From version 12: FreeNAS becomes TrueNAS

FreeNAS has been a popular storage solution for years, also for home use - I myself have been using the system with four hard disks in HP Proliant microservers for several years. With version 12 now FreeNAS to TrueNAS - iXsystems brings together the commercial and free branch of the NAS operating system.

The advantage should be: instead of two separate code versions, only a single one needs to be developed further. Most striking innovation: in the future TrueNAS (FreeNAS) will be based on OpenZFS 2.0 (previously: ZFS on Linux), so that further developments should be faster. OpenZFS brings direct encryption to TrueNAS. The complete changelog of the new version:

  • ZFS Native Crypto - Per dataset encryption and support for encrypted replication to untrusted targets.
  • 2 Factor Authentication - Use applications such as "Google Authenticator" to provide an extra layer of security when accessing TrueNAS.
  • KMIP Support - TrueNAS Enterprise now adds the ability to interface with KMIP servers for the storage and retrieval of passwords and encryption keys.
  • performance improvements - Virtually every area of the platform has been updated and includes some major performance improvements, including SMB, iSCSI, ZFS and more.
  • API Keys - All of TrueNAS can be configured with TrueNAS API v2.0, and now supports API keys for remote access. The v1.0 API is no longer supported.
  • Fusion Pools - Allows creating pools with all-flash vdevs that store metadata and small-block IO. This provides flash-like performance on all metadata operations, but with the cost effectiveness of spinning disk for storage blocks.
  • VPN support - Support for TrueNAS acting as both an OpenVPN Server and Client, depending on your VPN needs.

Personally, I will wait a bit longer with the update from FreeNAS 11.3 to TrueNAS 12 - just with a Replication to another FreeNAS server via Wireguard with ZFS snapshots, the setup is perhaps a bit more "sensitive" than with a single FreeNAS box. At least I will wait for the first point release (12.1). But at some point there will be no way around the new version just for security reasons.

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