Direct to Storage Tutorial

By: 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 Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

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

Axis Live Privacy Shield Analytics Tested on Jun 25, 2019
Privacy is becoming a bigger factor in video surveillance, driven both by increased public awareness and by GDPR. Now, Axis has released Live...
Directory of 55 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
Genetec Beats Milestone For IHS #1 on Jun 21, 2019
For years, Milestone has touted that they are the #1 VMS. Now, Genetec has beaten them in IHS rankings. But what is this? Even other manufacturers...
Exacq Remote Cloud Access Tested on Jun 20, 2019
Remote cloud access has been missing from most VMSes (including Exacq and Milestone). Now, Exacq, after releasing Cloud Drive Storage earlier in...
Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Startup Vaion Launching End-to-End AI Solution Backed with $20 Million Funding on Jun 17, 2019
An EU / USA video surveillance startup, Vaion, founded by ex-Cisco Senior Directors is launching an end-to-end VSaaS platform with $20 million in...
Sighthound Transforms Into Enterprise AI Provider Profile on Jun 14, 2019
Sighthound is now rapidly expanding its R&D team, building an enterprise AI service. This may come as a surprise given their origins 6 years...
Embattled $400 Million China Funded Philippines Surveillance System Proceeds on Jun 13, 2019
An embattled 12,000 camera surveillance system project that will cost ~$400 million will proceed.  The project contract was awarded, had its...
Carnegie Mellon AI Startup Zensors Profile on Jun 11, 2019
Zensors is a startup formed by Carnegie Mellon graduates from a Carnegie Mellon research project, offering customized models per camera that they...
Avigilon 32MP and 12MP H4 Multisensor Cameras Tested on Jun 11, 2019
Avigilon has released their H4 Multi-Sensor line of cameras claiming "broad scene coverage and high image detail" We bought and tested the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Colorvu Camera Tested on Jun 24, 2019
Hikvision says their new ColorVu line captures "vivid chromatic images in darkness", with unconventional white light illuminations whereas most...
China Subway Facial Recognition System Examined on Jun 24, 2019
A China city of 6+ million people has installed facial recognition-enabled gates in subways, allowing commuters to enter stations by simply showing...
HID Mobile Tested on Jun 21, 2019
HID Global is one of the largest access brands, but their mobile access has had challenges. Indeed, the company has already restructured their...
Genetec Beats Milestone For IHS #1 on Jun 21, 2019
For years, Milestone has touted that they are the #1 VMS. Now, Genetec has beaten them in IHS rankings. But what is this? Even other manufacturers...
Risk of Amazon Alexa Guard: No Battery Or Cell Backup on Jun 20, 2019
Amazon positions its Alexa Guard Service as a "smart home security system" and says it can help you "keep your home safe". However, the...
Exacq Remote Cloud Access Tested on Jun 20, 2019
Remote cloud access has been missing from most VMSes (including Exacq and Milestone). Now, Exacq, after releasing Cloud Drive Storage earlier in...
Briefcam Buys Frost Award* on Jun 20, 2019
Frost 'awards' are well-known and widely disrespected. Now Briefcam is touting their win. The way it has worked for many years is that Frost...
IFSEC 2019 Show Report on Jun 19, 2019
The UK's largest trade show, IFSEC, is underway and IPVM has been examining what is new and happening at the show. Inside, we cover: Huawei...
Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...

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