iXsystems announces TrueNAS Storage Appliance (FreeNAS based)

Xsystems has announced the availability of the TrueNAS™ Pro family of storage appliances. TrueNAS™ Pro storage appliances provide security, scalability, and flexibility at a low total cost of ownership.

The TrueNAS™ Pro software is based on the FreeNAS™ 8 operating system, and is enhanced with enterprise features such as Intent Log Failure Recovery and De-Duplication, with Active-Passive Failover coming soon. TrueNAS™ Pro also supports Fusion-io ioDrive, ioDrive Duo, and Octal cards as L2ARC to drastically accelerate storage performance.

TrueNAS™ Pro Appliances are available in 2U and 4U form factors. Features of the TrueNAS™ Pro Appliances include:

  • One or Two Quad-Core or Six-Core, Intel® Xeon® Processor 5600 Series
  • 12 Hot-Swap Drive Bays in the 2U Form Factor – Up to 36TB of Data Storage Capacity (2.5″ drive options available)
  • 24 or 36 Hot-Swap Drive Bays in the 4U Form Factor – Up to 108TB of Data Storage Capacity (2.5″ drive options available)
  • Periodic Snapshots Feature Allows You to Restore Data from a Previous Version of the File System
  • Remote Replication Allows You to Copy Snapshot to an Offsite Server for Maximum Data Security
  • Up to 4.48TB of Fusion-io Flash Memory in the 2U; Up to 14.08TB of Fusion-io Flash Memory in the 4U
  • 2 x 1GbE Network Interface (Onboard) + Up to 4 Additional 1GbE Ports or Single/ Dual Port 10GbE Network Cards
  • JBOD expansion is available on both the 2U and 4U TrueNAS™ Pro systems

TrueNAS is the official name for what was previously known as RAIDZilla.

More info can be found on the TrueNAS page where you can also see an overview of the differences between the TrueNAS FreeNAS version and FreeNAS 8.

FreeNAS videos, FreeBSD on Amazon EC2 and Intel GPU FreeBSD driver update

Three noteworthy links today to FreeBSD related news:

I. FreeBSD on Amazon’s EC2

Colin Percifal mentioned on his blog that he managed to successfully run FreeBSD on Amazon’s EC2 via defenestration, tricking EC2 to think Windows is running.

How can we trick EC2? Take advantage of the fact that Elastic Block Store disks can be detached from EC2 instances and reattached to different instances, and replace the boot disk of a “Windows” instance with a disk containing FreeBSD. In other words, defenestrate the EC2 instance. (Note to pedants: While “defenestrate” usually means “to throw out of a window”, etymologically it could equally mean “to throw windows out” — and the Oxford English Dictionary does show a recorded use in this sense dating from 1927.)

II. Intel GPU FreeBSD Kernel Driver project update

The FreeBSD Foundation announced on 16 Feb that it had awarded Konstantin Belousov a grant to implement support of GEM, KMS, and DRI for Intel Drivers.

The project is to implement GEM, port KMS, and write new DRI drivers for Intel Graphics, including the latest Sandy Bridge generation of integrated graphic units. The work should allow the latest Intel open-source driver to run on FreeBSD, expanding the range of hardware where FreeBSD is suitable for the desktop.

Kostik has now uploaded (part of) his code for review, comments and feedback: Intel GPU Kernel Driver:

I created the first code drop for the ongoing GEM/KMS project. Please note that this is not an end-user release, and even _not_ a call for testing. The project is not finished yet, and I expect quite more efforts from me even after the scheduled project end, and from ports/x11 people, before the driver and usermode infrastructure will be ready for the general public consumption.

That said, the patch is only of use for you now if you want to review, debug or otherwise help the project. The driver is known to be unstable, some parts are missing, some (esp. VM changes) are under the discussion and propably will be changed.

III. FreeNAS 8 videos

iXsystems has done a great job rewriting FreeNAS and making a great enterprise ready NAS system, but it is also providing good documentation and videos showing stp-by-step how different FreeNAS features can be set up and used.

Install FreeNAS 8 in VMWare
Learn how to work through a basic installation of FreeNAS 8, with the added bonus of VMWare specific options.

System Configuration Overview
A brief look at how to configure the basic systems settings under FreeNAS 8, and a quick look at some of the more popular and helpful options to enable

Volumes Overview
After configuring your system, setting up your volumes is an important next step towards sharing files and using FreeNAS in any environment

Shares Overview
Learn to set up shares on your FreeNAS installation in order to enable access for users on different systems and protocols.

Network Configuration Overview
A brief overview of FreeNAS 8′s Network Configuration options, and a look at what each of the options means.

Active Directory Overview
A very quick look at how to get started with active directory under FreeNAS 8, and an overview of the options

You can watch the videos over at http://www.freenas.org/community/resources/videos

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).


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

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.

“RAIDZilla”, a FreeNAS based, advanced featured NAS appliance

FreeNAS 8 is shaping up nicely (FreeNAS 8.0-BETA available) and developers at iXsystems are putting in a lot of time and work into it. Apart from working on the software side, iXsystems also offers a FreeNAS based appliance, the iX-2120.

I had a chat with Matt Olander, CTO of iXsystems, about a new FreeNAS appliance they’re working on, internally codenamed ‘RAIDZilla’. When launched, it will get a corporate name in line with some of their other products, probably something like iX-NAS XXXX.

“RAIDZilla” is a combination of specially developed hardware running FreeNAS. iXsystems is building an inexpensive, standardised and fast NAS appliance with easy to use management tools. RAIDZilla runs FreeNAS with some closed-source goodies such as like drive failure detection, notification, auto-replacement option and NFS head failover, along with array duplication so both head units can write to the same array.

By providing both the hardware platform and an optimised operating system, iXsystems is able to maximise the appliance’s reliability and speed, as well as to provide a good user experience. iXsystems plans to open-source the closed-coded features in the future.

The big thing about the new iX-NAS, especially enterprises will be interested in this, is that it’s going to be available in Europe as well. A main distributor is getting set up to finish FreeNAS builds in Belgium, and there will be opportunities for VARs (value added resellers) and integrators to sell units at retail price after a channel partner discount and earn additional income providing consultation, setup, and deployment services. If you’re interested, please contact Matt (matt at ixsystems dot com).

There’s a post on the iX blog with an interview between Corey Vixie and Doug White, Senior Test Engineer at iXsystems about RAIDZilla: Doug White on RAIDZilla.

  • What exactly is RAIDZilla?
  • What makes it different than FreeNAS?
  • What does the software platform look like?
  • What about the hardware?
  • Tell me about ‘Head Redundancy’?
  • Speaking of cool features, a little bird mentioned something about Fusion-IO cards being an option
  • So, just how fast is very fast?

I’m looking forward to the launch of this appliance and will let you know when it’s available.

(Free)BSD miscelaneous links and news (week 1)

I. The Perfect Database Server: Firebird 2.5 And FreeBSD 8.1

Here is the guide on installing Firebird 2.5 from FreeBSD 8.1 Ports and creating your first test database; also we show you how to install Flamerobin GUI (administration tool) and the PHP driver for it: The perfect database server: Firebird 2.5 and FreeBSD 8.1

II. Can DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

The most common Linux file-systems we talk about at Phoronix are of course Btrfs and EXT4 while the ZFS file-system, which is available on Linux as a FUSE (user-space) module or via a recent kernel module port, gets mentioned a fair amount too. When it comes to the FreeBSD and PC-BSD operating systems, ZFS is looked upon as the superior, next-generation option that is available to BSD users. However, with the DragonFlyBSD operating system there is another option: HAMMER. In this article we are seeing how the performance of this original creation within the DragonFlyBSD project competes with ZFS, UFS, EXT3, EXT4, and Btrfs.

HAMMER is a file-system created by the DragonFlyBSD developers themselves and is the default choice when installing this BSD operating system, but UFS remains a choice too. The one sentence description about this file-system is that “[HAMMER] provides instant crash recovery, multi-volume file systems, integrity checking, fine grained history/undo, networked mirroring, and historical snapshots.” HAMMER uses no fsck, can be sized up to one Exabyte, supports up to 256 volumes of four petabytes in size, coarse-grained history provided by snapshots with up to sixty days history, live snapshot access, and data/meta-data is CRC-checked. Like Btrfs, HAMMER snapshots can be taken at any time, can be accessed live, and boasts a similar set of features. Other HAMMER file-system features include the ability to split it up into multiple pseudo file-systems, there is support for back-up pseudo file-systems, NFS-exportable snapshots, and there is support for slave-to-slave mirroring streams: Can DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER Compete With Btrfs, ZFS?

Matt Dillon’s, DragonFlyBSD’s project founder, thoughts on the test: HAMMER Benchmark Fun

III. Get Linux and FreeBSD hardware info with guide to commands

Switching between open source OSs can sometimes be confusing, since they may have different ways of doing things. A common task that may confuse some users when switching systems is getting hardware information. In the case of Linux-based OSs and FreeBSD, the following cheat sheet for figuring out how to do the same things on two different systems can ease some of the pain: Linux vs FreeBSD cheat sheet.

IV. Cost Optimization Through Open Source Software (iXsystems)

The lead article in this month’s edition of the Open Source Business Resource was contributed by iXsystems. It describes some of the business reasons behind the company’s choice to use only FreeBSD and PC-BSD systems in its own infrastructure and provides a cost/savings comparison for both software and maintenance costs. It also contains some good references and percentages if you’re looking for something to show your manager (via)

V. Creating an LVM-backed FreeBSD DomU in a Linux Dom0

As the topic suggests we’re going to play with Xen and set up a FreeBSD DomU inside a Linux Dom0.

FreeBSD quick news and links (week 52)

Below some links to news articles and blog posts relating to FreeBSD, it’s development, howto’s etc, and other interesting bits and bops connected with the FreeBSD operating system.

1. Automatic Install with FreeBSD 64-bit on RootBSD.

All new RootBSD orders are now able to select FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE 64-bit as an option in the order form. Although manual install is still an option, this selection will prompt our new automated installer for FreeBSD 64-bit that allows your VPS to be set up in a matter of minutes like our current 32-bit offering once your order is approved. FreeBSD 32-bit is still recommended for most users.

2. FreeBSD Foundation fund raising drive (2010)

This is a last plea from the FreeBSD Foundaion for 2010 donations. Can you help?

3. FreeBSD on Amazon EC2

FreeBSD 9.0 headed to the cloud as 8.2 nears release (internetnews.com). Related to this is Collin’s updated FreeBSD on Amazon’s EC2 FAQ

4. GhostBSD – Preview for the next release.

New Logo, new theme for GhostBSD 2.0 and plans to make it faster.

5. Running Pinta on FreeBSD (rhyous.com - howto).

Pinta is a drawing/editing program modeled after Paint.NET. It’s goal is to provide a simplified alternative to GIMP for casual users. It is currently early in development.

6. ZFS in Debian

ZFS is coming to Debian! Of course, it will be arriving there via the FreeBSD kernel. ZFS v28 s imminent in FreeBSD. Testers need to check out the new patch (via Ivan Voras’ blog).

7. Oracle highligts Solaris UNIX Plans

The OS will feature next-generation networking capabilities for scalability and performance, said John Fowler, Oracle executive vice president of systems, at a company event in Santa Clara, Calif. “It’s a complete reworking of [the] enterprise OS,” he said. Oracle took over Solaris when the company acquired Sun Microsystems early this year.

Full post:  Oracle highlights Solaris UNIX plans (computerworld.com)

Talking about UNIX, Novell has moved to quell growing concerns that it has sold Linux out to Microsoft as part of its Attachmate deal: Novell keeps Unix copyrights from Microsoft

8. FreeBSD: High Performance Packet Capture
Summary and background information: FreeBSD: High Performance Packet Capture

9. Marketing Assistant for Open Source Hardware Manufacturer

Ever wanted to work for a FreeBSD focused company? If ‘Marketing’ is your thing and you’re at ‘assistant level’, have a look at this vacancy with iXsystems: Marketing Assistant for Open Source Hardware Manufacturer

iXsystems is looking for a Marketing Assistant with developed writing skills and the ability to do some digital graphic work as well. The ideal candidate is both creative and hardworking with the ability to develop innovative ideas for ads and print related to open source servers and software. Applicants will need to be able to work five days a week from 10 am – 6pm. Some flex time is permitted, but minimum amount of time required in the office is 3 full days per week.

10. Trying PC-BSD 8.2-BETA2 (taosecurity). Richard Bejtlich took PC-BSD 8.2-BETA2 for a spin. His feedback here.

11. KDE Software Compilation 4.4.5 in ports