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.

Configure advanced features with pfSense 2.0 (Packt Pub’s new book)

Packt Publishing, the publishers of Learning FreeNAS, are now in the process of publishing pfSense 2 Cookbook.

This book helps users discover the power of pfSense‘s core functionality. It is written by Matt Williamson and is filled with examples of interfaces, firewall rules, NAT port-forwarding, VPN services, etc.

pfSense 2 Cookbook helps readers determine their deployment scenario, their hardware, throughput, andinterface requirements, and to select the right platform version of pfSense. They will be able to configure essential networking services such as DHCP, DNS, Dynamic DNS, and will be able to provide external Remote Desktop Access to an internal machine.

Through this book readers will learn to create multiple WAN interfaces, virtual IPs, a virtual LAN, gateways, and bridged interfaces. They will be able to configure traffic-shaping and Quality of Service (QoS), firewall redundancy with a CARP firewall failover, and external logging with syslog.

Talking about CARP, I came across a very interesting site explaining how to set up a CARO cluster, step-by-step: http://pfsense.basis06.com/download/tutorials/carp/carp-cluster-new.htm. There’s enough material available and howtos explaining how to set this up, but this little demo, is super clear.

When I have read the book, I’ll let you know more about the contents.

More information can be found here: pfSense 2 Cookbook, and a free chapter, dealing with DHCP and DNS, can be downloaded here: pfSense 2 Cookbook – sample chapter.

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

Finds of the day: Daemon oggcast and howtobsd.com

Whilst serving and checking out a few links today, I came across the following sites that you may be interested in too:

Daemon & Penguin oggcast.

The latest podcast is about GhostBSD 2.0 which was released last week (Released: GhostBSD 2.0):

In episode number 17, I go over a recent install of GhostBSD 2.0 which now has a home on my laptop. It happens to be one of the easiest installs so far. You end up with a fully configured FreeBSD running Gnome as the desktop. The GhostBSD team are doing a great job, so give it a try and you will be up and running in no time (Listen)

II howtobsd.comSimple way to understanding FreeBSD

This site has been around since October 2009 but I only stumbled upon it today. As the name suggests, you can find there many useful commands and howtos, e.g:

  • Create a SVN repository
  • Monitoring FreeBSD servers with Munin
  • Installing Ruby on Rails on FreeBSD
  • freebsd geom mirror howto
  • How to move FreeBSD system from one hdd to another
  • Backup freebsd howto with fsbackup

Available: m0n0wall 1.33

After eleven months of development, version 1.33 of the FreeBSD-based m0n0wall embedded firewall distribution has been released.

Manuel Kasper mentions that m0n0wall 1.33 includes several improvements over previous versions and will probably be the last version based on FreeBSD 6.4.

Some of the changes are:

  • a new image type “generic-pc-serial” has been added; the only difference to generic-pc is that it always uses the serial console
  • added Realtek customized network chip driver to support additional chipsets
  • updated ipfilter to 4.1.33
  • inbound NAT rules can now be added on the LAN interface with the WAN address as a target; this helps with accessing servers on an optional interface from the LAN interface by using m0n0wall’s WAN IP address

Links

Released: GhostBSD 2.0

Last week GhostBSD 2.0 was released

GhostBSD is a free operating system based on FreeBSD that can either be installed or run as Live-CD. Its default graphical environment is GNOME and GhostBSD 2.0 is based on FreeBSD 8.2.

The installer is not a point-and-click GUI but a python script. However, for most people who have used BSD or Linux, the questions are self explanatory.

Some of the changes, additions and features are:

  • support auto mount of USB Devices!
  • new logo
  • bug fixes
  • new live file system
  • improvements to GDM
  • based upon FreeBSD 8.2
  • package installation and management can be done with the new package manager, Bxpkg

Included software packages are:

  • Gnome 2.32
  • Rhythmbox 0.12.8_3
  • Pidgin 2.7.7
  • Firefox 3.6
  • Thunderbird 3.0.11

Prashanth has written a review on Das U-Blog: Review: GhostBSD 2.0

I tried to install GhostBSD 2.0 in VirtualBox but some issue would not allow the installer finish installation.

The GhostBSD Team has also released a new website. Unfortunately, it’s still very bare and contains some bugs and spelling errors. Hopefully this will be dealt with soon.

Let’s see how GhostBSD and PC-BSD 9.0 (Gnome) will square up…

PBI 9.0 re-implemented for Free/PC-BSD

A few days ago I mentioned that Kris Moore would be attending AsiaBSDCon 2011. Due to the changed circumstances in Japan Kris won’t be able to make this presentation now.

However, from his slides on the new PBI 9.0 format you can pretty much figure out what he was going to present. These slides are available in PDF format: The PBI Format re-implemented for Free/PC-BSD.

PBI 9 will be part of the upcoming PC-BSD 9.0 and Kris has written up an article in the lasted BSD Magazine on his progress and what new features we can expect: A quick look at the upcoming PC-BSD 9.

 

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