Hardware recommendations for 50 camera system

Discussion in 'Blue Iris' started by Obsidian, Jan 3, 2019.

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  1. Obsidian

    Obsidian n3wb

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    Hi, I own a small business that is located in a very large warehouse (250 feet x 550 feet). I want to replace my old DVRs and crappy cameras with an IP system. I have read a lot of posts about low cost systems. Cost is a concern, but not my primary concern. Primary concern is a stable reliable system that allows me to monitor and record employees, customers, and would be thieves. I'm going to need somewhere in the vicinity of 50 cameras to accomplish this.

    I have built pc's in the past and have basic network knowledge, but needs a lot of help here. Please recommend a PC, POE switches, and cameras that will work well together with BI. Thank You.
     
  2. crw030

    crw030 Getting comfortable

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    @Obsidian while a big factor will be the number of cameras you need, can you also advise on whether you will primarily be recording in well lit areas, or have low light needs (i.e. in the warehouse after hours, or outside in dark areas after hours) ? The main reason I ask is because the first two categories of people you are trying to monitor are employees and customers, and if that is during business hours and lighting is good, it might encourage certain camera selection over another. Also you didn't mention if you have a specific retention period, how soon would you likely know if something was stolen or an incident occurred and you need to review the video?

    Anyway out of my league :D
     
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  3. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee IPCT Contributor

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    Go with Dahua or Hikvision hardware.
    Use the same manufacture for all the cameras and the NVRs.
    You will need to decide if you are going to use a PC for the VMS(like blue Iris) or an NVR.
    I would go with two 32 camera NVRs.
    Do you just want to continuous record only or do you want motion events and alarms...

    What does your current system do for you in detail... That would be a good place to start.
     
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  4. Obsidian

    Obsidian n3wb

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    I guess the answer is both. I will be recording employee / customer activity during the day when it is well lit, and of course have low light needs at night. I will definitely need 30 - 60 days of storage, the more the better, six months would be ideal.
     
  5. Obsidian

    Obsidian n3wb

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    I definitely want to go with a PC based system running BI. I do not need continuous record, just motion events. Hoping someone can point me to the right PC to buy, with the correct specs to support 50 plus cameras. Thanks
     
  6. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    See wiki. blue iris does not care about the number of cameras it cares about the total res and fps. Even at 1080p each you will struggle unless you use low frame rates and a very powerful system. At 50 cams you should be looking at an enterprise level vms.
     
  7. Q™

    Q™ IPCT Contributor

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    Hi @Obsidian and welcome. Please give us a ballpark budget. :)
     
  8. JNDATHP

    JNDATHP Young grasshopper

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    As for POE switches, I suggest using UniFi equipment from Ubiquity. The UniFi line is its own ecosystem and as such, everything works together very well, from switches to router to CloudKey.

    The attached screen shot is the power usage of an 8x150 watt switch. All but one of our cameras are POE powered from our switches. One is POE+ and one is WiFi (haven’t got around to pulling Ethernet cable yet).


    C62DE450-932E-478A-9990-D3E3C918EB07.png



    This is a shot of the dashboard which provides a great deal of information about the status of your network.

    F0F3DF57-4AD4-4A0E-B782-F20719E1A36D.png

    There’s a bit of a learning curve to use many of the features, such as Vlans to separate your cameras from your main network (to keep the cameras from phoning home) or configuring a VPN but there are some good threads on this forum. Our iPhones are on a VPN to our USG-3 router all the time - no more open ports and not using WAN IP for BI iOS app. Search for UniFi on this forum and join the ubnt.com forum.

    As far as cost, think of these devices similar to professional equipment at prosumer prices. Arguably, UniFi is not as good as Cisco but we find our equipment to be robust, reliable and hands-free once set up (other than upgrading firmware).

    Oh, and we are running 10 cameras with 8 continuous record using an i7-6700 (based on the wiki and other posts) and we are less than 30% cpu usage.

    4127308B-097B-4C3E-9F15-70CF9560DDE7.png

    Good people here with lots of knowledge. Do your own research first so when you ask a question you’ll have a foundation to word it right and properly understand the answer.

    Most of all, have fun as you become a camAddict.

    Michael
     
  9. Obsidian

    Obsidian n3wb

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    I haven't given the budget much thought, it will cost what it cost. It would be nice to keep it under $10k. With that being said, I'm always looking for a bargain! I don't want a Cadillac if a Chevy gets the job done.
     
  10. Obsidian

    Obsidian n3wb

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    Thanks Michael, I'm not sure what all this means yet, but I appreciate your advice. I have been reading the forums for a couple month, slowly figuring things out.
     
  11. Obsidian

    Obsidian n3wb

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    Hello fenderman, I have read the wiki a while back, and am rereading it tonight. Would I possibly be better off running 3 or 4 PCs, each with 12 - 15 cameras? I have plenty of space and do not care about electrical usage because I always have a $1,500 electric bill every month due to the air compressors we run. However I set up the PC(s), it(they) will be dedicated to cameras only. Thanks
     
  12. crw030

    crw030 Getting comfortable

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    Not qualified to contradict @fenderman but there ARE examples of BI systems of this size on the stats website (40+ cameras, and 1400+ MP/s) running on a single system using some form of motion detection. But even if might work, those are $2000 CPU's (10C/20T and 18C/36T), so extremely high end computers. Fifty cameras, all the wire, the switches, and professional install, all I can say is YIKES!

    That’s probably where fenderman’s guidance and experience is useful in avoiding those issues. My guess is at some point it just becomes more cost effective to go with a commercial solution (something I know nothing about because I’m on a DIY IPCAMTALK website!)

    I know 10TB gets me 3 or so months of continuous recording, so 50 cameras by 6 months is a terrifying amount of storage — but you did say only alerts (not continuous) which will definitely help your storage budget, but at the risk of missing something that does not exceed the trigger threshold.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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  13. awsum140

    awsum140 Getting comfortable

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    In terms of simplicity, a very high end CPU in a single PC might seem to be the best solution. If it were me, which thankfully it ain't, I'd go with at least three, identical, mid-range rebfurbed PCs. The power cost will be higher, granted, but you'll also eliminate a single point failure with that one high end PC. That also means three licenses for BI and, presumably, three support plans but that isn't a very big cost compared to 50 cameras and all the rest of the network gear and cabling. Oh, don't forget UPS supplies for the whole magilla.
     
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  14. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    It doesn't matter how much your current electric bill is,
    I did not mention the cost of electricity but since you brought it up the amount you're paying currently is irrelevant. You could be paying $1 or $10,000 a month the only factor to consider is how much more it would cost to run multiple systems or a very power-hungry system.
    I would suggest you look at digital watch dogs VMS or if you're outside of North America it's sold by Network optix as NX witness.
    It's $70 per camera however that includes lifetime free upgrades to new versions.
     
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  15. Q™

    Q™ IPCT Contributor

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  16. Q™

    Q™ IPCT Contributor

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  17. crw030

    crw030 Getting comfortable

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    intense options when you get into this price range.

    Just the electric cost would probably break me.
     
  18. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee IPCT Contributor

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    KISS.. keep it simple the less management the better unless you want to hire an it person to run your network.

    On a system this size keep the camera network completely separate from business network.
    The camera network should use only static IP address so no router is required.
    Do not use Wifi.
    I recommend simple dumb switches. less maintenance. I would use 8 switches with 8 POE ports per switch. one 16 port switch with no poe. The 16 port is to connect all the other switches and the VMS PC (may be blue iris)
    I agree with Q recommendation on the PC. Get two network interface cards in the PC (more on that later).
    Get UPSes for the PC and all the switches.
     
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  19. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    Most other vms are at 100-150 per camera with this feature set not 70. Most importantly, DW/NO provide free lifetime upgrades. Not so with the others.
    The cost is about 3500 for 50 licenses. Very reasonable.
     
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  20. crw030

    crw030 Getting comfortable

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    I simply meant there were a ton of options for cameras and servers at that recommended VMS vendor's website. Looks like at the price point the OP is at, he could probably work with a specialist to get him exactly what he needs if he goes that route.