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Record to USB drive?

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:58 pm
by mjburns
Anyone know if there is a way to get Surveillance Station to record to an external USB drive rather than to the internal volumes through it's own settings? I'm using 5.0.6, but at this point, I'd like to switch from storing the video data on the (valuable) internal RAID volumes onto having Surveillance Station dump the video directly on an external USB drive. Under Advanced Setting/Recording Folder/Select Volume, only the NAS' internal volumes show up. Neither of the two (large ~5TB between the two) external USB drives on the NAS in question (TS-221) show up. So far, the only way I've gotten Surveillance Station to dump it's recordings onto a USB drive is to SSH (using Putty or WinSCP) into the QNAP and create symbolic links to the USB drives, but that has it's own issues when there are multiple USB drives on the system.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:10 pm
by pwilson
Not supported.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:32 pm
by mjburns
I pretty much figured that, but thought I'd ask.

Pretty good example of poor software design. It should have been written to be able to dump it's files into any legitimate shared directory on the NAS, rather than require the user to SSH in and muck around.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:10 am
by AlastairStevenson
Pretty good example of poor software design. It should have been written to be able to dump it's files into any legitimate shared directory on the NAS, rather than require the user to SSL in and muck around.

That's a bit harsh, in my view.
With the RAID volumes, there is some assurance of compatibility and performance of the storage environment, given some attention has been paid to the HDD compatibility list.
External USB drives are a bit of an unknown and uncontrolled quantity as far as file system, resilience, performance, availability (think spin down / load cycle) and all those characteristics needed for a reliable real-time environment such as video streaming.
A safer design decision is to avoid it for the primary store. Having USB drives as an automated secondary store - that's another matter.

but that has it's own issues when there are multiple USB drives on the system.

I think you've countered your own comment here.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:14 am
by pwilson
mjburns wrote:I pretty much figured that, but thought I'd ask.

Pretty good example of poor software design. It should have been written to be able to dump it's files into any legitimate shared directory on the NAS, rather than require the user to SSL in and muck around.


SSL? I assume you actually mean SSH. SSH is a normal troubleshooting tool in Linux/OS X, just like CMD.EXE is a standard tool in Windows.

PS: Doesn't SS Pro dump the data files in the "Recordings" "legitimate" share?

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:11 am
by mjburns
Yes, SSH. My typos. (Dealing with multiple issues of late.) Yes, you can set the symbolic links using a command line tool and issuing a ln command, or you can use a GUI tool like WinSCP and set the symbolic links in pretty much a few mouse clicks. With multiple USB drives, the symbolic link isn't messed up if the QNAP relabels the drives (for example, switches which it calls USBDrive1 & USBDrive2) which it sometimes does on that system upon reboot, but some of the other applications do get messed up by that renumbering.

For me, the surveillance video is the least valuable data on the system (low likelihood of it being needed), hence the willingness to stream it on a USB drive. Clearly it's a cost benefit calculation that other folks situations may swing in the other direction.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:20 pm
by schumaku
mjburns wrote:Pretty good example of poor software design.
No - it's done so intentionally.

mjburns wrote:It should have been written to be able to dump it's files into any legitimate shared directory on the NAS, rather than require the user to SSL in and muck around.
External storage is not intended as primary storage on the QNAP NAS.

mjburns wrote:but that has it's own issues when there are multiple USB drives on the system.
Not on the current feature set NAS models - you can uniquely identity each external storage device based on the volume label - a shared folder following the volume label is created automatically. The access rights for these shared folders are retained, even if disconnected.

As the first point above - it's a QNAP politic decision which NAS models get this feature.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:30 am
by AlastairStevenson
For me, the surveillance video is the least valuable data on the system (low likelihood of it being needed),

As this is a public forum, for the benefit of others, I'd like to respectfully disagree with you on that statement.
'low likelihood of it being needed' does not equate to 'least valuable data' because of it's likely high value if it does become needed.
From your security work surely you'd agree that 'an unlikely type of intrusion' should still 'require good protective measures' due to the large impact if it does occur.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:39 pm
by mjburns
@ schumaku & AlastairStevenson

That's why I said "Clearly it's a cost benefit calculation that other folks situations may swing in the other direction."

In my situation where Surveillance Station is running, video recording is not related to security nor safety, but instead supplementing primary data in a process.

Specifically, I have Surveillance Station recording some cameras on microscopes so that after the manipulation of whatever is being worked on is finished, the person can grab photos if they want. (These are low end microscopes that we've adapted cameras that Surveillance Station can talk to. Our good microscopes have specialized cameras supplied by the microscope manufacturers run by the manufacturers proprietary software.) "Record everything, go back later if you want any photos", is a pretty standard way to do anything involving microscopy these days. This way, no one has to stop in the middle of what they are doing to take photos - everything is recorded and they can go back later & grab frames if they want photos. (Most of the time, no one wants any photos of a specific manipulation because they do a lot of manipulations.) The video is usually discarded within days or as soon as disk space is needed anyway, and if it's lost or not available, it's just a minor inconvenience as the person can get photos "next time" they do similar work with the microscopes. In my case with Surveillance Station, I have it just recording all of the time as that's easier.

Hence, in my situation, the low value of the Surveillance Station data compared to other data on the server, hence the desire to offload the video onto an external USB drive, which is what I have it doing now.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:03 pm
by AlastairStevenson
OK, that's certainly a different use case from the usual security-related aspects that get discussed in this forum and triggered my assumption-based reflex response.
Thanks for the clarification and explanation.

The video is usually discarded within days or as soon as disk space is needed anyway,

By the way - presumably you've spotted that Surveillance Station can be configured with both size and age methods of automatically managing storage consumption?

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:20 pm
by yuipcheng
I have a TS-212P and recently upgraded from 2x2TB drives to 2x5TB ones. I connected the 2x2TB drives to the USB ports on the back of the NAS. I really want to offload the IP cam recordings to those external devices rather than taxing my primary drives stated by the OP. 3 years later now, I still don't see that option available.

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:50 pm
by dolbyman
your nas is eol .. so dont expect any new features

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:01 am
by FRAD
any news? I want to record to external drive. My virtual machine is very slow. The harddisk ist to much in use...

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:58 am
by dolbyman
NAS type ? if it's an EOL NAS, expect the same answer as I gave before

Re: Record to USB drive?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:06 am
by FRAD
Ts 251+ is my model...