Home XCP-NG server

Hi, Everyone.

I am planning to have XCP-NG server at home. I was planning to originally purchase SuperMicro M11SDV-8C-LN4F (I saw this machine from Jay’s building low energy vm server). Then I thought of Protectli which offer this machine Protectli FW6E. I have a synology which will host the VM guest storage. The price difference is big, I can setup a HA for XCP-NG setup if I go with Protectli. So my question is has anyone experienced setting up their protectli box as vmhost server? In doing this in your lab, have you experience a slow down after few years of usage due to 1 Gbps limitation of connection back to your storage?

Just incase you going to ask, here are my planned vmguest.

  1. A lab network (so machines in here will created and destroyed randomly)
  2. Unifi Controller
  3. HomeAssistant
  4. Plex server (I plan to use, not yet familiar so if this not applicable please ignore)
  5. Xen Orchestra

I have a similar box running my pfsense on the hardware. Not sure I would use that as a virtualisation host, the processor sounds under powered. It does have a few NICs which could be handy.

Personally I’d buy a cheap Lenovo desktop, better processor, more ram. I run PROXMOX on a m900 i7, with 64gb ram, quad nic, for cheap. No issues.

The SuperMicro with the AMD CPU is going to be much faster than the Protectli systems. The 1GB back connection for storage is usable, but limiting.

Thanks for the reply, I didn’t realize the memory limit to 32 GB I thought it can handle 64 GB.

Hi, Tom.

Thanks for replying. As pointed out by @neogrid it is better for me to buy a desktop machine rather than protectli. That is why I’ll just stick following Jay’s build.

You need to read the small print :wink: Some of those processors can handle more RAM but sometimes those boxes only have one RAM slot.

BTW newer intel processors can address 128GB of ram on the desktop, hence I think they make ideal virtualisation hosts. RAM is usually the biggest bottleneck, perhaps a bit less so these days.

I am just following Jay’s setup because of power efficiency and it is rackmountable. I am not sure if there is any desktop motherboard that can cater high cpu but doesn’t have to many bling-bling and also be power efficient at the same time.

An HP T740 is another choice. It’s a thin client that has a PCIe slot. Can take 32GB RAM. Not sure if it can handle more. Idles at about 20 watts.

Serve The Home has a review:

I’ve used the protectil FW6E system (or equivalent since I built my system using the same components ordered from AliExpress directly) to run xcp-ng and have virtualized 5 VMs. Host RAM is 32Gb with total 2TB storage. I’m running virtualized pfSense, Home Assistant, Arch Linux install that runs as second Time Machine Server, Ubuntu Install running XO, and another small Ubuntu VM. I’ve run this setup for about 2 years and haven’t had any issues.

I think you’d be OK with your requirements other than the Plex Server.

I suppose if I’d do it all over again, I’d probably get a dedicated hardware system for a pfSense only system capable of using 10Gb now that part of my house is wired with Cat6a. When I built the system however, budget was definitely a constraint and I only had Cat5e wiring. Server prices however have almost doubled with pandemic supply chain issues, so although I’m not as budget constrained today, I’m still waiting on prices to somewhat normalize – I might be waiting a long time.

Thanks for the response but I have decided just to follow Jays setup it will give more juice. Thanks for sharing though.