The idea for this website began to take shape months after I finished building out my home network in my family’s new home. When walking through similar new houses in our development that were not yet occupied, I noticed that the builder centralized the Ethernet/coax cabling in the basement under the stairwell. At the time I thought it was nice that the cabling was centralized in a location that was hidden from the main living area.
After a while I came to the realization that I had the opportunity to build out my home network by choosing the location of the Ethernet cabling throughout my home and by centralizing my home network equipment in the closet under the stairwell in my basement. Enthralled with the idea of having my own basement network/server closet, I began a several month pursuit of researching and designing my future home network. Many hours were spent learning about various technologies and many hours were spent troubleshooting the configuration and installation of the devices once I had purchased them.
Often in my research, I would find myself piecing together information from several blogs, forums, and various other sites. Although I understand that it not always possible to find precisely the information one is seeking for very specific use cases, I still longed for more information to exist about certain use cases. The information I found seemed tailored either for novice home networking users or for enterprise users. I was seeking information that went beyond the basics of networking yet was not tailored for enterprises. I desired practical information for intermediate to advanced home network users and solutions that are budget friendly for home use.
With that desire I decided to share my experience in a (hopefully) user-friendly format for more advanced users. I feel convinced that I am not the only one interested in building an advanced home network (I mean just look at r/homelab on Reddit). Even if this site does not contain any useful information to you personally, perhaps it will provide some needed inspiration to build out your own home network. I hope this site can help reduce your implementation and troubleshooting time by providing guidance and pitfalls that I have encountered in my journey to build a more advanced home network.
As with any learning adventure, I still have much to learn, but I hope we can learn together! Please feel free to share constructive feedback and please help me correct any mistakes that may exist on this site. I strive to provide accurate and useful information. I greatly appreciate your feedback and support!
My Server Closet and Rack
A few years after moving into my new house, I finally got around to building my own server closet in my basement while I was working to finish the rest of my unfinished basement. It has been nice to have a dedicated room for all the equipment! Previously, I had my rack crammed under the stairwell in my basement but that was a tight spot.
I have the heat exhausting to the return air duct that runs parallel to the right side of the room and a passthrough vent in the wall in front of the closet to allow cool air to enter more easily. A 6 inch AC Infinity inline duct fan is used to help keep the temperatures down when the HVAC is not running to draw air out of the room. I did not put a register in the room for the summer months since I do not want to have to remember to open/shut the register. There are certain times of the year where there is the need to switch back and forth from heating to cooling due to greatly fluctuating temperatures outside. I set the high temperature on the AC Infinity fan controller to 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The room will stay at that temperature or lower depending on the temperature outside so I am pleased the room stays cool enough with simply exhausting the heat with a duct fan.