iXsystems debuts exclusive ZFS Encryption Feature in FreeNAS 8.3.1

ixsystems logo

Following the release of FreeNAS 8.3.1, iXsystems has released the following announcement:

iXsystems continues to lead the way for free and open source software with the release of FreeNAS Version 8.3.1. With this update, FreeNAS becomes the first open source storage platform to offer encryption for the advanced Zettabyte File System (ZFS). This is the first point release of the 8.3 branch, including updates to several components for security and stability.

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoFreeNAS makes powerful features easy to use and accessible to everyone; until now, encryption for ZFS has been inaccessible to the general public. Thanks to ZFS encryption, security-conscious users will be able to prevent their data from being read if the disks are disconnected from their system.

The ZFS encryption module runs as fast as unencrypted volumes on processors that support the AES-NI instruction set. AES-NI instructions are available on many Intel and AMD processors.

The encryption key management has been made user friendly with options for automatically restarting the volume, or requiring an operator to manually enter in a key depending on the user’s required level of security. In addition encryption allows for confidence when retiring and recycling hard drives because the drives no longer need to be wiped provided the keys are obliterated.

In the future, iXsystems will be able to bring features and improvements from FreeBSD, the enterprise open source operating system, to the FreeNAS community faster. This is a result of the FreeNAS codebase moving to FreeBSD 9. Alfred Perlstein, VP of Software Engineering at iXsystems, says,

“With the FreeNAS and the FreeBSD code bases closer together, both userbases will benefit from testing and development done on the entire platform.”

FreeNAS 8.3.1 also updates many of the services and components of FreeNAS, providing upgraded hardware support, bug fixes, and performance enhancements. FreeNAS 8.3.0 has been the most popular FreeNAS release to date with over 500,000 downloads. iXsystems is looking forward to the continued growth of the FreeNAS community with the release of version 8.3.1, and to more opportunities to make powerful technology accessible for FreeNAS users.

About FreeNAS® 
FreeNAS is a free and open source Network Attached Storage operating system based on FreeBSD. The goal of the project is to design a lightweight, BSD-based software package that acts as a full featured NAS server, complete with a Django-based web user interface, full ZFS implementation, and the ability to interface with existing networks – regardless of operating system or protocol. The encryption system introduced in Version 8.3.1 makes FreeNAS the only Free and Open Source ZFS encryption offering in the world.

About iXsystems: 
iXsystems builds rock solid enterprise-class server and storage solutions. All of our products are assembled, tested, and shipped from our company headquarters in Silicon Valley. Technical support is provided in-house by the same engineers that build the systems. Thousands of companies, universities, and U.S. Government departments have come to rely on iXsystems’ customer-first commitment to excellence. iXsystems champions the cause of Open Source technology by dedicating extensive resources to several FreeBSD community projects: FreeNAS, PC-BSD, FreeBSD, and TrueOS.

FreeNAS 8.3.1-RC1 now available

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoThe FreeNAS development team has announced FreeNAS 8.3.1-RC1 which will be the first and only release candidate planned for the final version of FreeNAS 8.3.1-RELEASE.

FreeNAS 8.3.1 is based on FreeBSD 8.3 with version 28 of the ZFS filesystem, and features volume based encryption for ZFS volumes.

There have been no major changes between 8.3.1-BETA3 and RC1, mostly
bugfixes and minor usability improvements to the GUI.  See the release notes for a complete list.

Images and plugins can be downloaded from the project’s SourceForge webpage.

FreeNAS 8.3.1-BETA3 is now available

freenas-ixsystems-new-logoThe FreeNAS development team has announce the availability of FreeNAS 8.3.1-BETA3.  This is the last planned public beta of 8.3.1 as it moves towards the final.

FreeNAS 8.3.1 adds ZFS volume encryption to the features available in FreeNAS 8.3.0.  BETA3 has a number of bug fixes and feature requests based on community feedback and testing of the first two beta releases, as well as feedback and bug fixes from FreeNAS 8.3.0-RELEASE-p1.

There are no further betas planned as +FreeNAS 8.3.1 marches towards the final release.  At this point there will be no additional features added to 8.3.1.

Virtio drivers have been added to the image.  For this BETA they default to off, which makes them a bit difficult to use.

FreeNAS 8.3.1-BETA3 can be downloaded from the following location:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/freenas/files/FreeNAS-8.3.1/BETA3/

FreeNAS: Flexible, fast storage, and the price is right

NetworkWorld has published a very positive review of FreeNAS:

“It takes something different to stand out in the crowded network-attached storage market. How does free, as in free beer and free speech, sound? Overall, FreeNAS offers a very positive story, with flexibility, ease of management, good performance – and a price that can’t be beat.”

FreeNAS: Flexible, fast storage, and the price is right

 

FreeNAS 8.3.1-BETA2 available

Josh Paetzel from iXsystems has announced the availability of the FreeNAS 8.3.1-BETA2 images over the weekend.

At this point things are looking to be in good shape, I’m calling this a BETA because I’m very conservative, and because encryption can go wrong in such grand fashion.  I’d rather this image wasn’t used for critical or production use. Make sure to have backups!

http://blog.freenas.org/2013/01/freenas-831-beta2-is-available.html

Happy 2013 and miscelaneous news

Happy 2013 to all regular readers and the occasional visitor. It’s been a while since this site was updated, but this was due to work and holidays.

Hopefully we’ll see FreeBSD 10 released this year and the use of FreeBSD increased.

Followers of the FreeBSD Central Google+ page will have had regular updates over the last few weeks. Please subscribe to that page and stay even more up-to-date with all that’s happening the FreeBSD Community.

In case you missed it, there have been some releases and the FreeBSD Foundation successfully completed its fund raising drive.

  • FreeBSD releases 9.1 and blows through fundraising target [The H]
  • FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE Announcement [FreeBSD]
  • The PC-BSD Team announces the availablilty of PC-BSD 9.1 [PC-BSD Blog]
  • EuroBSDCon 2012 presentations available online [Youtube]
  •  FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE now available on all VPS and Dedicated Server packages [RootBSD]