Table of Contents  MOBOTIX Online Help

Storage on External File Server / Flash Device

Open the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog to set the camera's storage options.

The camera can store images in a ring buffer that is located either internally in its RAM, on a Flash device or on an external file server. A ring buffer will overwrite its oldest images once the storage capacity has been reached. Storing images on a file server is accomplished without installing any additional software on the file server.

This strategy for external recording is very powerful, thanks to the low network loads and the integrated image buffer of the camera, which can also bridge short network failures. It is thus no problem at all to record the events of 30 cameras on a regular Windows computer (P4 / 3 GHz).

When recording to Flash devices, they can be internal storage media (e.g. M15, M25, T25, D15 oder S15, except Web and Basic models) or you can connect external devices (e.g. USB keydrives, Flash SSDs or USB harddisks) to the camera.

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.

Notes

Storage Targets

The camera can record the video sequences with audio on different Primary Targets (Flash devices, USB harddisks or file servers) without installing any software. You can choose between the following primary storage targets:

Notes

  • Depending on the primary target chosen, you can use different Storage Limits. You should definitely define limits, since they prevent errors (e.g., unintended recording stop) caused by full storage media.

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

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.

Recording on NFS File Servers

When recording 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.

Server Configuration

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.

Camera Configuration

Parameter

Description

Primary Target

Activate the NFS File Server option. Note that this will enable the fields that are relevant for NFS. Click on the installation instructions link. This page contains further information for configuring the Linux/UNIX server. It may make sense to print this page for reference purposes.

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.

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 External Ring Buffer.

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.

Recording on SMB/CIFS File Servers

When recording on Windows computers, the camera uses a Windows share on a Windows 2000 Professional SP 2 system or higher. 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.

  • Windows 95, 98, Millennium and products of the Windows "Home" family are not supported and should never be used.

Server Configuration

Note

The configuration steps may be different depending on the version of the Windows operating system. If this is the case, follow the steps that are relevant for your Windows version (2000/XP/Vista/7/8).

  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. (2000/XP only) Make sure that simple sharing is not used:

    • Open Start > Control Panel > Folder options > View (tab).

    • Deactivate the Use simple file sharing [recommended] option.

    • Click on the OK button to close the dialog.

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

  5. Right-click the directory and select the Sharing and Security (2000/XP) or Share with > Advanced Sharing (Vista/7/8) option from the context menu.

  6. (Vista/7/8 only) Click on Advanced Sharing.

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

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

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

  10. Close all open dialogs by clicking on OK.

Camera Configuration

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.

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.

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 External Ring Buffer.

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.

Recording to Flash Devices

If this storage option is available on your camera, the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device dialog (Storage Target > Primary Target section) allows using Flash devices (USB Stick/Flash SSD, External USB Harddisk or SD Flash Card) as storage media for events.

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.

Formatting Flash Devices

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 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 the None option for the Primary Target parameter in the Storage Target section.

  • 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

    Only activate the Secure deletion mode - slow option if you would like to erase any existing data without having a chance to recover them. This formatting mode can take up to a couple of hours, depending on the size of the device.

  • 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.

Archiving on File Servers

When recording to a Flash medium, you can simultaneously archive the MxFFS video data on an NFS or SMB/CIFS file server. Besides acting as the primary storage target, the Flash medium also serves as a temporary storage if the camera detects network or file server problems.

Activate MxFFS Archiving

In the Storage Target section, select one of the NFS File Server or SMB/CIFS File Server options as MxFFS Archive Target. Configure the corresponding parameters in the MxFFS Archive Options section.

Configuring the MxFFS Archive Options

Parameter

Description

MxFFS Archive Size

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

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.

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.

  • Deactivate recording: Open the Recording dialog and in the General Settings section, set the value of the Arming parameter to Off, then click on Set at the bottom of the dialog.

  • Open the Camera Status dialog, search the Archive Status section and make sure that the Blocks to sync parameter has the value 0. You may have to reload the dialog several times to refresh the value.

    Note

    If you have activated the Archive Timetable option in the Storage on External File Server / Flash Device, set this parameter to None, then click on Set at the bottom of the dialog.

  • 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 None.

  • 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.

    Note

    If you had deactivated the Archive Timetable parameter in a previous step, 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).

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).

Note

The options in this section will change depending on the selected Primary Target and which MxFFS Archive Target has been chosen in the Storage Target section.

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.

Checking the External Ring Buffer

To test the camera's external ring buffer on a file server, do the following:

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 the recording 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 recording to file servers or Flash devices.

Event Logging

The Event Logging option controls whether or not the events are logged.

Note

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

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.

Note

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.


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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