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VSM 7.2.0 Storage Usage with Longer Alert Retention

Level 1
Level 1

Has anyone taken notice to how much extra storage is used when retaining alert events in VSM 7?  I have 24/hr recording on 300+ cameras with 14 day recording retention and no alerts set up. I would like to use the motion alert feature to help narrow my forensic searches and retain those motion events much longer than 14 days but I am unsure how much more storage that will consume. I know that the number of events in any given time frame will increase the amoun tof storage but I do not know how much on average.  Is this a trial and error situation where I need to set up a few cameras to test it out and adjust accordingly, or is there a formula to calculate an approximate amount?    Any help would be great.


3 Replies 3

Jason Rossi
Level 1
Level 1

I would say it is a trial and error situation. We retain motion events as you describe, and it varies wildly by camera as well. One camera watching a high traffic entrance is 5x the size as an adjacent one which is watching a side entrance.

So yeah, best bet is to set up a few test cameras, check the archive size in the VSMC media recordings, and extrapolate from there.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support Android App

Scott Olsen
Level 6
Level 6

I believe you're referring to alerts based on video motion detection from the camera endpoints?  If this is the case, I don't think your archives will change in size at all.  If you are just turning on the Alert Notification flags, this is effectively just a database table entry (insert) that happens in VSOM, and modern database systems should handle this level or record creation and indexing without too much trouble.  At least this is my current understanding.

If you want to get an idea; this is how I'd approach:

  1. Ensure all your servers are logging performance data adequately and that you know what your baseline is.
  2. Take a known subset of your ~300 cameras (30 or so?) that have the most motion activity.  Enable the alert events for these cameras.
  3. Gather performance data for a period of time and note how it impacts storage and performance across your servers.
  4. Extrapolate out the expected performance of enabling it across the remainder of your endpoints.


Scott Olsen
Solutions Specialist
Bulletproof Solutions Inc.

Scott Olsen Solutions Specialist Bulletproof Solutions Inc. Web:

Branden Varney
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Scott is correct. Your archives will not change in size if you are already archiving clips. Archives are kept in 5 minute periods regardless or event based recording or continuous. They are then groomed accordingly if they have events(motion) or not, according to days you have set to retain them.

If there is motion detected, that 5 minute file will be marked and the whole 5 minute archive/file will be kept until it is groomed/deleted for when you set it.

In reality you will be able to keep files longer and groom/delete unnecessary files when there is no motion detected. Usually people keep the motion event for 30 days and continuous for 1 day. I would slowly transition cameras over to motion events and keep an eye on your partition usage as you do so. If it starts to fill up ajust your retention amount.