Advice on moving from a Qnap NAS & HP Z420 to a self-built AiO solution (or recommended alternative)

Hey all,

So, as the title says I’m looking for some advice on moving from my current hardware to a sort of “Nas Killer”-like build that I’ve been browsing on here. I figured I’d post this in the Plex section since this is the primary use-case for my hardware but please advise me if this is wrong.
Currently, I have the following hardware and a few questions:

NAS: Qnap TS-453 Pro
Storage: 4x Seagate 6TB Ironwolf ST6000VN0033-2EE110’s
RAID type: Currently configured as RAID 5 so 1 of the drives is redundancy/parity
Use: This was/is my first NAS and is the whole network-wide storage. Currently it has a Media share (for Plex), Backup share (for TimeMachine, manual backups of important files, etc.) & Storage share (for general storage of files like ISOs & such). Basically, if it can be accessed across the network then it’s stored here.

HP Z420:
E5-1650 v2, 32GB DDR3 1866Mhz ( 4x8GB Samsung), 860 EVO 250GB (OS), Nvidia Quadro M2000
Use: This is the software-hub for my homelab. On it runs Plex (with HW transcoding via the Quadro), the -arrs (Sonarr, Radarr, etc.), Ombi, Jackett & other services.

What I’m looking to do:
Basically, I want to be able to expand my storage needs in the future. With my current NAS, I can only do this by buying drives of higher capacity and swapping out existing drives. This would essentially be a perpetual cycle due to my NAS’ limitation of only 4 drives. The most logical way I see of doing all this is to have one machine with a build similar to the NAS Killer 4.0 on here that handles everything. I’m not looking to do this via a DAS-solution, so this makes the roughly same drive quantity limitation of my HP Z420 a limiting factor also.

Questions I have:

  1. Do the widely-recommended LSI SAS controllers on here (like the LSI 9210) include RAID functionality? I would like to keep RAID functionality as part of the array, ideally with at least RAID 5. I don’t know how this would work with the multiple shares I currently have, however I’m not opposed to just having a single array with at least RAID 5 and making each share I currently have just a folder on the root of the entire array. I’m happy to configure this via the controller if able.
  2. What’s the best way to get all the data off my NAS? As everything is formatted in such as way that the Qnap can understand, what’s the best way to get my (currently) ~10TB or so of data off the drives? I can do a regular transfer over the network but that’s going to take quite a while. If I have to get a single drive of alrge enough capacity to temporarily store everything then I can, since I’d likely just add this to the array anyway.
  3. As far as the OS goes, is unRAID best suited for this? I really don’t need more than one OS environment since currently all the software on the Z420 runs off Windows 10 installed on the SSD. I do however need at least 1 Windows environment so if I go with unRAID then I’d have to setup a VM (which I’ve done before and am comfortable doing). unRAID would also mean I can use my existing SSD as a cache, and I do already have a lifetime unRAID license from a previous experiment with it.

I’m also aware that, providing the mounts for the hardware allow for it, I can basically migrate all the hardware in the Z420 to a regular case, add a RAID card and unRAID to it and start from there. Would that be a decent option?

Thanks in advance for any responses. Sorta looking for the right direction to go in since this would be my first time self-building the whole solution.

If you want to make the most of your existing hardware, you could put a HBA in your Z420 and then add up to 8 drives on that case.

You have 3x3.5 bays natively and can then use a 3x5.25 to 5x3.5 cage, if you’re not using any optical drives.

Hey there,

Cheers for the reply. I suppose that’d be a pretty optimal way of doing things since all I’d need is the HBA & a temporary drive to backup everything to on the old NAS.
Since doing more research on the matter, I’m debating keeping the Z420 separate and making a standalone NAS using something like TrueNAS. Thoughts?