TrueNAS isn’t abandoning BSD—but it is adopting Linux

To the surprise—and likely consternation—of BSD fans everywhere, FreeNAS vendor ixSystems is building a new version of its core product, TrueNAS , on top of Debian Linux.

This week's TrueNAS Scale announcement builds on the company's March announcement that its commercial project TrueNAS and its community project FreeNAS would be merging into a common base. Effectively, all the NAS projects from ixSystems will be TrueNAS variants moving forward, with the free-to-use version being TrueNAS Core, the new Debian-based project becoming TrueNAS Scale, and the commercial project remaining simply TrueNAS.

The company is still being coy about the overall goals of the new project, with the major clue is that "SCALE" is used as an acronym. Morgan Littlewood, ixSystems' Senior Vice President of Project Management and Business Development, expanded on this to Ars a little further in an email exchange today:

Scale-out : Self explanatory...higher capacity and bandwidths. Effectively providing a scale-out ZFS capability.

Converged: Compute and Storage integrated.. its effectively Open Source Hyperconverged infrastructure with compute-only and storage-only options

Active-Active: All good clusters should have no downtime

Linux Container: Support for native Linux apps...via Docker and Kubernetes

Easy: Like standard TrueNAS, want to simplify deployment and management

Compared with other TrueNAS editions:

TrueNAS CORE: Single node with SAS expansion. Simple to deploy and operate with plugins. Low cost single node storage (typically < 1 PB)

TrueNAS Enterprise: Dual node, shared storage, Scale-up to 10+PB. Lowest cost HA storage up to 10PB.

TrueNAS SCALE: Multi-node scale-out storage with convergence (linux containers and KVM VMs). Lowest cost clustered-scale-out storage >100PB.

All editions can be managed via TrueCommand . The same company can use all editions. Enterprise and SCALE will have our Bronze/Silver/Gold support options.

Because we use ZFS on each, there will be data mobility between these editions. All editions can run on our standard platforms.

We're already looking forward to the new unified TrueNAS Core approaching release status; we've tested engineering dailies and believe that we're already seeing the codebase unification between TrueNAS and what was FreeNAS resulting in better QA and attention to detail on the user interface.

The stated enterprise goals for TrueNAS Scale are very interesting—but we also believe many community users may be enticed by the idea of a simple, attractive Web interface to ZFS atop a Linux base rather than BSD.

Interested admins and developers can peruse the repositories for the TrueNAS Scale project, which is being developed openly atop Debian 11. It includes Gluster (distributed filesystem, which can use ZFS as backing storage) bindings for Python, among other tantalizing clues.

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