Noob to HA coming from Vera. Is it right for me?

Good morning,
I’m a long time user of Vera Plus, and I’m about done with it from their lack of support, lack of development, and botched development of it’s replacement, Ezlo. I don’t want to put any more money into Vera.

Home Assistant keeps coming up as a viable alternative. I’ve looked at the available integrations, and HA supports all that I currently use with Vera and then some.

My question is more about the Z-wave. I know I need to purchase a Zwave stick, and that I need to install the Z-wave integration. Does this get installed to the same unit that HA is installed on, or elsewhere? I have a Fedora home server that has plenty of overhead, but I can’t see myself walking around my house with the server to pair Zwave devices.

I have a spare Pi 4 that I could use, but the documentation makes it sound as if a Pi 4 may not be powerful enough.

I’ve read about the suggested hardware (Odroid-n2). The link provided shows them as out of stock.

Me too.

Why not use your Vera Plus? I use the integration to Vera for my z-wave units. I have deleted the rest in my Vera and only left my z-wave devices in Vera.

I use a Pi4 (8MB) with an SSD. This works well for me and I have not hit the roof yet.

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That’s good to know. Like I said, I have a spare 4 GB lying in a drawer. I’d pick up a 8 GB if I could easily find one for MSRP.

4GB RPI4 is perfect for HA. I have loads going on with mine and it ticks over at 8% cpu and 60% RAM usage. That’s with 18 Add-ons (including MariaDB etc.), pages of integrations and hundreds of IOT devices (wifi/zigbee).

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I had the same pain, years ago. Best advise: buy a zwave stick, zwavjs and pair all to then puece by piece.

In the meantime you can add vera as integration.

Do you use PLEG, reactor or scenes? You will nee to migrate those to homeassistant scenes, logic, etc. I use node red (can be a steap learning curve).


HA runs happily on my RPi 3B+. Your 4 will work fine, unless you really load it up with streaming video and such.

Your experience with Vera is not unique. Lots of products come and go in this space. I’m not shy about saying that HA is very dynamic, and it can sometimes seem like we’re all just beta testers. But whatever problems and changes come up, there’s a great team of developers on the job to get everything working again. We know HA will continue to work for the long term, even as other vendors drop support, go out of business, or make radical changes to their product lines. For the price of a bit of constant tinkering, HA is about as future-proof as you can get in the home automation world.

You’re most of the way there then! Whether you go with a discrete USB stick or your Vera unit - I’d definitely go the SSD route though It’s night and day performance wise and you avoid one of the most common preventable sources of failure for HA among Pi users - SD cards - even the fastest ‘most durable’ ones wear out and fail eventually.

I’ve got a large install with hundreds of devices, multiple integrations and a few add ins running on a P48B with an SSD and it barely breaks a sweat unless i start abusing the box.

Also - The backup / restore process for HA (at least the one that comes with HAOS - probably the easiest install method on that pi) is very well developed. So if you DO find you want to later move to an oDroid or intel box or… insert your supported platform here for more power. Just do a full backup, install HAOS on your desired system, then restore (or restore from an uploaded .tar file during setup)

I literally did this procedure last night moving from a supervised install on Buster on my Pi to the latest (or at least until 20 minutes ago) HAOS image. It took about an hour after everything was said and done - and most of that time was moving files around and watching progress bars.

Well, I’m taking the plunge…

I got a cheap SSD (256 GB on Amazon for less than $20), a USB → SATA cable, and a Aeotec Z-Stick 7 in the mail yesterday. I got the Pi firmware changed to boot from USB, and installed the HA OS onto the SSD, and I was up and running in a matter of an hour or so. The Z-Stick 7 was a bit more complicated, because I needed to update the firmware, but I finally did that, as well as figured out how to get it installed in HA (not just the standard Z-Wave JS).

I’m slowly getting integrations installed. I got my Nest Thermostat converted over last night, but I still need to figure out the Nest Protect elements. I got Google Calendar installed as well, which was super easy.

One thing I will say is the Z-Wave inclusion process is much easier than Vera. Yes, it requires more keyboard strokes to get to that point, but to illustrate a point, I had a Fibaro MultiSensor that stopped working with Vera a couple years ago. I spent hours on the phone with Vera support, and they basically told me the unit was bad. HA included it in a matter of seconds. Nothing wrong with the device, just bad support from Vera, which has been my frustration for years with them.

I don’t know why I didn’t try this sooner!

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Next look at HACS (your solution for your protect devices is in the HACS community store, also I STRONGLY recommend Google drive backup)