Getting a High Speed FTTH: For people in India, FTTH is still a dream especially for those who are in small cities. People in metro cities like chennai have a plenty of options and providers to choose from, whereas people in tier-2 cities have less choice and even there were no one providing in my town till 1 year back. So i finally see a 100Mbps speed on my screen, thanks to cherrinet.
Typical Indian Homelab Struggle: The biggest issue i was facing initially are those powercuts. I am not sure about the rest of the world, but in India we are facing frequent power cuts ranging from few minutes to hours sometimes. I had a APC Backups 600Va, which is enough for my single server and NAS but the issue was my server would reboot sometimes during power cut. I really had a nightmare when my server boots each and everytime during power cut.
Problem With ESXi: There are lot of people who use VMWare ESXi for virtualization. But most of them manage through Vsphere and have multiple servers VSAN clusters. The vsphere license is not free. The main limitation i faced with free version of ESXi, is that there is no proper backup solution. I had to shutdown VMs and copy manually to NAS. I tried some solutions found in reddit communities and third party software, none of which served my purpose properly.
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.
So you need bare metal first to do everything. I searched in google for about 3 months and decided to buy a used HP/Dell Server. Some other options were going on budget and getting a NUC, Mini PC from aliexpress etc., Finally decided to purchase used server mainly because i wanted to get the feel of it. Server & Rack: I purchased a used Dell R210II from zaco computers. Came to know about them from some posts i found in quora.