QNAP NAS: how to expand now? (JBOD? New NAS?)


A few years ago, I started my journey into something that seems to expand now.

In July 2017, I bought a QNAP TS-251 NAS (an old 1GB RAM model), and I installed 2 NAS drives in it (Seagate IronWolf NAS 5 TB each).

It’s configured as a ZFS volume (some kind of mirror, since total capacity is 5 TB).

But now I would like to expand it a bit, but it doesn’t seem so easy:

  • I could buy 2 new higher capacity drives and change the current one I have (and upgrade the RAM while I’m at it);
  • or I could buy a new NAS with more drives, but then I have 2 NASs, which is not that great.
  • or I could attach some USB drives to it, externally, but it’s a bit of a mess IMO;
  • or I could attach a JBOD to it, so I could just expand it (QNAP sells something like that: QNAP TL-D800S X Bay SATA 6Gbps JBOD Storage Enclosure, but I couldn’t find something a lot cheaper)

I suppose it was wrong to buy such a limited NAS in the first place, but it’s quiet, small, doesn’t use a lot of power, and still has updates up until today.

What would you recommend?

1 Like

Before you write off this option, having 2 NAS’s is great. You can use one as a backup target or replication target


It’s probably RAID 1, two disk mirror. As far as I know only QNAP Hero devices support ZFS, and ZFS is a lot more demanding on the system.

Expanding your system would only be possible via USB enclosure, not TL-D800S, that one connects via 2 x SFF-8088 interfaces. You can check compatible enclosures on their website, but those tend to cost a lot for what they are.

Since you would still need new hard drives, more RAM and relatively expensive enclosure I would personally opt in for a new NAS and use the old one as a backup target for it. Maybe even take it offsite.

If the new one is QNAP you can (probably) replicate snaphot shared folders to the old one automatically with very little setup.

1 Like

@vivante: As far as I know only QNAP Hero devices support ZFS, and ZFS is a lot more demanding on the system.

You’re right, I relied on my memory, which is totally wrong.

@vivante and @FunnyPossum : I didn’t think about having a second NAS for a remote backup. That makes total sense.

Well, now I guess I should have a new NAS.

The QNAP Hero ones are really expensive for what they are IMO.

I’m not sure I’d go with QNAP again, I’d rather have something more open.
TrueNAS not being an option in Europe, I guess I could go with a HPE ProLiant MicroServer with 4 disks inside.

Power-wise, that seems to draw a lot more power from the wall, though.

1 Like

Why is TrueNAS not an option in Europe? If you’re open to building your own box you can download the ISO and set it up yourself.

Yes, I meant their TrueNAS hardware is not an option (I’d expect the compatibility to have been tested, and to be pre-installed even, so less work on my side).

That’s certainly a convenience factor. But if you can build a PC and download an ISO, that’s pretty much what it takes. Compatibility is really good for Core and probably even better with Scale having Linux Kernel.
If you’re going for >4 drive bays, you’ll also save a lot compared to the TrueNAS mini line, which is kind of dated by now when it comes to hardware. I like the Supermicro cases they use, but sadly Supermicro doesn’t sell them anymore.

I was on Synology and ended up moving to TrueNAS for more flexibility, very happy so far

You can absolutely get low power TrueNAS Devices!. Don’t give up just yet!