Archives and recordings in Xeoma: troubleshooting and advice
Tip: to read about setup of recording, please visit Archive section in Xeoma User Manual
Saving recordings is an essential feature for nearly any video surveillance system. Video footage can be used as forensic evidence, or be utilized for post-incident investigations.
Xeoma video surveillance software offers a variety of ways for perpetual storage of video recordings, the main of which being with the “Preview and Archive” module.
Here are some answers to questions that some users might have while using the archive recording feature.
Possible issue: Recordings are not saved
1. Check that the module “Preview and Archive” is connected into the chain, turned on, and check the logic of the chain lest there be any preceding modules that you don’t need.
2. Check that there are no filter modules that are filtering out the video excessively. Remember that the recording module should get the signal from the preceding modules. For example, when Motion Detector is used with very strict settings, it often doesn’t let video further on to the following modules, one of which can be the “Preview and Archive” module.
3. Check that the camera stream is working and accessible (if direct saving is used, you need to check the archive stream rather than the preview stream). If the archive stream fails, Xeoma will start writing the stream to the archive for viewing. Also, an error notification will appear in the camera window. See more about direct saving to the archive here
4. Check that your storage path is valid. Open settings of the “Preview and Archive” module and check if the path entered is valid and has the writing permissions. In Linux, you can execute chmod for Xeoma to make sure there are writing rights – or try another path where you know for sure that recording is available to.
5. Check that your disk is available (especially for mounted disks). If the mounted disk was working for some time and then got disconnected, naturally Xeoma will not have the required place to store recordings to. Usually, in such case you get a warning message displayed over the preview box.
6. HDDs can stop recording due to failure. You can check the status of your drive with SMART.
7. The disk may have been overloaded. If a large number of cameras are being written to the same disk, it may not be able to handle simultaneous recording and/or deleting.
8. If there are only parts of recordings missing, check if connection to the camera is stable. If it is intermittent, recordings might be absent for the time without connection. We have a synchronization with camera memory card method in Xeoma for when the connection is known to be intermittent. Read more here.
! Also check that the computer with server part of Xeoma is not freezing due to high CPU load and/or does not get into the Sleep mode.
Possible issue: Insufficient archive recordings (e.g. when records need to be retained for 30 days, and you see only 1 day)
1. Open settings of the “Preview and Archive” module. Check the setting for the amount of disk space that recordings from this camera are allowed to take (“Maximum size of this archive”). If this setting allows the program to use less disk space than is required for recording the duration you need (there is statistical information on the average recording volume per dayat the bottom of the module dialog, you can use it to estimate the needed volume of disk space), you need to increase the limit.
2. Open settings of the “Preview and Archive” module. Check the setting for the retention time allowed for records from this camera (“Maximum total storage time of this archive”). If a storage limit of, for example, 2 calendar weeks is set here, then a higher value must be set for longer storage.
Please note that the “Maximum total storage time of this archive” and “Maximum size of this archive” settings have equal priority, and the stricter one is applied if they contradict each other. Example: if the “Maximum size of this archive” allows writing more records than the “Maximum total storage time of this archive”, the limitation of the “Maximum total storage time of this archive” will be applied. And vice versa – when “Maximum total storage time of this archive” allows writing more records than “Maximum size of this archive”, Xeoma will not be able to write more than specified in “Maximum size of this archive”.
3. Another probable reason for this is that network disks or RAID arrays are no longer available, so now Xeoma has less space left and has to delete records in order to save new ones. Please check availability of the disks if that is the case.
Possible issue: No marking / video resize / video crop seen in archive recordings
To reduce CPU and network load as well as HDD space requirements, Xeoma utilizes the so called dual streaming capabilities of the camera for direct saving to the archive. If direct saving to archive is used, no filters are applied to archive recordings (with a few exceptions like Motion Detector and some cases of Marking).
Untick the direct saving to archive options in the “Universal Camera” module settings to see if that helps – but be ready for a surge in CPU load. Contact us for free help in re-configuring your system.
Possible issue: Out-of-time mal-synchronization of archive recordings compared to the camera time or real time
1. Please see if you’re using the latest version of Xeoma. Many time issues have been fixed in the latest version of Xeoma.
2. When time is asynchronous by a matter of round hours, this can also be fixed by choosing the same timezone in Main menu – Remote Access – Users as you have in your machine where Xeoma’s server part is running (not available for Free, Starter and Lite editions).
3. Time synchronization issues where time is off by some minutes can be fixed by using a new option in “Universal Camera” settings – a checkbox called “Use the server’s system time to generate timestamps for frames (use in case of archive mistiming issues)”.
It will help if the camera stream is sending misleading timestamps that result in:
– Weird time of archive recordings
– Video distortions caused by frames getting to the wrong part of archive and thus ruining finalization of compressed files
– Missing parts of archives
Possible issue: Archive recordings are not erased, archive is overfilled, no new records are getting saved
Loop recording is working all the time, there is no special settings enabling it.
1. Please see if you’re using the latest version of Xeoma. Download it here
2. Check the preferences in disk space that Xeoma should leave free in the “Preview and Archive” settings. Sometimes there is so little space allocated to Xeoma that it has to remove recordings right after they are saved which feels like it cannot save any recordings.
Possible issue: Archive recordings are erased although they shouldn’t
Check the settings of preferences in disk space that Xeoma should leave free in the “Preview and Archive” settings. One probable reason is that one of the RAID disks is not available anymore and the total disk space is reduced, so less space is now available for Xeoma and it has to remove recordings to be able to store new ones.
Also try the latest version of Xeoma. Download it here
How do I make a backup of recordings in Xeoma
1. Failover: a backup server is always in touch with the main server (or several main servers) and is ready to substitute it if the main server is not working. Archive recordings can be saved to a network drive or RAID array of drives so that they are available in the main server’s built-in Archive viewer when it is back to function.
2. By connecting several “Preview and Archive” modules to the same chain, you can set one of them to save recordings to another place where they will be not susceptible to Xeoma’s erasure mechanisms. Also, copying Xeoma recordings to backups can be made with the computer system’s tools, outside of Xeoma, or with the FTP Upload module.
Transferring records with a database
To transfer databases correctly, please follow this procedure on the new server:
1. sudo path_to_xeoma.app -core – this will create directory /usr/local/Xeoma/
2. activate licenses
3. kill the process: sudo kill [PID]
4. put to /usr/local/Xeoma/ file settings.dat taken from original server (replacing the existing one)
5. if your server has GUI, then double click on xeoma.app; if not, repeat step 1, then connect as client
6. change the settings of “Preview and Archive” modules and record archive storage path to the ones you need (by default they are the same as in Windows)
7. repeat step 3
8. in /usr/local/Xeoma/XeomaArchive/ we put all Database folder from original server (replacing the existing one)
9. sudo path_to_xeoma.app -install -coreauto
How do I use the camera’s embedded memory space when connection to Xeoma server is lost, and then import those recordings to Xeoma when the connection is reinstated?
You can do that for ONVIF cameras with the “Synchronize with SD card” option in Xeoma Standard/Xeoma Pro. See more in this article
Failed to export an extract from the archive
If there is an error message displayed during or after the export process, please read it to know the reason for the failure. Please try to use Xeoma client and Xeoma server of the same version (for example, the latest version available from the Download page).
Usually it’s either an intermittent Internet connection for exports done remotely or too little free space in drive or memory to do export of a big piece. Try export in smaller pieces in either case.
It is also possible that you do not have access rights to create a new file with the program on your server (for example, ‘Permission denied’ error message). Usually, when Xeoma is installed with administrator / root rights, you won’t have this error message. However, if you moved the temp folder needed for export to a custom folder, you’d need to do chmod 777 for it (or its equivalent in other operating systems).
How do I start recording in Xeoma?
Xeoma has several ways to save videos in one form or another (see the section “Recording format” on this page). By default, the chains contain the “Preview and Archive” module, which, upon receiving a video signal from the previous modules, saves the records to archives. Such archives can be viewed through the built-in Xeoma video player. That is, by default, the module is already added for most chains and is waiting for the video stream to arrive from the preceding filter modules. If the filter modules do not pass the signal (for example, there is no motion in the frame that meets the requirements of the “Motion detector” or there is currently “non-working” time set in the “Schedule”, etc.), the recording is not performed. If a recording is required but not successful, see “Possible issue: Recordings are not saved“ above.
How do I know that recording is working OK?
How do I limit space Xeoma is allowed to take with its recordings?
What limiters – space or time of storage – is prioritized is Xeoma?
10 February, 2021