Architecture consolidation advice needed (HA / HomeMatic / NodeRed / Hue / ZigBee...)



I’ve built an extensive home automation setup that started with HomeMatic/CCU and is now evolving into a Home Assistant-centric system. I’m aiming to reduce dedicated hardware and decouple dependencies, using a VM server that’s already running in my basement.

Current setup:

Due to my IT background, I have a large server in the basement with multiple VMs that can host required applications with high reliability. This server is connected to the LAN but is out of reach for any wireless communication (i.e., no WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, or HomeMatic). Currently, I have:

  • Home Assistant running as a Docker container in a VM on my basement server.
  • HomeMatic (& -IP) running on a Raspberry Pi with RaspberryMatic and an RPI-RF-MOD (50-100 devices).
  • Node-RED running on the same Raspberry Pi (RedMatic) for advanced automations.
  • Mosquitto MQTT broker on the Raspberry Pi for data collection and distribution.
  • Zigbee using a ConBee II stick, also on the Raspberry Pi (some experimental devices, with plans to add more).

I recently discovered HB-RF-ETH to connect my HomeMatic and HomeMatic IP devices via IP network. I plan to:

  • Replace my physical RaspberryMatic with a HomeMatic variant running on my VM host, connecting to the HB-RF-ETH.
  • Create a dedicated VM to run Home Assistant.

Main Goal:

  • Eliminate the Rasperry Pi in the flat and use virtualised and decoupled services on the VM server in the basement instead.

My Questions:

  1. What installation method do you recommend for the Home Assistant VM in this setup?
  2. What installation method do you recommend for HomeMatic? My options seem to be:
  • Running RaspberryMatic as a Home Assistant plugin within the Home Assistant VM.
  • Running DebMatic in a separate VM.
  1. Where should I place Node-RED?
  • As a RaspberryMatic plugin.
  • As a Home Assistant plugin.
  • In a dedicated VM.
  1. What would you recommend for connecting Zigbee devices? Ideally, I’d like to use distributed ESP32 devices. What firmware would you recommend? What is the smartest way to connect them? MQTT?
  2. Should I have a dedicated VM for the MQTT server, or should it run with one of the above setups?

Given the numerous possible combinations, benefits, and challenges, I’m hoping to learn from your experiences to avoid making mistakes and to benefit from what you’ve already learned :sunglasses: .



I’m sure you will get many different recommendations (opinions?) to your various questions. I would suggest starting here first. Then searching for some of those recommendations on this forum. Good luck!

The Home Assistant Cookbook - Index.

Hi Tobi,

i had pretty much the same setup as you and have consolidated all in the following way:

Raspberrymatic on a Raspberry3B+ for all Homematic devices
On the same Raspberry i have attached a Sonoff ZBDongle-E, ZigBee 3.0 Gateway and forwarded the serial port via ser2net which is allready included in Raspberrymatic.

My Homeassistant is running as a virtual machine on my QNAP Nas in the cellar.
ZHA is configured to use the zigbee dongle via Network.

This setup has very limited interfaces, which is easy to maintain.
The raspberry is connected via LAN and is placed very central in the house which grantes the best RF rates.
I have connected arround 100 Homematic devices and a bit more then 50 Zigbee devices.

Let me know if you need more details.