Multiple NVR/VMS on Same Server



  • We are currently due for an upgrade to our camera systems. We currenlty have two separate systems, a cheap 8-camera system for the front office area and then a pretty high dollar industrial Pelco system for our manufacturing area with about 13 cameras currently.

    The 8 front office cameras definitely need replacing and I've been looking at the Unifi system.

    The Pelco cameras in the plant are fine, but the NVR that was purchased was done so poorly as it's not equipped to handle the throughput of even the 8 IP cameras we have on it.

    Pelco offers their NVR (VMS?) software freely available, with one-time licensing per camera after 4 cameras. This is appealing since I can control the hardware and it would be cheaper than their own offerings. It needs a Windows OS to be installed on.

    What I'm curious about is whether or not it would be a good idea to run a virtualized Unifi system and this Pelco system on the same server. Something like an older Dell R420 I can get for around $1,000 and put SSD in RAID 1 for the OS's and then some SATA disks for storage. They'll both be doing effectively the same thing (recording video) so I don't see why this would be an issue but don't have much experience in the camera realm.

    Just out of curiousity, would you consider putting a camera software system like Unifi or Pelco onto a virtualized system already running things like your file server, domain controllers, WSUS, etc if you had the available IOPS? I'm leaning towards no but wanted to see what others thoughts were.



  • Hi Zachary,

    Yes, you can fire up a Linux VM on a host but you don't want your video recording data to compete with other VMs for write IOPS especially when using slow SATA disks. On top of that 8 cameras running 24/7 would need about 3.3 TB of storage just for a week worth of video recording.
    Why wouldn't you consider a business grade NAS like the Synology DS918+ with WD Red Pros for storing video recordings? You can run Unifi Video even on an old Intel based laptop because it does not require much processing power for handling just 8 Full HD feeds. Just link it with an NFS share from a NAS and you are good to go!



  • @zachary715 said in Multiple NVR/VMS on Same Server:

    We are currently due for an upgrade to our camera systems. We currenlty have two separate systems, a cheap 8-camera system for the front office area and then a pretty high dollar industrial Pelco system for our manufacturing area with about 13 cameras currently.

    The 8 front office cameras definitely need replacing and I've been looking at the Unifi system.

    The Pelco cameras in the plant are fine, but the NVR that was purchased was done so poorly as it's not equipped to handle the throughput of even the 8 IP cameras we have on it.

    Pelco offers their NVR (VMS?) software freely available, with one-time licensing per camera after 4 cameras. This is appealing since I can control the hardware and it would be cheaper than their own offerings. It needs a Windows OS to be installed on.

    What I'm curious about is whether or not it would be a good idea to run a virtualized Unifi system and this Pelco system on the same server. Something like an older Dell R420 I can get for around $1,000 and put SSD in RAID 1 for the OS's and then some SATA disks for storage. They'll both be doing effectively the same thing (recording video) so I don't see why this would be an issue but don't have much experience in the camera realm.

    Just out of curiousity, would you consider putting a camera software system like Unifi or Pelco onto a virtualized system already running things like your file server, domain controllers, WSUS, etc if you had the available IOPS? I'm leaning towards no but wanted to see what others thoughts were.

    I would put the Unifi NVR System on a Linux VM and provide enough storage for it and backup. I would definitely do it.



  • @taurex said in Multiple NVR/VMS on Same Server:

    Hi Zachary,

    Yes, you can fire up a Linux VM on a host but you don't want your video recording data to compete with other VMs for write IOPS especially when using slow SATA disks.

    Yeah this is what I was thinking as well, and why I wanted to go with a separate machine/server.

    Why wouldn't you consider a business grade NAS like the Synology DS918+ with WD Red Pros for >storing video recordings? You can run Unifi Video even on an old Intel based laptop because it does >not require much processing power for handling just 8 Full HD feeds. Just link it with an NFS share >from a NAS and you are good to go!

    Because at this point, I feel like I could buy a server as I mentioned in my OP for $1,000 and run two camera systems on it locally. Haven't looked at the Synology prices, but would think it would cost me more than that.

    Thanks for your input



  • @dbeato said in Multiple NVR/VMS on Same Server:

    @zachary715 said in Multiple NVR/VMS on Same Server:

    We are currently due for an upgrade to our camera systems. We currenlty have two separate systems, a cheap 8-camera system for the front office area and then a pretty high dollar industrial Pelco system for our manufacturing area with about 13 cameras currently.

    The 8 front office cameras definitely need replacing and I've been looking at the Unifi system.

    The Pelco cameras in the plant are fine, but the NVR that was purchased was done so poorly as it's not equipped to handle the throughput of even the 8 IP cameras we have on it.

    Pelco offers their NVR (VMS?) software freely available, with one-time licensing per camera after 4 cameras. This is appealing since I can control the hardware and it would be cheaper than their own offerings. It needs a Windows OS to be installed on.

    What I'm curious about is whether or not it would be a good idea to run a virtualized Unifi system and this Pelco system on the same server. Something like an older Dell R420 I can get for around $1,000 and put SSD in RAID 1 for the OS's and then some SATA disks for storage. They'll both be doing effectively the same thing (recording video) so I don't see why this would be an issue but don't have much experience in the camera realm.

    Just out of curiousity, would you consider putting a camera software system like Unifi or Pelco onto a virtualized system already running things like your file server, domain controllers, WSUS, etc if you had the available IOPS? I'm leaning towards no but wanted to see what others thoughts were.

    I would put the Unifi NVR System on a Linux VM and provide enough storage for it and backup. I would definitely do it.

    The Unifi would definitely be on a Linux VM. The question is surrounding whether it would be a good idea to have it and another NVR VM on the same server using the same resources.

    The alternative is currently to build two separate custom builds with the resources needed for each to run. This may end up costing me a little more money and wouldn't be as clean and out of the way as one rackmount server, but in the end I want to do what makes the most sense. I'm weighing these options now.



  • @zachary715 said in Multiple NVR/VMS on Same Server:

    @taurex said in Multiple NVR/VMS on Same Server:

    Hi Zachary,

    Yes, you can fire up a Linux VM on a host but you don't want your video recording data to compete with other VMs for write IOPS especially when using slow SATA disks.

    Yeah this is what I was thinking as well, and why I wanted to go with a separate machine/server.

    Why wouldn't you consider a business grade NAS like the Synology DS918+ with WD Red Pros for >storing video recordings? You can run Unifi Video even on an old Intel based laptop because it does >not require much processing power for handling just 8 Full HD feeds. Just link it with an NFS share >from a NAS and you are good to go!

    Because at this point, I feel like I could buy a server as I mentioned in my OP for $1,000 and run two camera systems on it locally. Haven't looked at the Synology prices, but would think it would cost me more than that.

    Thanks for your input

    You could buy one system with enough storage to run both and see how it handles having both VMs on it. If it runs them both well enough, then you're good. If they run badly, then you can purchase the second system and move one of the VMs over to the second server.

    Even if you're doing one NVR per server, they should definitely be virtualized.

    Edit: If you can buy one server for $1,000, then why not buy two and do one NVR per server at the start. At best, both systems will run well on their own hardware. At worst, you can use the hosts as failover systems for one another. Either way, you'd still be using VMs.



  • Both on the same host is no problem. It all comes down to the storage.



  • @scottalanmiller that's exactly I was trying to point out. Storage for the camera footage is important not just in terms of available space. There may be a case where the OP would need to directly access his recordings in case of emergency to provide them to the authorities when the host is no longer available (stolen) or damaged. Having them stored on a separate NAS inside a shared folder would certainly make the above job easier. Having said that, this can also be done by simply backing up the video files elsewhere or syncing them offsite.