Enterprise SSD for Blue Iris

bp2008

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Everyone knows SSDs are faster than hard drives, but common wisdom says you shouldn't record security video to an SSD because:

  • SSDs aren't nearly as cost-effective as a hard drive for the same capacity
  • SSDs have limited write endurance, so they will wear out faster than a hard drive
  • You don't need the speed of an SSD

Well I found a case where the performance of an SSD is of enormous benefit: Timeline seeking.

I have a secondary BI box in my house that records 19 cameras continuously with a cumulative bit rate of about 34 Mbps (4250 kB/s according to BI status). Most of these are sub streams with a very conservative bit rate, otherwise you could expect the total bit rate to be over 100 Mbps with this many cameras. Normally everything goes to a 12 TB hard drive (Seagate Skyhawk I think is what I got for it). But timeline seeking is very slow because the hard drive needs to seek all over the place to load video for all 19 cameras when you seek on the timeline. And it needs to do this while also continuing to record 19 data streams elsewhere on the disk! I found it could be 5-10 seconds or longer before all the clips in a timeline view could catch up with where I had seeked to.

So today I put in an enterprise-grade SSD from ebay and configured BI to record first to this SSD, then move clips to the HDD. This yielded an extremely huge improvement to responsiveness when seeking on the timeline. My timeline with 19 cameras now seeks nearly as fast as seeking a single clip! Gone are the 5-10 second loading times, now it can seek multiple times per second. I highly recommend this to anyone struggling with a slow timeline.

(enterprise ssds have significantly higher write endurance than consumer-grade SSDs; this is important for continuous recording boxes, not so much for motion-triggered recording)
 
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Flintstone61

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Thanks dude.
My band aid, was to fill up all the AUX 1-15 folders with assigned Cams. I was thinking this might help the drive seeking a little bit. and then I split the recording work to an 8TB and a 5TB drive, so as to " help" the machine display things more quickly.
When you say "timeline", are you watching all the cameras playback at the same time from the strip across the bottom? or a group? or selected cams?
 

MrRobinHood

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Makes sense, how big is it and what did you manage to snag it for?

Probably silent too comapred to a HDD. My 18TB Seagate is bugging me with its clicking.
 

bp2008

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It is a Kioxia 1.92 TB NVMe ssd of the 22110 size (a little longer than most consumer NVMe SSDs, not all motherboards are compatible). Model # KXD51LN11T92. Not an amazing value or anything, I paid about $190 whereas you can get consumer grade SSDs with comparable capacity and speed for around $160.

But consumer-grade SSDs have a fraction of the write endurance.

Example: Kingston NV1, 2TB. Rated for 480 TBW (terabytes written).
Example: SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus, 2TB. Rated for 1200 TBW.

The 1.92 TB SSD I bought, it is not really clear what the exact rating is, but I believe it is based on Samsung PM983a which is basically low-end datacenter grade with 1 or 1.3 complete drive writes per day for 3 years, which is about 2100 to 2700 TBW.
 

bp2008

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I should also note that I tried this same thing a year ago with a used Intel DC SSD (similarly high write endurance) from ebay, and the controller on the drive failed outright after a few months. That was really frustrating because there's basically no manufacturer warranty when you buy electronics this way.
 

redpoint5

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Hmm, I only have 4 cams at the moment, but I do have a spare 240GB SSD just sitting around. It would take a week to fill it, so endurance shouldn't be a problem.

Don't SSDs gracefully drop the bad bits and continue on working at reduced capacity? I've never actually worn one out, but have had controllers die.
 

mrc545

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Glad I stumbled upon this. My timeline view has been pathetically slow. Thanks for the great idea!

Consumer-grade SSD's have been greatly increasing in write endurance. I just ordered a brand new 2 TB Corsair Force MP600 PCIe 4.0 SSD for $200. 3600 TBW endurance and a 5 year warranty. If the endurance claims are accurate, there is no feasible way I will burn that drive up before the warranty expires.
 

bp2008

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3600 TBW sounds really good for any SSD, especially a consumer model. To consume all of that write endurance in 5 years (the warranty period), you would need to overwrite the entire drive every day, about 192 Mbps of continuous writing. Here's the calculation: (3600 TB / 5 years) to Mbps - Google Search

Of course real-world behavior is difficult to predict. Some SSDs die suddenly with no warning. Others outlast their expected write endurance by several times when stress tested.
 

biggen

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I'm shocked the endurance is that high for a consumer grade SSD. I just built out a new NUC for my father for his BI machine and installed a 2TB Samsung 980 Pro in it and the endurance of that is 1200TBW so your Corsair is double the Sammy which is surprising.
 

Teken

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I gather Corsair has found a good balance of density vs long term reliability with their use of 3D TLC NAND. As TLC generally speaking is second to the bottom as it relates to performance vs durability. The highest performance and reliability comes from using SLC NAND.

Given the huge price and currently low capacities they are reserved for industrial mission critical hardware like servers and ET's.

The biggest advancement in the memory space was the adoption and development of 3D NAND vs 2D. Stacking cells isn't some kind of magic or ground breaking thought process. But, did require a massive amount of engineering know how to shoe horn the same on such a small surface area.

I honestly don't think we shall see anything in the memory space that will ever come close to a spinning rust drive. When you see a Micro SD card touting 1TB of storage space no matter who it is - run . . .
 

mrc545

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Got my NVMe drives installed, restructured my storage strategy, and was able to put my setup through the wringer. Went with two of the Corsair MP600 NVMe drives (to help level the wear from writes) which offload to their own RAID 10 arrays when they fill up. I get about 2 days worth of footage on the NVMe drives before the clips move over to the spinners.

For most folks with a fast SSD (and lots of cameras), your CPU should be the bottleneck with timeline view, but only if you push it to the extreme. I have a Threadripper 3970X--BI typically uses about 4-5% of my CPU when running. Pushing timeline view all the way to 256x speed (with 26 cameras) causes BI to use about 30% of my CPU, and that is with substreams. Drives were reading at over 1 GB/s each. Completely unnecessary test, but it was interesting to see how much of a thrashing I could put on.

I will report back in the future if the TBW/remaining life ratio fails to follow a linear progression on these drives.
 
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