Hardware guidelines

System design

  • Planning
    Use AXIS Site Designer to plan your system and keep track of your projects. Estimates for storage space, network bandwidth and equipment are available.

  • Power
    Unexpected shutdowns can cause database corruption and damage hardware or Windows. Using a UPS is highly recommended. In critical installations, add a redundant power supply on an emergency power circuit. Consult your equipment or UPS manufacturer to know which UPS is recommended for your equipment. To ensure the maximum continuity of recordings, it's recommended to configure the Axis Camera Station server computer to restart automatically after a power outage. Instructions can be found this FAQ.

  • Dedicated Server
    It is highly recommended to run AXIS Camera Station Server in a dedicated computer, i.e. without any other critical or management software like databases, Active Directory servers, print or telephony servers, etc.

  • Storage - hardware - drives
    For best performance and reliability use local storage or high performance NAS. In intensive or critical installations, use only Surveillance-class or Datacenter-class drives for video storage. Drives supporting ATA Streaming based technologies are preferred. USB drives should not be used as they are not suitable for constant video recording. 

  • Storage - hardware - RAID
    Video is quite operation intensive. When using RAID technology make sure your RAID controller has enough performance. If using local storage, make sure the logical volumes respect “Storage - recordings”.

  • Storage - file system
    All hard drives, local or NAS, video storage or Windows, must be NTFS formatted.

  • Storage - recordings
    The operating system physical disk should not be used for recordings. This will help maintain general system stability and achieve better performance, while avoiding fragmentation and bottlenecks.

  • Storage - load balancing
    In general it is recommended not to record more than 10 cameras in 1080p per physical hard drive in H.264. This recommendation is a general rule of thumb. The bottleneck is mostly imposed by your storage hardware, but keep in mind the throughput estimated by AXIS Design Tool.

  • Storage - extra performance
    For extra performance, install the operating system and AXIS Camera Station on an SSD and enable Native Command Queuing (NCQ) for your HDDs. To use NCQ you need to activate AHCI in the BIOS before installing the operating system.

  • Virtual Machines (VM)
    Running AXIS Camera Station Client on a VM is NOT supported, mainly due to graphical limitations in a VM environment.
    Running AXIS Camera Station Server on a VM is NOT recommended since the setup requires careful planning and expertise knowledge. Due to the often highly complex troubleshooting only limited help can be provided by Axis' Technical Support. 

  • Connected clients
    Although a limit per se does not exist, the increasing number of connected clients will impact performance, mainly if all demand multiple live view streams or are connected remotely with limited bandwidth available.

System maintenance

  • General
    Make sure the System Design recommendations are still met.

  • Free space - Windows
    It is highly recommended to maintain at least 20% free space on the operating system drive.

  • Free space - AXIS Camera Station
    If the hard drive where the database is stored runs out of space, this will likely lead to corruption. Allow at least 10 GB of free disk space for the AXIS Camera Station log files and database. This depends on how many days of database backups are kept (by default 14 days). Databases can become very large if there are too many events or issues.

  • Free space - recordings
    It is recommend to configure AXIS Camera Station to keep at least 10-20% free space on the recording hard drives.

  • Integrity - Hard drive and file system
    Errors in the disk can cause corruption in database, operating system or recordings. Check periodically for errors or damaged sectors in the hard drives. Tools like CHKDSK are generally available in Windows to check file system integrity. For preemptive maintenance the S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system is often available, for which several monitoring tools exist.

  • Integrity - RAM memory
    Memory issues are among the hardest to detect and troubleshoot, and can affect the system in unpredictable ways. Make sure to periodically check the integrity of your RAM memory. Windows offers a Memory Diagnostics Tool to scan memory for errors. Often it might be necessary to use a more advanced memory diagnostic tool.

  • Antivirus and firewalls
    In some cases, virus scanners can corrupt the database. It is recommended to exclude the database and recordings from scans. Both antivirus and firewalls can alter the traffic coming from video devices. Make sure you allow traffic from those devices to flow freely.

    Information regarding the exclusion for Antivirus can be found in the FAQ:
    What to include in an Antivirus allow list for AXIS Camera Station.

    Information regarding the exclusion for the firewall can be found in the following FAQ:
    Which firewall rule needs to be created to allow Server Discovery to work in ACS?

    What do I need to configure in my firewall to allow access to AXIS Secure Remote Access?

    Which ports does AXIS Camera Station use?

  • Backups
    External or operating system backups can impact the system performance. It is recommended to keep these at a minimum and not let them consume all the resources. AXIS Camera Station performs nightly backups of the database and can backup recordings on demand or per schedule.

  • Windows Updates
    Allowing Windows Updates to download and install automatically may downgrade network performance and cause the system to reboot, which can corrupt the AXIS Camera Station database. Make sure to disable automatic Windows Updates.

  • Sleep, hibernate, suspend
    A recording server should never be allowed to sleep, hibernate or suspend. Not only will recordings stop, but database corruption might occur from the unexpected stop. Make sure to disable these functionalities in the Windows Power Options.