NUC as a Zoneminder Server

Post here to ask any questions about hardware suitability, configuration in ZoneMinder, or experiences. If you just want to know if something works with ZoneMinder or not, please check the Hardware Compatibility sections in the forum, and the Wiki first. Also search this topic as well.
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isisyodin
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:36 pm

NUC as a Zoneminder Server

Post by isisyodin » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:23 pm

I have been testing 1.28.107 for a few days now; the test system is an old centrino laptop with Ubuntu 14.04 server; it seems to work but with a few more cameras to add, I don't think the centrino will be able to manage; I am already at 14% load with 4 cameras; planning to have 9 total.

Small form factor is key for me, so I was thinking of a Intel NUC or equivalent Gigabyte Brix or MSI. My question is geared toward the processor and RAM since these little units can go from a cheap Celeron dual core to an expensive i7 quad core. What do you guys think? I can compromise on frame rate a bit on some cameras, but I would like to keep the resolution as high as possible.
The system will have to cope with:
(6) 1080p cameras
(3) 960p cameras

Thanks!

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knight-of-ni
Posts: 2336
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Shiloh, IL

Re: NUC as a Zoneminder Server

Post by knight-of-ni » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:34 pm

If you are only at 14% load with 6 cameras, consider yourself lucky.
I get that load with just one Foscam H264 720p ip camera @5fps, and that is on a modern AMD FX processor.

You simply aren't going to be able to get a lot of cameras on a small form factor chassis without spending a lot of money.
How much are you willing to spend? You will end up paying more for the convenience of that small size.

Now, if you are willing to use something larger, then you can get off lease servers for mere peanuts:
viewtopic.php?p=91374

You can get something with at least 8 cores and many GB of ram for equal to or even less than the cost of a new NUC.
That is the best bang for your buck.

Alternatively, the next release will have a feature we call multiserver. You could use that to go the other extreme.... build a network of micro servers. You can start small, and just keep adding servers to your network as your needs grow.
Visit my blog for ZoneMinder related projects using the Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi, Odroid, and the ESP8266
All of these can be found at https://zoneminder.blogspot.com/

isisyodin
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:36 pm

Re: NUC as a Zoneminder Server

Post by isisyodin » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:15 pm

Thanks for the tips. Right before reading your post, I pulled the trigger on a skylake based i3. I will give it a shot since it's already on its way; worst case scenario, it will go back or it will end up on eBay. I wanted to stay below $350, so I went with an i3 dual core 4 threads.
I will post back with my findings.

BTW., how come your loads are so high? Are you running it on a desktop distro?
With
3 1080p 15fps modect
2 960p 15fps modect
1 480p 15fps monitor
Hitting 15% load. Am wondering if am not running Zoneminder to its highest potential. BTW., am running it on a dedicated Centrino HP laptop circa 2005.

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knight-of-ni
Posts: 2336
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Shiloh, IL

Re: NUC as a Zoneminder Server

Post by knight-of-ni » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:39 pm

Most modern cameras default to H.264 streaming. H.264 is very efficient in terms of bandwidth, but costs a lot of cpu to transcode.

Without knowing the make/model of each camera and knowing how you have your cameras configured, my guess is you are streaming mjpeg from your cameras. Mjpeg keeps the cpu load relatively low, but the bandwidth consumed, using mjpeg, is very high.

Two versions of zoneminder from now, we hope to have a feature that records the native stream to disk, rather than transcode the stream to jpegs. This has a number of advantages. One of them being more efficient use of the cpu.
Visit my blog for ZoneMinder related projects using the Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi, Odroid, and the ESP8266
All of these can be found at https://zoneminder.blogspot.com/

isisyodin
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:36 pm

Re: NUC as a Zoneminder Server

Post by isisyodin » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:14 am

I have 3 cameras made by Dahua model IPC-HDBW4300E-AS. They are set to 1080p H264 @15fps; in Zoneminder the source is set to Ffmpeg and the stream is videoMain and RTSP.
The other 3 cameras are Foscam; 2 are 9831w set to 960p H264 and the last one is a 480p. The first 2 are set to Ffmpeg in Zoneminder while the last is set to remote.
I am still learning about Zoneminder, but I thought these were the main stream settings (highest quality). If I can bump up the quality, let me know how if don't mind, or point me to a link. I find the quality now OK, but I am now curious to know if there are better settings.

Cheers

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