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  • Robert Watson
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      Posted on Friday, 02 September 2011

    In part 1, I discussed the various home server offerings currently available and a rather superficial critique of each of them.  In part 2, I’ll layout what I’d like a home server to do in bullet form.  The ideal home server should, in no particular order: Provide a secure resource so that all resources are available within the home network and remotely via a home website.  Goal: you're never a click away from home.Provide a central redundant storage medium for server & home computers to share and backup files with.  A shared environment should be assumed so that linux, windows & mac users have a seamless connection to this storage medium.  An auxilliary service should be available to backup this central backup to a remote location for redundancy.  Goal: you're resources are available 24/7 from anywhere even if all h*LL breaks loose.Provide gateway services to home client computers including spam filtering, antivirus screening, etc.  Goal: Keep your home safe.Provide for a single sign on experience so that when the user logs into his computer all files, etc. are immediately available.  This sso would also be applicable to the server web interface so that there's only one credentialing service that every app uses.  Goal: One login that rules all.Provide a secure home website where the user can not only access his files, etc but also securely,on a per user basis, share with friends and family.  The home website should require minimal back-end administration, where the overwhelming majority of content is created & maintained in the front-end.  Resources shared could be files, calendars, security camera viewing, music, videos, photos, etc.  The web interface will provide a consistent but attractive and individualized interface.  Goal: Securely share with friends & family without worrying about uploading content to strangers.The secure home website will expose all content services with a consistent user interface and access restrictions.  Goal: a slick & seamless interface rather than a hodge-podge of different services with their own 'unique' interface.Utilize open-source software where ever possible but create down stream repo's which are individualized for the Home Server.  Goal: Keep the open source community alive and provide for sustainable & stable software.Create dual secure web interfaces for administering the ClearOS server along with a separate home website.  Goal: Separate the functions of the server websites, one for control, the other for content.Provide a DDNS client/server so that the home server is always available. Goal: The user can always go home.To this end, I suggest we use ClearOS for the server backend/administration and utilize Joomla along with it's many components/modules/themes/etc for the home website interface.  Using ClearOS to provide for ldap, samba, gateway services, etc we can utilize the exisiting infrastructure of ClearOS to provide the backbone of the home server.  Using Joomla 1.7, JEvents(for calendaring), JomSocial(personal social network), EasyBlog(personal blog/news) along with some custom components/modules I've created a demonstration website which should give you an idea of where I think the ClearOS Home personal website should aim.  Disclaimer: using Ubuntu @ present for some development issues but will switch to ClearOS 6 when it gets a little further along.The development website utilizes Joomla1.7 more robust acl so that content access has better control.  I've created four demonstration users with different access levels:John Q. Friend (user: jqfriend password:jqfriend)John Q. Clan (user: jqclan password:jqclan)John Q. Family (user: jqfamily password:jqfamily)John Q. Private (user:jqprivate password:jqprivate)Robert