I have a 20-bay chassis with (10) 1TB drives in 2 RAID sets with a global hotspare for a total of 7TB of usable storage running FreeNAS.
I run a 2-node vSphere cluster with twin IBM xSeries 3500's connected via iSCSI from FreeNAS, each with 8GB of RAM. I've been thinking about cutting my cluster down to a single node and either using the other one for a core server or getting rid of it altogether (it's very loud and consumes alot of power).
I also run a decent Dell PC as an Untangled router...
All of this is connected to a 48-port managed gig switch capable of VLAN tagging (which currently separates my storage network from my internet accessible network, as well as my ESXi management networks... routed via router on a stick with a Cisco 2651XM router)
If you're looking to shrink down your infrastructure, you might want to check out http://www.napp-it.org/napp-it/all-in-one/index_en.html, and specifically the PDF http://www.napp-it.org/doc/downloads/all-in-one.pdf. Basically, an ESXi host running a Solaris-based NAS/SAN appliance. You can use RDM, or if your hardware supports VT-d or IOMMU, you can pass through the HBA into the guest. Assuming you're running ZFS, you may even be able to export your ZFS pools from FreeNAS, and import them to the Solaris-based products. You definitely can not do vMotion if you go the All-in-one approach, or if you do any PCI pass-through of Tuner cards or other host-based devices.
LMCE runs fine as a VM, as I'm running it as a KVM VM on my Linux virtualisation host. I'm going to play with a virtual MD for some testing and infrastructure work I'm looking at doing. I've got an Athlon x2 5050e 2.6Ghz dual core running 6 VM's on 6GB of memory, and my load averages are 0.5 -1.5 the majority of the time (all Linux VM's). I'll have to bump it up CPU wise if I implement the Win7 Virtual Hosted Desktop I'm thinking of doing... (I like having my own private cloud).
I have two physical NIC's, as recommended by the LMCE configuration architecture. eth0 is the existing home "production" network, and eth1 is the LMCE managed network. I've bridged them internally, eth0 to br_ext, and eth1 to br_int, and I have VM's configured to attach to the appropriate network (think vSwitched internal networks bridged to external physical networks). My mail server VM, Misterhouse VM, and host-based DNS/DHCP/NFS/tftp/MythTV services are connected to the br_ext network, for my existing prod environment, and the LMCE dcerouter/core is dual-homed for external access, but it owns the br_int network. You could implement something similar using vSwitches and partition your switch or use VLAN tagging to separate the network environments. It's best to let LMCE manage DNS and DHCP for the LMCE network (the 192.168.80.0/24 net), so that the PnP and auto-configuration stuff works automagically. If you want to get really fancy, your WAN connection could connect to the Untangle box running as a VM by a physical NIC, have a second virtual interface connected to a vSwitch, which your internal environment gets fed from. I'll have to start a user page with a picture to show my network architecture... I have a few friends looking to do the same...
I've settled on Insteon for my home automation protocol but don't know what all I need to get started using insteon with LMCE. Do I need to get an Insteon starter pack with access points (bridges) or a controller to connect to LMCE? Or can I simply purchase insteon compatible switches/dimmers and connect the PLC to LMCE via USB?
I'm running Insteon at home myself, under Misterhouse presently. There are some GSD drivers in LMCE, but I haven't been able to get them to work reliably with my setup. Someone is working on proper C++ drivers with support for Insteon Groups, scenes, and Link management, so I'll try again when those drivers are ready. You'll need a PLM (USB or Serial) to attach to the computer, and you can use dual-band devices on different legs or phases to bridge the Insteon signals between your A and B legs (rather than Access Points). The USB PLM merely has a FTDI Serial to USB chip built in, so it'll show up as a serial port on /dev/ttyUSBx. It's important to get a good quality Insteon network going first; there are lots of "signal suckers" for Insteon/X10 PLC signals (like UPS's, PC Power Supplies, phone chargers, etc). You'll likely need to put those on signal filters to improve the reliability of the Insteon network. Dual-band devices are also useful for network integrity; at minimum, you'll need two, but they can be helpful on more problematic circuits, so more than two won't be a waste. Four seems to be a common number. If you have Arc-Fault circuit breakers, Insteon PLC signals won't pass through the breaker, so dual-band devices are useful for bridging the comms from the rest of the house onto the arc-fault protected circuit.
Hope that helps!