Specing a server for 104 cameras

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kjs
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:01 pm

Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by kjs » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:28 pm

I am looking to spec a new server for our zoneminder installation and was hoping someone on the forum might be able to help.

Here is our current configuration we setup as a proof on concept..:

Dual Xeon 3.2GHz
6GB RAM
104 Axis Cameras
- 4-5 fps
- 320x240
- color

The mySQL server is on a separate server
Dual Xeon 2GHz
4GB RAM

Right now it's running, but way slower than we'd like with loads constantly at 20-50. I've tried to find a generic cookie cutter formula to get a baseline, but haven't been able to find one.

Any help anyone can offer is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Kenny

mastertheknife
Posts: 679
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:32 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by mastertheknife » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:09 pm

Hi,

104 cameras might be a little too much for a dual processor machine, and a quad will perform better.
You may actually get higher performance by using a MySQL server in the same machine as ZoneMinder.

If your cameras are in motion detection mode, you may wish to try my experimental patch:
http://www.zoneminder.com/forums/viewto ... =9&t=17652

mastertheknife.
Kfir Itzhak.

kjs
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:01 pm

Re: Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by kjs » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:02 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'm trying to see if I can come up with a quad processor box. We originally had mySQL on the same box, but it seemed to always be eating up a large chunk of processor so I moved it off. It seemed to help at the time, but we have since also cleaned up the events in the database so that may help too.

We are still running 1.24.2 so I'll need to figure out the best way to upgrade to 1.24.4 before I can try the patch. Unfortunately the proof of concept turned into production so I've got video on it that i need to save and move.

Thanks again,

Kenny

kjs
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:01 pm

Re: Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by kjs » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:06 pm

I was just told we probably wasn't going to get to purchase new hardware so we have to find a way to make it work with what we have. I've got a hand full of the above servers, if I spread the cameras out across them does anyone have a guestimation on how many we could run per server without overloading them?

Thanks again,

Kenny

curtishall
Posts: 440
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Fulton, MO
Contact:

Re: Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by curtishall » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:32 am

104 cameras is going to be alot for any software. Another thing to think about is this:

Zoneminder records one jpeg image for every frame. If you have 104 cameras recording 5FPS, that's 520 images saved per second, or 31,200 per minute. By default, Zoneminder does not support on-camera motion detection. Zoneminder also doesn't support audio.

If any of those are requirements, you would be better off looking at a commercial solution. Our software is in public beta, so you can try it and compare to see if it would work for your application. www.bluecherrydvr.com/v2beta

We can easily run 32 IP cameras with a CPU load of 10% on a dual core processor. The audio and video is combined into one video stream, instead of 31,200 images.
--
Curtis Hall
Bluecherry
www.bluecherrydvr.com
store.bluecherry.net

Flasheart
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:27 pm

Re: Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by Flasheart » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:03 am

Generic Choices:

Go B&W instead of colour.

Drop FPS to 2 or 3. (Make sure you use the URL throttling with the axis so zm isn't wasting time dropping frames)

Spread the load over two servers.


More targetted solutions:

Determine the reasons for the load - cpu/io/ram and fix those specifically. It's entirely possible you're capping out disk access at those numbers (not bandwidth though, I think - that doesn't seem to affect zm's load, as I found out when one of my servers dropped to 10M after a dist-upgrade). Ram could also be a significant issue. You need load below 1xcore to be sustainable.

104 /is/ ridiculous for a single dual core box to be handling, but respect for trying!

kjs
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:01 pm

Re: Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by kjs » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:25 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'm going to try to spread the load across multiple servers since we found a few spares we can use. On a limited budget we use what we can find lol. I've brought up going B/W, but they aren't sure that will give a good enough picture for our needs.

Our original plan was to use this as proof that IP cameras would work in our facility, then purchase a commercial product. Since the budget shot craps we've had to rethink that plan though. I'll check out your product when I get a chance.

Thanks again,

Kenny

mastertheknife
Posts: 679
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:32 pm
Location: Israel

Re: Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by mastertheknife » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:36 am

I think you should replace the processor with a quad core and maybe upgrade the RAM to 8GB.
About B&W vs color, you don't have to switch to black & white for all cameras, only for cameras where color detail is not important for your application.
And last, try my patch in the user contributions forum, especially if your cameras are in motion detection mode.

mastertheknife.
Kfir Itzhak.

alltech
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:07 am

Re: Specing a server for 104 cameras

Post by alltech » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:37 pm

I once provided security for a high end federal site that had 46 cameras. There was at least 3-4 servers recording video.

Now I do telecom installations as well as other work. I have done my share of large cable installations 3-5 thousand feet of cable per store for IBM.

If this is for evaluation purposes, I would go with some of the suggestions as mentioned by some of the more advanced members here. BTW, what kind of BUDGET do you have to work with? Did you do a site survey of the entire building to determine if there is a electrical outlet next to the camera? Electricians are not cheap.

Will these be indoor or outdoor cameras?

What is the max distance the furthest camera will be from the server? The cable length will always be longer then the furthest cable. Cable typically runs in a zig zag fashion.

How high are the cameras to be mounted? If anything over 14 feet, need to add the rental of a scissor lift to the estimate.

Do you have a drop ceiling? or is this a sheet rock ceiling? Do you have any concrete walls that need to be drilled to allow for cable installation? Here in Vancouver BC, Its best to have a x-ray of the wall before drilling as you could be drilling into electrical conduit. A x-ray cost $800.00 here. But then again, the cost of doing business here is really high.

I have a feeling the cable/power/camera and installation cost could exceed any cost of a new server.

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