis and see if they have a sizing recommendation. Since they are the VMS 'manufacturer' here, just like any other VMS manufacturer, they should be willing to provide server specs for specific scenarios.

Hi John, You are correct, I want to give him a solid hardware solution even though he is looking for free VMS. The 1mp cams are interior and will be at 7fps. 3 of the 3mp cams are outside and will be at 7fps 4 pf the 3mp cams will be inside at 12fps. Lets assume for now that we are not going to cap the bandwidth at night. Thanks.
Brian, even if the customer wants a free VMS, dealing with 14 MP cameras will require a real NAS, not a consumer special. You could be looking at anywhere between 15Mb/s and 70Mb/s - a pretty big range. What frame rates are you planning to use? Are you going to use Axis's CBR mode to stop low light bw spikes? :) Are these indoor or outdoor cameras? I am trying to get an estimate of max bandwidth because that will be key in specifying the right model.