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Storage Freedom

Open-source storage provides freedom, flexibility, and budget control.

IT Press Tour #37 had the opportunity to meet with Kris Moore, V.P. Engineering, Brett Davis, EVP Sales & Marketing, and Morgan Littlewood, SVP Products at iXsystems. The IT Press Tour previously met with the firm in the summer of 2019.

iXsystems started in 2002 with servers built for open source. They are self-funded and have had profitable growth from the beginning. They grew the FreeNAS project and integrated OpenZFS. They grew the storage business with high availability appliances. Today they have unified FreeNAS and TrueNAS and added scale-out capability.

Their growth has aligned with the growth of data. Data is growing at more than 30% per year with more data sources, digitization, high-resolution images, and video. While data is growing, storage budgets are not. Legacy solutions are unable to keep up with all of the data companies are trying to store. Enterprise storage costs are too high and cloud storage increases the cost per terabyte. Both storage options are designed to lock customers in.

The solution to the problem is open source storage. It provides freedom from vendor lock-in with unrestricted data mobility and control. No legacy software tax. Choice of hardware. Free software for less critical use cases. The option for self-support. Proven and tested by large communities.


TrueNAS 12.0, the unification of FreeNAS 11.3 and TrueNAS 11.3, is 30% faster increasing productivity with latency, bandwidth, and IOPS improvements. Fusion pools increase IOPS. Metadata and small I/O get all-flash speed. Large files get HDD economics configured per dataset. A persistent cache adds bandwidth. Data is promoted to L2ARC based on access frequency. High-bandwidth NVMe delivers 2GB/s per SSD. Cache data survives failover, reboots, and it works with Fusion of HDD pools.

TrueNAS 12.0 enhances multi-layer security preventing malware, ransomware, data theft, and other threats to data. TrueCommand Security audits all TrueNAS changes, includes RBAC, authentication via AD/LDAP, and deploys security and software updates. Important data is encrypted with ultra-secure ZFS replication. There are also self-encrypting drives TCG or FIPS 140-2 level 2 validated and AES-256 with full performance.

TrueNAS M60 provides fast ZFS storage. Over 20 GB/s and one million IOPS. Double storage density with high availability built on the success of the M-Series -- more than 500 successful deployments of M40 and M50. Performance is driven by both hardware and software improvements.

The TrueNAS full-spectrum product line covers a range of needs from 10TB with TrueNAS cloud instances to the R-Series, X-Series, and M-Series to handle more than 1000PB. Enterprise NAS is for larger organizations and technology companies, scale-out infrastructure for data centers and edge, mid-market NAS/SAN for smaller organizations or branches, and Prosumer NAS for start-ups and remote workers.

TrueNAS Scale is an open hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) project. It provides scale-out ZFS capacity and performance; converged compute and storage; active reliability; Linux containers (Kubernetes and KVM); and, easy set-up and management.

TrueCommand provides a single pane of glass manager for TrueNAS simplifying 24 x 365 operations with fleet automation to save time. ZFS awareness monitors datasets, snapshots, and replication. It enables managed NAS services for 24 x 7 operations teams.

The Future

In 2021, TrueNAS plans to continue its leadership position as the #1 open storage solution with more than one million deployments, a user community of more than 250,000, and #1 DFS distribution. They provide enterprise storage with open source economics including enterprise features, security, integrations, and support. Hybrid, all-flash solutions scale up and scale out to meet the needs of data centers, clouds, and edge systems.


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