I am setting up a DIY home automation, and just planning how my solution will look. I will have a Raspberry Pi 3 as the "hub" of the network It will run Node Red, MQTT (mosquitto), a DotNet website, database, and reverse proxy server, and possibly a few other things

  • Node Red: brains of the operation
  • MQTT: To do the heavy lifting talking to wireless IoT things (probably many of which will use Sonoff-Tasmota, or my own custom firmware)
  • DotNet website/database: Gives me a programmable interface for internal/external facing tasks (may not be required if i can do it all with Node-Red, but not that confident with NR yet)
  • Reverse proxy service: SSL termination, security, possibly authentication (again, node-red may have me covered here)

I plan to have somewhere in the vicinity of 30-50 devices on the network, most accessed via MQTT, some via HTTP.

The question: Will running all of that on a single Raspberry Pi 3b "overload" the system? Am I better off splitting responsibility across 2 Pis (and if so, what is the best logical grouping)?

Further, are there any issues with thrashing the SD card in the Pi(s), or should I attach an SSD/HDD?


1 Answer 1


A Pi 3b is a very capable system, a quad core 1.2GHz Arm CPU with 1GB of RAM.

It should be more than capable for what you are planning, but with all these things it will depend on exactly what you intend to do.

Node-RED is basically a programming environment, so it's not possible to say how much resource it will consume without knowing the program (flow) you are going to run on it. (But you can say it will never consume more than 1 core since it's a NodeJS app and as such single threaded)

You will have to assemble your system and test it to see how it behaves.

The good news is that you should be able to easily move the MQTT broker and reverse proxy to a separate pi simply if (in the very unlikely event) the load becomes too much.

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