There is a lot to consider when setting up your own server or even LAN workgroup. I personally don't like the LAN option for my home because I want to know where my kids go online and "control" it. VL may be okay for the basics but will probably require a lot of custom work to run as a server (file server, internet server, firewall, etc.). I would suggest using an easy to setup but designed server distro vs "out of the box" Slackware or RedHat Enterprise unless you know and like to do all your own customizations. If you like to do your own then I would use VL that you already know well. I personally use ClearOS (CentOS based which is RedHat Enterprise-based) for my home (5-10 machines connecting at any given time and would support 100s of PCs if necessary) but there are a few others that I've tried and are easy for the novice (like me) to manage: SuperbMiniServer (Slack-based), SME Server (CentOS-based but purposely a generation or so behind), and Zentyal (Ubuntu-based). These have most of the utilities that are commonly used already setup for you. They will work as file server, firewall, internet gateway, data server, etc. Their security options will surpass a cloud-based option in my opinion. All of these server OSs are free to use, have decent support forums, but have paid support options if you need it I believe. They will run on desktop hardware but having two NICs (or more) is needed if you use the server for a internet gateway.