Unifi Video Server Size

What kind of server hardware would be recommended for a Unifi Video setup with approx. 30-40 cameras and about a month or so of record time. I was thinking like 32gb ram, a cheaper xeon or a high end desktop processor with a server or higher end motherboard and about 12-18TB of raid 5 WD purple drives. (Also, wouldn’t mind going with a less powerful server to save money) Just wondering what kind of hardware people have had success with at this scale and what to stay away from when it comes to Ubuntu and Unifi Video.

I haven’t work with a setup at this level yet, but I think you’re in the right neighborhood. If I remember right each G3 camera uses about 150MB in the RAM disk, so you might be able to drop down to 16GB there. I think something along the lines of a Xeon E5-2609 would work for the CPU.

What kind of recording are you planning on doing, motion vs full-time, and what type of retention do you need? You can play with a calculator like this to estimate storage needs.

Good to know the 150mb per camera info for memory. I’m looking at motion for all except for like 12 cameras or so. But the storage I’m not too worried about and I’m sure 16-18 TB will be plenty for my needs. Mainly just wondering if a Xeon like you said would be overpowered (the exact cpu I was looking at was the Xeon 1230) and if I should go for ECC memory or not. (Forgot to mention that before)

Also will probably drop down to 16gb memory. I talked to someone yesterday that is running over 60 g3 cameras and they max out at about 16gb memory usage.

Thanks for your quick response and help. It is much appreciated.

It probably depends on if you’re going with new or used hardware. Enterprise servers with Xeon v2s are cheap on eBay. If building new, 8th gen i3 or a Ryzen chip should work well. ECC is not required for an NVR in my opinion.

If this helps, my NVR is a VM with 2 cores (Xeon v2 2.2GHz), 4GB RAM, and 5 G3 cameras. CPU usage for the past 24 hours is 10% with a max of 25%, and I think that was applying kernel updates and a reboot. RAM usage only gets over 50% if when the system has been up for a couple of months.

Your biggest bottleneck is going to be disk IO. When you’re pushing 40 cameras you might want to look at RAID 10 instead of RAID 5. But someone who has actually dealt with a bigger system like that will hopefully chime in on that aspect.

go with 32GB and also faster hard drives as disk IO for NVR’s get’s intense with that many cameras

So would a fast desktop hard drive (such as the barracuda pro or WD Black drive) work, or should I go with a faster NAS drive or something else? I’ve also noticed that seagate’s skyhawk NVR drive seems to be faster than the WD purples too. I’m looking at doing 4, 6TB drives in raid 10 for about 12TB of total usable space. I would do 2 small SSD’s in raid 1 for the OS partition. Just wondering what specific drives you guys think would work best for this without spending $300+ a drive.

Also do you think I would be better off going with 6, 4TB drives in raid 10? I should be able to get faster drive speeds then.

I think any current 7200 rpm NAS/enterprise drive should fit the bill. 3 stripes is faster then 2… The price/GB for 4 vs 6TB drives looks to be the same. Your “enterprise” drives will have a 5 year warranty vs a 2 or 3 year on a NAS drive, enterprise will also cost about $10/TB more. So you’ll want to think about how long you plan to keep this in service.

Thank you for your help, I am now planning on doing a raid 10 setup with 6, 4TB Ironwolf Pro drives from seagate which have the 5 year warranty and are 7200rpm drives. I just need to figure out what brand raid controller (if any) I should go with. Thank you again.

These days software raid is pretty much as good as hardware raid. Do some reading on mdadm before spending money on a controller.

Gotcha, I will look into mdadm and also if the built in raid on the motherboard will be able to support it. Wasn’t totally sure if with this many drives if I should stay away from that but it seems that software raid is fine. Thank you for your help.