FreeNAS 8.0-RELEASE now available (detailed)

Following one beta and five release candidates (RC’s), FreeNAS 8.0-RELEASE has been made availabe earlier this week by iXsystems, the corporate sponser behind the FreeNAS Project. The last stable release was FreeNAS 0.7.2 (Sabanda), released mid-October 2010.

FreeNAS is a popular FreeBSD-based network storage server (NAS) that includes a full web based GUI, with support for FTP, NFS, CIFS (Samba), AFP, rsync, iSCSI protocols and software RAID (0,1,5).

FreeNAS 8 includes major architectural optimisations and is more modular than previous versions. To make the system easier to use, the GUI has been redesigned and rebuilt using Python and the Django web framework.

Highlights include better Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) configurations, as well as reworked and improved iSCSI support. Other changes include the addition of a volume importer, support for 6gbps 3Ware RAID controllers and GUI access via the HTTPS protocol.

The ZFS and UFS2 filesystems are both supported, but ZFS is the primary filesystem (ZFS on FreeBSD videos) which comes with many features, including quotas, snapshots, compression and replication that are not available in UFS2.

FreeNAS 8 requires a device of at least 1Gb in size and should be installed to a USB stick or Compact Flash device. Unlike previous versions, the drive that FreeNAS is installed on cannot be used as a component for a volume, nor can it be partitioned for sharing.

Upgrades from FreeNAS 0.7.x are unsupported as “the system has no way to import configuration settings from 0.7 versions of FreeNAS”. However, the volume importer “should” be able to handle volumes created with FreeNAS 0.7.

The FreeNAS stable versioning numbers have changed from 0.7.x to 8.0 to reflect the version number of the underlying FreeBSD base version. This version of FreeNAS (8) version is based on FreeBSD 8.2, but it is called 8.0 as there are near-future plans to add functionality that will get the versions caught up. Once FreeNAS 8.2 is out, a suffix will be added, such as 8.2.1 and 8.2.2.

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FreeNAS 8.0 Released

iXsystems has announced the availability of FreeNAS 8-RELEASE. Along with the new .0 release, the FreeNAS website received a make-over.

Some of FreeNAS 8′s main features are:

1. FreeNAS 8.0-RELEASE supports NFS, CIFS, AFP, FTP and TFTP as filesharing mechanisms.  It also supports exporting devices via iSCSI as an iSCSI target.

2. Active Directory or LDAP for user authentication.

3. The ZFS and UFS2 filesystems are supported.  ZFS is the primary filesystem and enables usage of many features, including quotas, snapshots, compression and replication that are not available in UFS2.

Download FreeNAS 8.0

More information and background information to follow later today.

iXsystems’ recent contributions to FreeBSD and FreeNAS

iXsystems has been working hard recently to make the FreeBSD and FreeNAS operating systems even better storage solutions. Some of their recent announcements:

New GEOM-based FreeBSD RAID Driver

“Recently iX completed work on graid, a revised software-assisted RAID driver for FreeBSD. The graid driver replaces the existing ataraid driver with a new GEOM-based implementation. This allows graid to create stable, OS-independent software RAID arrays.

OS-independence in a RAID array means that no matter which operating system you use or install, the RAID will be recognized and addressed the same way. This also allows for the metadata format the RAID is built with to be migrated to another type.

Synchronizing a RAID across multiple operating systems is difficult to do manually, and the stakes are high if the user isn’t careful. For this reason, it is preferable to automate the process in order to protect user data and avoid headaches”. More

The GEOM-base FreeBSD driver will be merged with FreeBSD Current.

II iXsystems Teams with Fusion-io to Deliver FreeNAS Appliance

iXsystems has also announced it is collaborating with server-deployed memory innovator Fusion-io to introduce the Titan FreeNAS Pro Appliance.

Fusion-io provides a next generation storage memory platform for data decentralization that significantly improves processing capabilities within a datacenter by relocating process-critical data from centralized storage to the server where it is being processed.

The addition of server-deployed ioMemory technology to the Titan FreeNAS Pro Appliance creates a storage server that utilizes non-volatile memory to significantly increase data center efficiency and offer enterprise grade reliability, availability and manageability, with potential performance improvements of up to 10x.

The Titan FreeNAS Pro with Fusion’s ioMemory technology has the ability to fully saturate multiple 10Gb Ethernet connections, full ZFS support, and a host of software and hardware features. More

III FreeNAS 8.0-RC5 Released

FreeNAS 8.0-RC5 was released last week and is the final community peek at FreeNAS 8 before the release. Two major bits that are new are volume drive replacement in the GUI, and the ability to add to ZFS volumes, which also doubles as the ability to create stacked ZFS volumes, such as a stripe of RAIDZs (RAID 50) or a stripe of mirrors (RAID 10).

Release Candidate 5 contains both bug fixes and new functionality over previous release candidates and betas.

This release candidate is the result of a flurry of bug fixes for issues noticed by people using RC4, as well as some added functionality.  This image will now be handed over to QA to begin preparations for 8.0-Release.

New in 8.0-RC5:

The ability to create “stacked” ZFS configurations is now present in the GUI. This also goes hand in hand with the ability to add devices to ZFS volumes. For ZFS the volume wizard will now accept an existing volume name when adding volumes.  If an existing volume name is specified, the volume being created will be added to the existing volume as a stripe.  In this manner one can create complex volumes such as RAID 10, RAIDZ+0, RAIDZ2+0, RAIDZ3+0 in the same manner as conventional RAID controllers build complex volumes.

We are looking forward to the final release of 8.0. It has been a long time since FreeNAS 0.7(.2) became available.

IV FreeBSDMall now shipping FreeBSD 8.2 and 7.4 CDs/DVDs

FreeBSD 8.2 is the latest release from the 8-STABLE branch which introduces many new features along with many improvements to functionality present in the earlier branches.

V mFreeNAS 7 comes to iOS

This is not a release by iXsystems, but since it’s relating to FreeNAS we will mention it here: Walter from techwavedev.com has released mFreeNAS 7 for iOS. An Android version is already available: mFreeNAS 7 for Android.

With mFreeNAS it is possible to access your FreeNAS remotely from your iPhone or Android phone and perform some basic tasks.

Thanks Walter for your email!

iXsystems is an all-around FreeBSD company that builds FreeBSD-certified servers and storage solutions, runs the FreeBSD Mall, and is the corporate sponsor of the PC-BSD and FreeNAS Projects.

Available: FreeNAS 8.0-RC4

iXsystems has announced the availability of FreeNAS 8.0-RC4. Barring major bugs this is likely the last release candidate before 8.0-RELEASE.

Beside mostly bug fixes there is one last bit of new functionality, which is GUI replacement of drives in volumes, and a few small pieces, such as the ability to edit powerd settings in the GUI.

Most notable changes in this RC are:

“Snapshot functionality has been added.  There are features to create periodic snapshot jobs, create one time snapshots, clone snapshots (which can then be exported as shares like any other dataset) and rollback to previous snapshot.

VLAN interfaces are fully supported.  VLANs can be created from the GUI or from the CLI menu on the console.

NFS shares can be set to use the full range of maproot and mapall options.  In addition, tuning is available for the NFS service to boost performance past gigE networking speeds.

Users and groups available to the system from any source (local users, LDAP, AD) are now presented anywhere a user or group is specified, whether it’s volume permissions, samba anonymous user, or NFS maproot.

Several functions in System -> advanced were hooked up, a few were deleted. Powerd now works, toggling between the CLI script and a normal login works, the MOTD updates properly, and the serial console works.

The kernel modules to support several RAID controllers were added, as well as the modules to enable mount_smbfs to work from the CLI.”

I’m looking forward to installing and using FreeNAS 8.0-Release. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for that one to come out. iXsystems has done a great job so far.

For more information, please refer to Josh’ release announcement: FreeNAS 8.0 RC-4

Available: FreeNAS 8.0-RC3

Josh Paetzel has announced the third Release Candidate of FreeNAS. A number of bugs have been squashed, problems fixed, and, surprisingly for an RC3, new features added (volume importer in the storage application).

Highlights include

  • a volume importer
  • better AFP support (Apple Filing Protocol)
  • better SMB/CIFS configs based on user input
  • iSCSI support reworked and improved
  • support for 6gbps 3Ware controllers addes
  • HTTPS access for the GUI

More information and details can be found in the release notes.

Links

 

Making a software RAID1 under FreeNAS (video)

These two videos show how to set up a software RAID1 under FreeNAS.

If you’re wondering what RAID1 means, RAID1 uses mirroring to write data to for instance two drives. This means that when you write a file or save a video, the file is written to two disks. If one of the disks fails, you simply replace it and rebuild the mirror, i.e. one disk is an exact copy of they other. The tradeoff with this setup is cost. With RAID1, you purchase double the amount of storage space that your data requires.

Video 1


Video 2


Available: FreeNAS 8.0 RC2

iXsystems has announced FreeNAS RC2. Josh Paetzel writes:

I uploaded RC2 to Sourceforge Friday and am just getting around to an announcement now, some health issues prevented me from gettin as much computer time as I would’ve liked this weekend.

That being said, RC2 is now available! Please check out the release notes when you download, we introduced an upgrade via the GUI feature in RC1, so with this release that can be taken advantage of.

This version contains fixes for issues that were encountered in RC1. It does not contain the list of new functionality that was scheduled for RC2, but it contains enough fixes that it was a significant improvement over RC1.

FreeNAS 8 should be installed to a USB stick or Compact Flash device. It requires a device of at least 1 GB in size. In a departure from FreeNAS 0.7 releases, the OS drive can not be used as a component for a volume, nor can it be partitioned for sharing.

New in this RC:

GUI Firmware upgrades are supported, but do to a bug in the interaction between FreeBSD, lighttpd, and python they work intermittantly. There is a work-around which wasn’t implemented in time for RC2. The procedure involves running commands from the CLI shell. etc etc

Links:

Available: FreeNAS 8.0-RC1

iXsystems has released FreeNAS 8.0 RC1. This RC provides a number of enhancements over previous Beta snapshots that have been released.

The files can be downloaded from the SourceForge FreeNAS-8 page.
More than just a huge jump in version numbers.

FreeNAS 8.0 blends FreeBSD 8.x technology, production ready ZFS, and a web-based GUI with x86/amd64 based hardware to make a NAS device available with a lower barrier to entry.

Some goodies:

1. There is a volume wizard allowing for creating ZFS volumes with cache, log, or spare devices.

2. The GUI now allows creating users without login privileges, as well as removing
passwords from accounts. This is useful for creating an FTP anonymous user, or
removing passwords from system accounts that were previously set. Additionally,
/sbin/nologin is now a valid shell. Useful for adding samba users where you need
a password but don’t want them to have shell access.

3. Numerous fixes to the CLI that runs on the console, including feedback to database
changes, feedback when it restarts parts of the system, sanitation of input so that
only valid information can be entered, better help as to what input is expected, and
also output of what IP the web GUI can be accessed at.

4. Firmware upgrades via the GUI are now possible. Future releases will include a firmware
upgrade file that can be used via the GUI to perform upgrades.

Check out the 8.0RC1Release Notes for a full overview.

Upgrades from previous .8 beta snapshots are supported.  Upgrades from 0.7 or earlier versions of FreeNAS are not yet supported.

FreeNAS has always been the best home/SMB NAS server, but it’s now going be even better.

Links: FreeNAS website |Release Notes (8.0RC1)