Storage vendor iXsystems today launched a new R-series hyperconverged infrastructure application for its TrueNAS product line and the first alpha release of TrueNAS SCALE, a Debian Linux-based version of the TrueNAS storage distribution.
The new R-series devices are designed to run either the traditional FreeBSD-based TrueNAS or the new Debian-based TrueNAS SCALE. The series launches with four models – all rack-mounted – ranging from the 1U, 16-bay TrueNAS R10 to the up to 12U, 52-bay TrueNAS R50. All four models offer Ethernet connectivity up to dual 100GbE, as well as optional dual 32Gb Fiber Channel and Intel Xeon CPUs. The three larger models are also expandable via separate JBOD shelves.
TrueNAS itself is an OpenZFS-based storage distribution, which can be pre-installed on NAS hardware or installed by users on their own generic PC equipment. It provides users with the rich feature set of the ZFS file system, including block-level checksums and data recovery, advanced storage topologies, atomic COW snapshots, fast asymmetric replication, and more, along with a wide variety of network sharing protocols including SMB, NFS , sFTP and iSCSI.
Ars has been covering TrueNAS – formerly FreeNAS – off and on since 2011. In those more than nine years, it was a FreeBSD-based distribution, and while it offered limited computing functionality, based on FreeBSD jails, which were previously a mature solution Linux containers were as good as a gleam in everyone’s eye – it mainly focused on easy storage.
The first public alpha of TrueNAS SCALE is now available along with the new R-series hardware. TrueNAS SCALE changes both the basic operating system and the overall purpose of the original TrueNAS.
TrueNAS SCALE is based on Debian Linux to provide Docker-friendly Linux containerization and more industry-standard virtualization than FreeBSD can. It also shifts the focus from pure storage distribution to a mixed, hyper-converged environment, where launching and maintaining containers and virtual machines is as well integrated as managing the underlying storage.
As of today, iXsystems reports that the TrueNAS SCALE alpha works well with SMB (Windows filesharing), NFS and iSCSI, with the Linux KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) hypervisor well integrated. Kubernetes, along with the scale-out functionality that enables management and distribution of containers across an entire farm of SCALE appliances, is here, but still only in raw API form, with a user interface expected in an upcoming beta release in December.
We plan to discuss TrueNAS SCALE here in late November as the project moves closer to its next release.
Frame image by iXsystems / Ars Technica