VMS Storage Best Practice? VMS Server With Storage Or Dedicated Storage Device?

I am working to develop a new customer in our neighborhood the primary site has around 325+ cameras with 1/3 on older ONSSI and 2/3's on a Vicon platform the upper end of cameras including remote office sites is 500+ channels some streamed back to the head end some stored locally . We are leading our story with ONSSI Occularis v5 since the initial lead started from ONSSI. My original proposal was built with the owner providing virtual servers to host the VMS while storage would be handled in a dedicated storage product from Spectra Logic our calculations pointed toward 180+TB to hit the requirements. The owners IT folks have now come back and asked me to revise my proposal to supply a dedicated VMS server.

I am wrestling with which storage approach would be the best option now scale up the dedicated VMS server chassis to include storage, or stay with the dedicated storage platform and spec out the VMS server to handle the work load and pass storage to the drive array.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


they dont want to host the VM's so just make your own.

storage at the size you are looking at need to be separate or you are just asking for trouble.

I wouldnt put all of that in one machine, something bad happens you are down all the way.

I would recommend you look at fiber channel SAN solutions. Easy to connect multiple servers or VMs to the SAN and they are very scalable depending on the solution you go with. Ours scale to 1PB of storage by adding expansion boxes. But the first step is to figure out what your bandwidth requirements are.

Seneca has worked closely with OnSSI to evaluate OCC5 performance on our server builds and to understand some of the nuances.

A summary can be read here: Ocularis 5.1 Performance Guidelines.

I would agree with Eddie that 180TB at one location that takes feeds from several sites could be a disaster waiting to happen. Any large storage array WILL have a drive fail from time to time. It is a question of when...not if.

Michael is also correct in saying you need to know the bandwidth needs of your enterprise.

Depending on the bandwidth needed, you can consider the different options available.

It is important to know the way storage works in OCC5.

You assign drive letters with directories for target Zones.

You can have multiple zones and the system will use them all based on their full/busy status when new data needs to be written. Things get a little more complex if you let these Zones get filled to their allowed space because the system will start cleaning up space to make room for the new data.

This emergency cleanup will tend to drop a few frames depending on the overall loading of the system. A best practice here is to put a real 'AGE' on the data so that it can expire.

There currently is NO useful method to migrate recent video data to a targeted archive storage target. The method is to Export the database manually from the Client application.

Why do I mention this? Because writing to local storage is faster that writing to a storage unit located far away.

In terms of performance, writing to storage located inside a server system using the PCIe bus and a RAID card is the fastest. The next fastest is having a Direct Connect Storage appliance connected to a RAID card in the Recorder system. Next in line are your network connected storage appliances where the performance capabilities are defined by the overall infrastructure created for the inter-box communication.

I would favor as many local VMS servers as needed with an appropriate amount of local storage.

You would run those as Recorder only in function. The management of the entire enterprise is handled by a separate server running the Base+Core functions. If your existing OnSSI Recorders are running OK...and have local storage.... the new Management function can see them and let them be part of the hybrid infrastructure.