I almost hate to respond since @MichaelTunnell is going to give me hell for not finishing the network diagram & write-up I promised… oh… maybe a year ago now. Oh well, here goes…
I run a FreeNAS server on an old Dell R510 with a Dell MD1200 (or MD1000 I can’t remember) DAS with ~160Tb of raw storage. I also have a Dell R710 running XCP-NG as my hypervisor with about a dozen VMs (changes regularly) for tinkering & such. I’m also about to re-purpose an old desktop as a 2nd FreeNAS box in my office (other is in the rack in the basement) for an additional on-site copy plus faster access to files while in my office. The head of the network is a home-built pfSense box in a 1U case in the rack.
I have 10Gb peer to peer between the R510 & R710 with the VM store on FreeNAS mounted via iSCSI to the Hypervisor so all of the VMs actually boot & run off of the FreeNAS share. Since it’s 10Gb, you can’t tell it’s not local storage.
As for software, the VMs are a mish-mash depending on my mood (and boredom). Usually though, it’s a derivative of Debian. So Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, etc… However, I have been known to play with Red Hat or CentOS on a regular basis. As for what the VMs do, you name it. Nextcloud, Plex, Mosquitto (MQTT Broker), MediaWiki, Ubiquity controller, etc… The big thing is Nextcloud. I’ve given up GDrive & the like for Nextcloud. It’s super fantastic & getting better every day. Highly recommend.
For super critical data, I encrypt that & toss it up to a Backblaze bucket for offsite storage.
I also have an UdooX86 SBC with a few docker images on it as well.
TBH, other than Nextcloud, pretty much everything I do is out of sheer boredom & not getting to do this sorta stuff at work anymore (I’m management, ugh). Maybe one day I’ll get that diagram & walk-through written…but don’t get your hopes up.