Rugged Open High PoE NVR Examined (Razberi)

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Mar 08, 2016

While cameras are routinely rated for use in harsh environments, recorders are typically much more sensitive and vulnerable, requiring extensive protection against the elements.

Razberi claims its new 'Rugged' NVR can be installed in extremely hot, cold, and dusty locations with no problems. In this note, we examine the new offering's key competitive capabilities and compare pricing to 3 potential alternatives.

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Comments (22)

This means that the unit will still need to be mounted inside a water-tight (typically NEMA) enclosure.

Doesn't that negate the whole fanless thing, as a simple watertight NEMA enclosure might not be able to transfer all the heat from the razberi fins to the outside before the unit overheats?

Not necessarily, IMO.

If a device like this is fanless, and rated to run as such, that should mean that it is capable of maintaining an acceptable internal operating temperature simply by radiating heat through heat sinks/fins into an "open air" environment. The lack of fans also means that air is not being circulated through the case, and depositing dust and debris on the internal parts (which tends to inhibit cooling or cause other problems), and the lack of fans also means that fans won't die, which for most fan-cooled devices tends to mean imminent death.

Sure, you may require a fan on your NEMA enclosure. And that fan might cause some dust to get into the enclosure (this can be mitigated with filters), and that fan might die eventually. But the device itself is less likely to overheat or suffer damage, and a fan on a NEMA box is going to be cheaper and easier to replace than a cooling fan internal to the unit itself.

The ultimate goal with devices like this is to be totally and completely fanless, I agree. But the need for a fan on the enclosure doesn't have to be a major detriment and is (IMO) far far better than a fan on the device itself.

Just saying you might be disappointed with your fanless NVR when you have to go buy an enclosure with a fan to put it in.

I can make fanless devices all day, if you promise to put them in a box with a fan. :)

Also, there are many/more locations where high heat/temp swings are a concern where direct exposure to water may not be. Attics, equipment rooms, equipment sheds, crawlspaces, etc.

Fair enough.

Sounds like that's the better answer. This is not a truly rugged device (won't handle much weather or even significant dust with all the jacks, and while it won't have mechanical fan failures the next vibration failure mode will just be the standard issue connectors ...) - but it may be a good solution for "uncontrolled enclosed environments" as you suggest. Just not something practical for genuinely rugged outdoor use or exposed environments.

Sure, you may require a fan on your NEMA enclosure.

Looking at the Razberi spec I'm wondering if maybe I was too harsh in my initial objection, since they say

Rugged razberi is ready for use out of the box or with a standard NEMA, IP 66 enclosure.

and correct me if I'm wrong, but a "standard NEMA IP 66 enclosure" won't come with a fan.

So maybe it should be expected to work over the temperature range even if enclosed?

A Vibration rating for bus / rail would certainly add value to this.

I have asked Razberi for comment/clarification on a vibration spec rating. I'll respond with their feedback.

Razberi responded:

"The product will conform to the vibration spec used in railway standards: EN 50155/50121."

LogicSupply and SenecaData have had ruggedized NVR's like this built from various chassis manufacturers for awhile, though this is the first that I've seen offered with SFP ports. They usually are listed with mechanical drives for a lot less, but you can always put in your own SSD or custom order with SSD drives. Now that SSD is coming down so much in price, this will probably be a lot more common option for applications like this and edge recording in general.

But personally I prefer a separate POE switch. Less heat inside the chassis and more options. But if space is tight, built in POE is nice.

While I know I'm asking a lot, I just wish I could find something that would take on the cold a little better. -4 is great don't get me wrong, but in the midwest we have many cold days below this and in an unheated building, I would still need to get a heated enclosure.

Does anyone have a good setup for 4-6 cameras in an unheated building with temps that may reach -10 to -20F? (Other than SD card recording which I do now since it's way more cost effective, but obviously has its limitations).

Robb

We've been wrestling with the same issue with SD cards, and have settled on a network share solution.

Wouldn't a NEMA enclosure with a fan defeats the purpose of an enclosure to protect your electronic equipment? It cannot control excess humidity, which most electronic equipment I see is usually rated at @95%. With a fan, you are literally pulling in moisture on a rainy or really humid day. That cannot be good for the longevity of electronic equipment.

I think any way you cut it, be it heat, humidity, cold, lightning exposure, vandalism, vibration... an edge system is just going to be higher maintenance cost. You're paying extra for a ruggedized system so your not having to service it every three months. But it's still going to need more service than a PC in a rack or on a shelf in an air conditioned room inside.

I think a reasonable comparison can be made to the NUVO-3616VR:

Pros:

  • 16 Port POE+ switch
  • i7 CPU option
  • < $5000 (4TB, i5)

Cons:

  • 160W vs 200W POE budget
  • No SFP, (though PCI mini slot can be used.)

Certainly a good deal if you have > 8 cameras....

Are there any management capabilities in the switch or is it a "dumb" switch? For example, if the switch reads the camera as a Class 0 PoE device, can one manually force a specified wattage, etc?

This is not a 'dumb' switch per se, as Razberi touts it's 'LocBeri' security management layer is included that allows for turning ports on only if certain devices are connected, etc

In terms of forcing a specific wattage, is that needed? The device draws what it draws regardless of class, and forcing anything seems dangerous. Am I misunderstanding that?

The device draws what it draws regardless of class, and forcing anything seems dangerous.

The motivation for 'forcing' is because the vast majority of devices identify by default as class 0 (Mobotix cameras are an exception), which means that the switch has to be prepared to provide 15W at anytime to power it. These devices typically don't draw anywhere near the max, though ever.

Because of this possible demand switches will pre-allocate part of their budget to the device, whether the device needs it or not. In a switch that doesn't have a power budget big enough to provide full power on all ports, this pre-allocation can end up starving later devices that come on line needlessly.

So you might want 'force' a power class of 2 on a device that you know only ever draws 3W. This causes the switch to pre-allocate about half the power it normally would, which is then available to other devices.

There is some risk in doing this, but that's the reason to do it.

In the case of the Razberi switch, this is not necessary as it can provide full AT level power to all ports at the same time. Contrast with the Nuvo switch shown above, it only has 160W for 16 ports, so such a strategy might be helpful if pushing the switch near its limits.

[IPVM Mod Note: poster works for Razberi]

You may want to re-examine the specs, operating temperature is now -40C to 60C (-40F to 140F), plus you can see their cost saving explanation via white paper (http://info.razberi.net/deploying-razberi-serverswitchiq-rugged). Razberi is also investing heavily on cyber security features to harden the unit further considering the likely installation / application scenarios for this product.

Is unit cost the same?

Can you share specifics on what 'cyber security features' are being added to the unit?

Unit costs remain the same, you have three options in types of recording mediums (HDD, SSD, SSD w/Extended Temps), this helps manage some of the costs across an installation. Though obviously the higher operating temperature ranges require better performing components.

Cyber security features are being added to monitor and report on threats, more information to follow, here's their white paper to give you an idea as to where they are heading: http://info.razberi.net/reduce-video-surveillance-cybersecurity-risks-whitepaper

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