New Security cameras for School District

Our elementary school had a very old, outdated analog camera system. It was put in before a massive remodelling project, and as such, we had massive coverage holes as well. 

To alleviate this, Unifi Video was chosen. A full shoot out of Unifi, Hikvision, Panasonic, Axis, and Acti was put in place before hand, and while each company had their pros and cons, Unifi was chosen due to the cost and quality of the cameras, as well as the success the school already had with the Unifi Access Points, of which 55 UAP-AC-Pros have been running great for the past school year serving our 1:1.

A pre-existing server was allocated for the NVR. It’s an older IBM M3, with Dual Xeon X5500’s and 48gb of ram. Attached to this is a Lenovo SA120 full of 8TB Western Digital Purples. This is a direct attach solution, so NFS or ISCSI to deal with. The server itself runs Proxmox, like all of our other hypervisors, and boots from a pair of 2.5in disks.  The storage is setup in a RaidZ2 via ZFS, with a Intel SSD set for all write logs.

The NVR software runs on Proxmox in a LXC container with 16GB of RAM and 8 cores. We presented the storage as a huge LVM pool to the container, and it’s working great.

There are 45 cameras installed throughout the campus, up from the original 22. 20 indoor, and 25 outdoor. Due to the oddshape of our building, numerous odd nooks are available on the outdoors. All outdoor cameras are constantly recording, while the indoors record constantly Mon-Fri, 6 Am to 6 PM, and then do Motion only overnights and weekends. At the current recording specs of 1080p 8fps, we can retain approx 5 weeks of footage. More than enough for our needs.

Staff feedback from the cameras have been fantastic. The clarity is miles above our old cameras, and the coverage is great. Administration especially likes the mobile app allowing t hem to view anywhere for safety.

The entire project, including the 18000 ft  cat5 we ran to supply the cameras, came under $12,000 USD. Compared to competitors, this was a savings of over $30,000 USD.  All install work was done by our in house custodians, under the direction of our sole IT Coordinator.

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