That was the direction I was considering. Is there a significant performance difference between the DS1618+ and the DS3018xs to justify twice the price?
Do you have a Thunderbolt/10G adapter that works well?
There is performance difference between these two.
You can not mix different size drives in the same RAID on DS3018xs. But apart from this, it features bigger RAM and this memory comes with self error checking/ fixing function (ECC RAM). It can also have more expansion units attached and it has faster PCIe slot. This means that you get better performing cache or network speed via this slot.
But DS1618+ is fast enough to maximise 10GbE performance. So this is a good choice.
Qnap adaptor seems very reliable. Here are some speed tests:
And here are other options: https://nascompares.com/answer/cheapest-solo-10gbe-thunderbolt-adaptors/
I hope this helps.