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Where is your Home Server?


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Hi everyone, I am kinda new around here. The people seem nice and helpful and I do like the positive atmosphere.

I have been meaning to write a hopefully thought provoking article on the locations of our home servers.

We spend a lot of time protecting our personal network from people sneaking into it from the outside, but we dont from what I have observed think much about protecting our server from people physically sneaking in from the outside. I am talking about if someone were to break into our house and steal our server right from under our roof!

With my background being in security, theater, networking installations, I was wondering if any one has put much thought into the physical location of your home server.


With all of our personal information and more and more information that we use to keep on paper being stored either on our personal servers, it is obvious that this is the one place that we will continue to use to store our most personal items going into the future.


I have witnessed many residential robberies after the fact and there is two major things, random robberies have in common. The robbers tend to grab what is easy to grab and looks expensive. Unfortunately most of the home servers on the market look cool and expensive with their pretty lights and sleek form. If you put your glimmering, attention grabbing, light flashing server out in the open you are falling for these major pitfalls and giving any potential robber the keys to all of your important data.


The other unfortunate facts of the WHS hardware is that as far as I know and I could be wrong here, is that the data on the drives is mostly not encrypted unless you go above and beyond to encrypt yourself. So if a burglar gets possession of your server and pulls the drives and then put the drives in another computer they have easy access to all of the files stored on that drive.


One reason I have and use the WHS platform is the integration with My Movies and Windows Media Center. I use the server as a DVR and share all of my recorded TV and ripped movies out to all of my TV clients throughout the house. Although I love the WHS version of MM, I am hesitant to pay for the product in full because of the developers lack of willingness to make the client computers able to do the ripping of the DVD's. As it is now the WHS computer has to do the automated ripping. This is obviously a argument for not hiding your server, but in my opinion it is not worth having all of your data physically out in the open. Now I have to personally rip my DVD's on a client and hand transfer it to the server. A pain but I like to make sure it is done correctly.


Just in case you were wondering, I have a hidden, ventilated, locked cabinet with both my security camera DVR and my WHS machines inside.

I realize a WHS is not the easiest thing to hide in a home, but with proper planning and some knowledge of home construction you should be able to foil a robber from stealing your WHS and your most private data. "Out of sight, Out of mind"


I would love to hear what everyone's thoughts are on this subject. I hope this article at lease gets everyone here take a second thought as to where you place your server in your home.

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One of the advantages of running a RAID array is that when drives go missing, the array is broken. Most thieves would tend to sell the server as parts rather an entire unit. It would be nice to have a lockable cabinet for the server but I do have a project to move the server to a discrete location as well as the COOP server.


One of the tasks I had ioverseas was to decommission about 40 servers and the associated drives. The key was to keep the task simple so all I did was to start swapping drives among the servers. When I was finished, nothing would boot and no data could be read. We had no degaussing unit until right at missions end when we took down an entire data center consisting of about 2000 drives and degaussing every single one.


I guess my point is if an intruder breaks into my home while I'm here, the least of their worries is finding the easily accessible gear.

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Please excuse my ignorance in this matter, I have not had much experience in RAID arrays. Does the RAID encrypt the data or is it just a matter of accessing the data?

The reason I ask is because I once had to retrieve data from a friends external hard drive that had been accidentally formatted using some data retrieval software. The data was easily accessible using this software. Could it be that simple in this RAID situation?

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The RAID specs do not include encryption. However, depending on the level of RAID employed, the data will be easier or harder to access. For example, a 2-drive RAID1 will be simple to access because the data is just written to both drives in the native file format. On the other hand, RAID5 data is spread out across all of the drives that make of the array. This means parts of a specific file could be located on a number of individual drives, making it harder to put all the pieces together.

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How does SkyNet work in the basement?

Very Comfy..... SkyNET does get upset when it phones home to HP for updates and HP says it doesn't exist anymore. A few times SkyNET's NIC got "filled up" possibly from its tears? and I had to reboot it. But now HAL-9000 keeps it company.

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No problems. Humidity 40% max. Max Temp in summer upper 60's; winter mid 60's.



I guess my point is if an intruder breaks into my home while I'm here, the least of their worries is finding the easily accessible gear.


Yeh, same here too.

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That sounds like a great place for it. We do not see a lot of basements or storm cellars out here.

Do burglars often steal things from down there? Not that I am assuming you are a burglar. I thought maybe you had heard of some burglary details in your travels.

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