Table of Contents  MOBOTIX Online Help

Storage on External File Server / Flash Device

Table of Contents
Storage on External File Server / Flash Device
An Overview of the Storage Methods
The Storage Methods in Detail − Configuring, Updating, Storage Structure, Maintenance, Best Practices
RAM Storage With Ring Buffer
Storage in a Folder/File Structure on File Server
Storage on Flash Device
Storage on Flash Device With Additional MxFFS Archiving on File Server/USB Device
Storage in MxFFS Archive With SD Card as a Fallback Buffer
Further Information Regarding Storage
Formatting Flash Devices for Storage Using MxFFS − Steps and Options
Setting the Storage Limits
External Logging (File Server Storage Only)
Testing the Storage on the External File Server
Event Logging
Storage on SMB/CIFS File Servers − Configuring the Server
Storage on NFS File Servers − Configuring the Server
Updates, Maintenance and Best Practices Regarding MxFFS Archives
Exchanging Flash Devices With Activated MxFFS Archiving
Measures to Take Upon a File Server Failure in Conjunction With MxFFS Archiving
Changing the Size of an MxFFS Archive

An Overview of the Storage Methods

The camera will first use its internal ring buffer in a certain part of the volatile internal memory (RAM) to store the recordings. After a camera restart, these recordings are not available any more. By selecting a suitable Primary Target in the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog; you are determining where the camera stores the recordings. After selecting the Primary Target you can configure the other options, such as the storage format, the file server to use, additional storage archive, storage size, time-based restrictions, etc. This section provides an overview of the various storage methods, which will be discussed in more detail further below.

Notes

  • Open the Recording dialog to configure when and how the camera will store its recording (Arming, Time Table Program, Recording Mode, etc.).

  • Click on the More button at the bottom of the dialog to display all options.

Description

Primary Target

MxFFS Archive Target

Description

RAM Storage With Ring Buffer

  • Disabled

(Not available)

The data are stored in a certain part of the volatile memory (RAM) of the camera (< 200 MB). This means that the recordings are not available any more after rebooting the camera.

Using this storage method is not recommended!

Storage in a Folder/File Structure on File Server

  • NFS File Server (mostly Linux/UNIX-based servers or NAS systems)

  • SMB/CIFS File Server (mostly Windows-based servers or NAS systems, OS X/macOS systems can also be used)

(Not available)

The data are stored in a folder/file structure.

Storage Access From MxManagementCenter
  • Indirectly via the camera

  • By directly accessing the data on the file server

Advantages
  • The storage structure is simple. If required, you can access the files (JPEG files E0000n.jpg, MxPEG clips M0000n.jpg with audio and video data) of specific recordings directly, you can open or copy them or process the files using other means.

  • Direct data access by MxManagementCenter is simple and fast.

Disadvantages
  • If the connection to the file server fails, no recordings will be stored.

  • The large number of created folders and files induces a rather high load on the server.

Storage on Flash Device

  • USB Stick / Flash SSD (connected to the USB port of the camera)

  • SD Flash Card (in the microSD slot of the camera; factory default)

  • Disabled (factory default)

The data are stored on a Flash device that had to be formatted in MxFFS format beforehand by the camera.

Storage Access From MxManagementCenter
  • Only indirectly via the camera

Tip

If the Flash device is connected to a computer with installed MxControlCenter, you can play back and export the recordings using MxControlCenter (release 2.5.4.5 and higher).

Advantages
  • No additional file server required.

  • The data are protected from unauthorized interference.

Disadvantages
  • Flash devices have a noticeably smaller capacity than file servers and are not as reliable.

  • Directly accessing the recordings is complicated and can only be achieved using MxControlCenter (release 2.5.4.5 and higher).

  • Indirectly accessing the recordings via the camera is slower than directly accessing the data on a file server and induces more load on the camera.

Storage on Flash Device With Additional MxFFS Archiving on File Server/USB Device

  • USB Stick / Flash SSD (connected to the USB port of the camera)

  • SD Flash Card (in the microSD slot of the camera)

  • SMB/CIFS File Server

  • NFS File Server

  • USB

The data are first stored on the configured Flash device and are then copied into a larger MxFFS archive on a file server or USB device.

Storage Access From MxManagementCenter
  • Indirectly via the camera onto a file server

  • Indirectly via the camera onto a USB device

  • By directly accessing the data on the file server

Advantages
  • There will not be any loss of data even if the file server fails unless the failure persists until the Flash device is filled to capacity (after that, older recordings will be deleted).

  • You can access the most recent recordings even though the file server is not working.

  • Writing the archive data does induces considerably lower load on the file server than writing the folder/file structure.

  • The data are protected from unauthorized interference.

Disadvantages
  • The Flash device is stressed by the additional write cycles and will fail after a certain time (depending on the Flash type and data rate used when writing.) In this case, data will not be stored in the archive any more.

Storage in MxFFS Archive With SD Card as a Fallback Buffer

  • Buffered MxFFS Archive

  • SMB/CIFS File Server

  • NFS File Server

The data are stored directly in an MxFFS archive on a file server. Only in case of a file server failure will the data be written first onto the internal SD card of the camera, and will be transferred to the MxFFS archive later on.

Storage Access From MxManagementCenter
  • Indirectly via the camera

  • By directly accessing the data on the file server

Advantages
  • There will not be any loss of data even if the file server fails unless the failure persists until the Flash device is filled to capacity (after that, older recordings will be deleted).

  • Writing the archive data does induces considerably lower load on the file server than writing the folder/file structure.

  • The strain on the internal SD card of the camera is not really worth mentioning.

  • The data are protected from unauthorized interference.

Disadvantages
  • If the file server fails, some data may get lost since it will a take a while before the camera reliably detects the failure.

  • During a file server failure, you can access the contents of the internal SD card of the camera. This will only be possible once the data have been transferred into the archive.

Notes

  • Open the Recording dialog to configure when and how the camera will store its recording (Arming, Time Table Program, Recording Mode, etc.).

  • Click on the More button at the bottom of the dialog to display all options.

The Storage Methods in Detail − Configuring, Updating, Storage Structure, Maintenance, Best Practices

RAM Storage With Ring Buffer

The camera will first use its internal ring buffer in a certain part of the volatile internal memory (RAM, < 200 MB) to store the data. A ring buffer will overwrite its oldest images once the storage capacity has been reached.

If a the Primary Target is set to Disabled, the data are not copied anywhere else, which means that these recordings will not be available any more after rebooting the camera. Due to the limited storage space in the RAM and the volatility of the data after rebooting or a power failure, it is not advisable to use this storage method. You can, however, use this method for testing, e.g., when configuring the camera system.

Storage in a Folder/File Structure on File Server

Description

  • When using this storage method, the camera will copy the recordings from the ring buffer of the internal memory (RAM) to the specified file server.

  • Similar to the internal memory (RAM), the data on the file server are also stored as a ring buffer, i.e., if the assigned storage space is depleted, the oldest recordings will be deleted to make room for new recordings.

  • The recordings are stored in a specific folder/file structure. The "recording sequences" are stored in a two-layer folder structure, where the two folder names combined represent the sequence number of the recording. All stored recordings (JPEG files E0000n.jpg, MxPEG clips M0000n.jpg with audio and video data) can be accessed directly using a file browser of your computer system.

  • In case of a file server failure, the camera can store the recordings in the internal memory for only a short period of time without losing data (until the ring buffer in the RAM is depleted).

  • Storing recordings on a file server is accomplished without installing any additional software on the file server.

  • The recordings can be accessed from MxManagementCenter (MxMC) either indirectly via the camera or directly from the file server.

Configuration

In the Storage Target section, select one of the following entries as Primary Target:

  • SMB/CIFS File Server (mostly Windows-based servers or NAS systems, OS X/macOS systems can also be used)

  • NFS File Server (mostly Linux/UNIX-based servers or NAS systems)

Caution

The camera will automatically create a folder structure in the specified folder on the storage target, which is based on its factory IP address (dots are replaced by underscore characters). This path contains the audio and video data as well as various other files, which are required for the proper management and playback of the stored video data on the storage target.

Make sure that the camera paths and their contents cannot be changed in any way by assigning corresponding rights on the storage folder.

Storage on SMB/CIFS File Servers − Configuring the Camera

When storing recordings on Windows computers, the camera uses a Windows share on a computer. You can use not only products of the Windows server family, but also Windows Professional products. Note that the number of parallel connections serviced by such a workstation is limited, however.

Notes

  • Note that MOBOTIX cannot provide support for configuring the Windows computer.

  • Products of the Windows "Home" family are not supported and should not be used at all. The same applies to Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Parameter

Description

Primary Target

Activate the SMB/CIFS File Server option. Note that this will enable the fields that are relevant for SMB/CIFS.

The camera can log onto a Windows computer using its local accounts and can also use Windows domains and Active Directory Services.

File Server (IP)

Enter the IP address or the name of the file server. The file server must be accessible for the camera in the local network.

Directory/Share

Enter the Share Name that you have assigned during server configuration (e.g., mxdata), not the directory or the absolute path.

User Name

Enter the user name the camera should use to log onto the server (e.g., mxcam).

The camera can log onto a Windows computer using its local accounts and can also use Windows domains and Active Directory Services.

Password

Enter the password you have assigned to the user name.

Domain

Enter the name of the domain to which this user belongs.

NTLM Mode

Select the desired method for Windows authentication of the camera (NTLM or NTLMv2).

Use the File Server Test to check the settings of the file server. Click on the Start Test button to test if the camera can properly access the file server.

Caution

  • Make sure that you are setting one or more of the Storage Limits that are available for the selected storage targets. Do this to prevent the storage space for the selected storage target from running out, which would prompt the camera to stop storing recordings on this target.

  • You should configure the integrated monitoring features of the camera and the corresponding messaging options to be able to take suitable measures if the camera detects a file server failure. To configure the monitoring options, open Admin Menu > Storage > Storage Failure Detection.

Click Set to save the changes. Next, click on Close to close the dialog and on OK to save the changes permanently. Reboot the camera (Admin Menu > Reboot the camera).

Return to this dialog and check if the external ring buffer works, as described in Checking the Storage on the External File Server!

Note

It is not required to close this help window while the camera is rebooting. If the camera is available again, this help window may be used in the usual manner.

Storage on NFS File Servers − Configuring the Camera

When storing recordings on Linux/UNIX file servers, the camera uses NFS (Network File System) and stores the video in a directory on the server (commonly entered in /etc/exports), which is mounted as a file system.

Parameter

Description

Primary Target

Activate the NFS File Server option. Note that this will enable the fields that are relevant for NFS.

File Server (IP)

Enter the IP address or the name of the file server. The file server must be accessible for the camera in the local network.

Directory/Share

Enter the absolute path of the directory on the server, which the camera should use for storing images (e.g., /mxdata).

Make sure that this directory exists and that access rights are assigned accordingly.

User ID and Group ID

This option is only visible if you clicked on the More button beforehand. Enter the user ID of a user with write access rights:

  • UID = user ID

  • GID = group ID

If you are using the factory default settings, you need to check whether or not a user with this user ID exists and whether or not this user has write access to the directory.

Use the File Server Test to check the settings of the file server. Click on the Start Test button to test if the camera can properly access the file server.

Caution

  • Make sure that you are setting one or more of the Storage Limits that are available for the selected storage targets. Do this to prevent the storage space for the selected storage target from running out, which would prompt the camera to stop storing recordings on this target.

  • You should configure the integrated monitoring features of the camera and the corresponding messaging options to be able to take suitable measures if the camera detects a file server failure. To configure the monitoring options, open Admin Menu > Storage > Storage Failure Detection.

Click Set to save the changes. Next, click on Close to close the dialog and on OK to save the changes permanently. Reboot the camera (Admin Menu > Reboot the camera).

Return to this dialog and check if the external ring buffer works, as described in Checking the Storage on the External File Server!

Note

It is not required to close this help window while the camera is rebooting. If the camera is available again, this help window may be used in the usual manner.

Storage on Flash Device

Description

  • When using this storage method, the camera stores the recordings on the internal SD card of the camera or on a USB storage device connected to the camera.

  • Similar to the internal memory (RAM) of the camera, the data on the Flash device are also stored as a ring buffer, i.e., if the assigned storage space is depleted, the oldest recordings will be deleted to make room for new recordings. The Flash device is then "rolled over".

  • The recordings are stored internally in MxFFS format.

  • If the Flash device fails, the camera will not store recordings any more.

  • You can access the recordings from MxManagementCenter only indirectly via the camera.

Tip

If the Flash device is connected to a computer with installed MxControlCenter, you can play back and export the recordings using MxControlCenter (release 2.5.4.5 and higher).

Configuration

The Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog (Storage Targets > Primary Target section) allows using Flash devices as storage media:

  • USB Stick / Flash SSD (connected to the USB port of the camera)

  • External USB Harddisk (connected to the USB port of the camera)

  • SD Flash Card (in the microSD slot of the camera)

Note

The camera has a built-in SD card with MxFFS formatting, allowing you to activate the storage of recordings out-of-the-box. Before replacing this card by a different SD card or a different Flash device connected to the USB port, you need to format the new Flash device (see the Formatting Flash Devices for MxFFS Storage − Steps and Options section).

The MxFFS file system (short for MOBOTIX Flash File System) has been designed for professional applications that are requiring safe storage and which are creating high throughput over longer periods of time. This recording format has been developed with the following two properties, which are a prerequisite for security applications:

  1. Controlled wear of Flash cells: Since Flash media have a limited (but nevertheless high) number of writing cycles for each cell, special care has been taken to make sure that the Flash device is being written evenly, thus prolonging the life of the storage device.

  2. Error tolerance: If the data integrity of the device is being compromised (e.g. due to power failures or user errors such as disconnecting a USB flash drive without prior deactivation in the Manage Hardware Expansions) the damage to the storage device remains rather small. Instead of losing the whole device as would be the case if other file systems would have been used, MxFFS will only loose 4 MB per incident.

Storage on Flash Device With Additional MxFFS Archiving on File Server/USB Device

Description

  • When using this storage method, the camera stores the recordings on the internal SD card of the camera or on a USB storage device connected to the camera. The recordings are then copied to the MxFFS archive on a file server or a USB storage device.

  • The archive itself consists of individual files of 2 GB, it can be considerably larger than the Flash device itself na dit main purpose is to permanently archive the recordings. The archive also works as a ring buffer, i.e., if the assigned storage space is depleted, the oldest recordings will be deleted to make room for new recordings.

  • The recordings are stored in the camera and are independent of archive availability. If the archive fails, the camera continues to store the recordings on the SD card and archiving resumes once the archive is available again. A loss of data only occurs if the archive cannot be reached before the storage space on the internal SD card is depleted. In this case, the oldest recordings on the Flash device since the file server failure will be deleted before the camera can copy them to the archive (due to the ring buffer strategy).

  • The recordings in an MxFFS archive on a file server can be accessed from MxManagementCenter (MxMC) either indirectly via the camera or directly from the file server.

  • The recordings in an MxFFS archive on a USB device can be accessed from MxManagementCenter only via the camera.

Configuration

In the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog, Storage Target section, select one of the following options as Primary Target:

  • USB Stick / Flash SSD (connected to the USB port of the camera)

  • External USB Harddisk (connected to the USB port of the camera)

  • SD Flash Card (in the microSD slot of the camera)

Note

The camera has a built-in SD card with MxFFS formatting, allowing you to activate the storage of recordings out-of-the-box. Before replacing this card by a different SD card or a different Flash device connected to the USB port, you need to format the new Flash device (see the Formatting Flash Devices for MxFFS Storage − Steps and Options section).

Next, in the Storage Target section, select one of the entries SMB/CIFS File Server, NFS File Server or USB as MxFFS Archive Target.

To configure the options, please see the sections Storage on SMB/CIFS File Servers − Configuring the Camera or Storage on NFS File Servers − Configuring the Camera, respectively.

Caution

The camera will automatically create a path name in the specified folder on the storage target, which is based on its factory IP address (dots are replaced by underscore characters). The path contains one subfolder named fs_sd0_flash_card_0, which contains the individual MxFFS archive files of 2 GB size with the audio/video data.

Make sure that the camera paths and their contents cannot be changed in any way by assigning corresponding rights on the storage folder.

Configure the corresponding parameters in the MxFFS Archive Options section.

Use the File Server Test to check the settings of the file server. Click on the Start Test button to test if the camera can properly access the file server.

Caution

  • Make sure that you are setting one or more of the Storage Limits that are available for the selected storage targets. Do this to prevent the storage space for the selected storage target from running out, which would prompt the camera to stop storing recordings on this target.

  • You should configure the integrated monitoring features of the camera and the corresponding messaging options to be able to take suitable measures if the camera detects a file server failure. To configure the monitoring options, open Admin Menu > Storage > Storage Failure Detection.

  • If MxFFS archiving is activated, the live image of the camera shows the AS symbol (<buffer fill level> / <remaining time before data loss>). If the camera detects a file server failure, this symbol will turn red. The value on the left shows the current fill level of the SD card buffer with recordings since the file server failure. The value on the right shows the estimated remaining time until the oldest recordings since the file server failure will have been overwritten due to the ring buffer mechanism.

Click Set to save the changes. Next, click on Close to close the dialog and on OK to save the changes permanently. Reboot the camera (Admin Menu > Reboot the camera).

Return to this dialog and check if the external ring buffer works, as described in Checking the Storage on the External File Server!

Configuring the MxFFS Archive Options

Parameter

Description

MxFFS Archive Size

Set the storage space that the camera should use for the archive.

Caution

It is recommended that you set the archive size to at least twice the size of the storage capacity of the Flash device.

Archive Timetable

Select a timetable to control archiving based on a weekly schedule. Select the timetable in which you have specified the timeframes for archiving.

The timeframes only control when writing to the archive takes place. Reading from the archive is possible with both active or inactive archiving.

Archive Retrieval

When trying to retrieve recordings that are not present on the Flash medium any more, the camera can read the corresponding video data from the archive. Please note, however, that this creates additional network traffic, which may use up the entire bandwidth, even though archiving alone would be possible. Use this setting to control whether or not the camera should be allowed to read from the archive.

Tip

You will find helpful statics for MxFFS archiving in the Archive Statistics dialog.

Storage in MxFFS Archive With SD Card as a Fallback Buffer

Description

The "buffered archive" is based on using a file server as Primary Target for the MxFFS data and the internal SD card of the camera as a fallback buffer.

  • As opposed to storing the recordings on Flash devices with an MxFFS archive, the recordings are copied from the camera's ring buffer (RAM) directly to the file server (NFS File Server or SMB/CIFS File Server, respectively).

  • The SD card in the camera is only used to store a very limited amount of management information. Only if the server cannot be reached or the recordings cannot be written fast enough (i.e., if the server or the network connection fails), the data are buffered on the camera's SD card until the server is available again. The buffered recordings are then copied to the server. A loss of data only occurs if the archive cannot be reached before the storage space on the internal SD card is depleted. In this case, the oldest recordings on the Flash device since the file server failure will be deleted before the camera can copy them to the archive (due to the ring buffer strategy).

  • Since this approach greatly reduces the write cycles on the SD card, its life span increases considerably.

  • The archive itself consists of individual files of 2 GB, it can be considerably larger than the Flash device itself na dit main purpose is to permanently archive the recordings. The archive also works as a ring buffer, i.e., if the assigned storage space is depleted, the oldest recordings will be deleted to make room for new recordings.

  • The recordings in an MxFFS archive on a file server can be accessed from MxManagementCenter (MxMC) either indirectly via the camera or directly from the file server.

  • During a file server failure, you can access the contents of the internal SD card of the camera. The recordings will be available for reading only after they have been copied to the archive.

Warning

If you change the Primary Target from SD Flash Card (without MxFFS archiving) to Buffered MxFFS Archive, the existing recordings on the SD card will not be available any more! When changing a system that is already up and running, you should hence export the contents of the SD card before changing the storage method.

Configuration

In the Storage Target section, select Buffered MxFFS Archive as Primary Target and then one of the following entries as MxFFS Archive Target:

  • SMB/CIFS File Server

  • NFS File Server

To configure the options, please see the sections Storage on SMB/CIFS File Servers − Configuring the Camera or Storage on NFS File Servers − Configuring the Camera, respectively.

Caution

The camera will automatically create a path name in the specified folder on the storage target, which is based on its factory IP address (dots are replaced by underscore characters). The path contains one subfolder named fs_sd0_flash_card_0, which contains the individual MxFFS archive files of 2 GB size with the audio/video data.

Make sure that the camera paths and their contents cannot be changed in any way by assigning corresponding rights on the storage folder.

Configure the corresponding parameters in the MxFFS Archive Options section.

Use the File Server Test to check the settings of the file server. Click on the Start Test button to test if the camera can properly access the file server.

Caution

  • Make sure that you are setting one or more of the Storage Limits that are available for the selected storage targets. Do this to prevent the storage space for the selected storage target from running out, which would prompt the camera to stop storing recordings on this target.

  • You should configure the integrated monitoring features of the camera and the corresponding messaging options to be able to take suitable measures if the camera detects a file server failure. To configure the monitoring options, open Admin Menu > Storage > Storage Failure Detection.

  • If MxFFS archiving is activated, the live image of the camera shows the AS symbol (<buffer fill level> / <remaining time before data loss>). If the camera detects a file server failure, this symbol will turn red. The value on the left shows the current fill level of the SD card buffer with recordings since the file server failure. The value on the right shows the estimated remaining time until the oldest recordings since the file server failure will have been overwritten due to the ring buffer mechanism.

Click Set to save the changes. Next, click on Close to close the dialog and on OK to save the changes permanently. Reboot the camera (Admin Menu > Reboot the camera).

Return to this dialog and check if the external ring buffer works, as described in Checking the Storage on the External File Server!

Configuring the MxFFS Archive Options

Parameter

Description

MxFFS Archive Size

Set the storage space that the camera should use for the archive.

Caution

It is recommended that you set the archive size to at least twice the size of the storage capacity of the Flash device.

Archive Timetable

Select a timetable to control archiving based on a weekly schedule. Select the timetable in which you have specified the timeframes for archiving.

The timeframes only control when writing to the archive takes place. Reading from the archive is possible with both active or inactive archiving.

Archive Retrieval

When trying to retrieve recordings that are not present on the Flash medium any more, the camera can read the corresponding video data from the archive. Please note, however, that this creates additional network traffic, which may use up the entire bandwidth, even though archiving alone would be possible. Use this setting to control whether or not the camera should be allowed to read from the archive.

Tip

You will find helpful statics for MxFFS archiving in the Archive Statistics dialog.

Further Information Regarding Storage

Formatting Flash Devices for Storage Using MxFFS − Steps and Options

You can use formatting to prepare storage targets (USB Stick/Flash SSD, External USB Harddisk, SD Flash Card) that have not been used in a camera, for storing the camera's recordings. Likewise, you can use this function to securely erase storage media that are not used any more. This will make restoring the deleted data impossible (see Secure deletion mode − slow in the Formatting the Storage Target section below).

Warning

If you need to exchange a Flash device while MxFFS archiving is activated, make sure to follow the procedure described in Exchanging Flash Devices With Activated MxFFS Archiving to prevent the loss of data.

Note

If you would also like to use the SD card for recording MxAnalytics data (not available on all camera models), you should proceed as described on the corresponding help page in the MxAnalytics Data Storage section.

Tip

You can leave this help page open during the entire process to properly follow the step-by-step instructions.

Formatting the Storage Target

  • If recording has been activated on the device you would like to format, deactivate recording by selecting Disabled as Primary Target.

  • Permanently store the settings (Set, then Close at the bottom of the dialog, confirm system prompt) and reboot the camera.

  • Open the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog again and click on Format in the line of the storage target you want to format.

  • The Formatter Wizard dialog allows setting the size of the MxAnalytics partition (or you can use the proposed value).

  • If you want to prevent misuse of the recorded data by reading the device on a computer, you should set a Data Encryption Key.

    Caution

    It is recommended to use secure formatting by activating the Secure deletion mode (slow) checkbox, even though this may take considerably more time (up to several hours), depending on the card type. This type of formatting will greatly increase the performance and reliability of the SD card upon first writing to the card. This is especially valid if the camera uses high data rates (2 MB/s or higher) to write to the SD card (based on the image size, image rate, JPEG quality, etc.).

  • Click on OK and confirm the system prompt. The camera shows a progress bar (this may take a couple of minutes). Once the formatting has been completed, the camera shows a summary.

  • Close the dialog and set the storage device you just formatted in the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog as storage target.

  • Permanently store the settings (Set, then Close at the bottom of the dialog, confirm system prompt) and reboot the camera.

  • Open the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog and check the status at the bottom of the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device section.

Setting the Storage Limits

The Storage Limits section contains the different types of limits that are available for the selected primary target. Defining sensible limits will prevent the storage space for the selected primary target from running out, which would prompt the camera to stop storing recordings on this target.

Caution

Make sure that all cameras combined do not use more than 90 % of the storage space on the file server. Hence, you should make sure that you are distributing the available storage space between the cameras that are storing on the target (i.e., by setting a sensible Storage Size).

Notes

  • The options in the Storage Target section will change depending on the selected Primary Target and which MxFFS Archive Target has been chosen in the Storage Target section. You should definitely define limits, since they prevent errors (e.g., unintended recording stop) caused by full storage media.

  • Changes to the external storage settings always require a camera reboot to take effect. Do not forget to permanently save the configuration: Click Set to save the changes, then click on Close to close the dialog.

Parameter

Description

Time to Keep

Deactivate the Unlimited option and enter the desired maximum values in one or more of the text fields.

Note

If one of the defined values has been reached, the camera will automatically delete the oldest recordings (ring buffer storage).

Storage Size

Deactivate the 4TB Limit option and enter the maximum storage size in the text field.

Note

If the reserved storage space has been reached, the camera will automatically delete the oldest recordings (ring buffer storage).

Reserve Storage

If the Storage Size parameter has been set, the camera uses the reserve storage if the file server is running under high load and the camera cannot store the data as quickly as needed. In this case, the camera temporarily increases the storage size by the amount of the reserve storage to be able to transfer the files as quickly as possible. Time-consuming operations are postponed (i.e. deleting old files). The camera will run these operations once the server load drops to normal levels again.

Number of Sequences

Deactivate the Unlimited option and enter the maximum number of video sequences to be stored in the text field.

Note

If the defined number of sequences has been reached, the camera will automatically delete the oldest recordings (ring buffer storage).

External Logging (File Server Storage Only)

Activate the options in the External Logging section (only shown if you clicked the More button) to periodically copy the log files for external recording as well as the camera's Web Server Logfile and System Messages to the file server.

  • Event Storage: Copies the log file for event storage to the directory of the file server used by the camera to store the images. You may also set a maximum size for this file (default is 128 kB).

  • Camera Logfiles: Copies the Web Server Logfile and the System Messages to the same directory.

Testing the Storage on the External File Server

To test the camera storage on a file server, do the following:

  • Make sure that you saved the camera configuration to the permanent storage after you had activated the external ring buffer and that you rebooted the camera afterwards.

  • Open the System Messages of the camera and check the entries of the STORAGE service. If the camera was able to connect to the file server, you may see the following message:

    connected to file server 192.168.x.x:/mxcam.
  • Activate the storage on the camera and make sure that the camera stores recordings on the file server, e.g., by temporarily activating continuous recording.

  • Check the contents of the storage folder on the file server:

    • When storing a folder/file structure, the camera should have created the following structure <share>\<camera-factory-IP>\000\000, 001, ....

    • When storing an MxFFS archive, the camera should have created the file <share>\<camera-factory-IP>\fs_sd0_flash_card_0\MxBA_N_000_Block_0_to_512 on the file server, that is growing steadily (up to 2 GB max.).

  • If the camera creates the proper files and folders, you can reset the settings for recording back to the previous values. If this is not the case, you should check the connection to the file server and then repeat the steps above.

In order to remedy errors that are occurring, you should activate the options in the External Logging section and check the Event Storage Logfile (Logfile link in the explanation of this parameter). (This link is only visible if storing to an external file server or Flash device has been set up successfully.)

You should also configure the Storage Failure Detection to use the messaging options of that dialog to alert you of problems with storing to file servers or Flash devices.

Event Logging

The Event Logger option controls whether or not the events are logged. The logger's data are stored on a ring buffer on a separate partition on the SD card. If the partition is not available, the data are stored in the camera's RAM and will be lost when rebooting the camera. Please monitor the System Messages for corresponding messages.

Notes

  • If you want to use the event histogram of MxManagementCenter, make sure this option is activated.

  • When formatting an SD card, the camera will automatically create the event logging partition. When updating the software of a camera that had not been able to use event logging, you will need to format the SD card in order to create this partition.

Storage on SMB/CIFS File Servers − Configuring the Server

Note

The configuration steps may be different depending on the version of the Windows operating system.

  1. Log onto the system as administrator user.

  2. Create a new user and set a password (e.g., mxcam). The camera will use this user name later on to log onto the server.

  3. Create a new directory with a name of your choice (e.g., mxdata).

  4. Right-click the directory and select the Share for > Extended Sharing option from the context menu.

  5. Click on Extended Sharing.

  6. Activate the Share this folder option and assign a name for the share.

  7. Click on Access Rights and add the account name you just created.

  8. Change the access rights for this user by activating the Full Control option the Allow column in the lower field.

  9. Close all open dialogs by clicking on OK.

This completes the configuration of the SMB/CIFS server.

Storage on NFS File Servers − Configuring the Server

Note

The server configuration may vary for different distributions. Note that MOBOTIX cannot provide support for configuring the Linux/UNIX server.

  1. Log onto the file server as root user.

  2. Create a new directory (e.g., mxdata):

    mkdir /mxdata

  3. Change the owner and the user group for this directory:

    chown -R 65534:0 /mxdata

  4. Assign the required access rights for the directory:

    chmod 755 /mxdata

  5. Use the ps aux | grep nfs command to check if the NFS server is already running. If this is not the case, use the /etc/init.d/nfsserver start command to start the service, or install the service from scratch if it is not available.

  6. Use the rpcinfo -p command to check if the nfs, mountd und portmapper services are already running. nfs and mountd are usually started by the NFS server, portmapper is started as a separate service. If portmapper is not running, you can start it using the /etc/init.d/portmapper start command.

  7. Open the /etc/exports file in a text editor and add the following line:

    /mxdata 79.8.228.36(rw,no_root_squash)

  8. To re-initialize the list of entries in /etc/exports, execute the exportfs -a command.

  9. Next, restart the NFS server. Execute the /etc/init.d/nfsserver restart command.

This completes the configuration of the Linux/UNIX server.

Updates, Maintenance and Best Practices Regarding MxFFS Archives

Exchanging Flash Devices With Activated MxFFS Archiving

To prevent problems and the possible loss of data while MxFFS archiving is activated, you must follow the procedure below in the specified order when exchanging an SD card or another Flash device.

Warning

If the procedure below is not followed − especially when using archiving on file servers, you will risk losing all data that has been stored in the archive.

Note

If you have activated the Archive Timetable parameter in the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog, proceed as follows:

  • Write down the selected Archive Timetable to activate the same option later on.

  • Select the Disabled option and click on Set below.

Deactivate Recording and Synchronize MxFFS Archive

  • Deactivate recording:

    • Open the Recording dialog.

    • In the General Settings section, write down the value of the Arming parameter.

    • For the Arming parameter, select the value Off.

    • Click on the Set button at the bottom of the dialog.

  • The camera now finishes the synchronization process with the MxFFS archive.

    Open the Camera Status dialog, search the Archive Status section and make sure that the Blocks to sync parameter has the value 0. Once this is the case, the archive has been synchronized successfully.

    Note

    You may have to reload the dialog several times to refresh the value of the Blocks to sync. parameter.

Formatting SD Card, Activating MxFFS Archiving and Recording

  • Open the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog and deactivate the recording on the device you want to format (if activated) by setting Primary Target (Storage Target section) to Disabled.

  • Permanently store the settings (Set, then Close at the bottom of the dialog, confirm system prompt).

  • Reboot the camera.

  • Remove the power supply of the camera and exchange the SD card or Flash device.

  • Restore the power supply of the camera and open the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog.

  • Format the storage device as described in the Formatting Flash Devices section.

  • In the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog, set the storage device you just formatted as storage target.

    Tip

    If you had deactivated the Archive Timetable parameter before, set this parameter to its original value.

  • Permanently store the settings (Set, then Close at the bottom of the dialog, confirm system prompt) and reboot the camera.

  • Open the Camera Status dialog, search the File Server / Flash Device section and make sure that the Sequences, Newest Sequence, Oldest Sequence, Current Usage and Maximum Size parameters show the values of the archive. You may have to reload the dialog several times to refresh the values.

  • Activate recording: Open the Recording dialog and in the General Settings section, set the value of the Arming parameter to the original value.

  • Permanently store the settings (Set, then Close at the bottom of the dialog, confirm system prompt).

Measures to Take Upon a File Server Failure in Conjunction With MxFFS Archiving

Both storage methods using MxFFS archiving (Storage on Flash Device With Additional MxFFS Archiving on File Server/USB Device and Storage in MxFFS Archive With SD Card as a Fallback Buffer) are capable of bridging a file server failure. In such a case, the recordings are stored on the SD card and are transfered to the archive later on, once the server is back online again.

To prevent loss of data and to ensure that archiving will resume without any errors later on, you should follow these steps if a file server failure occurs:

  • Once you have been alerted that a file server failure has occurred (by the File Server Checks), you need to restore the availability of the file server before the SD card of the camera has been overwritten once or more often!

  • Make sure that you check the camera connection to the file server once it is available again. To do so, open the Camera Status dialog, search the Archive Status section and check the values of the line Blocks to sync. / Transferred / Lost:

    • The first value (Blocks to sync.) should be 0.

    • The second value (Transferred) should increase steadily.

  • If the values above do not show these values within 10 minutes, there is most likely a connection problem with the file server or an overload situation of the server or the network. If may even be that some cameras can store recordings on the file server, while others cannot.

    • In such a case, you should try to reboot the camera that has issues. at any rate, you should make sure that the power supply of the camera is not corrupted.

    • Next, you should again check the values mentioned above. If the values do not change as expected, deactivate the recording in Setup Menu > Recording to avoid further loss of data, then reboot the camera.

  • If the values do change as desired, you can reactivate recording (if you had disabled it before).

Changing the Size of an MxFFS Archive

Warning

To prevent loss of data, make sure that the power supply of the camera is not disrupted while changing the size (e.g., for physically installing the camera)!

If you want to change the size of an MxFFS archive that is already in use, you should follow these steps to avoid archiving issues later on:


Storing the Configuration

Click on the Set button to activate your settings and to save them until the next reboot of the camera.

Click on the Factory button to load the factory defaults for this dialog (this button may not be present in all dialogs).

Click on the Restore button to undo your most recent changes that have not been stored in the camera permanently.

Click on the Close button to close the dialog. While closing the dialog, the system checks the entire configuration for changes. If changes are detected, you will be asked if you would like to store the entire configuration permanently.

 In order to enable these settings, you need to store the configuration and reboot the camera!


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