Here are some of the tools that I use around the house and in my projects. I loosely use the word tools as they are not just physical tools, but software as well. 

Virtualization Server

My choice for the virtual server. I currently have three VMs running production for the servers in my home. The servers range from home automation to secure remote access and network monitoring. With enough resources, I have enough to do some testing and training. 

Home Assistant

I use home assistant to bring all of my smart home devices into one environment. This enables me to use different vendors to automate different devices. And to set scenes from multiple vendors.