B800i for Security Recordings

The school district where I work wants us to install video cameras in the high school, and we’re considering the B800i with 24 TB of disk space for the video storage. We plan to direct-attach to the server.

As long as the server can handle the 50 or less (depending on funding) camera feeds which I believe it can, anyone see a potential issue with iSCSI throughput to the Drobo?

It’ll depend on the bitrate of the camera feeds.

We will be playing with the bitrate along with the FPS when we get all the parts together for testing. I can’t imaging it being an issue myself, but I’ve never used anything with iSCSI.

We will be playing with the bitrate along with the FPS when we get all the parts together for testing. I can’t imaging it being an issue myself, but I’ve never used anything with iSCSI.

We get enough performance for 160 Mbps video editing (20 MB/sec) out of our DroboPro here at the office, and that’s mounted iSCSI and being shared by headless SFF machine.

I can’t imagine you’ll have a problem unless you run into seek latencies or your camera feeds aren’t compressed.

Worth realizing is if you “run near out of space” and you insert a new drive to expand the space, the duration (sometimes days upon days) upon which time the drive status lights are blinking green/yellow, the performance will be severely impacted.

As part of your pre-production test, I recommend you start with a few drives with scratch data and start a sample set of your camera feeds, then pull out a drive and put in another one (which will trip the “blinking green/yellow” rebuild phase) and also monitor performance during this time.

This will be important that the bitrate that you standardize on can be handled by the drobo in both “full production” mode as well as “drive rebuild/expand” mode, otherwise you may run into problems.

That’s a very good point!

Good point…thanx![hr]
Good point…thanx!


I am experiencing the lethargy currently!

This has been going on for two days on a production B800i that ran 80% out of space, so the end 2tb drive was replaced with a 3tb drive and so it rebuilds. May I repeat, this has been going on for two entire days already, and I expect it to take another two days, even though it’s “optimistic” about 21 hours to go. In fact, since that picture has been taken, it’s bumped to 56 hours remaining. And I made no changes other than the 3tb drive addition to bring it back below 80% utilization.

Hmmmm… anyone have a spare B1200i I could borrow for a week or two? :slight_smile:

If you can, shut down and disconnect from the computer. Any active access will slow down the rebuild, so if you don’t need it connected, that’s speed up the rebuild time.

Let’s see… 10.5 TB used…
I forgot what the general calculation was… I know it’s close to 6-7 hours per TB on my Gen 2 4-bay unit, but the B800i is faster.

So I’d say 72 hours, but it likely will be less, especially if you can disconnect and leave it be.

If it goes longer than 72 hours put in a support ticket.

This is not my first rebuild, ha ha. I’ve used these drobos for nearly a year and overall am quite impressed. But yes, the large database backup to another LUN put my over that magical 80% tier. This is a full production box so migrating off the iscsi means migrating 30+ VM’s off, which in hindsight should have been done before the disk was replaced with one larger. That could have afforded me to rebuild quicker, however, migrating each VM off of the production drobo would have taken even longer than that, (I can only disk migrate ONE VM AT A TIME to or from the drobo) so I’m living with the “half performance while this baby re-lays everything out live” and keeping most VM’s as idle as possible. That said, I did vmotion-migrate several “hot” VM’s to local disk storage on the head nodes which are showing around 100mb/sec performance, a bit better than the drobo does when in non-rebuild mode. But with local disk on the head nodes, you don’t get the benefits of shared iscsi LUN’s, thus drobo. :slight_smile:

But what a difference between when all is green and a rebuild is taking place, the rebuild phase makes the drobo nearly unusable for anything more than the occasional “double click” on a VM.

Yup, slowdown is definitely the case…
I attribute it to both the Drobo CPU load as well as the nature of the operation since it’s similar to defragmenting or sorting a bookshelf, an almost-full drive is way more effort than defragging a half-full drive or bookshelf.

One would hope/wish that the B1200i units that are slotted above the B800i’s have a much more powerful and capable CPU. Plus, those 1200i’s are factory config’d to have dual-drive-redundancy enabled by default as well. With the transactional tier SSD capabilities it’s almost a no brainer that that B1200i needs to be at least 2-4x more powerful to support that workload.

The B800i is a good product, and yes, what is the point in purchasing a high capacity storage array if you can’t fill it up? :slight_smile:

The only other complaint about the B800i is that for VMware purposes, they recommend a single VM per LUN, so I have like 24 luns all 2tb (thin allocated) in size, and each has just one VM assigned to them which makes managing and “top down” analysis quite difficult. But Drobo Dashboard can at least give me that big pie chart approximation, which is better than nothing.


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