Subscriber Discussion

Avigilon HD-NVR2 Uses Outdated Dell R710. Why Pay More Than The Latest Dell Offering?

Avigilon Cameras are great. The HD NVR they offer with capacities 3,5,15,21 etc. are using Dell PowerEdge R710 loaded with 3-21TB configured as RAID 5. I am presuming they have taken same old R710 and changed the logo. Or are there any upgrades or changes made? Why should a customer pay a much higher amount for the older dell series when the newer R720 with latest and better configuration is available at a much cheaper price.

Another question I have is that the 15 and 21TB models are using SATA HDDs configures RAID 5 in the same server. Is this a recommended scenario?

The R710 are the old servers and not used anymore the current servers are the R520.

Hi Alex,

I see that Avigilon is offering upto 21TB storage on the NVR device itself. Is it stable to just install lots of hard disk on the sever itself and RAID 5 it? The storage and OS working in the same RAID Array rite, is it healthy?

Do you recommend dedicated external storage with a redundant raid controller for Critical Video data or the same builtin storage is safe enough.

I'm not sure I understand what you're driving at. Aren't NVRs designed to be dedicated storage devices?

Hi Alain,

I have seen incidents of hdd failures and data loss happening in scenarios where NVRs are filled with 3tb hard drives and recording 30-40 megapixel cameras.Most of these are configured RAID5. Avigilon for example, the default NVR comes RAID 5(not expansion), so does many other vendors.I am wondering whether this is a proper solution for a server filled with megapixel cameras, considering that recording r/w takes place realtime into the inbuilt storage.

Depending on video retention requirements, even if it's only 7 days, and recording settings, I'm guessing r/w operations are relatively limited to the same area on a disk. I don't see how your risk of HDD failure would be any higher or lower than with an external array.

I am talking about server with higher number of megapixel cameras, which is the case mostly now a days.If its a rack server with say 35 megapixel cameras with storage capacity of 21tb with a retention capacity of 2 months, once the the space is filled up, the recordings will be deleted also simultaneously from behind also and re-writted.So I doubt many of these write and delete cycles will have r/w operations happening at the same area on the disk.But i am no storage expert forgive me if my assumptions are wrong.

If your retention requirement and storage capacity are for 2 months, then overwrites should only happen that often, so 6 times per year or less. Obviously, write operations will happen more often as new video is recorded over that 2 month period, and the array will also be accessed for reads as needed.

I still don't see how having an external array would reduce your risk of HDD failure.

If you're looking for a good discussion about advanced storage for large systems, you'll find one here.

You should never run the OS on a RAID5 set. I've used similar servers but put the OS/Program Files on a RAID1 set and packed the rest full of 3TB drives in a RAID5 configuration for video storage. Works great for small-medium installations. For larger/high bandwdith applications you might want to go with a RAID50/RAID60 application for faster disk space or save to fast SAS/SCSI drives and archive off every so often (like Milestone).

I doubt they are running the OS on the RAID array, although confirmation would be nice. The Dell R520 provides 8 drive bays, which would allow 1 to be used for the OS and the other 7 for data.

<edit> Or as Jason suggests, 2 bays setup as a RAID 1 for the OS/Program Files and the other 6 as a RAID 5 for data.<edit>

Does anyone know what Avigilon is doing for the OS drive on the Dell R520? Are they using one of the front 8 bays or are they using a special card internally as the 520 doesn't natively support an internal drive.


Why should a customer pay a much higher amount for the older dell series when the newer R720 with latest and better configuration is available at a much cheaper price.

Except that the ones direct from Dell are sauceless; by the time you add in your external saucepack you're looking at roughly the same number, though with one less drive bay...

Regardless of of the type of "sauce" - Avigilon, Exacq, Milestone, Genetec - you're using, you're still losing at least one bay for the OS/program files.

Rukmini, stop. No quips, especially off topic ones.

Alain, stop. Unless you have direct experience with Avigilon NVRs, no more comments from you.

"Unless you have direct experience with Avigilon NVRs, no more comments from you."

John - Not meaning to be argumentative, but Undisclosed A Integrator quickly turned the conversation to a general discussion about server configuration and internal vs. external storage, which is mostly what I've been responding to and have plenty of experience with.

I'll hold off on the saucy comments and anything Avigilon NVR specific. :)

They are no longer an R720, but now a R510 (or 520, cant remember)

I found out the hard way as we were using 3 nics in the 720's and the new NVR2's only come with 2, so i had to go out and buy a 2 port nic.

My personal experience is that if you dont need the 4hr response warranty, you can get a cheaper dell yourself. Ive started building our own based on the intel server chassis, where I can sell a 36TB NVR for the same price as an Avigilon 21TB.

As for the 21TB NVR's. Ive just had to nuke a raid array as the rebuild failed, and would not complete. It comes from Avigilon with a 50GB partition for windows and then a 19.5TB partition for storage on the same raid 5 array. After the nuke it got changed to raid 6.

TL:DR - NVR2's are now Dell R510 (or 520), and you should change the default config to RAID6 before deploying.


I'll second this - after the second time we lost a RAID5 array due to a second drive failing either during a rebuild, or before we could get the bad drive swapped, we've been using RAID6+spare.

As has been discussed previously, one of the catches with bigger and bigger drives is increased rebuild times, especially if the volume is in constant use (as is the case with video storage).

The second parity disk with RAID6 reduces the chance of total array failure while rebuilding, and the spare means rebuilding can start immediately, automatically, without needing to wait for a tech to attend.