ZoneMinder – Video Surveillance

ERACC started offering and installing ZoneMinder based video surveillance systems around 2.5 years ago. To date we have installed four of these systems and still manage one of them (the other three businesses where we had installed are now out of business and their assets were sold). ZoneMinder is an OSS application that typically runs on a Linux based host. ERACC custom builds the system based on customer needs. ERACC also installs the system and offers on-site and off-site management and upgrades (for a fee).

Currently I am working on adding two analog cameras with Axis analog to digital converters attached to the one system we still manage. The four cameras that exist on the system now are all Axis digital cameras. The analog cameras will be used to get close-up views of the transactions at our client site with an eventual analog capture and overlay from the PCs that print the customer tickets. The reason I decided to not go all analog or add-on an analog capture card is the fact that with a digital system running on its’ own LAN subnet the physical server location can be anywhere on or off the client site providing there is a network connection available to each camera. Therefore with the Axis converters we keep the flexibility to move the server without being tied to the limitations of analog.

The server itself at this client site is running Fedora Core 6 with a single-core AMD AM2 CPU and 2GB of RAM with the camera feeds capturing on motion detection at 5 frames per second at this point. This server is getting an upgrade to a dual-core AMD AM2 CPU and 4GB of RAM. The storage drive for the video data is a 750GB SATA drive. ZoneMinder is configured to keep 90 days of video per camera. So far this uses about 50% of the storage drive. I plan to adjust the frames per second down a bit on each camera when I add the two new cameras so as to cut back on the processing overhead and to keep the 90 days per camera storage capability. After reviewing the client’s needs I figure 2 or 3 frames per second is really all that is needed for this site.

If one is considering installing or upgrading a video surveillance system one cannot go wrong using Linux and ZoneMinder in my opinion.



Published by

Gene A.

Gene is a "Unix Guy", network technologist, system trouble-shooter and IT generalist with over 20 years experience in the SOHO and SMB markets. He is familiar with and conversant in eComStation (a.k.a. OS/2), DOS (PC, MS and Free), Unix, Linux and those GUI based systems from Microsoft. Gene is also a follower of Jesus (forgiven, not perfect), and this does inform his world view.