Small home server - hardware suggestions?

I’ve had an old Windows Home Server box then migrated to a Windows 10 Pro as a file share box. I’m redoing my whole home network, and I’m considering TrueNAS (or Synology). I’ve always enjoyed setting this stuff up and it seems a good way to go.

My case is home use with a small home office and five family members. I don’t like waiting for my computers, but in don’t want to waste money either. Can someone recommend or point me to where i can dis recommendations for hardware for my use case?

I’m looking to run VMware, then run a few separate virtual servers. One for Roon, one for UniFi cloud control, perhaps a home webpage, and maybe the ability to tinker with 2-4 others.

I’d prefer a small, quiet case. Would something like a Protectli 6 port series work well? I don’t foresee needing more than one SSD, correct? I’m hoping any further storage could be addressed by a trueNAS or Synology server (see my previous post). What level of CPU and RAM do I need for my use case?

Again, thanks for any input or resources you can point me to!

I am almost running what you have planned on my Synolgoy 1019+. I also replaced a Windows Home Server with this unit and have 14 TB’s of storage and 8 GB of RAM. I am using the native apps for mail, file sharing, photos, address book, etc. I have lately moved away from VM’s into Docker containers for all my add on products such as EMBY, DNSCryptProxy, PiHole, Vaultwarden, WeeWx, MQTT and others. and still am only using 50% of available RAM. I used to run the Synology controller also in Docker but since moved to a Gen2 Cloudkey that I got for a decent price on Ebay.

I have myself, the wife, and kids all connected up with Synology Drive which works like OneDrive but everything is local along with their Photo’s app nothing I do here goes to the cloud except for the one copy of backup to a cloud provider that I have the encryption keys for.

I do use a Protectli as a router and one thing about the fanless devices they aren’t designed to run at full load sustained for long periods of time but it works great as a router.

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If you don’t like to spend any money and you have old computer that you can use then go for TrueNAS. If you have money to spare then go either with Synology or buy a TrueNAS sever from ixSystems.

I’ve always thought the Dell R610s through R630s were great for single VMware hosts. You can get them for a few hundred and add an SSD or two and have a great server for running ESXi. You should be able to find a box with 48GB of memory pretty cheap. The Dell R400 series are an even smaller form factor.

Thanks for sharing! Seems we have nearly identical use cases.

My original hope was to have a single hardware system that I could run as a NAS as well as several light-resource VMs. I had dismissed the concept though.

I had to dismiss the idea of a rack setup this week. For now, I need everything to be as quiet and small as possible. Thus, the Dell’s won’t work. I was considering Intel NUCs and Protectli boxes to run VMware, and then a few virtual services. I just don’t have a great concept of how much CPU power is needed for those things (all my expereince is tied up in Windows and MacOS).

What about a TrueNAS Mini running TrueNAS Scale? Then I’d have the NAS and could run KVM for the servers for local use (Roon, Minecraft, etc)

I was looking at the Mini (2 core, 16GB RAM), Mini X (4 core, 16GB or 32GB RAM), and Mini X+ (8 core, 32GB RAM). I’d greatly appreciate any thoughts/inputs for hardware requirements for my use case!

I recently purchased an HPE microserv Gen10 plus (
Small footprint, silent, possibility of upgrades (, low power consumption.

I tested Proxmox and currently it runs TrueNAS Scale perfectly (2 VMs, Apps plex, Apps grafana, … ).

I plan to switch to proxmox and virtualize Truescale in core version eventually. I find the TrueNAS scale version quite sad in terms of hypervisor and I miss the flexibility and my habits with proxmox…