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NUC science.. PCI vs USB vs device buses

Hello folks,

I'm several month in to ownership of a NUC5I5RYK. It has served me quite well. Now my question is in regards to the particular nuances of the 5th gen NUC 5I5RYK's specs and what the effect might be if I were to alter mine.

To preface, I do lots of things with my network devices. Work, Entertainment, Home Theatre PC, DIY router/storage etc.

For the NUC I lean towards virtual use cases. It makes a pretty good bare metal hyper visor (VMware, Xen, etc.. all good). This allows me to simultaneously run several operating systems and it's awesome.

But as far as I can tell it only has one USB bus in charge of the all USB peripherals. Note: I'm not positive about the two USB headers inside, but I suspect it's all the same bus).

Here is a peculiar situation that I would welcome speculation and even more so I would welcome some hard scientific knowledge on whether I can modify my NUC slightly to meet a need.

I'm experimenting with a particular hypervisor that is highly centered around security and compartmentalization of all OS components both hardware and software. This specific OS does allow PCI pass-through, and USB *block device* pass-through reasonably well.

But when it comes to i2c, non-block USB peripherals, I cannot designate them to a particular virtual machine, because to do so would rob the hypervisor of it's only (singular) USB bus. On a larger PC with 2-3+ USB busses this would be a non-issue, but I suppose I'm not really in the market for that right now.

My question is, assuming that all PCI-passthrough/designations to VMs work properly, and given that I have a spare PCI-e port inside of the NUC, if I were to install a "2 port USB 3.0 mini PCI-e module" into that empty slot I would effectively be:

1) creating a new USB bus


2) compartmentalizing USB devices attached through this route to an isolated PCI device which is not problematics

I just want to isolate peripherals to VMs without losing my usb mouse/keyboard/etc.

Thanks in advance!

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