On-Board Storage Usage Statistics 2014

By: 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.

Overall, usage is quite low, at ~7%, though just a few years ago, surely it was at or near zero:

The 'good news' then is that some integrators are certainly using on-board storage sometimes and that use is on the upswing.

Indeed, as our usage breakdown shows, a non-trivial number of integrators are using on-board storage on more than 10% of their cameras. 

Reasons for Using On-Board Storage

Far and away, the #1 reason / use case integrators gave for on-board storage was redundancy:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

  • "In case main recording fails"
  • "Secondary level of storage backup in the event of a communications issue. We do not use it as a primary method of storage."
  • "Option for temporary recording during server reboots, upgrades and downtime."
  • "We use it mainly for critical infrastructure systems where we can use onboard storage to replenish our central recordings following a network failure."

A secondary, but even more niche case, was for covert applications:

  • "Great addition in the investigative business."
  • "We use on board storage in only covert applications."
  • "Covert surveillance (Police, Military)"

However, only a few integrators talked positively about using on-board storage to eliminate VMSes, and even those, only used it very rarely.

Problems With Using On-Board Storage

Integrators have been trying to use on-board storage, including as a VMS replacement, but the #1 problem cited has been reliability:

  • "Had several issues when testing on board storage of camera locking up and not recording anything."
  • "We have had issues with Axis in the past and the added cost per camera and service issues have all but killed this for us."
  • "We tried Axis ACC for several years and got badly burnt by it; haven't been willing to try any others yet."
  • "We had 100% failure rate using axis cameras and will not ever go down that road again."
  • "We had issues with the on-board storage (Axis cameras)."

It is impressive that Axis has single handedly damaged the reputation of on-board storage though it is not surprising, given the outpouring of problems expressed here: Axis Edge Storage And Camera Companion Is Unstable. Unfortunately, there is still no clear response / solution from Axis.

The second problem integrators emphasized was limitations on VMS supporting edge storage:

  • "Seamless integration with vms is very difficult"
  • "Some of the NVR software (Pelco) does not natively support access the on-board storage with the NVR software."
  • "On board storage is still not seamlessly integrated into the VMS."
  • "Current manufactures we are using do not support recording at the edge."

Though a few of the larger VMSes support on-board storage, even the ones that do are typically limited to a few camera manufacturers (most often, Axis). An emerging ONVIF Profile (G) aims to standardize this (i.e., access recordings from devices) but practical support is quite limited.

One integrator having success with Axis Camera Companion noted that "The type of SD card is critical. This is one area you do not want to cheap out on. Cheap SD cards will fail rather quickly. The AXIS Camera Companion software has served us nicely." Related, see our discussion, Are UHS Speeds Needed For SD Cards Used In Surveillance?

Finally, a few integrators mentioned, in passing, about price or cost concerns. Clearly, this is less of a factor for users seeking redundancy, as such systems usually spend heavy on surveillance and are willing to pay for the incremental $50 to $100 cost of an SD card as well as having enterprise VMS software that supports this. However, for the low end, eliminating VMS servers with on-board storage is increasingly less attractive as the Chinese super inexpensive kits proliferate for that end of the market. 

3 reports cite this report:

On-Board Storage Usage Statistics 2017 on May 03, 2017
SD card slots are now commonplace on IP cameras, but is on-board storage...
First Surveillance SD Cards Released (SanDisk) on Mar 12, 2015
The black eye for on-board recording has gotten pretty bad. Culminating...
Axis Admits Edge Recording Problems, Offers Solution on Jun 19, 2014
This year, IPVM members have repeatedly identified edge recording problems...
Comments (8) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Camera Resolution Usage Statistics 2020 on Mar 12, 2020
The average resolution used, for new cameras, is now 4MP, according to new...
Risks Of Managing End User Passwords (Statistics) 2020 on Sep 11, 2020
Alarmingly, most integrators used spreadsheets to manage passwords, IPVM...
New: Mobile Access Proxy Releases 'World's Smallest Mobile Reader' on Mar 04, 2020
Mobile access provider Proxy claims its new Nano is 'the world’s smallest...
Integrated IR Camera Usage Statistics 2019 on Oct 21, 2019
Virtually every IP camera now comes with integrated IR but how many actually...
Mobotix 7 Line Camera Tested on Mar 12, 2020
Mobotix is attempting a turn-around, struggling for years, then releasing the...
Micron 1 TB SD Cards Aim To Eliminate NVRs on Apr 08, 2020
Micron has boldly proclaimed their latest 1TB microSD "eliminates the need...
Surveillance Storage 101 on Mar 23, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
IPConfigure Presents Orchid Fusion VSaaS on Apr 30, 2020
IPConfigure presented Orchid Fusion VSaaS at the April 2020 IPVM New Products...
Video Surveillance History on May 06, 2020
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going...
Multi-Imagers Added to IPVM Camera Calculator on Jun 15, 2020
IPVM has added multi-imager cameras to the Camera Calculator, supporting this...
Startup Videoloft Presents Cloud Storage on May 27, 2020
Videoloft presented offsite cloud storage at the May 2020 IPVM Startups...
Remote Access (DDNS vs P2P vs VPN) Usage Statistics 2019 on Oct 25, 2019
Remote access can make systems more usable but also more vulnerable. How are...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Aug 13, 2019
Biometrics are commonly used in phones, but how frequently are they used for...
Network Cable Usage Statistics 2020 (Cat 5e vs Cat 6 vs Cat 6a) on Sep 02, 2020
Integrators are split between using Cat 5e, 6, and 6a but 2 of them have...

Recent Reports

FaceFirst Problems And Layoff on Oct 01, 2020
FaceFirst, a US company and one of the oldest ongoing facial recognition...
Ava / Vaion Releases Cloud Connected IP Cameras, Verkada Competitor on Oct 01, 2020
Ava (formerly Vaion) announced its new direct-to-cloud AVA Aware IP cameras...
Single Frame Gait Recognition From Michigan State and Osaka University Examined on Oct 01, 2020
Gait recognition has the potential for accurate identification at a distance,...
CDW Sells School District 36 Low-Res, No Blackbody Hikvision Fever Cameras With Federal Funds on Oct 01, 2020
Mega IT distributor CDW sold low-resolution Hikvision fever cameras with no...
Temperature Tablet Shootout - Dahua, Hikvision, ZKTeco, TVT + 5 More on Sep 30, 2020
Temperature tablets, aka terminal or stations, have emerged as a 'low-cost...
New Products Show Fall 2020 Concluded on Sep 30, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show has concluded. The first 2 days of recorded videos...
ButterflyMX Raises $35 Million on Sep 30, 2020
Startup ButterflyMX has raised $35 million for its smartphone based intercom...
Worst Access Control Manufacturers 2020 on Sep 30, 2020
200+ Integrators told IPVM "In the past year, what access control...
Access Control Levels and Schedules Tutorial on Sep 29, 2020
Configuring access levels and setting up schedules is central to maintaining...
Avigilon / Motorola VS Virtual ISC West on Sep 29, 2020
ISC West has historically been so dominant that no player would think of...
Dartmouth College Deploys K3 Temperature Screening on Sep 29, 2020
While Dartmouth College has a $6+ billion endowment, the College has bought...
Hanwha AI Object Detection Tested on Sep 28, 2020
Hanwha has added detection and classification of people, cars, clothing...
Favorite Access Control Manufacturers 2020 on Sep 28, 2020
200+ Integrators told IPVM "What is your favorite access control management...
OnTech Smart Services Partners With Google and Amazon To Compete With Integrators on Sep 25, 2020
A pain point for many homeowners to use consumer security and surveillance is...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...