System Recommendation

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    Norman Graafsma

    Hi Terence,

    It is impossible for us to give any advice on all possible variations of hardware since it is dependant on multiple variations, like % of motion, number of rules, number of clients, etc. 

    The Nx Witness Server hardware Specs and the Nx System Calculator are the guidelines we can offer. 

    That being said, although the number of cameras on a single server is limited to 128 cameras per server, we know people who are running multiple virtual machines on a single server. This is possible but requires sufficient knowledge about the server and the VM tool of choice. 

    Regarding the drives, I would recommend to reach out to the storage manufacturers like Seagate and Western Digital. They both offer solution for your requirements. In general I would recommend using HDD over SSD for storage since they have less wear and therefore are more reliable. 

    I would also reconsider setting the cameras on high. Often the difference between high and low are hardly noticeable and for the camera that has the goal of observation, it doesn't have many advantages when set to high. For cameras, with the goal recognition, identification, or even inspection it might worthwhile to set them to high or even best. 

    I would keep the following guidelines in mind: 

    Observation = Low Quality >7 fps
    Recognition = Medium Quality >10 fps
    Identification = High Quality > 15 fps
    Inspection = Best Quality > 25 fps

    Regarding Docker and VMs. 
    There is lot to tell about this subject and I would recommend reading this article I found online --> LINK
    That being shared. Be aware that we do not support all VMs, check this article for more information --> LINK
    Also, currently, Docker is in an experimental phase, see --> LINK

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    ryan fechner

    Hi Terance

    Nice project.

    If you have a max of 3 servers you need to go virtualized. Everything mentioned above is going to require you to do extensive testing as there is no play book for the way you are approaching this.

    With the focus on compactness how are you going to get around the fact that you need over a 1PB of data.

    Also try to factor into your design one of NX Witness's biggest strength which is failover. You don't want to create such a big system without this in mind.

     

     

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    Terance Gipson

    Norman Graafsma,   Thank you for the detailed answer and advice.  I will visit with the customer on their wants and see which direction they want to go considering their site limitations.  

    ryan fechner  Thank you for the advice.  I would also prefer to have several smaller, more commodity server types installed to take advantage of the failover features (its saved us a time or two and maintenance is sooo much easier), however we are currently occupying 14U of storage space in a crowded data center and needing to expand some more to handle the additional cameras and do not have any backups of the data.  If we lose a drive, we lost the data too.  As for storage, using a different SSD, they have a 1U chassis that will support 32 15.36 TB drives.  That should leave me with 491 TB raw  more or less per 1U chassis.  Thats pretty insane and the cost shows it, but to condense down to 3U, the customer may continue to push for that solution.  

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    ryan fechner

    Yeah i can only imagine the cost. But data centre space can be very costly to expand.

    Are you doing raid on the storage or temp location? I am not sure from your post.

    Are these SSD's NVME or SATA?

    Not sure what your experience is but if you go down this path make sure you factor in SSD DWPD and constant work load ratings.

    Find out an approx budget, no point going in this direction when they have no money or thought that this wouldn't be that expensive.

     

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    Terance Gipson

    ryan fechner

    Planning on doing this as a temp location with daily backups performed to a Raid5 SMB server but the speed of the SSD is very appealing. They are NVMe drives.  Again, I was looking at several builds.  The DWPD is definitely a concern.  They have been pushing for this solution for about a year now and I've been dragging my feet, dotting my i's and crossing my t's.  I did look at the Intel SSDPEWKX153T8 which will do 15TB with a DWPD of 1 in the 1029P-NEL32R SMC chassis..  I was also looking at Intel's U2 SSD SSDPE2KE076T8 @ 3 DWPD & 7.68 TB in a similar 1U chassis.  I did look at doing the virtualization, however, I'm not sure its going to provide the solution they are after either, as 1 Hardware failure means a substantial failure in the number NX Witness/DW Spectrum servers available and the storage support in NX/DW is kind of hacked in and limiting.  I did test that on a VM with a newly formatted HDD and noticed pointing the VM at a shared folder created a misrepresentation of the storage available (I could only share 1 drive to the default DW storage path rather than multiple locations in fstab) and if I used 2 different folders for 2 different VM instances on the same HDD pointing to different folders, both VMs reported having the full 1 TB drive as available.  Without doing LVM or MDADM on the host machine, storage is going to be a challenge.  Coupled with the need to do constant OS updates and being in an air-gapped network, this solution just seems like more potential issues than it may be worth all the way around, especially considering the cost. 

    I have, however, used this thread and several other community and official threads into account on this.  Maybe things will progress more in the coming versions (docker is still being tested), but for now the expansion of NX/DW to scale from 20 servers and 1000 cameras in 3.2 to 100 servers with 1000 cameras in 4.0 makes finding commodity type hardware much more appealing, affordable, and an officially supported should issues arise.  Maybe a chassis/blade server system is more appropriate for this customer.  

    Thank you both again for the recommendations, links, and concerns.

    Terance

     

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