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Home Surveillance Using NFS and Object Storage

Surveillance video use case shows use of a single namespace for the Swarm Object Storage Content Portal, S3 clients and NFS from command line

Wyze home security camera
Wyze home security camera

Being a tinkerer by nature, I love being able to use existing tools to solve new problems. And as the QA Lead for Caringo, I have access to ridiculous amounts of storage technology that is used by large M&E, HPC and government organizations. So, when I decided to upgrade my home security solution with a new camera this past weekend, I found SwarmNFS (with my Swarm storage cluster behind it) was the perfect fit.

Issue with Existing Surveillance Video Setup

Our current security camera setup was easy to implement, but only recorded when it detected motion and only for a few seconds at a time. Unfortunately, the motion detection missed action moving toward the field of view, so anyone approaching the camera (or the house itself) did not trigger recording. When motion detection was actually triggered, with the delay to start recording, it usually missed the important part.

Finding a New Solution for Video Surveillance

So the hunt was on. I wanted a solution to continuously record with the option for motion tagging, and I also wanted to keep the extra equipment needed to a minimum. My search led me to the Wyze Cam v2.


This little $20 camera allows for 1080p recording and after updating the firmware can use the RTSP streaming protocol to stream to third-party software, perfect! My biggest concern was where to store the video. I could add a new NAS to the network, or shoehorn new disks into my VM server, but then it dawned on me…

We have the technology! And, by “we,” I mean Caringo.

Caringo SwarmNFS Protocol Converter

Given that Caringo has always been amenable to remote working, I have the full suite of Caringo software running in my home environment. Among that software is SwarmNFS! SwarmNFS is Caringo’s protocol converter that creates an NFS interface to the Swarm cluster. With SwarmNFS already running in my home environment, I can have the Wyze Cam record to my storage cluster, continuously recording without adding additional hardware.

Yes, this is overkill for a home surveillance system. Yes, the software is meant for enterprise environments with petabytes of data. And again, yes, it works awesome.

home surveillance video preview inside nfs storage namespace

Adding Control Software for Surveillance

While I had the storage needs covered, I did need control software. After some digging, I settled on ZoneMinder, open source surveillance software. I created a new Ubuntu VM, mounted a SwarmNFS share, loaded ZoneMinder and set SwarmNFS as the recording target.

ZoneMinder capture of SwarmNFS storage capacity

Wyze security camera capture in ZoneMinder

Using a Single Namespace to Bring it Together

With ZoneMinder writing the video stream to SwarmNFS, the video objects are immediately available throughout the namespace. Having that single namespace means that the Swarm Content Portal (with video clipping), S3 clients and NFS from the command line can all see and access the same objects. At no point is the video saved locally. It is streamed from the camera, through ZoneMinder to the SwarmNFS share that writes directly to the Swarm storage nodes—no caching, no spooling, all object.

One of the advantages of using SwarmNFS in this situation is management of video clips. Each day, a new folder is created on the share, so they can be accessed just like any directory tree. Thus, I have the convenience of a file system directory structure with all the benefits of object storage.

SwarmNFS is not intended to act as a file system replacement, but as an ingest tool. If an existing environment has applications that write to NFS, say for backups, snapshots, and of course video streams, then SwarmNFS allows those applications to write to the storage cluster and leverage the scalability of object storage.

Learn About Using SwarmNFS for Object Storage

On July 28, join me Michael Brame and Sr. Consultant John Bell to learn how SwarmNFS provides NFS clients access to highly scalable and economical object storage. We will discuss traditional methods for handling NFS protocol access to object storage as well as the SwarmNFS “next-generation” approach. We will discuss our latest release (SwarmNFS v2.4), provide a deployment checklist, and highlight new features such as:

  • Improved support for Windows clients
  • Enhanced performance, especially for large sequential reads
  • Expanded audit logging features

We will include a demonstration of the seamless integration of files and object storage with SwarmNFS and Swarm 11 Object Storage and will also have live Q&A throughout the webinar. Register now to watch the webinar live on NFS access.

Michael Brame
Michael Brame

About The Author

Michael “Q” Brame has been with Caringo since 2006 and leads our Quality Engineering team. Q enjoys rallycross racing, 3D printing and building things. He and his son are building an amphibious vehicle to take out on the river. If you are in Austin and see a guy on a Harley with a purple and pink “My Little Pony” ponytail on the helmet, you’ve had a close encounter with Q.

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