Advice Need - Build NAS or buy QNAP


Let me preface this by saying I’m from Canada so getting parts/pricing is usually slightly more expensive when buying from US.

This is what I’m thinking, I’m looking into redesigning my current home NAS setup. I currently have 2 NAS that I merged with mergerFS over NFS.

Thecus N5550 (5 Bay - Raid 6 - 4x4TB Seagate - ST4000DM000 and 1x4TB WD - WD40EZRX)

IX4-300 (4 Bay - Raid 5 - 4x3TB ST3000DM001)

Ideally I would like to consolidate all the drives in one case. Either a 10 Bay case with hotswap bays… or a case with external 5.25 bays that I can install 3x5 bay drive modules. I would like to keep Raid 6 or SHR2, if I go the custom route. I may try Xpenology for SHR2, how stable is it?

I haven’t found many 10 bay chassis in tower format… The only one I’ve seen is the InWin IW-PLV. Is this worth the expense or should I stick with 8 bays like Silverstone DS380B or CS381B, or U-NAS NSC-800? Or even the iStarUSA S-917 and put 2 3x5 HDD Bay modules. I also came across an Orico 10 Bay NAS (ORICO 10 Bay NAS Network Storage 3.5'' USB with RAID HDD Case Gen7 SATA to USB3.0 HDMI RJ45 Networking Station EU Plug|Networking Storage| - AliExpress)

I would like to keep the cost a low as possible. This server will solely do file serving functions for Jellyfin/Plex… Media server is on another PC and will be upgraded at another time. The media server access the NAS via NFS/mergerFS currently, but I hope to eliminate the need for mergerFS.

I’ve also considered going with a Synology 8 Bay NAS, but I would like to reuse my existing drives and I noticed that my existing drives may not be compatible with Synology. Going with QNAP may be an option, but both brands are very expensive.

My concern is bringing the drives across to the QNAP/Synology.

I would like to keep my existing drives and move them into the new chassis. I will need to figure out how to move the drives without destroying the existing data.

They are fairly “old”… and the Synology doesn’t seem to support these consumer/desktop drives. Best case scenario would be to get either two 6TB or 8TB in mirror… and then migrate some of the data over… then slowly start bringing those drives over and rebuild the RAID6. But if they don’t work in the QNAP/Synology… then I’m stuck buying all new NAS drives… Which becomes $$$.

Being from Canada, sourcing any decent sized disks are expensive… Even if I shuck WD Easystore/Elements, like some of the sales I’ve seen on BestBuy US which is expensive if I try to import them. When I first got my NAS, I bought 4TB in Canada Computers. At the time, I had found a deal on 4 TB for approx. 160$ CAD. Bought 5 external disks and they worked. Had to replace 1 since… but they’ve worked well.

So, I’m at a point where I either replace all my drives for bigger drives and shop for BF deals in Canada. Or build a NAS and move my existing drives.

You guidance and wisdom is greatly appreciated.


You might want to wait until tomorrow… :slight_smile:


Since it’s BF today, I want to “try” to get some deals, if possible.

I did see your updated OTiS U-NAS guide. I may go that route if I can’t find any other chassis.

I also have an old PC I may be able to use for parts, the MB is a Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H and the CPU is an AMD 955 Black. Do you think this would be OK for a NAS. I was thinking of getting a HBA SAS adapter like in the article… Are there any with 10 drives/ports?

What do you think of the Orico 10 Bay NAS from AliExpress? Worth it?

I was thinking of buying it and then updating/modding it, if it proves to be under-powered. My concern is the 10 Drive bay backplane and whether it allows SATA/SAS passthrough, or whether it is one volume/array.

Thanks and Happy American Thanksgiving!!