NAS / IP Surveillance Recommendations Q&A

NAS / IP Surveillance Recommendations

Hello from the US – I hope you continue to remain healthy in the UK during the current COVID-19 crisis.

I have recently discovered your NASCompares channel on Youtube – I have found it to be very informative.

I had a circa 2006 Infrant ReadyNAS NV that died a few years ago which I have momentarily substituted a Seagate GoFlex HDD into my ASUS RT-AX88U AX6000 router as a crude NAS. More recently, I also had a circa 2004 Dedicated Micros Digital Sprite 2 DS2 DX16C 160GB 16 channel analog CCTV DVR Recorder that is now starting to occasionally lock up. As such, I am long over due to purchase a NAS and also a replacement of my 16 camera CCTV system in my home. Unfortunately, upgrading my CCTV will likely also entail replacing most, if not all, of my current analog cameras with IP cameras (or perhaps convert some of the analog cameras to ONVIF compatible IP cameras using a convertor box or an old PC with analog video capture card with software such as www.deskcamera.com.)

From reviewing NASCompares, I have become interested in either the QNAP TS-x53D or the similar Synology DS920+ products. Prior to reviewing NASCompares, I was not considering using a NAS for both storage and surveillance, however having the integrated surveillance feature in both the QNAP and Synology is interesting.

In my opinion, one downside to utilizing the NAS also for surveillance is I would not want to unnecessarily exercise the non-IP camera data storage HDDs continuously for surveillance purposes. As I would want to use at least 4 HDDs for storage and media server purposes, perhaps upgrading to a QNAP TS-653D NAS, one could use 4 bays for data storage which when not in use, the HDDs could park into idle mode while the other bay or two could remain active to support a surveillance HDD – do you know if it is possible to segregate the QNAP in this fashion to idle certain bays for data storage (NAS HDDs), while other bays work independently for surveillance (Surveillance HDD) purposes?

Another downside I would see with utilizing the NAS also for surveillance is running the IP camera bandwidth through the router – the advantage to a standalone NVR is that the IP camera traffic could primarily be contained within the NVR until it is was being requested by a client on the main network. I suppose a partial work-around would be to program each capable IP camera to only transmit when it detects motion, however I have not experimented or researched the IP cameras sufficiently to know if this is even possible. I would likely also purchase a PoE ethernet switch to power the cameras and provide a single IP camera interface to the router and have the router interface over two Port Trunking connections to the NAS. Alternatively, I suspect I could also have just one of the NAS RJ45 ports go to the router and have the other NAS RJ45 port go to the PoE switch, sacrificing some of the non-IP video NAS data interface bandwidth. As a reasonable stand-alone NVR would cost several hundred dollars anyway, perhaps invest instead in a more expensive NAS with more than 2 RJ45 ports?

From an IP camera perspective, I would probably want to have approximately six 4K outdoor cameras, another approximately six outdoor cameras with potentially lower resolution and/or possibly retain some of the current analog cameras converted into ONVIP IP cameras, and another four analog interior cameras possibly also converted to IP cameras. As I do not record the interior cameras, I am considering possibly tiling the four analog cameras into one quad image via a PC analog capture using the DeskCamera software to generate a single IP address with a quad camera view. I might also consider tiling some of the external analog cameras into a single quad ONVIF IP address. Not sure if I would try to consolidate more of the analog cameras into single quad ONVIF IP address to fit within the existing 8 QNAP H.265 licenses or save time and bite the bullet and just buy more IP cameras and QNAP (or more Synology surveillance licenses). I also have one analog PTZ camera that I would either convert to ONVIP IP or remove all together. I haven’t really done extensive research into IP cameras, however I would like to try to find a brand that provides good quality at a good value – here in the US, Amcrest seems to be a brand of reasonable value with reasonable customer feedback on Amazon, albeit you cannot always trust what you see on the internet… I figured I may have to block the cameras from accessing the Internet for security purposes and rely completely on camera access via the NAS – utilizing VPN access from my mobile device to my home network for remote access.

A bit more background on my NAS use case… I am more of an old school PC user (stayed on DOS for a few years even after Windows came out), having built multiple PCs, networks, etc. The primary purpose of the NAS will be for a family file server for photos, videos, back-ups for laptops/mobile phones, as well as movie and music content streaming. The NAS would be located right next to my home theater equipment rack, so I would probably connect the NAS HDMI port directly into my home theater receiver/projector. I currently have an old Home Theater PC in the equipment rack which I may just replace with the NAS if I can somehow leverage the NAS virtual machine to support direct media retrieval and potentially browser access to the Internet. My initial thought would be to load up the NAS with four 4TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS or maybe even Ironwolf Pro NAS HDDs and possibly one 4TB Seagate Skyhawk Surveillance HDD if I go with the integrated NAS surveillance solution.

I really do not have a particular budget or constraint in mind but figure I will have to spend a few thousand dollars – although, I prefer being cost effective to spend my money on other projects as well.

I would be very appreciative of your thoughts or suggestions to any of the above thoughts.

Sounds like Qnap is something you will find most useful. Series like TVS-653B and x53D feature HDMI allowing you to connect a monitor or TV directly. You can also turn it into a computer by adding keyboard and mouse. You don’t even need a virtual machine for this. You will get browser, multimedia apps and surveillance. With Qnap virtual switch function, you could create your own surveillance sub-network which would not slow down the rest of the network. Having 4K cameras is quite bandwidth demanding. Multiple LAN ports would also help if you enable load balancing option – http://qnapsupport.net/load-balance-setup-which-is-the-best-port-trunking-option/. Multiple LAN ports surely help.
Having two RADs and 2 volumes separating data storage and surveillance is a good idea. Surveillance will be continuously writing to the disks. Having this separate will speed up things.
If you didn’t want to record everything, you also use IP camera built-in alert system. If there is movement it can connect to a NAS FTP and save those video files.
Ironwolf and Skyhawk drives will be a good choice. Pro drive would be noisier since they are made for more demanding environments like big businesses with many users.

I hope this helps.

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