Home Networking – Server Closet

Home Server Closet

The home server closet contains all of the networking equipment. I am getting a rack and other “professional” equipment  because I hate disorganization and chaos and it has become a bit of that lately. Not as bad as some of the server closets that I have seen in businesses, but bad by my standards.

I will have an air conditioning duct run into the closet to keep it cool. It also needs AC power – two dedicated 120 volt lines to power everything. They will be on their own breaker on the power panel. And finally lighting – enough light to see the various machines and tell how they are doing.

The server rack I chose is a 30U rack to give me room to expand. As you can see from the diagram, there will be two shelves to hold the router, security appliance, the NAS and the server.  A 30U rack is fairly standard and the enclosure type is one of the more common for the size.


The security appliance

I am still deciding on which to choose, a Linux version of a firewall or a Cisco ASA 5506-x with Firepower services for the security appliance. It has 8 ports which is more than enough.  It retails for about $958. Expensive yes, but all of the services in it are there and with a yearly contract for updates it is still the “industry standard” for security.  With the Linux version of a firewall I get an inexpensive solution (Raspberry PI) and software that is configurable. I am looking into a project called Mistborne which seems to be a good alternative. I will tell you in a future article how to configure mistborne to keep your home network safe.

The switch

The switch I chose is a Netgear Prosafe Smart 48 port managed switch. It is all Gigabit speed and all of the 48 ports have POE (Power over Ethernet) so I can put in devices that need power without an outlet, if I so choose. The all metal case is one of the nice features that Netgear has over its competitors. I am using a managed switch because I am going to use a couple of VLANS for some of the traffic. The cost is about $500.


I am building a new NAS (network attached storage) and transferring the data from the old one. With all of the projects and things there is a need for more space. The drives will be 3 TB each and there will be 6 of them in the enclosure. This will give us plenty of room for the things we have now and room to grow. 18 Tb of space will go a long way to meeting our needs for a long time.

I will be using FreeNAS for the operating system. In future articles I will go through the configuration and setup of the NAS.

The server

I am using a CentOS server which is the Open Source version of RedHat. I will go through the setup and configuration in future articles.

First Article  of the series

Second Article  of the series

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Updated on October 28, 2021