Direct to Storage Tutorial

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 19, 2012

Edge storage is hot. While attention centers on SD cards, that is not the only way to eliminate VMS servers. Another powerful tool in recording 'direct to storage' is to connect IP cameras to NAS appliances without any VMS server in between. In this note, we explain how this works, contrasting it to 'pure' edge storage and see where 'direct to storage' will fit in the marketplace.

For background, read our tutorial on Edge Storage and using SD cards.

Benefits Compared to SD Cards

Typically cameras that support recording to SD cards on-board also support recording to a NAS (e.g., Axis, Mobotix, March). However, two big benefits exis in recording direct to NAS:

  • No storage size limitations. Unlike SD cards, NAS appliances can easily support 10TB+ storage. This overcomes the cost and duration limitations of SD cards
  • More cost effective: NASes, unlike SD cards, tend to be quite inexpensive on a per GB basis.

Drawbacks Compared to SD Cards

However, using NASes has a few drawbacks for certain applications:

  • More complex to setup: While setting up a NAS is not very hard, if you only have a few cameras, it is easier to pop in an SD card in each camera than to setup and connect cameras to a NAS.
  • More costly for small systems: Even a 'cheap' NAS will cost ~$200 without hard drives. If you only have a few cameras, it is likely cheaper to use SD cards.
  • Beware of resource constraints: Many lower end NASes are not designed to handle continuousing recording of surveillance video. Be sure the NAS you specify can handle the camera load.

Overall Direct to NAS Positioning

Unlike SD card storage, direct to NAS recording is overall better positioned for larger, more conventional applications. For those who want to eliminate VMS servers, NASes are best positioned for larger camera counts or higher storage durations (multi-month, full frame rate, etc.). Additionally, just like traditional VMS recorder, a stable network with sufficient bandwidth will be needed as the video must be sent in real time from the IP camera to the NAS appliance.

Key Barrier - Camera Client Sophistication

Larger camera count, higher storage demanding applications typically want their VMS to have greater functionality. Minimally, to support the higher number of cameras but also to support features like multi-camera vendor interoperability, multi-camera simultaneous searching, to name two very fundamental ones.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

However, it will be interesting if camera vendors add such functionalities in as doing so would put them in to further direct conflict with VMS vendors. While a company like Mobotix seems not to care, most traditional IP camera vendors are likely more reluctant.

The Axis Example - Real Constraints

Axis Camera Companion (ACC) shows the key constraints in practice. While Axis cameras can record directly to NAS appliances while using ACC, ACC has a hard limit of 16 cameras, only supports Axis cameras and only one camera at a time playback. Today, the direct to NAS option only helps with extended storage or perhaps recording closer to the max of 16 cameras. However, it fails on many levels for bigger systems even if the NAS recording option could handle dozens of Axis cameras.

What Will Happen

As camera manufacturers add in edge storage management, support for direct to NAS recording are likely. To that end, minimally it should be an advanced option for smaller systems that want more storage or less expensive storage. However, until and less camera manufacturers are willing to beef up their VMS client offerings, the full potential of direct to storage recording will not be achieved.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Most Wanted Improvements In Manufacturer Technical Support (Statistics) on Jun 21, 2018
5 key areas of improvement and 1 clear wanted support feature were voiced by 140+ integrator responses to: What improvement in manufacturer...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...
ReconaSense - The AI / Access Control / Analytics / IoT / Video Company Profile on Jun 12, 2018
One company's ISC West booth stood out for displaying a light-up tower of buzzwords. The company, ReconaSense, pledged to be 'making sense of it...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jun 07, 2018
H.265 support has improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and more manufacturers...
Bosch IVA Video Analytics And Motion+ VMD Tested on Jun 06, 2018
Bosch's video analytics now ship on nearly every model, from indoor domes to high-end 5MP starlight cameras.  In this test, we evaluate Bosch's...
Hikvision PanoVu 20MP Flexible Camera Tested on Jun 01, 2018
Hikvision has released their first repositionable multi imager cameras with integrated IR included, atypical in competitors. We bought and tested...
Oncam 12MP Fisheye Camera Tested on May 29, 2018
Oncam has made their name since the early 2000s as a fisheye specialist, focusing only on panoramic cameras. To see how this specialist stacks up...
VMS Server Sizing on May 25, 2018
Specifying the right sized PC/server for VMS software is one of the most important yet difficult decisions in IP video surveillance. In the past...
Hanwha Wisenet X Analytics and VMD Test on May 24, 2018
Continuing our updated testing of camera analytics, we tested Hanwha's Wisenet X analytics for over two weeks in multiple scenes, indoors and out,...
Software Only VMS vs NVR Appliances on May 23, 2018
Should you buy your own PC/server and load VMS software on it or get a turnkey appliance (both hardware and software, e.g., NVR, Hybrid DVR) from a...

Most Recent Industry Reports

July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jun 22, 2018
  This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals. Register now. Lots of network training exists...
Installation Hardware for Video Surveillance - Indoor Fasteners on Jun 22, 2018
As part of our Installation for Video Surveillance series, in this note, we cover drywall anchors. A key part of installing security hardware is...
Hikvision ColorVu Integrated Visible Light Cameras Examined on Jun 22, 2018
When it comes to low light, infrared light has become the defacto standard in surveillance. But IR is limited to monochrome images, making colors...
'Secure Channel' OSDP Access Control Examined on Jun 21, 2018
Despite claiming to be better than Wiegand, OSDP's initial releases did not address the lack of encryption between reader and controller, leaving...
Most Wanted Improvements In Manufacturer Technical Support (Statistics) on Jun 21, 2018
5 key areas of improvement and 1 clear wanted support feature were voiced by 140+ integrator responses to: What improvement in manufacturer...
GDPR / ICO Complaint Filed Against IFSEC Show Facial Recognition on Jun 20, 2018
IPVM has filed a complaint against IFSEC’s parent company UBM based on our concern that the conference violates core GDPR principles on...
IFSEC 2018 Final Show Report on Jun 20, 2018
IPVM attended the IFSEC show for the first time this year. The Chinese took over the show, centered on Hikvision, flanked by Dahua, Huawei and a...
Mobotix Releases 'Move' Into 21st Century on Jun 20, 2018
For years, Mobotix stood resolutely against, well, every other manufacturer, selling it as a virtue: MOBOTIX equipment is designed with no...
Cybersecurity Startup VDOO Disclosing 10 Manufacturer Vulnerabilities Starting With Axis And Foscam on Jun 20, 2018
Cybersecurity startup VDOO has uncovered significant vulnerabilities in Axis cameras along with many others not yet disclosed. In this report, we...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact