Looking into IP cameras



  • A while back I had been requested to do some initial testing and workup details for rolling out IP cameras to our two locations. I tested two setups, one was Unifi video with their G3 camera, and the other was a Dahua Starlight model and Blue Iris as the NVR software. I worked up some numbers for space requirements using various encoding codecs and whatnot, but then the urgency faded and I haven't done anything with it in about a year. I have been asked to refresh all this because it has renewed interest.

    Do any of you guys run IP camera systems, and what do you guys use? I am looking at 20-30 cameras per location, probably as two isolated systems. The software that I liked the function of (Blue Iris) really doesn't run well when virtualized because it is designed to take advantage of hardware acceleration. This means I would likely buy a standalone computer and run it all as physical if we proceeded with our original plan.



  • Any business system should be able to operate as a VM if it's production ready.

    Requiring hardware acceleration to be functional means the solution itself isn't production ready.



  • I would tend to agree, which is why I have that reservation against it. It can run in a VM, it just causes a higher CPU load because it cannot offload it to hardware acceleration.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Looking into IP cameras:

    Any business system should be able to operate as a VM if it's production ready.

    Requiring hardware acceleration to be functional means the solution itself isn't production ready.

    Plenty of production ready systems require hardware acceleration. AI for instance.

    In this case it's probably used for video re-encoding. You could probably dedicate a GPU to the VM (if it's GPU based hardware acceleration).



  • @DustinB3403 said in Looking into IP cameras:

    Any business system should be able to operate as a VM if it's production ready.

    Requiring hardware acceleration to be functional means the solution itself isn't production ready.

    VMs can use hardware acceleration.



  • @Pete-S said in Looking into IP cameras:

    @DustinB3403 said in Looking into IP cameras:

    Any business system should be able to operate as a VM if it's production ready.

    Requiring hardware acceleration to be functional means the solution itself isn't production ready.

    Plenty of production ready systems require hardware acceleration. AI for instance.

    In this case it's probably used for video re-encoding. You could probably dedicate a GPU to the VM (if it's GPU based hardware acceleration).

    Exactly, needing access to GPU resources is normal for all kinds of workloads. It's the most powerful processor in the system.



  • It's using Intel Quicksync, not a dedicated GPU



  • @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    It's using Intel Quicksync, not a dedicated GPU

    It's a form of GPU, just on die.



  • Is it possible that your servers do not have QuickSync due to age and maybe that is why it does not work there?



  • From Wikipedia: "Certain low-end and high-end parts (including multi-socket Xeons, and some Extreme Edition CPUs expected to be used with a dedicated GPU) do not contain the hardware core to support Quick Sync"



  • I meant by it having dedicated access. .



  • None of my existing hosts have QS that I know of, but I knew that already. From what I can tell, its possible under very specific circumstances to pass QS along to a windows 10 VM using ESXi 6.5. I have not determined if I could do the same under hyper v.



  • @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    None of my existing hosts have QS that I know of, but I knew that already. From what I can tell, its possible under very specific circumstances to pass QS along to a windows 10 VM using ESXi 6.5. I have not determined if I could do the same under hyper v.

    Why are you using Windows 10 as the DVR server?



  • @DustinB3403 said in Looking into IP cameras:

    @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    None of my existing hosts have QS that I know of, but I knew that already. From what I can tell, its possible under very specific circumstances to pass QS along to a windows 10 VM using ESXi 6.5. I have not determined if I could do the same under hyper v.

    Why are you using Windows 10 as the DVR server?

    Where did I say I was? I dont even run this software yet.



  • @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    @DustinB3403 said in Looking into IP cameras:

    @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    None of my existing hosts have QS that I know of, but I knew that already. From what I can tell, its possible under very specific circumstances to pass QS along to a windows 10 VM using ESXi 6.5. I have not determined if I could do the same under hyper v.

    Why are you using Windows 10 as the DVR server?

    Where did I say I was? I dont even run this software yet.

    It was a safe assumption based on the topic that you demo'd this solution and just now mentioned windows 10.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Looking into IP cameras:

    @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    @DustinB3403 said in Looking into IP cameras:

    @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    None of my existing hosts have QS that I know of, but I knew that already. From what I can tell, its possible under very specific circumstances to pass QS along to a windows 10 VM using ESXi 6.5. I have not determined if I could do the same under hyper v.

    Why are you using Windows 10 as the DVR server?

    Where did I say I was? I dont even run this software yet.

    It was a safe assumption based on the topic that you demo'd this solution and just now mentioned windows 10.

    You know what they say about assumptions. They make an ass out of you 😉

    I did demo it on my windows 10 laptop a year ago, but it was only a trial. My mention of windows 10 though was about a way the pass through the QS feature to a windows 10 VM running under ESXi 6.5. But I am moving away from ESXi to hyper V, and so that doesnt really help me.

    My suspicion is that this software would be considered "high end consumer" level stuff. I think their target customers are mostly good home systems or SOHO. If we were to use it, we might be asking a little too much from it. This is why I was asking ML, because there might be a better business level solution available.



  • We installed a 10 camera Vitek system at our office back in September and it has worked well so far. Cameras record up to 4k. Has a dedicated NVR which has a built-in switch with POE. 10 cameras + 16channel NVR = $3k-4k

    The security company who installed it recommended Vitek from their experiences with them. Had never heard of them beforehand.



  • I might try Zoneminder. It's at least open source.



  • @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    I might try Zoneminder. It's at least open source.

    I use ZoneMinder for my one camera at home. It works.

    Main Screen:
    017c3bb5-0476-49d2-863e-55f7cec24966-image.png

    Camera View
    2adb387c-00f2-4634-8e33-5404e7dd21eb-image.png



  • Well, I got approval today to start with 4 or 5 at one of our locations.



  • I am going to try fedora for the first time (to run zoneminder). What do you guys normally use, workstation or server?



  • @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    I am going to try fedora for the first time (to run zoneminder). What do you guys normally use, workstation or server?

    Server.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Looking into IP cameras:

    @Donahue said in Looking into IP cameras:

    I am going to try fedora for the first time (to run zoneminder). What do you guys normally use, workstation or server?

    Server.

    Use the NetInstall ISO and choose the minimal option during setup. Always.