Ubuntu vs Ubuntu w/Unraid Array vs Unraid

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I'm aware that posting this on the Unraid forums may bring a slightly biased set of responses but i'm ok with that.

I have a new server build nearing completion to replace my Synology NAS.


- ASUS WS C246 PRO LGA1151 ATX Workstation Motherboard

- Intel i5-9400
- Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x 16GB) DDR4 CL16 2666MHz Memory

- LSI 9201-16i HBA
- Supermicro SC933T-R760B 15 Disc Hot Swap Chassis
- Collection of mixed size WD Reds (3x10TB + 5x6TB)

- Samsung 970 Evo Plus M.2 NVME 500GB SSD
- Samsung 850 Evo Sata 500GB SSD

Intended Use:
- Plex server with the ability to grow in both storage and number of transcodes into the future (can add a GPU in future)
- Sonarr, Radarr, Sab, Deluge media automation and aggregation
- File storage (large landscape photography raw file backup)
- Potential future addition of surveillance 

The Software Question:
Coming from Synology and their hybrid raid system I have grown accustomed to being able to expand my array at my leisure with any size drive I like (as long as it's smaller than the parody drive/s) so naturally I land here with Unraid due to the ease of use that comes with the array management. I am also pretty familiar with Ubuntu, it fits almost all of my requirements outside of the array management. So that brings me to a crossroad in how to set up the software portion of my build.

Do I:
1. Linux w/Unraid Array - Get the best of both worlds. Set up Unraid, create a Ubuntu VM. Use Unraid to manage my array and Ubuntu to install all my required applications? 
Positives: Can keep my mismatched discs, get the best of both worlds software wise, can have all of my applications installed on one OS for easy integration and cross communication
Negatives: May be the most resource heavy?

2. Go full Ubuntu - Go to Ubuntu and just gradually grow a raid 5 or 6 array 
Positives: One OS, Can run full headless, least resource intensive?
Negatives: Cost of replacing already owned discs, will use more power to keep all discs spinning all the time in raid?

3. Go full Unraid - Be a man, learn how to use dockers for all my programs and have them speak to each other on Unraid itself.
Positives: One OS, Mismatched discs are ok, flexible array management and growth, Unraid sleep for power saving on an only randomly accessed server.
Negatives: Fiddling and learning sucks initially, Sometimes communications breakdowns between dockers may mean more management required?

This will be my first foray outside of a largely ease of use ecosystem in Synology so learning isnt a bad thing. I have a little experience with an Unraid trial, some Ubuntu experience but very little with VM's or Dockers so a little daunting at the moment. And although it seems I've answered my own question above, it would be great to have some light shed on how I can best utilize my hardware for my use case.

Much appreciated.

Edited by WooperDeeDoo
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