This is a good question, I haven't seen any VMS manufacturers specifically call out application support for 4Kn drives yet.
For those unfamiliar, this post gives a good brief overview of 4Kn vs 512e drive layout options.
Given that 4Kn drives were very new and rare just over a year ago, and seem to only be available in 6TB and 8TB formats it will probably still be a while before VMS manufacturers add 4Kn support at the application level.
As many VMS's define their own storage "block" on the hard drive, I probably wouldn't want to risk going 4Kn without explicit support from the manufacturer, or at the very least a solid test that included overwriting old data and adjusting the VMS storage size a few times.
Sticking with 512e for now, where you get most of the benefits of the 4K block size, but the drive emulates the older 512B sectors is the safer bet.
IPVMU Certified | 03/31/16 03:24pm
Thanks, Brian. I only just recently started reading on this and admit I wasn't even aware of the new specs in the hard drive world. But it appeared it would be something that might (or might not?) affect video storage so wondered if VMS companies had any input or insight on it.
These 4kn drives sound really good for survellience storage!
Like jumbo frames for hard drives.
With the possible exception of MJPEG recording, I think video, because of its large file sizes stands to benefit substantially.
Thanks for the tip Luis!
Would the VMS even care, I would be under the impression that the disk format would be an issue for the operating system itself, the OS just provides the storage to the VMS as a "disk" and the VMS does not really care what format etc.
I'm not sure which VMSes use raw devices directly,
it'd be interesting to know if any of them do, surely this would bring pain when you are running behind a raid controller or something like that?
It'd also be interesting to see if any VMS have issues with the different formatted NAS's, but again are they not just provided as a Disk via the OS?
We received a comment from Milestone on 4Kn drives:
Milestone writes to the disks through Windows, so our software will work on all the Windows OS that our software supports and that supports the 4Kn drives (we support windows 7 and newer – and I think the same OS’s are the ones supporting the 4Kn drives)
If it gives you a performance benefit using these drives over the 512 or 512e drives or not we don’t know as we haven’t specifically tested it.
We suspect that it will give a better performance as we know the formatting of the drives influences the performance.
In our manual, we recommend to format the disks using an allocation unit size of 64KB as we know this improves the performances a lot.
Below is from page 78 in the manual:
Important: Milestone recommends that you use a dedicated hard disk drive for the recording server database to prevent low disk performance. When you format the hard disk, it is important to change its Allocation unit size setting from 4 to 64 kilobytes. This is to significantly improve recording performance of the hard disk. You can read XProtect Advanced VMS 2016 - Administrator Manual Management Client elements 79 more about allocating unit sizes and find help on the Microsoft website http://support.microsoft.com/kb/140365/en-us.
the only place I think you should beware is embedded hardware solutions where the VMS is actually built into a piece of hardware.( which wouldn't make a piece of software but whatever)
it would be like a NVR, they say they only except xTB size drives because the OS ( linux, unix, or windows) is built around a certain kernel with certain packages that allow only certain hardware to be swapped out or upgraded to.
Software apps that run "on" an OS shouldnt have a problem as the OS handles all the heavy lifting where the hardware is involved.
VMS that is built "into or as a part of" the OS may have severe issues with the new drives as updating a package just for the drives could brick the machine, or may not be possible to do without rewriting the OS/VMS hybrid.
but those hybrids have started dying out with the emergence of VMS's like milestone, and the like so it would be more of an issue for NVR's and proprietary storage options I would think.
I am video Product Line Manager at Genetec.
Genetec never produced any specific tests or qualification for video recording to 4KN drives.
By design, the Hardware Disk technology shall be transparent to us at the application level considering our VMS leverages Microsoft Windows file system, and therefore Security Center Omnicast doesn’t perform raw disk access nor does it define block size.
A solution built with 4KN drives would be supported like other storage technologies, while performance may vary based on the solution and vendor.