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Surveillance Station is a professional Video Management Software (VMS) add-on for DiskStation Manager (DSM), allowing you to remotely record and monitor video footage from IP cameras which are paired with your DiskStation. For system that requires multiple servers, or are spread across different geographical locations, Synology provides Central Management System (CMS) to help monitor videos from several locations by logging into one server.

Unlike other systems, Synology CMS is a decentralized concept. The PC now serves only for viewing and controlling the cameras (PTZ), not for analysis or recording. This makes it unnecessary to purchase expensive video management software, as the most important and computer-intensive functions are already integrated in each server. Network bandwidth efficiency is improved because everything is processed in the server itself and the high-resolution images therefore do not have to be constantly transferred across the network for analysis.

This article will guide you through the setup of two NAS to form the host server and recording server needed for CMS to operate. And how to view video streams from the host server to monitor the whole system.

1. Before you start
This article assumes that you have done the following tasks:
  • Set up at least two Synology NAS servers.
  • Installed and set up the Surveillance Station on both servers. For detailed instructions to install packages, please see this tutorial.
  • Paired one or more IP cameras with Surveillance Station.

2. Set up the servers
In order for the servers to communicate, the system architecture of one host and multiple recording servers need to be in place.
2.1 Set up the Host Server
The host server will be the server with which users can login and view videos from all other servers.
  1. Login to a server that you want to use as the host.
  2. After you have logged in to Surveillance Station, go to Management > System > Advanced > Service.
  3. Tick on Enable central management system (CMS) checkbox, select Be a host server radio button.

  4. After clicking Save, a new section will appear at Device > Server.
2.2 Setup the Recording Servers
Recording servers will be the remote servers which are in charge of recording videos independently. Recording servers need to be enabled for the host server to communicate and retrieve images from them.
  1. Login to the server(s) that you want to use as the recording server(s).
  2. After you have logged in to Surveillance Station, go to Management > System > Advanced > Service.
  3. Tick on Enable central management system (CMS) checkbox.
  4. Select Be a recording server.

  5. You can choose to synchronize the time on this server with CMS host and prevent users on the recording server from making changes to it by checking the checkboxes below.
2.3 Register the Host and Recording Severs
After all the recording servers have been set up, we need to connect all the recording servers to the host.
  1. Go to Device > Server.
  2. Click on Add and a new window will prompt to enter the detail of the recording server.

  3. When you are done, click Test Connection to verify the connection.

  4. Keep repeating step 2 and 3 until all recording servers has been added to the host.

3. View Videos
Surveillance Station CMS allows a host server to see the live view and recorded events of other recording servers through Live View or Recording page.
3.1 Live View
  1. After you have logged in to Surveillance Station, go to Live View.
  2. On the control panel, click on the Layouts button.

  3. Under Layout Management, the host server will be listed as Local host, and recording servers will follow the registered name from Device > Server.

  4. Expand the camera list within every server and see all the available cameras.
  5. Click and drag cameras from both recording and host servers onto the layout screen on the right.

  6. Click on Preview to see the results, make any adjustments necessary.
  7. Click on Save and Close to exit with the preferred settings.
  8. Back to Live View Tab, you can see live stream from different servers on the host server.
3.2 Multi Channel Event Playback
  1. After you have logged into Surveillance Station, go to Timeline.
  2. Select the source server for event videos.
  3. Host server will be displayed as Local host and recording servers will be displayed as the name you set.

  4. Select a server, and the 4 channels will be automatically populated with cameras from that particular server.
  5. Click on a blue-highlighted day on the Date calendar, then the event player will start loading the 1st event on that day in synchronized mode.

Note: Only one source server may be selected at a time for event playback.