After getting my server up and running, i installed ubuntu server 18.04 on bare metal. Few days passed and already it had more than basic nginx and php. Also I felt the server hardware was not used to its full potential by using it just as a webserver. I was searching for a solution and came across VMware ESXI. It is bare metal hypervisor. Having individual virtual machines would be easy for managing different set of software.

I installed free version of ESXI 6.7 and after installing i created 4 VMs (pfsense, webserver, homeassistant and TIG stack).

One port on my server is directly connected to modem and other one two switch. I created two virtual switches, named them WAN and LAN. Only pfsense VM had two ports attached to it, and all other VMs are on LAN vswitch. pfsense had fully fledged firewall rules with SNORT and pfblockerNG enabled. It also had openVPN server running, so that i could check from remote.

TIG stack is obvious, it had few grafana dashboards which looked awesome and telegraf collected metrics from pfsense and other devices using SNMP.

Then I installed home-assistant and played with it for a while. It is a great piece of software for home automation lovers.

The webserver VM had two static sites, one my personal and other one for my uncle. They were working well with dynamic DNS and i off-loaded all the images to cloudinary. Only html,css and js loads from my server. (Still i have a 512 kbps upload speed on my ADSL connection)

This was going on for about three months. It was a great experience to install, configure and troubleshoot all the softwares i have mentioned above, especially pfsense and home-assistant which have some learning curve.

Then I felt that something was missing in ESXI, and came across proxmox. After seeing a couple of videos on youtube, I decided to get rid of ESXI. Backed up some important configurations such as nginx, pfsense, home-assistant and deleted ESXI!

Will write why I switched to proxmox in next post.