I’ve been tinkering with home automation for about 15 years now. Being a programmer, I am always coming up with new events to plug into my systems to really automate my home. The system I am currently using consists of Homeseer connected to an On-Q (HAI) alarm panel and I use Insteon for my lights and devices. I have 140 Insteon devices connected to my system. These include lights, fans, my 600# per day ice machine, irrigation well, sensors in my freezers, leak sensors, motion sensors in every closet and on all corners of the house, remotes and much more. Almost everything in the house is controlled or monitored by my automation system, even network devices. I use Global Cache network to IR systems to control my audio/video systems and use the relay output in one to control the fireplace.
My house alerts me when anything out of the ordinary happens. For example, if the alarm is armed in away mode and someone rings the door bell, I get a text message letting me know. If the temperature in the freezers rise too high, I’m alerted. If the alarm is in night mode and motion is detected outside, I get a text message with the location so I can review my CCTV system the next morning.
During the day, the house also monitors the outside motion sensors and alerts us via voice if someone has pulled into the driveway, walked to the front door or the back door.
My Homeseer server resides as a VM slice and is backed up every night using Bacula. The VM slice is also copied over to my NAS every Saturday at 3:00am and I keep 3 weeks worth of these. In fact, all servers/systems are done like this to insure I can restore to any given time in the last 3 weeks if needed.