Top Trend - Edge Storage Test

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 24, 2012

The top technology trend for Spring 2012 is edge storage, as selected by your fellow IPVM readers. While edge storage has slowly evolved it had never made a big push to the 'core' of the video surveillance market. Now, with a major boost by Axis plus new support from Exacq and Aimetis joining existing offerings from Genetec and Milestone, broader acceptance is increasing.

Potential for edge storage is clearly there:

  • Traditional centralized recorders could be replaced by SD cards inside cameras.
  • Cameras with low bandwidth or poor relaibility network connections can make use of edge storage. A good example is wide area wireless systems.
  • Locations where only a few cameras are needed yet struggle to justify the cost of a full recorder can use edge storage.
  • SD cards can be used for redundancy in case the recorder or network fails.

How Well Does it Work?

Since the technology is not broadly used, questions remain about how well it will work and how suitable it will be for traditional recorder replacement. Indeed our test results and many integrators experience with Mobotix's edge storage implementation, show that edge storage can introduce usability problems and delay in video retrieval.

Tests

Inside this report, we share out test results of Axis Camera Companion and Exacq Edge to better understand the performance, usability and application of these two new edge offerings.

Key Findings

Key findings from our test include:

  • Generally smooth playback from SD card; storage source was transparent for both Axis and Exacq implementations
  • Class 4 speed worked fine on a variety of cameras / resolutions
  • Storage capacity was a concern for longer term or higher quality recording
  • Fairly simple setup of SD card storage for both

Positioning

While both Axis and Exacq's implementations worked well, the overall solutions are positioned at opposite ends of the spectrum:

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

  • Axis Camera Companion is free, bundling edge storage with a new VMS with limited overall features. As such, it is best for simpler, smaller applications.
  • Exacq Edge, while relatively expensive ($200 per channel) integrates into Exacq's overall video management line making it a high end feature of larger and more complex systems.

When evaluating edge storage, carefully consider how the feature is packaged as part of an overall offering, as the sweet spot could significantly differ. For instance, Genetec's edge storage feature, Trickling, supports advanced options and integrations that are a better fit for very large systems that either Exacq's or ACC.

Axis Camera Companion Test

ACC provides a entire turn key system not only for edge storage but for video management. The two most important take aways we found were that (1) the system is easy to use but (2) it has limited functionalities that restrict its applicability to more demanding use cases. Watch the video to see more:

Exacq Edge Test

The Exacq approach is fairly simple and works basically like any other Exacq recorder, except that it is physically running inside of a camera rather than on a PC:

SD Card Class Speed

While SD card speed is often cited as concern, we saw no issues. Both Axis recommended at least a SD card class of 4 (see backgrounder on classes/speeds). We could not find any cards at any local stores (inlcuding Wal-Mart) with a class less than 4 so there's not much practical risk or need to go lower. Even with a 4, we never saw any problems.

SD Card Manufacturer

We primarily used SD cards from Sandisk and had no problems with them. However, we had 2 'no name' cards and both had problems being recognized. Given that SD cards even up to 32 GBs are not that expensive, we suspect it's best to stick with a major SD card supplier.

SD Card Capacity

Card capacity, as expected, was a big issue. Most IP camera manufacturers, including Axis, only support SDHC that maxes out at 32 GB. That's the equivalent of a 16 channel 500GB DVR (i.e., 16 x 32). At those levels, one can fill up the 32 GB card fairly quickly. The 32GB limit is a hard cap. The only way to get around it is to use a NAS or switch to a camera supporting the SDXC format (see backgrounder on SD format options).

Equally important, keep in mind that Axis cameras default to variable bit rate plus their bandwidth will spike in low light scenes. If you assume the low day time bit rate Axis lists in its calculator, you can hit a very unpleasant surprise when you far too quickly run out of space. For more, see our review of Axis's streaming modes and why you should use Axis CBR option.

Setup

Finally, setup was rather easy for both systems:

  • With Axis, as long as you use the wizard, all you need to do is insert the SD card into the Axis camera. Axis will format, configure, etc. The firmware/software is already built into the camera (assuming it is running 5.40 or later).
  • With Exacq, it is a little more complicated but not much. An application needs to be added to the camera (as mentioned in the screencast above) plus the SD card needs to be formatted in the Axis camera web interface. Once done, the VMS / edge storage can be configured like any other Exacq recorder.

NAS Devices

While NAS devices are not technically edge storage as they can centrally record from many cameras, they are a common compliment to edge / SD implementations that allow for recording more video for longer time periods without having to use a VMS / recorder.

We are doing a separate test of NAS devices. So far, we have found performance challenges to be more significant and more complex. We will report our results in a dedicated report in the next month.

1 report cite this report:

IP Camera Specification / RFP Guide 2017 on Aug 14, 2017
RFPs are hard. Do them 'right' and it takes a lot of knowledge and time. Do them 'wrong' and you can be (a) unwittingly locked into a specific...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

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...
Dahua Intrusion Analytics And VMD Tested (Poorly) on May 21, 2018
Dahua ships basic analytics on practically all their cameras, ranging from low cost to high end. To see how these analytics work in real world...

Most Recent Industry Reports

IFSEC Show Report Day 2 Report on Jun 20, 2018
IPVM is live from London reporting on the IFSEC show. The Chinese have taken over the UK, 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...
July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jun 19, 2018
The last chance to save $50 on registration is this Thursday, June 21st. Register now and save. This is the only networking course designed...
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...
IPVM Vulnerability Scanner Released on Jun 18, 2018
IPVM is proud to announce video surveillance's first and only cybersecurity vulnerability scanner. This tool allows quickly and simply...
Hikvision Corrects False Cybersecurity Announcement on Jun 18, 2018
Hikvision has corrected a false cybersecurity announcement that claimed a British government-sponsored program endorsed the cybersecurity of...
The Dumb Ones: PSA's Bozeman On Cybersecurity on Jun 15, 2018
The smart ones are the hundred people who flew to Denver and spent $500+ on a 1.5-day conference featuring Dahua as a 'cyber responsible partner',...
Amazon Ring Launches $10 Monthly Professional Alarm Monitoring on Jun 15, 2018
Amazon's Ring has announced an alarm system with 24/7 professional alarm monitoring for $10 per month, a fraction of the $30+ per month traditional...
Axis Releases First New Access Controller In 5 Years (A1601) on Jun 15, 2018
It has been 5 years since Axis 2013 entry in the physical access control market, with the A1001 (IPVM test). Now, Axis has released its second...

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