Help with expanding system

spaulgal
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:40 am

Help with expanding system

Post by spaulgal » Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:09 am

Hello! A few months back we started adding cameras and started pegging our computer so we upgraded to a 10th Gen i7 with 32G ram (dedicated for BI)
We are now at 16 cameras and the CPU pretty much runs pegged again.
any pointers?
We use Hikivision 4K cameras, but reduce them to 1080 resolution.
I do understand that 16 HD feeds is alot for any computer to process... so Maybe I'm asking too much of the system or maybe I'm missing some pointers that can help us out?.... Or maybe I'm missing it and there's a pre-determined number for how many cameras can be set on a system.

As far as recordings, we are recording triggers only, with 3 seconds of preroll and 5 of post.
We are recording to a 4 TB internal SSD.
Thanks, and we are truly enjoying BI.

Steve, Colors Studios.
User avatar
terk
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by terk » Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:26 pm

I'm running a 6th gen I7 with 16 1080p or higher cameras, running around 33% CPU most of the time except when I'm viewing the live feeds then its pretty much pegged. I have all of the cameras set for 15 frames / second, iFrames at 15, and H264 or H265, they all overlay the date and time which they sync from the BI server where I installed an NTP time server. In BI all cameras are set to Direct to Disk, Intel GPU offloading, Limit decoding unless required, and all overlays off in BI. Most of the cameras are set to record 24/7 but only alert when we are away, 3 of the cameras only record and alert when we are away. That same server is also running DeepStack and AITools so alerts only occur when people are present rather than shadows or animals, when there is a lot of movement like a windy day with lots of shadows moving around the AITools will often peg the CPU while processing.
spaulgal
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:40 am

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by spaulgal » Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:19 am

Nice setup!
Lots of great tips in there, I've already deployed a few, but have a few questions.
To clarify, it's more efficient to generate the overlays from the cameras and not on Blue Iris?

Newbie question here, but how do you know you're at 33% if you're not viewing the live feeds? When I have BI loaded, all the live feeds are present. Can they be turned off somehow?

That does present a problem... if the cpu get pegged when viewing the live feeds. We are a commercial building and it's normal for people to be watching live from a connected browser or iPad.
Any suggestions there or do we just need more horse power?
Matts1984
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:12 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by Matts1984 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:15 pm

Yes things like Intel GPU offloading, direct-to-disk and no BI Overlays, substreams configured can all make pretty significant differences on your system.

If you're up for sharing some info, the 'Blue Iris Status -> Cameras' tab can reveal an awful lot of data and room for improvement if any (if there is any concern, just obscure the IPs - the rest is just stats). A 10th gen i7 should be able to cruise on this if configured. I don't want to jump the gun but as you can see, it's also easy to have settings that will cripple a system.
Blue Iris 5.4.7.x | Server 2019 VM | Xeon X5650 @ 2.67GHz - 12 Cores | 12GB RAM | 7TB RAID | Sophos UTM WAF | 3x SV3C 5MP Bullet A | 2x SV3C 3MP Bullet A | 1x SV3C 5MP Bullet HX | 1x SV3C 5MP Dome HX | 2x Amcrest 5MP Bullet
User avatar
terk
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by terk » Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:43 am

spaulgal wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:19 am To clarify, it's more efficient to generate the overlays from the cameras and not on Blue Iris?

Newbie question here, but how do you know you're at 33% if you're not viewing the live feeds? When I have BI loaded, all the live feeds are present. Can they be turned off somehow?

That does present a problem... if the cpu get pegged when viewing the live feeds. We are a commercial building and it's normal for people to be watching live from a connected browser or iPad.
Any suggestions there or do we just need more horse power?
Definitely more efficient to do overlays at the cameras rather than BI, if you do overlays in BI you can now get overlays in some places but not all if you want the CPU benefits of Direct to Disk.

I use the BI mobile app to see the CPU, Memory, and Disk without all the cameras live streaming.

Using sub-streams as Matts1984 suggested should help a lot when live streaming, I don't live stream multiple cameras often so I haven't put the time into switching over to sub-streams yet.
Matts1984
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:12 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by Matts1984 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:29 pm

In my experience, using sub-streams is where it's at. I currently have 7 cameras set up. I can leave my UI3 interface up all day so I can passively watch the camera mosaic and it causes very little if ANY difference to the CPU. The system will use and show the sub streams if no feed is 'selected'. The significantly lower VGA (856x480 - 0.3MP) substream is so much easier on the CPU and in a tiled format, unless you're using like a 80" screen or projector, looks surprisingly good. If there is something of interest, selecting the camera feed will auto-cycle to the main stream in a second or so and you can see the resolution increase, etc. Recordings are still done using the main stream (I think both are actually captured now but I digress) so I see no drawback to configuring the substream. Theres a slight uptick in network bandwidth but nothing a normal network can't handle.

I also want to call out a relatively new feature in the UI3 interface that might be useful in your situation. In the screenshot below the red arrow is pointing to a toggle that will Auto-maximize a camera feed that is triggered (motion) and cycle to the main stream with higher resolution. Again though, for just casual monitoring, the images I'm seeing in the mosaic are still plenty good for me and are the sub streams.
cap.jpg
cap.jpg (183.97 KiB) Viewed 1426 times
To second terk on the overlays, I definitely recommend it on the cameras themselves if possible (all of mine are configured this way). While BI can certainly give you more options and capability, it requires more processing when the camera can add timestamps and some basic info itself. Additionally, while I'm not a lawyer, I am in IT Security and I prefer having the timestamps embedded in the original data feed rather than having it manipulated and added later on. For all intents and purposes it's probably not a big deal and you just need time on video, but in theory it could be altered if done at a later point. I'm not sure what would actually hold up in court but I still think it's the better way to go. Definitely make sure your cameras are able to hit an NTP time server though as their internal clocks can wander quite a bit.

Also, the status window shown below from the BI Console shows a ton of info summarized that I think generally reveals where any issues could be. Its a great view to see if you have a particular cam that isn't configured quite right, where you may be using Hardware Acceleration, if your FPS or keys are off, and to verify if you're running substreams.
stat.jpg
stat.jpg (57.79 KiB) Viewed 1426 times
Blue Iris 5.4.7.x | Server 2019 VM | Xeon X5650 @ 2.67GHz - 12 Cores | 12GB RAM | 7TB RAID | Sophos UTM WAF | 3x SV3C 5MP Bullet A | 2x SV3C 3MP Bullet A | 1x SV3C 5MP Bullet HX | 1x SV3C 5MP Dome HX | 2x Amcrest 5MP Bullet
User avatar
terk
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by terk » Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:45 pm

Matts1984 wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:29 pm In my experience, using sub-streams is where it's at.
Thanks to your post I finally took the time to enable substreams on all of my cameras except 1 and now while live streaming all feeds the CPU goes to around 55% instead of 90 some. I have 1 camera, a Dahua SD12200T-GN where whenever I try to enable the sub stream in BI it fails to get any video so I have left that one with main stream only for now.
Matts1984
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:12 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by Matts1984 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:56 pm

terk wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:45 pm Thanks to your post I finally took the time to enable substreams on all of my cameras except 1 and now while live streaming all feeds the CPU goes to around 55% instead of 90 some. I have 1 camera, a Dahua SD12200T-GN where whenever I try to enable the sub stream in BI it fails to get any video so I have left that one with main stream only for now.
Awesome! Thats a pretty significant gain. Yes I will say sometimes figuring out substreams is a bit of a challenge and often comes to guess work. Dahua cams should at least have better documentation so I'm hopeful you'll figure it out. Good luck!
Blue Iris 5.4.7.x | Server 2019 VM | Xeon X5650 @ 2.67GHz - 12 Cores | 12GB RAM | 7TB RAID | Sophos UTM WAF | 3x SV3C 5MP Bullet A | 2x SV3C 3MP Bullet A | 1x SV3C 5MP Bullet HX | 1x SV3C 5MP Dome HX | 2x Amcrest 5MP Bullet
MikeBwca
Posts: 785
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:39 am

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by MikeBwca » Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:18 am

spaulgal wrote: Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:09 am ...
We are recording to a 4 TB internal SSD.
...
4tb SSD! What SSD are you using?
spaulgal
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:40 am

Re: Help with expanding system

Post by spaulgal » Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:21 pm

Great info, Thanks!
I did confirm that overlays are off.

When I load the interface the group "All cameras" comes up (there are 16)
We also have sub groups which contain 4-5 cameras (of the 16) For example, Main Floor, 2nd Floor, etc.
By sub streams, do you mean getting rid of the All Cameras group and just relying on the sub groups?
I did notice that when watching a sub group the CPU usage goes down to under 10%, but it is PEGGED when watching all cameras.
Post Reply