FreeNAS 9.1.1 released

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoJordan Hubbard has announced the release of FreeNAS 9.1.1, which fixes some issues that have come to light in FreeNAS 9.1. Some of them were cosmetic issues,, others were outright bugs such as 32-bit plugins that were not working.

A few features that were known to be broken, such as AIO in Samba3 or IPv6 in plugin jails, were also disabled to avoid people shooting their feet off.

Finally, a number of important ZFS stability fixes were also picked up from the TrueOS repo during the creation of 9.1.1-RELEASE.

Users will be able to download the images for the i386 and x64 architectures. A complete list of changes and updates can be found in the announcement. Download the FreeNAS 9.1.1 here.

About FreeNAS: FreeNAS is a FreeBSD-based (nanobsd) and BSD licensed open source Network Attached Storage Platform developed by iXsystems, that has been optimised to support file storage and files sharing across Windows, Apple, and UNIX-like systems.

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots, and Some Suggestions

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoFreeNAS 9.1 has been released. We have read the blog posts, the press releases, and we probably all agree that this FreeBSD based NAS is becoming better and better with each release. FreeNAS is still ‘growing up’ and new features are added to each new version.

Since FreeNAS is still changing so much, maybe be developers can do something about the GUI side of things, i.e. the Web Interface.

The goal of FreeNAS is to simplify complex admin tasks in the underlying FreeBSD (nanobsd) base through a poin-and-click Web Interface: volumes can be created, permissions changed, data sharing turned on/off, music/video streaming set up, and most, if not all, ZFS features are included.

All this makes FreeNAS a powerful network attached system (NAS), especially if you consider it is open source and free to download, but I think the Web Interface can still do with some TLC as it can be confusing and is not always newbie friendly.

  • There are 6 menu buttons (top left) linking to “System”, “Network”, “Storage”, “Sharing”, “Services”, “Plugins” and “Jails”. In the Menu tree, under this bar, you will see the same (and more) links, unnecessary duplication. If “Account” is one of the main menus, why is this then one on the right hand top side, and not on the left with the others?
  • When you close / log out of the FreeNAS Web Interface and go back in, the menu tree is left expanded as it was left. It looks nicer if the tree was collapsed each time you open up the GUI.
  • Every time options are saved or when you cancel a screen, the whole menu tree is reloaded/refreshed, which takes about 1-2 seconds. This could be due to some settings or limitation in the Django framework, but it is annoying.
  • When you go into some of the (sub)menus and make changes, a tab gets added to the tab bar (top right), next to “Reporting” | “Settings” | “System Information”. What is the point of this? You’re not going to use your NAS GUI for hours (usually). You make the changes and come out of it. There’s no need for these shortcuts.
  • For new users of FreeNAS, it would be helpful if there was a short introduction with some step-by-step instruction on the first screen to help them set up the basic things (User, Volume, Privileges etc). Yes, there’s the FreeNAS handbook with everything set out step-by-step, but judging from questions on the FreeNAS forums I guess there are more users that don’t read through the manual than those who do.

Conclusion

Personally, I prefer the old FreeNAS 0.7 horizontal menu. It was, and is now in NAS4Free, easy to use and straightforward, with no duplication. The other thing I like in NAS4Free, is that you can make all changes on the opened screen, i.e. there are no pop-up windows with yet more settings. 

I appreciate a NAS GUI is not something you need every day. In an ideal world you install and set up your NAS and let it then run (headless), but there are still some areas where FreeNAS should improve to avoid confusion and duplication.

 

Screenshots

If you have no need to install or use FreeNAS, but are still interested to see what it looks like, have a look at the screenshots below (click on the pictures to magnify).

Main Screen

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Account Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

System Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Network Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Storage Information

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Sharing Protocols

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

FreeNAS Services

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Plugins Administration

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

FreeNAS Jails

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

System Processes (Running)

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Add Duplication Task

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

ZFS Volume Manager

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

Add Replication (rsync) Task

FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FreeNAS 9.1.0 released

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoiXsystems has announced the availability of FreeNAS 9.1:

“The FreeNAS development team is delighted to announce the general release of FreeNAS 9.1.0. This release offers massive improvements to the usability, extensibility, stability, and performance of FreeNAS. Everything from the web user interface, plugin management system, base operating system, ZFS file system, and even the source control used to manage the project have been substantially improved. “

There are many new features and upgrades in this new release which is based on FreeBSD 9-STABLE, some of which are:

  • User interface overhaul
  • (ZFS) Volume creation wizard
  • New encryption interface
  • Revamped plugin system
  • Multiple jails and jail types
  • Support of PC-BSD PBI packages
  • ZFS feature flags
  • LZ4 compression
  • TRIM support
  • Enhanced failed drive notifications
  • Improved memory use
  • Performance and stability enhancements from the yet unreleased FreeBSD 10
  • Code available on Github

You can download FreeNAS 9.1 from the FreeNAS download page. Make use you select the correct tab as FreeNAS 8.3 is selected by default.

FreeNAS 9.1.0-RC1 is now available

freenas-ixsystems-new-logo

Alfred Perlstein has announced the availability of FreeNAS 9.1.0-RC1.

This is the first release candidate for FreeNAS 9.1.0. We have passed a great alpha and rolling beta cycle with many bug fixes and regressions fixed. At this point, only bug fixes and regressions will be addressed.

Release Notes for FreeNAS 9.1.0-RC1:

  • The image size increased in FreeNAS 9.1.0-ALPHA. The new size requires a 4 GB storage device.
  • The GUI upgrade can be used to upgrade a system from BETA3 or BETA4, but upgrades from earlier releases can only be done from the CD. The other option is to save the config, reinstall the new version, then restore the config.

Some of the major changes:

  1. Version 9.1-STABLE of FreeBSD with performance improvements, bug fixes, and updated software packages.
  2. Many improvements to the ZFS filesystem, including feature flags,TRIM support, enhanced drive removal notification, LZ4 compression, improved ARC memory reclamation and reliability improvements. 
  3. Improved Plugin Jail subsystem which supports multiple jails and an enhanced UI including enhancements from PC-BSD Warden.
  4. Improved Volume manager including auto optimization of volumes for performance.
  5. Improvements to the encryption subsystem.
  6. Documentation enhancements.
  7. Increased base image size to 3.7GB.
  8. GUI UPGRADES FROM FREENAS 8.X ARE NOT SUPPORTED (due to image size #7)

Check the forum post for all the details.

FreeNAS 9.1.0 BETA images available

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoThe FreeNAS development team has announced the availability of FreeNAS 9.1.0-BETA images.

Images can be downloaded from freenas downloads section. The best improvement, I think, is that the jail plugin for any plugins you want to download is now included in the install image and does not need to be downloaded and installed separately.

FreeNAS 9.1.0-BETA has many major improvements:

  1. Version 9.1.0-STABLE of FreeBSD with performance improvements, bug fixes, and updated software packages.
  2. Many improvements to the ZFS filesystem, including feature flags, TRIM support, enhanced drive removal notification, improved ARC memory reclamation and reliability improvements.
  3. Improved Plugin Jail subsystem which supports multiple jails and an enhanced UI including enhancements from PC-BSD Warden.
  4. Improved Volume manager including auto optimization of volumes for performance.
  5. Improvements to the encryption subsystem.
  6. Documentation enhancements.

As always, beta versions are for testing purposes only. Feel free to notify the FreeNAS team of any bugs you may find.

Download FreeNAS 9.1-BETA | Announcement | FreeNAS website

TrueNAS Unified Storage Appliance now Citrix Certified

ixsystems logoiXsystems, the all-around FreeBSD company that builds FreeBSD certified servers and storage solutions, has announced that their TrueNAS Unified Storage Appliance has been now been certified as Citrix Ready.

“The Citrix Ready program helps customers identify third party solutions that are recommended to enhance virtualization, networking, and cloud computing solutions from Citrix. TrueNAS completed a rigorous verification process to ensure compatibility with Citrix XenServer®, providing confidence in joint solution compatibility.

The Citrix Ready program makes it easy for customers to identify complementary products and solutions that can enhance Citrix environments. Customers can be confident that TrueNAS™ has successfully passed a series of tests established by Citrix, and can be trusted to work effectively with XenServer to keep virtual machines available and business running smoothly.

TrueNAS has been verified for use with XenServer through both NFS and iSCSI. TrueNAS includes a wide variety of protocols and services to support both file-based and block-based usage. Completion of Citrix Ready verification is a step forward, confirming TrueNAS’s ability to integrate into virtualized environments. Many iXsystems clients already back their XenServer infrastructure with TrueNAS, enjoying easy management and reliable performance.

As a member of the Citrix Ready program, we are able to offer our clients intelligent solutions that combine TrueNAS unified storage with Citrix XenServer,” said Peter Allen, Applied Engineering Specialist. “The offering demonstrates our plans to work with trusted partners, through the Citrix Ready partner ecosystem, in order to provide the highest quality experience for our clients.”

The TrueNAS Unified Storage Appliance is Trusted to Enhance Citrix Virtualization Solutions