Others will try to persuade you that it is best to opt for a pre-built server whether that is pre-built for 8, 16 or 32 cameras. However, what happens when you have a mix of 1 megapixel, 3 megapixel and 5 megapixel cameras, recording at different frame rates on the same server? Does the pre-built server stand up to increased processing loads? Is there room for additional on-board storage?
The best approach is to build bespoke machines on tried and tested platforms. We specify our IP video surveillance and security servers to perform to the operational requirements of the project in hand. This means we can use the correct processors depending on how many video streams you are recording and viewing. We can calculate the correct amount of storage for now and allow for expansion in the future if required. Using Intel® processors and chassis, the correct mix of SAS and SATA drives for recording storage, we build machines to manage the IP Video recording now and into the future.
One size does not fit all
There is no one size that fits all. Depending on the codecs used by the IP cameras makes a substantial difference to the processor that is required on the server. For example, cameras with MJPEG or MPEG4 codecs require a lot less processing power but demands more on the live drives for recording and require more storage space for archiving. Where IP cameras use the increasingly more popular H.264 codec, the processor needs are more intensive and robust. The pay off though is in reduced bandwidth and storage. With H.264 the storage is a fraction of MJPEG & MPEG4 and means that servers can now retain most if not all of the storage on board. Only when there is a large quantity of cameras on a site might you require additional external storage.
Take advantage of latest IT components
The fact that each server can be designed specifically for each IP video project is a major advantage. It means that as a customer you can avail of the latest and best IT components that make your server for your project the most efficient choice. The IT industry is advancing all the time and new chips, processors and hard disk drives become available on an ongoing basis. Why would you lock yourself into a pre-built machine that could be 6 or 12 months out of date?
Open to more business opportunities
Also, with bespoke servers there is no need to lock yourself into one brand. If you are pitching for a video surveillance system in a college or a multinational for example, the IT management team might have a preference for DELL or Intel or HP or IBM. If your only option is a pre-built branded server, then you are cutting yourself out of pitching for this business. More and more, we see requests for IP video surveillance systems where the IT team of the company is more involved. If you are in a position to understand the requirements then you can get a bespoke server from GVD that matches the IT team’s brand preference.
Stress Testing and Experienced Technical Support
Before we hand over our bespoke servers to our customers, we bench and stress test the machines. This ‘real world’ quality checking is vital in our opinion. Our experienced technical support team can replicate typical issues and scenarios in advance of the server being deployed on site. This ensures that there are minimal on-site issues and if there are; then our technical support team are able to solve these either remotely or on-site.
Useful Checklist when specifying your IP Video Surveillance Server
What Frame rate do you require to record at constantly?
What Frame rate do you require to record at on Video Motion Detection?
What is the bit rate from the cameras (if available)?
How much motion will be on-site?
What is the required retention time for recordings?
Is recording required at full resolution?
What Form factor of Server/PC is required? Rack, desktop or Tower
Is Raid 5 required on archived HDD?
Is Raid 1 required on Live recording HDD?
Is Raid 1 required on operating system HDD?
Is a redundant power supply required?
What warranty is required on recording server? (GVD offers a various levels of warranty to suit your needs)
How much overhead is required for future expansion?
So, in summary, when you are looking for a server to manage IP cameras, remember:
• One size does not fit all
• Bespoke servers perform to the exact operational requirements for the IP security project at hand
• Take advantage of the latest and best technology components
• Don’t lock yourself into ‘proprietary jail’ – choose bespoke servers that can be built on different brand platforms, opening up opportunities where particular IT brands are preferred
• Ensure that the server you are buying has been stress tested to the same scenarios that are on your IP camera project
• Choose a reliable supplier that offers you an experience technical support team