My server PC

tynavarre
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:08 pm

Re: My server PC

Post by tynavarre » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:25 pm

Right now I am running BI on an Intel NUC (i7) along with PLEX and am finding the limits of what the CPU can handle. With 7 cameras of various resolutions and only recording when triggered, my CPU use for BI stands at about 40-60 percent even after all the settings to keep proc use in check. I am probably going to either split out my PLEX and BI servers into separate boxes or just build a new home server, I have not decided which.

Anyway, I really came to chime in on the virtualization thing: I deal with this kind of infrastructure a lot and I think it should be able to run BI. HOWEVER, with the way BI was written, with an affinity for certain Intel and NVIDIA hardware, its not something that a virtual environment can generally take advantage of without expensive licensing and other stuff. For that reason, in a nutshell, BI will work just fine but it will never be as efficient as it could be running on its own dedicated hardware.

spammenotinoz
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:44 am

Re: My server PC

Post by spammenotinoz » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:50 am

tynavarre wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:25 pm
Right now I am running BI on an Intel NUC (i7) along with PLEX and am finding the limits of what the CPU can handle. With 7 cameras of various resolutions and only recording when triggered, my CPU use for BI stands at about 40-60 percent even after all the settings to keep proc use in check. I am probably going to either split out my PLEX and BI servers into separate boxes or just build a new home server, I have not decided which.

Anyway, I really came to chime in on the virtualization thing: I deal with this kind of infrastructure a lot and I think it should be able to run BI. HOWEVER, with the way BI was written, with an affinity for certain Intel and NVIDIA hardware, its not something that a virtual environment can generally take advantage of without expensive licensing and other stuff. For that reason, in a nutshell, BI will work just fine but it will never be as efficient as it could be running on its own dedicated hardware.
If your a plex pass user, Plex uses the GPU and minimal resources. I have an i7 NUC and plex barely raises a mention. With the i7 NUC (not the skull), keep in-mind the CPU is no where near as powerful as you would typically expect in a desktop. (Still great machine though). Don't be alarmed at the high-cpu, you may often see high-cpu with little load (CPU's, and especially the i7) in the NUC slow the CPU core speed down, and ramp up only when required.
So unless you also have a high-clock rate in task manager coinciding with the high\cpu, I wouldn't worry about stressing the box.
The i7 NUC shares the same cooling solution as the i5, so the fan noise can be offputting, but nowhere near as loud as my old Swann NVR FAN!!! That was like being in a server room.

User avatar
CBers
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:34 am

Re: My server PC

Post by CBers » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:26 am

I have a self-built server that runs my Emby media server and BI5.

I use DriveBender pooling software to have separate pools for each set of discs.

Emby has a 20Tb pool and BI5 has an 11Tb pool.

The server only has an i5-7400 with 40Gb RAM, but it runns pretty well.

The BI5 pool has 6 cameras continually recording and provides around 11 days history.

I want to move BI5 to an second-hand SuperMicro server, but I need to buy more drives first.

All in all, BI5 is working well for me.

I have also had a run-in with the "child" on the IPCamTalk forums, so much so, that he banned me !!
Last edited by CBers on Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

HeneryH
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:50 pm

Re: My server PC

Post by HeneryH » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:11 pm

It really doesn't take much at all to get banned.

Darthcruiser
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:30 am

Re: My server PC

Post by Darthcruiser » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:36 pm

I have been a BI evangelist for a number of years and having just upgraded to BI 5, I thought I would have a quick scan through the forums to see if any others had reported issues with the license key updates as I was about to part with around £30 for the update. Long story short - that went fine, but whilst in the forums I came across this discussion and decided I would come back, register and share some accumulated knowledge.

I am not a CCTV specialist by any remote stretch of the imagination but having run a web hosting business for 12 years just after the turn of the century, I can fumble my way through Linux and Windows Server Builds deploying various virtualisation technologies.

I will run you through the builds and describe what they do just to set context and then I will provide my thoughts on some of the questions posed earlier in this discussion.

My first BI 4 build was on a redundant 15” MacBook with a cracked screen - so I hooked it up to a Thunderbolt Display which added a load of stuff like Ethernet Port, ISight Camera and powerful graphics processing.

The Spec was something like this:

- Intel Core I7 Processors
- 16GB RAM
- 500GB SSD

When I first got this MacBook I had installed the Parallels Desktop - virtualisation platform and sucked in all my old Windows machines via Parallels Transporter. This enabled me to run all my old machines in Parallels VM containers, marvelling about all the old applications and what I once did with them. The following weekend I declared all of this actually pretty useless - so deleted all but my Windows 7 VM which kept prompting for a free Windows 10 upgrade - so I did the upgrade and that was that.

This machine worked great as a workstation until the 2 year point when I decided it was time to get a new MacBook promising to be more careful with this one. New MacBook in play - and the business case for my first Home Server to host a Homebridge Server, Webservers and CCTV Software now clear, I thought I would use the broken MacBook as my prototype platform. I knew drive space would become an issue at some point so I invested in a 7TB HDD featuring USB 2 & 3 connection options - I was all set.

I was trying to find CCTV software which had a Mac version and of course came across BI 4 which was very tempting - but only having a Mac at my disposal I dismissed it initially. However, during the course of my Homebrige server development research, I became aware of the networking capabilities of Parallels Desktop and realised that I could connect my Windows 10 VM to the outside world without much work. The following weekend my first BI 4 build was up and running in my Windows 10 VM using the Isight camera on the Thunderbolt display as my first camera running in BI 4. It was set to save the first 24 hours of video clips to the SSD and then automatically move to the 7TB HDD 24 hours later. I was so impressed I ordered 6 Cameras, an Ethernet switch and a variety of Cat 6 Ethernet Cables - and my first BL 4 CCTV system was born

However, having put it all together - it was apparent that the realistic Camera and clip processing workload was becoming a challenge for the VM. So I tweaked the settings effectively giving 95% of the system resources to the VM and I thought it worked absolutely fine. The BI was indicating CPU load was around 80% and the Ram floated around 10 - 12 GB. The real problem was that I could not do much else on the Mac so I got into the habit of shutting down the VM whilst setting up the Webservers and the Homebridge Server. However, it all ran fine with the Mac Host running 2 x Linux and 1 x Windows 10 Virtual Machines - in fact it must have run fine for about 2 years with the Mac fan more or less permanently on and very hot. The IOS BI app worked fine and I occasionally pulled up the BI interface to service enquiries such as why didn’t the bin men take the recycling bin etc etc.

Then having found myself laid up in bed a few Christmas’s ago with only my iPhone and Apple TV to keep me company, I set about using youtube to research the leading PC components and prices with a view to building a server which just worked no matter what the workload, then used PCPartpicker to find the best prices. I then placed the orders and thanks to the IOS amazon app by the time the components arrived I the back was much better and I was up and about. Here are the main components:

- Intel Core I7 6800 Processor
- 64 GB DDR4-2666 RAM
- Asus X99 Deluxe Motherboard - with 2 NICs
- Samsung 960 PRO 2TB M.2 SSD
- Asus GeForce GTX 1080 8GB STRIX Graphics Card

My research had been very substantial and highly detailed and I believed that for my Specific application it made sense to deploy a Windows 10 Pro Operating system which come complete with the Hyper-V virtualisation system. So the following weekend I put the jigsaw puzzle, bought a Windows 10 Pro Licence and installed BI 4 on the Windows 10 Host system with the 7GB - HDD connected via USB 3 rather than USB 2.

The big difference was mainly the usability of the Windows Machine, everything just worked and with all quality/speed settings taken from the defaults to maximum - BI 4 was showing just 20% CPU load with all cameras recording maximum quality continuously. Then it was many little differences - such as the time it took to scroll through video clips which had seemed OK - but jerky by comparison. Then the second or so the previous system took to react following button clicks etc.

Fast forward to today - I ran BI 4 on the host Windows 10 Pro system which ran so sweetly with quality settings maxed out using mainly 1080p Foscam Cameras and a Doorbird door control system camera, I have recently upgraded to BI 5 utilising the Nvidia GPUs with all the Cameras apart from the Doorbird which loses its connection upon reboot with Nvidia deployed.

I have now also deployed Hyper-V and following a Virginmedia upgrade to Virginbusiness 300MB Voom Broadband with 5 fixed IP addresses, I am running the following in Hyper-V VM containers:

- 1 x FreeBSD VM running PFSense Firewall utilising the 2 x NICs on the X99 for LAN/WAN access control
- 2 x Centos Web Panel Webserver VMs (loads of Wordpress affiliate sites)
- 2 x Homebridge Server VMs
- 1 x Webmin Control Panel controlling deployment of local SMTP Server
- 2 x NGINX Dedicated VMs deploying bespoke application software

Alongside BI 5 on the host system I am running OBS Studio, Voicemeeter Banana and Ableton Live.

The key benchmark is that it all - just works. If you want some numbers - with everything running, the CPU load has never exceeded 80% and the system has never locked up requiring a restart.

So I conclude from this that BI in a VM does work and works well, but the VM adds a layer of networking complexity, which on the end of a residential broadband connection, utilising a single dynamic IP address could potentially be a nightmare to support. If I was an application developer and customers were paying for my support - I would insist on the supported model being kept as straight forward as possible. Also - if installing in a VM you need to ensure you understand how to maintain the performance of the VM keeping adequate resources deployed to it from the host machine. This in itself contains many unknowns and hence could be another support nightmare.

So last Christmas I took the opportunity to get a MacMini for my Dads Home Server. It hooks into the TV with a Webcam instead of a monitor for all day, always on FaceTime - which having skipped over a weekend of trial and error … works really well. The next part of the strategy is to install BI 5 in a Parallels Desktop VM facilitating even more cameras than me - with me controlling and maintaining his system remotely. Here are the MacMini specs - effectively maxed out on purchase:

- Intel Core I7 CPUs
- 64 GB RAM
- 2TB SSD

So far it has been supremely fast - and used with Mac remote access software has worked really well. Once the Cameras are installed and Cat 6 network expanded I will come back and let you know how it goes.

As I bring this posting to a close - do a quick search in the above - you will notice the absence of the word WiFi. Cat 6 cables are a pain to run and the RJ45 plugs do get a bit battered running them through holes in brick walls but believe me if you want to avoid disappointment it is well worth the extra effort and they cost peanuts. If you are using WiFi to connect your Cameras and blaming a poorly performing system on the use of a VM - put your hand up?

ctfjr
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:43 pm

Re: My server PC

Post by ctfjr » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:01 pm

I am really new to cctv and BI. I have installed 2 4K outdoor cameras and plan to add 2 more. Initially I ran everything through my Synology disk station using their Surveillance package. Now I am concurrently running BI on my recently built desktop. On the NAS I have allocated 10tb of storage space for extended archiving of the Synology product.
My desktop PC is running BI using an AMD 2950X Threadripper processor (16 core) overclocking slightly to 3.975 GHz. Internal memory is 64Gb with 12 of that dedicated to a ram disk for temp storage for other programs. For fast storage I am using a 2Tb MVMe. My long term storage is on the NAS where I allocated another 10Tb of storage.
I have some concern (probably unfounded) that when I do video rendering in VideoStudeo or large numbers of photo conversions in Lightroom there may be some issues. We will see.

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