Can You Backup NVR On A NAS Drive? How To Do It The Right Way
The importance of keeping CCTV recordings can hardly be overestimated. Video archive may be needed for the investigation of an incident or crime, for video analytics, for labor discipline checks, etc.
But it happens that intruders who sneak into your protected object damage or even take away your DVR, and you lose all the video. Also, the hard drives of the recorder can get damaged in the process of operation, and you will lose the data.
How To Make An NVR Video Backup
NAS (stands for for Network Attached Storage) is a convenient way to increase the storage space for your video information or back it up remotely, allowing your CCTV system to keep two copies of your footage.
NAS is not directly connected to the recorder via the network. For example, the recorder is connected to a switch in one location, and the NAS is connected to the same switch in another location.
If someone were to damage or steal the recorder, the NAS would remain on the network duplicating the footage. An intruder cannot trace the cables and figure out that there is a backup device on the network.
The NAS comes with bays (1, 2, 4, etc.) in which hard drives are installed. The more hard drives installed and the larger their capacity, the longer you will be able to record video files.
While a DVR with 8 cameras and a 4TB hard drive can record video footage in one month if motion is detected, a NAS device with a total capacity of 32TB (4 8TB hard drives) can keep records for over 8 months.
In a sense, incorporating NAS into your surveillance system backs up your files and can also increase the capacity of your entire security system. Typically, recorders are limited by the number of hard drives installed. With NAS, you can install as many hard drives as the manufacturer allows.
Setting up a NAS is relatively easy. Sometimes it depends on the NVR settings. You can make settings on it and the NAS. They have to be linked via IP addresses. After that, the video from the cameras will be saved simultaneously on two devices located in different places.
File Transfer Protocol or FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files between a client and a server on a computer network. FTP can be configured for specific channels or the entire NVR and will save either individual events or all footage to an FTP server.
It would be best if you had an FTP server to back up your video files or record video in different locations simultaneously. This can be a computer on the same network as the recorder, or you can use a server somewhere else, with the files transferred over the Internet.
A remote server is great in the event of a break-in, fire, theft, or destruction of the NVR or DVR. If this happens, you can still access the video footage on the FTP server.
Depending on the manufacturer and the software, the FTP server will back up only the footage during the hours specified in the settings.
FTP setup varies depending on the manufacturer. Usually the setup steps are easy. You need to add the server information to the NVR settings, such as IP address, ports, path, username, password, etc. The recording will then be automatically copied from the NVR to the FTP server and stored on its hard drives.
There are several ways to simultaneously record video on your surveillance system on two different devices. The idea is to duplicate your hard drives as you record them and always have a backup if the main hard drives are damaged.
The solutions presented in this article can be expensive and, in some cases, difficult to implement. In addition, the recorder must support certain features. For example, if you want to use the RAID method, the NVR or DVR must support RAID mode.
Let’s take a closer look at ways to create a backup. And since we already mentioned RAID, let’s start with it.
RAID is a storage technology used to organize multiple hard drives into different structures to achieve certain goals, such as redundancy, speed, and capacity. All the hard drives are combined into a single unit, and with the help of software, they can provide data redundancy and improve performance.
Data (video material) is distributed across the hard drives in several ways, called RAID levels, depending on the redundancy and performance required. The various schemes are denoted by “RAID” followed by a number, such as RAID 0 or RAID 1.
Each RAID scheme or level provides a different balance between the key goals of reliability, availability, performance, and capacity. RAID levels higher than RAID 0 protect fatal sector read errors and failures of entire physical drives.
You should check your DVR and find out what types of RAID it supports. Many NVRs can do RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, or even RAID 50 and 60. Set it up through the recorder’s interface by simply following the instructions on the screen.
If somehow one of the recorder’s internal hard drives fails, the footage is not altered because it is saved using the RAID method. You will have backup storage whether or not certain hard drives fail. Make sure that you use hard drives exclusively for video surveillance, though.
Many recording devices support eSATA connections, which means that you can connect an external storage device and increase the current storage capacity. In other words, you can add an external hard drive to your DVR.
Let’s say you need more storage space. Just buy a high-capacity external hard drive and plug it into the eSATA port. The recorder will now store footage on its internal hard drives and the external hard drive.
Make sure your recorders support the eSATA feature. Take a look at the back of your video recorder, and if it is supported, you should see a port labeled “eSATA.” You can also check this with your DVR’s manual.
You can automatically upload your recordings to the cloud over the Internet using cloud storage. However, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee when you do this, but it may be worth it if you’re worried about backing up no matter what happens to your NVR. If you already have the cloud, however, there’s no problem.
The NVR will store video locally on its internal hard drives and then upload a compressed version of the video to the cloud via the Internet.
Also, keep in mind that cloud storage requires a high upload speed to the Internet, and if there is no connection, nothing will be recorded in the cloud. In addition, if the footage is of high quality, the video will be compressed, resulting in degraded image quality.
We recommend only storing videos in the cloud that are considered critical to your security system, such as entry points, cashier cameras, etc. This way, you can reduce the price of using the cloud service.
Some DVRs support an interesting feature called “hot swapping,” which is the ability to remove a hard drive while the machine is running and install another.
This is a useful feature if you need to archive footage and create a library of backups for a long time. Remove the hard drive and install a new one. The device will not stop recording and will not damage the hard drive.
Also, you can replace a failed hard drive without stopping recording. Usually, to install a hard disk, you have to turn off the recorder, open the case and connect the internal cables to the HDD. With hot swapping, you can easily remove the hard drive from the front panel while the whole system is running.
Check the specifications of the recorder and make sure the hot-swap feature is supported. Or you can check the settings and see if there is a hot swap capability.
Hot Standby in video surveillance systems is the ability to install a redundant NVR on the network. Instead of one NVR on the network, a second (Standby) NVR will automatically start recording video from the cameras a few seconds after the primary NVR has a problem. This will give you minimal downtime.
Once the primary NVR has been restored to normal, the backup NVR will seamlessly transfer the footage back to the primary NVR.
This is an ideal arrangement that prevents downtime of the surveillance system and takes over its work if the main recording unit is damaged. Moreover, a single redundant NVR can back up multiple NVRs.
These are the basic ways of backing up surveillance video recordings.
3 Methods Of Backing Up Data With Synology NAS
The First One Is For macOS Users
I back up my data from my main iMac work computer. So I can recover any deleted file. Prepared detailed instructions for backing up to Synology NAS using Time Machine.
The NVR recordings and project files go there. They are massive because they are mostly high-quality videos and photos. My desk would be cluttered with flash drives if it wasn’t for NAS.
The Second Is For Windows
Windows PC users can copy data from their computer to the NAS.
In the “Package Center” of NAS, look for the utility “Active Backup for Business” and install it.
At the first start, you need to enter your Synology Account. You created it the first time you started the NAS.
Log in, accept the privacy clause, and get to the program setup screen. Here you can notice that this software can protect both desktop PCs and virtual machines and servers.
Let me show you an example of an ordinary PC. To do this, go to the PC section and click “Add device.” We are prompted to download a client program for the PC. There are two versions, the first for 32-bit OS and the second for 64-bit. Download the one you need and install it.
After that, the client’s computer will appear in the appropriate section.
Preparation is complete, and you can create a backup task. First, we set the task’s name and specify the destination of the backups on our NAS. After that, you need to specify what to back up. I choose the system volume, i.e., drive C: A very important feature – “Data compression and encryption during transfer” is enabled by default, you can disable it, but I don’t recommend doing this, especially in the office.
Next, you set the schedule for creating copies. There are a lot of settings. You can very flexibly control the startup, including manually.
Also, the file saving policy is very clear and transparent – you can save only the latest copies and delete the oldest ones, or always save the last copy of the month, for example.
Then you check all the set parameters, and when you press the “Apply” button, you immediately start the backup, if that is convenient.
Third – NAS Functionality
The USB Copy utility for Synology NAS is a universal backup tool available to Windows PC users. If the program is not in the main menu, you need to install it from the Package Center.
The first time you run it, an appropriate message will appear if you have not connected an external drive or flash drive. Click OK, connect the drive and open USB Copy again.
The first window is to select the mode of operation. There are three options:
- Import only multimedia files – photos and videos to NAS.
- Import all data from the USB drive to NAS.
- Exporting information from NAS to an external drive is what we need in this case.
We set the task’s name as a source for export and choose a folder. I will choose a folder with surveillance files. And the destination is an external drive. On which I create a new folder. There are three copy modes: multiple versions, mirroring, and incremental. Choose the right one for you, because the way they copy is very different.
Next, you can enable backup rotation. You can set the principle of creating new backups and deleting old ones.
The next step is to enable automatic backups when the drive is plugged in, which means you don’t need to use the DSM interface, plug the drive in via USB. You can also set up a schedule.
And, of course, you can specify the types of files to be copied. If your extension is missing, you can always add it manually.
And after you click “Apply,” it will copy automatically according to your parameters and automatically disconnect the drive for safe removal.
Setting Up Video Archive Backup To Qnap Network Storage With Network Video Recorder (NVR)
I suggest connecting the network drive via NAS (NFS) or IP SAN (ISCSI). ISCSI is not suitable right away because, in case of failure or loss, the NVR records will not be able to view. To view will need an NVR. So we choose the NAS solution and will connect to Qnap D2 network storage with NFS protocol to be able to access the recordings quickly. As for Qnap, you can use any model as their firmware is the same.
You should realize that connection via NFS protocol should be performed via an internal network. In other words, you need to set up a VPN connection to the network, where network attached storage will be situated. We consider the solution when the DVR is located far away, and the NAS is connected to the wired Internet with a static IP address.
So, the VPN connection of two local nets is set up, which means that the net where the DVR is located sees the net where QNAP NAS is.
The first thing to configure Qnap. Qnap already has an IP address, and you can connect to it with your browser. In my case, we have two 4TB HDD in a mirror (Raid-1).
Through the control panel, go to “Storage and snapshots.” First, I recommend making one volume for the “system” from 40GB. I did 72 GB. I have also created a volume DataVol3 – 3.25 Tb in the screenshot below, just for video backup.
Now let’s see how to create the correct volume for the NVR. Click create – new volume.
Select “Full volume” and click next.
You specify the required volume for video backup. And now the most important thing, which I spent a lot of time and helped me understand after the tests with Nas4free. And so, specifically in my tests, if you plan to allocate about 100 Gb for backups, you choose “Bytes per Index Descriptor” – 4K. On a 2 Tb – 8K. On 3.3 Tb – 16K. If anyone is wondering what “Bytes per index descriptor” is. And then, scroll down with the mouse and go to the screenshot below.
I recommend removing the alarm threshold. And immediately create a folder for the backup. You can name it something like NVR after you click on next.
Now we need to enable NFS protocol support on the NAS. To do this, go to Control Panel and then to Win/Mac/NFS.
Under the NFS service tab, enable NFS v2/v3.
Now, go into the Control Panel – Public Folders.
I already have a folder created. Click on it.
Select the type of permission – Access to NFS node. Check the box next to “Access.” Specify Read and Write access. Click on apply.
Close, you have finished setting up the storage Qnap. Now it is important to know only its IP address.
Go to the settings of the NVR through a browser. And the first thing we need to do is connect the network drive via NFS protocol. To do this, go into the network settings – Network HDD. And as below in the screenshot, write the IP address of the NAS and then click on search. In my case, the IP address of Qnap – is 192.168.30.254.
In my example, I found the standard Qnap-created folders; I already have a folder connected. In the list of found, you will see your created folder. Double-click on the number of your folder, then under number 2, you will see how to write the path to your network drive. You click save.
Then you go to “Hard Drive” – Basic Settings. You will see the added disk, select it, check the box and click Format. Confirm formatting. And you wait. Depending on the connection’s speed to your storage, you can wait up to 1 hour.
After that, you need to set it to Mirror Recording mode. If it does not set, you need to go through the connected monitor to the DVR, and the mouse goes to the settings of the drive and sets in disk recording mode – Disk Group.
Now you need to activate all cameras’ recordings to Qnap backup storage. As on the screenshot, go to the camera settings, select the schedule parameters and click on Advanced. By the way, I recommend that if you have mobile Internet, you should use motion recording, as you will not have enough bandwidth if you use more than one or two cameras for continuous recording.
Where mirror recording select – Yes. Click Ok.
Now you need to copy this setting to all cameras.
Now, to reduce the amount of traffic and generally make it possible to save more records on your HDD, change the type of bitrate to a variable about the type of bitrates already written. Do not forget to copy this setting to all cameras.
Also, the bitrate is specified separately for all types of streams. The event is by recording in motion.
That’s pretty much it.
NVR Backup To External Drives
By connecting external drives to the Turbo NAS via the eSATA or USB ports, IT administrators can easily configure and copy shared folders on the Turbo NAS to external devices. The external hard drive backup procedure supports multiple backup jobs, email notifications, and scheduled jobs, giving IT administrators more flexibility in setting up backups.
With support for external drives with EXT3, EXT4, FAT32, HFS+, NTFS file systems, and fast read/write performance, Turbo NAS can back up data on these devices and restore them to Mac and Windows operating systems.
Advanced external drive backup options allow IT, administrators, to replicate data to a specified logical local drive partition. By specifying multiple external drives as backup targets, each backup job will be correctly mapped to the corresponding external drive, even if the drive has been disconnected and reconnected multiple times by that point. IT administrators can rest assured that the backup process always runs correctly.
Among other things, Turbo NAS is compatible with several well-known backup products such as AcronisВ® True Image, CAВ® ARCserve Backup, RetrospectВ®, SymantecВ® Backup Exec, LaCieВ® SilverKeeper, and more. Companies already using these software products can begin backing up Turbo NAS data to external drives immediately with third-party backup tools.
Backup NVR To A Remote Server Via RTRR Or Sync
You can copy data from one Turbo NAS system to another Turbo NAS system or FTP server in real-time using QNAP’s RTRR (remote real-time replication) service or to a standard rsync server on a schedule based on the rsync protocol.
With the RTRR service, the Turbo NAS source system will monitor file changes and synchronize the changes with the target server. IT administrators can perform immediate or scheduled backup jobs using supported compression or SSH encryption options.
Real-time Copying Of NVR Data To Cloud Storage
In addition to physical storage, Turbo NAS supports cloud backup. IT administrators can copy data from Turbo NAS to online cloud services such as Amazon S3, ElephantDrive, and Symform, preserving the ability to restore data to Turbo NAS at any time. Several backup modes are supported, including real-time backup, scheduled backup, etc.
Differences Between NVR And DVR Video Recorder
NVR (Network Video Recorder) is a network video recorder that works exclusively with IP video cameras.
Many people mistakenly refer to the NVR as a digital device and the DVR as an analog device because it works purely with analog cameras. Both devices are digital because of the similar principle of organization.
The principle of DVR is as follows: the analog camera transmits the video signal to the DVR, which in turn digitizes and stores it on the hard drive in digital form, the IP camera immediately transmits the digital signal to the NVR, and the latter also stores it on the hard drive.
Consequently, both types of DVRs, in the end, produce a digital signal and are, by definition, digital.
Originally, DVR recorders worked only with analog cameras, but later emerged so-called hybrid recorders, which, depending on the mode of operation, could operate either with analog cameras or purely with IP and in 50/50 mode or any sequence of channels.
Hybrid DVRs were abbreviated HDDVR, but among the people, this abbreviation did not stick, and everybody kept calling the recorder with BNC outputs an analog DVR device.
Support for hybrid modes in DVR recorders has considerably reduced the cost of NVR models, and therefore if you are planning to install an IP system from scratch, the NVR model is perfect.
Today, any analog DVR can work with IP cameras in a hybrid.