I have listened to over 70 episodes of The Homelab Show with Tom Lawrence and Jay LaCroix. (Playlist. Less up-to-date playlist. Website.) I found it both educational and fun. I think it has substantially updated and expanded my patchy early 2010s knowledge of sysadmin lore.
The main conclusion I have drawn from the show is that for essential infrastructure like virtualization, NAS, and firewalls you can DIY to learn how it works, but in production you should deploy an open source appliance OS. The hosts’ choices are:
- XCP-ng or Proxmox for virtualization;
- TrueNAS Core/Scale for the NAS;
- pfSense as your firewall (but OPNsense is an option).
Do not virtualize the firewall that connects your network to the Internet.
(I thought this was obvious, but an anecdote made it vivid.)