by Adam Armstrong

iXsystems' TrueNAS & FreeNAS Hit 11.3

Today iXsystems released both FreeNAS 11.3 as well as TrueNAS 11.3, for TrueNAS X-Series and M-Series systems. Unlike most venders that add a handful features when there is an update, iXsystems claim that they have added over 500. These updates build on the previous API and Web UI improvements and also introduce easy-setup wizards, major replication improvements, amongst other enhancements. 

FreeNAS is a free and open-source NAS software based off of FreeBSD and OpenZFS. It runs on commodity x86-64 hardware, as well as iXsystems gear. FreeNAS supports Window, macOS, and Unix as well as virtualization hosts like XenServer and VMware. TrueNAS is aimed at enterprise storage and supports SMB, AFP, NFS, iSCSI, SSH, rsync and FTP/TFTP sharing protocols over Ethernet and Fibre Channel network fabrics. TrueNAS also supports VMware as well as over protocols such as Microsoft CSV, ODX, and VSS, and Veeam.

Part of the 11.3 update sees TrueNAS gain several of the features that were already running in FreeNAS, now fully vetted and ready to go to the enterprise. These features include the modernized web UI as well as the ability to use and manage jails, plugins, and VMs. The new features are available in TrueNAS X-Series and M-Series platforms that scale from 10TB to over 10PB with hybrid or all-flash models. 

Key Features of FreeNAS and TrueNAS 11.3 include the following major improvements:

  • ZFS Replication: >8X performance, Parallel tasks, Auto-resume
  • Simplified Setup with Wizards: iSCSI, SMB, Pools, Networking, Replication
  • SMB improvements: User quotas via AD, Shadow copies, ACL manager
  • Easier Plugins: UI redesign, Categories, NAT reduces IP addresses
  • Dashboard and Reporting: Faster response, more relevant data
  • Configuration Management: API enables config save and audits
  • WireGuard VPNs: Secure networking to remote systems
  • TrueNAS: Graphical enclosure and High-Availability management

Looking at TrueNAS, version 11.3 has been validated with both high performance SSDs and (Read Intensive) RI-SSDs based on lower cost QLC technology. Other performance benefits include leveraging the ZFS technology to aggregate small random writes into larger sequential writes resulting in higher IOPS and better endurance for flash. TrueNAS’s ability to be configured in many different ways can also add to performance through hybrid and all-flash in the same system for better TCO. 

11.3 also brings updates to TrueCommand, the company’s unified management system that monitors and controls TrueNAS and FreeNAS systems from a single-pane-of-glass. New features include configuration save/restore functionality as well as auditing of configuration changes. 

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