Thank you Curtis for pointing me your your other posts and for the insights.
Let me just further share here my thoughts and questions - it’s a bit long, but please bear with me (and who knows, someone has a similar scenario, and can share their thoughts/questions).
I’m just now starting to experiment with a razberry and some battery powered z-wave sensors (a Zipato Smoke Detector and a Zipato 4-in-1 Multisonsor, for now - I also have some qubinos around, but I still need to wire them up and test them - I’m planning to do that later this week).
But before moving too deep into configuring devices and sensors, and installing servers and services, I’m first trying to figure out what would be the best Home Automation architecture for a country side property I own, where I have multiple separate units (main house, bungalows, garages, shacks, etc.), all already interconnected with Cat6 ethernet cabling to a central switch/internet router). So at each unit I already have IP/internet connectivity (both cabled and wifi - I’m also configuring separate VLANs for admin, home automation, guests, etc. - but I digress).
Inside each unit I want to have a dedicated sensor/actuator network. Of course IP sensors/actuators are an option (which I will also use wherever possible - mainly based around arduinos), but it would require power connections in a lot of points inside and around each building (e.g. door and windows sensors, etc.), which I want to avoid. So Z-Wave devices seemed like a good option (at least for now I’m not considering adding zigbee, or other solutions - but I like to keep those options open for a later phase).
So, for testing purposes, I have just installed OH2 on a server - this will be the “main” OH2 server, where I will configure the global sitemap where all the items from all the units in the property would be managed, and where all the rules would be configured and run (and where all the other general systems will be connected to, e.g. opensprinkler for the common property gardens, openenergymonitor, etc.). I plan this to be the main automation server for the entire property, where I can have an overall view of all the units (but where I can also have more specific views on each single house unit, if I want).
The question now resides on how should this main OH2 server interact with the devices inside each independent house unit, particularly the non-IP ones (e.g., Z-Wave sensors, actuators, etc. - IP devices are not a problem, since they are directly visible to this main OH2 server through IP - they will all be in a same VLAN/subnet).
Some options I’ve been considering:
- at each house unit have a RPi+Razberry, with only Z-Way installed, which will basically only manage the Z-Wave network for that single house unit. The main OH2 server will then use the Z-Way binding to connect to each and all the Z-Way servers in each house unit. No rules or advanced automation of Z-Wave elements will be configured in Z-Way, installed in these RPi+RazBerry servers (that will be done in the main OH2 server). However, this assumes the following:
1.1) OH2 Z-Way binding supports multiple connections to multiple Z-Way servers (each at its own IP address) - does it?
1.2) OH2 Z-Way binding is efficient and stable - from what I’ve been reading around here, that may not be the case (high CPU usage, latency problems, etc…)…
- at each house unit have a RPi+Razberry, with OH2 installed. And here I would have the following options:
2.1) also install Z-Way in each RPi+Razberry (this has proved to quite tricky, so far, if using the latest Raspbian Stretch-based openhabian - Z-Way 2.3.7 still has no official support for Raspbian Stretch, though I was able to make it run installing some older libs - but then I failed to make the Z-Wave devices to work… more tests needed…), and again use the OH2 Z-Way binding to locally interconnect Z-Way and OH2 (but then my questions in point 1, above, apply). Assuming Z-Way and OH2 work well together when installed in a same RPi+Razberry, I would then use MQTT to connect OH2 in this RPi-Razberry device to the main OH2 server, where all itens would be mapped.
2.2) instead of using the OH2 Z-Way binding to interconnect OH2 and Z-Way running inside that same RPi+Rzberry, I could try interconnecting them using MQTT (installing the MQTT binding in OH2 and the MQTT app in Z-Way). Once again, I would then use MQTT to connect OH2 in this RPi-Razberry device to the main OH2 server, where all itens would be mapped.
2.3) do not use Z-Way at all, and only install OH2 in each house unit’s RPi+Razberry, using the Z-Wave binding to manage the Z-Wave network. Once again, I would then use MQTT to connect OH2 in this RPi-Razberry device to the main OH2 server, where all itens would be mapped. Although this seems to probably be the simpler and most elegant solution, the problem I anticipate with this approach is that, as far as I could understand, the Z-Wave network configuration is not made persistent by OH2 (in case of server failure or other catastrophic situation), while if using Z-Way, that configuration is made persistent inside the Razberry controller itself - is this correct?
Maybe I should create a new thread on this topic… in addition to all this, I also need to understand which of these architectures (or any additional ones you may suggest) proves to be easier to backup and restore (and even include some redundancy abilities!), in case of fatal failures - as soon as I start building all the property automation on top of theses systems, I need to have robust and efficient backup/restore plans to quickly make the full system go back online.
Anyway, any comments, suggestions, further questions are most welcome.