Bit of a brain dump, but here goes, I'm currently looking into replacing my old NAS (Drobo, just don't!) and 2-3 old PCs with a single box that can quietly sit in the background and do routine stuff - e.g. e-mail, backups, Plex server, including TV tuner interface (HDHomeRun or similar), and maybe video transcoding if the hardware is up to the job. I'm going to run it headless whatever, so don't care about graphics (I'm aware GPU-based transcoding is a thing, but most of my media is 1080p or less, so there's no great need, which is just as well at the moment). I've looked into various options ranging from one of the higher-end Synology desktop NAS products (DS1821+ or better) up to a Dell T6xx server. Obviously I wouldn't expect a NAS to do much HD transcoding, but it would need to be powerful enough to run a few VMs (or Docker containers, at least in the case of Plex). I'm reasonably familiar with Dell servers, though only in rack form factor, which I wouldn't use at home (anyone got any ear defenders!) so I'm not sure how practical a tower server would be (Dell's documentation suggests it might be, but that's as much as I know). I have also considered something like an HP MicroServer, but not sure if any of those have enough drive bays to be an option. I have researched all the way up to the 18-bay T640, primarily to allow for future storage expansion, but that's possibly overkill! (who needs 160TB anyway, unless you're a member of /r/DataHoarder). That said, I do already have 20TB+ worth of accumulated data to deal with, hence the decision to set a minimum of 6-8 drive bays (I'll likely start with 6x 10TB drives with dual redundancy, and expand if required from there). Synology systems are obviously easy to manage, relatively secure if configured properly (one reason I discounted QNAP), and power efficient. Dedicated servers obviously win on flexibility, but cost more in terms of time and money to run. That being said, the likes of TrueNAS and UnRaid are well within my skillset, and do appeal to my tinkering nature (though I also have a fairly short attention span, and don't want to put data at risk, so set-and-forget would likely win out). I'd prefer a filesystem that can do things like snapshots (e.g. Btrfs). ZFS looks interesting, particularly as its snapshots can be integrated with Windows, but I'm aware capacity expansion is problematic (its being worked on). There's no 'right' answer here obviously - I'm just struggling to decide and despite a lot of research (probably too much) don't know how any of these options are likely to play out longer-term - so would appreciate input from anyone who has used any of these or has more experience with the pros and cons.