Is this the most logical server to build?

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Background information:
I am planning on making a server that is rack mountable which will run Blue Iris on a Windows Server. At first I tried literally EVERYTHING to get all the things I needed to run on one system to save on energy but I believe splitting up the servers is for the best. I had planned to run an Unraid server plex, blue iris and deepstack running on docker but NOPE the docker does not support Quick Sync. So I think ok I'll just setup a docker windows VM and pass the iGPU. You guessed it! NOPE At this point I know I need to run it on another machine instead of Unraid. Ubuntu server sounds like a lite OS that I can also run plex on as well so both programs can utilize quick sync. NOPE! The only way would be through docker(No QS support) or a windows VM(Passthrough not efficient or plain does not work.) Seeing as how I exhausted basically every option(We haven't even talked about DeepStack compatibility!) this brings me to what I believe is my only logical option.

Is it logical?
I want to build a Windows server to handle:
  • Blue Iris with ~16 poe cameras(24/7 low res, Deepstack AI detection triggered high res) I haven't picked out all the cameras yet but lets assume worst case scenario 8MP each.
  • Plex
  • Possibly some dedicated game servers in the future.
It would seem like such a waste to just build an entire system just to handle BI so I threw in Plex since they could both utilize Quick Sync.

I plan to buy an old enterprise storage server (EX: R720XD, RD240, etc.) and install unraid on it to act as a permanent storage solution to Blue Iris along with some other things.
I plan to purchase a prebuilt dell optiplex that has a i7-9700 and completely gut out the components and insert them into a 2U(or 3U) case such as the RSV-Z2600U and add in my own gpu(while changing out the psu to support it).
This will be running the most lightweight(and manually debloated) version of windows(whether that be the desktop or server version) and If running a Linux VM of Plex is less intensive than running the windows version then I will do that.

Finally:
Did I miss something? Is there an easier more lightweight solution to running blue iris(with QuickSync) + deepstack(with a GPU)? A more compact solution? Please let me know. I want your feedback!
 

The Automation Guy

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I don't run Deepstack (I use the built in AI within the 5442 series cameras) but my understanding is that it can take up a lot of processing - especially the more cameras it's monitoring. I think most of us would recommend putting BI/Deepstack on it's own machine for the highest level of reliability. It's what I have done and then I have another computer that runs my automation system, digital phone system, and SageTV DVR system. Both of those systems are running 24/7. While that software isn't exactly the same as what you are trying to do, it is very similar.

Let me say that there is no right or wrong way of doing this. I'm just going to share some of my thoughts...... First, I have little to no reason to try to archive my BI footage for long periods of time. I would recommend adding enough internal storage to your BI computer that it can hold whatever timeframe you want. I have well over 30 days of storage on my 10 camera BI system right now which is plenty IMHO. There is no need to move these files to another system for longer term storage unless I expressly need to export some footage which I do from time to time. I would then recommend building a second system that is independent from your BI system for Plex and game storage. Both of those can require long term archival storage. Again I think you will find it cheaper and more reliable to build two systems dedicated to their intended use rather than trying to build one large "do everything" type of system.

Just my 2 cents......
 

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As others have said, there is no single ONE right way to build out our home servers, be they for Blue Iris, Plex, Unraid, or other...

That being said, be sure to read the thread on this forum regarding the HP Elitedesk G4 (SFF) computers: add me to the list of converts who now love this series of machines. I too was on a quest for low energy consumption, and absolutely found it with one of these equipped with an i5-8500. With the stock primarily NVME SSD C: drive running Windows 10 Pro and Blue Iris, and an added 6TB WD Purple drive for storage, my typical power draw is only 20-23W running three 4MP cameras (I am nearly at idle CPU to maybe 3% most of the time).
 

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Another thing to remember is that a Dell, or other commercial system like them, is a proprietary motherboard that doesn't fit the standard case mounting systems. A rack mount chassis will need one that does, or maybe even one specifically made for rack mount systems.
Good call. I did not think anything about that. Do you think it would work if I mark out the mounting points on the rack case and then drill holes into it to screw in some custom standoffs?
 
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You'll still have problems with card slots, for example. The power supply might, or might not, fit. Heat can be a problem, think cooling for the CPU which is very important. You'd be better off leaving it in the original case an putting it a rack mounted shelf. Otherwise, you're re-inventing the wheel.
 

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You'll still have problems with card slots, for example. The power supply might, or might not, fit. Heat can be a problem, think cooling for the CPU which is very important. You'd be better off leaving it in the original case an putting it a rack mounted shelf. Otherwise, you're re-inventing the wheel.
True, that's a good idea. The only reason why I was going to put it in a case in the first place because I was planning on adding in a GPU for deep stack. I figured even a compact gpu wouldn't fit in one of those OEM cases.
 
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You can get half height video cards that will help with DeepStack. I have a terrible memory and can't give you model numbers, but there are multiple threads discussing which cards work acceptably. There are models of the Tesla that will work. I'm running a full height card, GTX970, and it does an excellent job. They key with DeepStack is the number of CUDA cores which allow parallel processing to speed things up significantly.
 

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You can get half height video cards that will help with DeepStack. I have a terrible memory and can't give you model numbers, but there are multiple threads discussing which cards work acceptably. There are models of the Tesla that will work. I'm running a full height card, GTX970, and it does an excellent job. They key with DeepStack is the number of CUDA cores which allow parallel processing to speed things up significantly.
Just watched this video and it does not seem too complicated. They install a gtx 1650 low profile which sounds like it would do the job but I could not find anyone about deepstack performance when looking it up. Also the switched out the power supply for a 240w in order to install the 1650.

The gtx 1030 is also another option but from what I can tell by looking at older posts, it can handle 1 picture every 1 second with a 200ms responce which is fair but I'm just worried with with 5-16 alerts per second during lots of motion that it might bog down the 1030.
 

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Another thing to remember is that a Dell, or other commercial system like them, is a proprietary motherboard that doesn't fit the standard case mounting systems. A rack mount chassis will need one that does, or maybe even one specifically made for rack mount systems.
Also dell may have a weird Pcie quirk with power? if your thinking mega GPU. I can run a GTX1060 on my MT Optiplex 9020. but I had to put in a Dell Precision PSU with higher watts to meet the req's.

12v 18 amps is a limit and its set for UL94v certified power supplies. This is based on the wire gage as well as the max amperage for the connector pins.
UL rated supplies will not burn a wire because over current limit crowbar will shut the psu off if that happens too many times the input AC fuse will blow and its not a user replaceable part.
There is death inside a power supply with voltages exceeding 400V able to kill you by stopping your heart even after unplugging from the wall.
Note the clear limits for a 12v only XPS 8940 power supply.
This standard applies to many things not just Dell power supplies.
12V DC Power Distribution Box with Circulation Window, 18 Ports, 18 Amps, PTC Fuses, UL / cUL - PI Manufacturing
Slot power rating is PER SLOT so with 4 slots thats 4x the power for the table below. 5.5A + 2.1A + .5A + .5A
= 8.6 amps 12V and 12 amps 3.3v this is where the 142W bare minimum combined power needed for 3.3v/5v rails is involved. SFF rates this rail set at 90W max.
This is also why only MT supports 75W GPU.
X4 wired slots are 25W max meaning the Black slot in some models is 25W max.
The BLUE Primary Slot supports 75W only in the MINI TOWER. Note in DT it says 50W max.
X4 slots are 25W max
 
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The 970 has 1664 CUDA cores and the 1060 has 1280 CUDA cores. My 970 handles a total of 12 cameras at night with detection times between 200 and 500ms depending on loading. It seems to support up to 20 instances of python, the detection script engine, hitting it at once. Hope that helps a little. Of course the 970 draws more power as well, 120 versus 150 watts (approximations).
 

mat200

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Background information:
I am planning on making a server that is rack mountable which will run Blue Iris on a Windows Server. At first I tried literally EVERYTHING to get all the things I needed to run on one system to save on energy but I believe splitting up the servers is for the best. I had planned to run an Unraid server plex, blue iris and deepstack running on docker but NOPE the docker does not support Quick Sync. So I think ok I'll just setup a docker windows VM and pass the iGPU. You guessed it! NOPE At this point I know I need to run it on another machine instead of Unraid. Ubuntu server sounds like a lite OS that I can also run plex on as well so both programs can utilize quick sync. NOPE! The only way would be through docker(No QS support) or a windows VM(Passthrough not efficient or plain does not work.) Seeing as how I exhausted basically every option(We haven't even talked about DeepStack compatibility!) this brings me to what I believe is my only logical option.

Is it logical?
I want to build a Windows server to handle:
  • Blue Iris with ~16 poe cameras(24/7 low res, Deepstack AI detection triggered high res) I haven't picked out all the cameras yet but lets assume worst case scenario 8MP each.
  • Plex
  • Possibly some dedicated game servers in the future.
It would seem like such a waste to just build an entire system just to handle BI so I threw in Plex since they could both utilize Quick Sync.

I plan to buy an old enterprise storage server (EX: R720XD, RD240, etc.) and install unraid on it to act as a permanent storage solution to Blue Iris along with some other things.
I plan to purchase a prebuilt dell optiplex that has a i7-9700 and completely gut out the components and insert them into a 2U(or 3U) case such as the RSV-Z2600U and add in my own gpu(while changing out the psu to support it).
This will be running the most lightweight(and manually debloated) version of windows(whether that be the desktop or server version) and If running a Linux VM of Plex is less intensive than running the windows version then I will do that.

Finally:
Did I miss something? Is there an easier more lightweight solution to running blue iris(with QuickSync) + deepstack(with a GPU)? A more compact solution? Please let me know. I want your feedback!
Getting a proper rack mount setup is not as easy or as cheap as I would like ..

Last one I built was from a older 4U chassis I had + MB / cpu from a MicroCenter deal + SATA HDD cage from Newegg deal .. works well, got 4 SATA hdds in it .. still not as affordable nor easy to do as I had hoped.
 

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Getting a proper rack mount setup is not as easy or as cheap as I would like ..

Last one I built was from a older 4U chassis I had + MB / cpu from a MicroCenter deal + SATA HDD cage from Newegg deal .. works well, got 4 SATA hdds in it .. still not as affordable nor easy to do as I had hoped.
I was honestly hoping it was going to be as easy as swaping out all the components and putting in a new psu but I had no clue the mobo would have proprietary mounts and as well as the psu not having standard connections. Didn't want to build one from scratch with the current prices and figured an AIO would be cheaper. Going to try what @sebastiantombs mentioned and just put the case up on a rack shelf.


The 970 has 1664 CUDA cores and the 1060 has 1280 CUDA cores. My 970 handles a total of 12 cameras at night with detection times between 200 and 500ms depending on loading. It seems to support up to 20 instances of python, the detection script engine, hitting it at once. Hope that helps a little. Of course the 970 draws more power as well, 120 versus 150 watts (approximations).
This does help thank you. One more question. I'm going to look into the optiplex 7070 MT as a possible system and throw in a gpu down the line. I don't plan on using this for at least 6-8 months while my house is being built. When would be the best time to buy a 7070? I know hardware tends to get cheaper as it ages but with the chip shortage going on right now it just seems like the high prices are here to stay if not to go up even higher. Do I buy now or wait it out?
 

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You may have to run Nvidia Quadro if you use a Pcie Graphics card. Because the Newer Opti's run a low output PSU. Something not too power hungry. I think some Deepstackers got away with like a 420 or a 600 series? anybody remember?
 

Flintstone61

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6010fd12

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You may have to run Nvidia Quadro if you use a Pcie Graphics card. Because the Newer Opti's run a low output PSU. Something not too power hungry. I think some Deepstackers got away with like a 420 or a 600 series? anybody remember?
I believe they come with a 240w psu but you can swap it out for a 360w.

Sadly it's an 8700, I was looking to get the ones with an i7-9700
 

Flintstone61

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looking for a small form factor or a Mini tower? ( the gosh darn Mini towers are almost sff sized in my old opinion)
I remember when a tower meant like 6 drive bays LOL.
 

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looking for a small form factor or a Mini tower? ( the gosh darn Mini towers are almost sff sized in my old opinion)
I remember when a tower meant like 6 drive bays LOL.
I'm looking for mini tower. Anything to make fitting a gpu easier lol.
 
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