Finding a location for your Windows Home Server is not a trivial undertaking. Many factors can influence where you want to put your home server, and they must be balanced with the environmental factors that will let your Windows Home Server be useful and reliable.
In order to function, your home server needs two primary connections, namely:
Almost all Windows Home Server machines operate from a single grounded three-prong electrical outlet. Some OEM devices may use a power brick, or wall wart type power supply; others use a standard computer power cord to connect to an internal power supply.
In addition to the single power outlet for Windows Home Server, you should think about the other devices that may need power in this location.
– Wired Ethernet connection to your home network
The other critical connection that your Windows Home Server needs is a wired Ethernet connection. This connection must reach back to your network switch, or your router or broadband modem if it has an integrated switch.
In addition to the two connections that your home server needs when functioning normally, you should make sure to plan for other situations that might arise. If you are setting up Windows Home Server on a standard PC, then you need to be able to connect a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to the server for installation.
Although it’s a great cause to try to conserve natural resources and save the earth, it is not the type of environmental concerns being discussed in this section. The server’s environment simply refers to the features of the surrounding area that can affect how the server will perform. A more appropriate term might be habitat, but technical people will be more apt to understand what you’re talking about if you use the term environmental concerns, as it is frequently referenced in documentation for business servers.
Some of the factors which should be considered from this perspective include:
Excessive heat is a major concern for your Windows Home Server. Heat can be a problem for virtually all parts of your server, including the CPU(s), RAM, and most importantly, the hard drive.
Dust is another enemy of a reliable server. Dust can directly impact the performance of optical drives such as DVD and CD-ROM drives, but it also can cause secondary problems by restricting the airflow that is necessary to remove heat.
The Newest Member of Your Household
As you weigh the options for where your Windows Home Server should take up permanent residence, you should keep in mind a simple qualifying test: “Would you be comfortable where you are placing the server?”
Frankly speaking, a typical home server takes up much less space than a person, but do the environmental factors line up with what you would want for yourself? If you would feel comfortable with the temperature and cleanliness of a location, then it is probably a good home for your new Windows Home Server.