Shuttle For Sub 16 Camera Video System?

Has anyone used any of Shuttle's small PCs for smaller systems (less than 16 cameras)? We recently started using spectrum, and we have been testing it on an old dual core HP that originally ran XP (now is running Ubuntu 14). We've been happy with it. I am exploring the option of building our smaller systems using something like this from Shuttle. I figure I can make it for less than $600; this was I can stay more competitive with low-cost NVRs.

3xLogic Vigil DVRs were available on Shuttle cubes for at least a decade, through several iterations of the machine (they only just stopped selling them a couple years ago). We have some that are a dozen years old, still in service. Some are even running 32 channels total (16 analog, 16 IP).

I have a shuttle cube here at my office and haven't had any problems with it. But no long term experience. Thanks for the feedback.

We generally use Lenovo TS140 Thinkservers with an SSD for the OS and Caviar Purples for the video storage. This setup is as cheap as we can find, yet still highly reliable. The case is a normal mid ATX tower, but that allows for more drive bays and proper cooling.

A long time ago when I was a dealer in the computer world, we sold shuttles, and while like most compact computers it had slightly higher failure rates than mid to full size computer cases, but not as bad as the really compact computers like the tiny workstations from Dell or HP.

Looks like they've since improved on reliability, going by the comments above. Like anything, probably best to always have a couple in stock as whole replacements or spare parts when problems occur since their parts are not as easy to source as say mid and full generic computers.

Yeah, I can't get over the crappy quality their motherboards used to be. They used to be a third rate brand back in the early 2000s.

I'm not a fan of small form factor PCs anyways though. Finding a replacement motherboard or power supply is a PITA! That, and I prefer more drive bays with proper air volume for cooling. It's rare that we have a client with so little space that they can't accommodate a mid tower.

What class Sub? 16 cameras would be overkill for most, I would think.

Do you mean 16 cameras would be too many for a Shuttle? I don't think the form factor would have much to do with it, but the processing resources.

The form factor does limit storage more than anything.

Jon this brings up a new question. Does anyone have any experiance with using 8TB Purple Drives? I feel like I'm the past larger drives were a bad idea. But maybe times have changed?

Or the Gold?

Pretty much all the Shuttle-based Vigils we installed used the HiCAP-50 or XECAP-50 software compression capture cards, which are a 60fps-max card (two banks at up to 30fps divided among 8 cameras). A few did use the XECAP-100, which is a 120fps card (four banks of 30fps shared). Some got IP licenses added and actually ran full slates of IQEye MJPEG cameras, with Vigil applying its own AZTECH compression to the JPEG streams.

The biggest issue we saw, in general, was database operations being hampered by limited RAM (only two slots), but Vigil 6 and up fixed that by using multiple smaller databases rather than one big one. Processing power really wasn't limited by the form factor. Newer versions used "heat pipe" coolers on the CPU, running to a radiator on the rear panel right behind the main fan, which left more room inside the case and provided more efficient CPU cooling.

As you say, storage is the only major limitation to the cube, but we expanded on several sites using external USB and Firewire drives. Don't recall if we used iSCSI with any of the cubes, but there's no reason we couldn't have.

One issue we DID see a lot of with certain generations of them, was capacitor plague... but that affected EVERYONE. Some of the older boxes, we'd replace a dozen or so blown caps and the machines kept on running for years.

A mid tower would be more cost effective than external storage. It would likely be faster and more reliable too. You could also use a larger mobo with more RAM slots, more PCIe slots, etc.

Well, these were all PCI cards, so PCIe is irrelevant. In any case, the point is that Shuttles can handle 16-camera DVR duties just fine, and some models ARE extremely reliable. There's no inherent reason a machine a mid tower would be any faster or more reliable - specific components and build quality are the crucial factors there.

And there are instances where a cube is more appropriate than a mid tower, just as there are instances where a mid tower is more appropriate than a 4U rackmount case.

The only single benefit to a SFF chassis is space savings. They aren't cheaper, faster, more reliable, more expandable, etc. However, there are tons of reasons not to use them. Hard to find replacement parts, limited to one internal HDD, small fans are louder than larger fans found in mid towers, etc etc etc.

They aren't cheaper, faster, more reliable, more expandable, etc.

I never said they were. My point was that they aren't any LESS so, either, at least not by virtue of the smaller form factor. Crappy components and crappy build QC aren't limited to any case style. Expandability is the only real limitation, but in most cases (as noted below) that hasn't been an issue, and again, if you're going to use that argument, a counter argument could be made that a mid tower is too limiting compared to a giant rack unit, thus rack boxes should be used everywhere.

limited to one internal HDD

Every single Shuttle I've used, over a dozen years, and several generations and models, has supported two internal 3.5" drives and an optical drive. Rarely has that been insufficient.

small fans are louder than larger fans

Most versions have had a couple small fans in the PSU, and one standard 80mm case fan, and tended to be no noisier than a standard mid tower. The really noisy ones are the big 3U/4U rack units.

A friendly reminder, the form John Bazyk is talking about is that he linked to is this one.

Which, though the specs listed aren't exactly clear, indicates only (1) HDD will fit, either 3.5" or 2.5", and no ROM disc drive slot available.

Do you mean 16 cameras would be too many for a Shuttle?

no, unfortunately I meant for a Sub. Though I have the sinking feeling that we're not actually talking about a 16 camera system on a Submarine.

I've built many NVR's on the Shuttle platform.

When I was selling Avigilon it was a great option for a small system.
The only drawback was 1x 3.5" Hard Drive with no option for any more.
I stopped selling them when more space was required...

You could also look at the Asus VivoPC if you need it to be really small...