In order to implement a cohesive way to control and monitor you home, you need some sort of controller to integrate with your devices. This can take the form of a "hub" hardware device (or multiple hubs) that you place in your home, or the use a third-party (or multiple third-parties) over the Internet. Since there has been a historically bad track-record with security flaws with home automation or Internet of Things (IoT) devices and software, I did not want to rely on a third-party to manage control of my home automation. I also wanted to control my data as well as remote access to my home. With that in mind, my main goals for a home automation controller are:

  • Not require any sort of connection to the Internet, or use any third-party servers
  • Be able to integrate with a variety of common devices and services so I am not constrained to just one product line or ecosystem
  • Be accessible away from the home over secure channels on a variety of devices, (namely Android and Windows-based ones)
  • Support access using a "panel" interface such as an Android tablet mounted on a wall in the home
  • Be a mature and well-supported product

As part of the changes to the Stein Home Network (see Stein Home Network - 2021 Edition), the core home automation server is being moved to a new virtual machine and a new version of the openHAB software I use. While it is the same software, it is a major change and it is recommended to rebuild the system from scratch using their new tools instead of trying to upgrade in place or migrate data from the previous implementation.

The main goal of this iteration is just to update the server software used and get used to the changes made. However, it also helps to further another goal of decommissioning one of the full-time, physical servers in the basement to reduce energy consumption. No other changes are planned at this time.

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