FreeNAS 8: interview and review

Techworld Australia caught up with Josh Paetzel, director of IT at iXsystems and project manager for FreeNAS 8, to talk about the current state of the OS, what lies ahead for it, and the relationship to FreeNAS 0.7.

Check out the article for the full conversation. One interesting piece of information is the fact that a multimedia plugin (PBI) is in the making that will bring back former home functionalities that are currently missing in FreeNAS 8.

Open source identity: FreeNAS 8′s Josh Paetzel

 

LinuxUser has a short review of FreeNAS 8: FreeNAS 8 Review

Pros: FreeNAS is an advanced NAS operating system with an easy-to-use web interface, especially if you love to use ZFS as your filesystem.
Cons:
Due to the complete rewrite, FreeNAS 8 has lost some interesting functionality for home users, and upgrades from a previous FreeNAS release are not possible.

LinuxUser gives FreeNAS a 4/5 verdict and concludes:

iXsystems has turned FreeNAS 8 into a modern, modular and future-proof NAS operating system. The new web interface is really easy-to-use without hiding the advanced features. Unfortunately some features didn’t make it through the re-write, but they are promised to reappear in FreeNAS 8.1. All in all, this makes FreeNAS currently the most advanced NAS operating system for home networks.

FreeNAS 8.0 Review (linuxuser.co.uk)

Miscelaneous news updates (arab-bsd, pf, cyphertite, PC-BSD)

Below a number of links to interesting FreeBSD (related) projects and resources.

ArabBSD

ArabBSD is a new FreeBSD related project, working to create an Arabian FreeBSD operating system:

ArabBSD is a project which aims to provide infrastructure for the most reliable and secure operating system FreeBSD. We aim to have our own Arab Operating System developers soon starting from the analysis of FreeBSD infrastructure,  block diagram formulation and call for research groups within each field.  Anyone who is interesting in operating systems and their news can join us. They will keep up with OS. OS is about everything in life containing all the types of programming. You can develop in the kernel and you can use this Operating System as a virtual environment for your project.

10 years of pf presentation

Henning Brauer has made his presentation from BSDCan 2011 available. Weighing in at 82 pages, he gives a detailed overview of what happened to the packet filter firewall (pf) in the last 10 years.

Interview with Kris Moore (PC-BSD)

PC Perspective‘s John Davis interviewed Kris Moore recently. They talk about PC-BSD’s hardware support, performance, games and the future. The full interview can be read here: Interview with Kris Moore, Founder and Lead Developer at PC-BSD.

There’s also an interview on Distrowatch by Jesse Smith on OS design elements. Jesse interviews Jenny Rosenberg and James Nixon (iXsystems). Read the full interview here:  In the eye of the beholder.

cyphertite

cyphertite is a high-security scalable solution for online backups that can be installed on FreeBSD. The project is looking for testers and feedback. cyphertite features include:

  • client-based system
  • IPv6 support
  • compresses and encrypts all data before transmission
  • deduplicates using fixed-size pieces of data called “chunks”
  • all network traffic is encrypted using openssl certificates and keys
  • realm deduplication i.e. only backs up a file once if it is on N computers that share the same user account
  • incremental backups for shorter backup window and smaller metadata files
  • local cache database of chunks already sent to server avoids unnecessary encryption and network traffic
  • pay according to storage space used, not per client machine
  • demonstrable privacy of client data with open source client

cyphertite.comInstall cyphertiteConfigure cyphertite

The Unix Method of Development Management

This is a mp3 recording of William Baxter’s NYCBUG presentation on The Unix Method of Development Management

Spanish video on PC-BSD

Sergio Ligregnio’s presentation on PC-BSD (in Spanish).


pfSense FAQs

pfSense is an open source distribution of FreeBSD-based firewall which provides a platform for flexible and powerful routing and firewalling. The versatility of pfSense presents us with a wide array of configuration options.

Matt Williamson takes a look at some frequently asked questions on pfSense such as:

  • Q: What are the minimum hardware requirements for pfSense?
  • Q: How does pfSense identify and assign interfaces?
  • Q: How to enable the Secure Shell (SSH) service in pfSense?
  • Q: How does pfSense assign DNS servers to the DHCP clients?
  • Q: What happens if the Register DHCP Leases in DNS Forwarder is enabled?
  • Q: What is an alias? What are the different types of aliases in pfSense?
  • Q: How does the OpenVPN service work?
  • Q: What are Gateway Groups?
  • Q: How are bridged interfaces useful and how can one bridge together two interfaces in pfSense?
  • Q: What is OLSR and how is it enabled in pfSense?
  • Q: How to configure pfSense to automatically back up its configuration file?

For the answers, check out the pfSense FAQ page on the PacktPub website or the purchase the Matt’s pfSense 2 Cookbook for many more answers and guides.

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.

Continue reading

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.

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