On-Board Storage Usage Statistics 2014

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 04, 2014

Most IP camera models now support on-board storage. Even more promising, on-board storage has the potential to eliminate NVRs / centralized VMSes as the recordings can be stored inside the camera itself. Plus, SD card storage continues to grow with many 128GB cards available.

However, how often is on-board storage being used?

In this note, we reveal unique IPVM integrator statistics that show usage rates and the key reasons for and against integrators using on-board storage.

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Comments (8)

We too have had nothing but trouble from Axis Camera Companion. We still have 2 systems out there running it, but using the NAS option instead of the SD cards. Needless to say, we've only lost money using Axis edge recording with all the repeat service calls to fix issues with the systems. Axis tech support would blame everything else before their system. We followed all of their recommendations to the T with exact part numbers and installing step by step, but somehow it was always our fault in their eyes. They even made us feel like we were the only one's having these issues.

We've been reluctant to try any other edge recording system because of our experience with Axis.

Undisclosed A, thanks for the feedback and sorry for the problems.

For the record, undisclosed A is yet another person impacted by the Axis SD card problem, in addition to the integrators on our survey and the people on the original thread.

I'm probably way more thrilled than is healthy that the #1 reason being cited for use of on-board storage is redundancy. This because I've felt it was THE only reason to use on-board storage--right now. Folks who say you can do away with centralized recording due to on-board storage are way off base. It's just not there yet and may never really make sense but for some edge cases. I'm assuming moderate to higher camera counts. I'm also assuming there exist requirements for VMS capabilities that often make a lot more sense when the aggregate recording is colocated with the VMS software rather than on the end of a wire and distributed across the LAN/WAN.

To seemlessly support the redundancy use case we've still got a lot of work to do. There's a big difference between a "store and forward" type model vs a streaming to recording type model. Even if the camera firmware is smart enough to use the local storage as a long-term buffer, there's quite a bit of complexity around how to handle getting that video to the recorder when the network comes back, etc. It can be done, but as the cons point out there's going to be a lot of incompatibility issues between on-board storage and other components of the system for some time.

For now I suspect people are buying relatively cheap insurance by letting the camera record locally *and* to a central recorder so they have something on the camera even if the network is down or the recorder blows up. This can be a simple feature that makes good sense if we let it.

With 4 GB SD cards at around $5 it is suprising that most integrators don't use the onboard storage for redundancy as standard procedure for installations. In the majority of cases the end user discovers their central recording is not working when there is an incident. That is the time when the integrator can say "no worries, we can pull the video off the camera". Or they can say "not sure why this happened, we will look into it and try to resolve". This can be the difference between looking like a pro or losing an account.

Bill, that is a good idea!

In fairness, it's slightly more than $5 as one needs to install / config, but that should not add more than 10 to 15 minutes per camera. Maybe that's a new distributor value added service :)

John, is there a feature in the works to "like" a comment? I can't agree with Bill more.

Redundancy is simply the low hanging fruit when it comes to assuring durability of recorded video. As the price of storage comes down the opportunity to store it in more than one place increases. Philisophically, it's a unique opportunity that IP has over analog where the video can be stored at different places in the network.

Again, while the on-camera storage doesn't necessarily help satisify the functional use cases better met by centralized storage, it can aid in satisfying non-functional use cases such as durability.

The biggest problem I see right now is that most cameras are still only supporting 32 gigabyte. As sdxc becomes available, this may be attractive, but we are still talking $1 per gigabyte versus 10 cents per hdd gigabyte. We moved to continuous high frame rate recording awhile ago with 200 gigabyte per megabyte as a general rule for 30 day retention rates. Our field deployments with several models of cameras with exacq edge did not fare well with card corruption. Do you battery backup all your cameras? We can now get nvrs with 4 tb of storage license free that support all major manufacturers for under 1000 bucks (integrator costs). The search abilities are quick and fluent where edge can be slow. You do not have to add a bunch of device connections to the client software either.

I only see the use of sd cards for redundancy and covert applications, but it is easier to monitor a single central storage device for failure versus multiple edge devices. Nothing keeps me up at night more than knowing my solution missed the bad guy. For all that use edge, are you confident that right now all of your cameras are recording?

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