churnd

iXsystems TrueNAS Reviews?

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Anyone had any experience using iXsystems TrueNAS, specifically in a clustered configuration?  Not really seeing any reviews one way or the other & they seem like a pretty good company from what I can see, so just asking around.

Edited by churnd

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As we discussed on Twitter, we had experienced the Mini version. The platform is open, which is nice, but iX is the only one pushing this commercially I think. I could be wrong on that point however. In our experience though, when compared to other SDS solutions, is that FreeNAS is much more aligned with the admin who wants to get deep into the config and tinker a ton. With so many other options that are supported by a wider array of vendors, there may be other solutions for you to consider. Can you tell us more about what you're trying to do and what your budget constraints are?

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As we discussed on Twitter, we had experienced the Mini version. The platform is open, which is nice, but iX is the only one pushing this commercially I think. I could be wrong aunthood point however. In our experience though, when compared to other SDS solutions, is that FreeNAS is much more aligned with the admin who wants to get deep into the config and tinker a ton. With so many other options that are supported by a wider array of vendors, there may be other solutions for you to consider. Can you tell us more about what you're trying to do and what your budget constraints are?

I'm coming from a long Nexenta history (I have used it in prod), but the latest "feel" in the Solaris world is not very good in my opinion so I want to consider other options. I want ZFS in a commercially supported platform that is cluster-able. I don't know of any other "turnkey" appliances other than Nexenta or TrueNAS. EMC, no. Netapp is too expensive. Want to stay with ZFS. Won't touch Oracle with a 10' stick.

Edited by churnd

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I think the problems you are running into are widespread in the SDS market at large. Yes you can get a huge feature-set for a very low cost, but it still comes up below where the tier1 storage vendors play. A huge part of the reason why NetApp, EMC, etc cost so much is the R/D that goes into making them nearly bulletproof and very high performance systems.

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Tegile?

Never heard of it. Looks Windows based. :blink:

I've heard that TrueNAS is not the same feature-wise as FreeNAS. That TrueNAS is tweaked for enterprise SAN use already & engineered more towards production VM storage. FreeNAS is more for home or SMB NAS use.

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What sort of budget are you working with?

Under $50k. I won't go with EMC or NetApp. They are overpriced & not without their problems. I've been there. ZFS all the way.

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Which ZFS features are you going for? On the performance side ZFS seems to hold things back on everything we have tested with it compared to other systems. On the FreeNAS side, comparing the 4 bay NAS they have with a 4 bay Synology, random throughput is 4x higher on cheaper platforms with much less hardware thrown at the equation.

What are your performance goals?

What are your capacity needs?

In that under 50k pricepoint, I would be looking at only a handful of systems, but it comes down to which features you really want to leverage. The EMC VNXe at 11k starting is probably the best piece of kit you can buy at that lower price band. As you start moving up the Nexenta platforms start to be competitive depending on overall needs. Heck you can even find some all-flash systems sub 35k now from 3PAR and Dell Storage.

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Which ZFS features are you going for? On the performance side ZFS seems to hold things back on everything we have tested with it compared to other systems. On the FreeNAS side, comparing the 4 bay NAS they have with a 4 bay Synology, random throughput is 4x higher on cheaper platforms with much less hardware thrown at the equation.

What are your performance goals?

What are your capacity needs?

In that under 50k pricepoint, I would be looking at only a handful of systems, but it comes down to which features you really want to leverage. The EMC VNXe at 11k starting is probably the best piece of kit you can buy at that lower price band. As you start moving up the Nexenta platforms start to be competitive depending on overall needs. Heck you can even find some all-flash systems sub 35k now from 3PAR and Dell Storage.

Compression, checksumming, unlimited snapshots, etc, etc. Too many features to list. I want ZFS because I know ZFS & ZFS doesn't lock me into storage. The initial price point of EMC & NetApp is not too bad in some cases, agreed. It's the support contracts that get you. Like I said before twice, no thanks. Not interested in 3PAR or Dell Compellent or anything else like that either.

Performance goals? Something ideal for running about 20 VMs. Fully plan on taking advantage of SSD cache ZIL/L2ARC.

Capacity? 20TB raw should do it

Plan right now is to share storage out to a Proxmox Cluster via NFS. Not touching iSCSI.

The original post was simply "Anyone had any experience using iXsystems TrueNAS, specifically in a clustered configuration?". That's still the question.

Edited by churnd

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You clearly have your goals, that's great. We haven't done the work with iX per your initial question, that relationship cooled considerably after the Mini review we did...they didn't enjoy it and pulled back. It would be great if someone turns up to help you, I hope you find what you're looking for.

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Never heard of it. Looks Windows based. :blink:

I've heard that TrueNAS is not the same feature-wise as FreeNAS. That TrueNAS is tweaked for enterprise SAN use already & engineered more towards production VM storage. FreeNAS is more for home or SMB NAS use.

I recently asked Dru Lavigne about this and she said that, feature wise, TrueNAS and FreeNAS are the same except for a couple of things: 1) TrueNAS doesn't have plugins and 2) TrueNAS has support for the features of the cases they use: things like intrusion detection and blinking lights. Otherwise they are the same.

Edited by pjrobar

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I recently asked Dru Lavigne about this and she said that, feature wise, TrueNAS and FreeNAS are the same except for a couple of things: 1) TrueNAS doesn't have plugins and 2) TrueNAS has support for the features of the cases they use: things like intrusion detection and blinking lights. Otherwise they are the same.

That's interesting because TrueNAS supports clustering & FreeNAS does not, at least from within the GUI. I have also read that TrueNAS had extra tuning done tailored to SAN performance (more aggressive settings due to improved hardware & environment).

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Compression, checksumming, unlimited snapshots, etc, etc. Too many features to list. I want ZFS because I know ZFS & ZFS doesn't lock me into storage. The initial price point of EMC & NetApp is not too bad in some cases, agreed. It's the support contracts that get you. Like I said before twice, no thanks. Not interested in 3PAR or Dell Compellent or anything else like that either.

Performance goals? Something ideal for running about 20 VMs. Fully plan on taking advantage of SSD cache ZIL/L2ARC.

Capacity? 20TB raw should do it

Plan right now is to share storage out to a Proxmox Cluster via NFS. Not touching iSCSI.

The original post was simply "Anyone had any experience using iXsystems TrueNAS, specifically in a clustered configuration?". That's still the question.

Can't answer your question about TrueNAS, but Tegile has everything you list here. I think you can get clustered config with 26TB raw space with a few SSDs cache, 10Gb nic, for $20000 list price. No, it's not Windows based, it's ZFS with working dedup, and SMB 3.

I worked in a large university here and we used Tegile for our VDI environment with thousand VMs, performs very well.

Edited by dilidolo

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I already tried that dili and the OP declined to investigate ;)

Who said I declined to investigate? :) I just said my original question was about something else.

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Can't answer your question about TrueNAS, but Tegile has everything you list here. I think you can get clustered config with 26TB raw space with a few SSDs cache, 10Gb nic, for $20000 list price. No, it's not Windows based, it's ZFS with working dedup, and SMB 3.

I worked in a large university here and we used Tegile for our VDI environment with thousand VMs, performs very well.

Who's your reseller?

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Who said I declined to investigate? :) I just said my original question was about something else.

LOL - okay, you didn't seem inclined to pursue even though it met many of your needs. That's probably more fair. Have you been able to drum up any info on your initial request?

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I think people are missing the real reason (s) zfs is so interesting and popular in business. It has very little to do with the traditional sense of "performance". Performance means very little when the data isn't reliable.

There are still only a handful on systems I would truly consider for real enterprise use where the integrity of your data is of up most importance. Many of them have their roots in zfs. For instance take a look at nimble storage. Or as mentioned Tegile, which is modified version of ZFS (mostly for effective dedup). Or GreenBytes which Oracle bought again primarily for their modified ZFS for dedup.

I have to agree with OP, I wouldn't want to deal with EMC, NetApp, or other so called teir 1 providers. Unless you like being bent over a barrel. Ever need to add storage to a SAN years later? How much markup $/GB did that cost you? Reliability? Hah! Because they've never had controller failures, buggy firmware, and so on. I know people that have lost 100s of TB's of data on EMC because of an EMC fault.

If your not looking for the fastest storage or the cheapest storage TrueNAS is more than capable. Personally I still prefer to roll my own though.

Edited by jgould

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If you don't require top-tier performance, then ZFS does offer a deep feature set. Really just depends on what you're after.

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