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10 Things Your CIO Should Know About TrueNAS by Mark VanFange

We could write volumes about all the benefits of TrueNAS and why it should be in your workplace. For the sake of brevity, however, we’ve narrowed it down to ten things your CIO should know about TrueNAS before deciding on a storage solution.

1. It’s Both a SAN and a NAS

TrueNAS Unified Storage is hybrid or all-flash storage built on a modular, state-of-the-art hardware platform. TrueNAS is an enterprise storage array with the availability, performance, and features needed by your business applications. It unifies SAN and NAS in one appliance and provides a wide variety of services and protocols on top of a best-in-breed file system that guarantees data integrity at every step.

2. It’s Award Winning

Analysts say that TrueNAS is a winner. DCIG, a leader in storage analysis and a go-to resource for evaluating storage systems, rated TrueNAS as “Excellent” and gave it a “Best-In-Class” rating for hardware. This is higher than storage arrays from Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Nimble. DCIG shows that you can acquire the majority of the enterprise features as these big names for much less.

3. It’s Fast

TrueNAS gives you the performance you need with a cache-first design approach that delivers blistering performance from flash memory for your most frequently and recently accessed SAN and NAS data. TrueCacheTM combines RAM and nonvolatile flash with high-density spinning disks to give you the performance of an all-flash array with the capacity of an all-HDD one. It will save you money when you need to increase capacity or performance.

4. It’s Safe

TrueNAS ensures you retrieve the same data that you wrote. It checksums your data whenever it is written and verifies those checksums when data is read. It even checksums the metadata that describes the file system and allows you to periodically verify all checksums to determine if infrequently used data or backups are suffering from silent data corruption.

5. It’s Economical

Some storage vendors lead with lower-cost to get your business, but then require more money to unlock features or to increase capacity. TrueNAS offers a full suite of enterprise features right out of the gate. You can acquire a TrueNAS hybrid storage array with 120TB capacity for under $25,000. Other vendors, like Nexenta-based solutions can run you closer to $120,000 and EMC and NetApp can be over a quarter of a million dollars. There’s no question that TrueNAS is hands-down the best value in Hybrid Storage.

6. It’s The World’s Most Actively Developed Storage Array

TrueNAS is the most actively developed commercial storage software on the planet, made possible by the contributions of the vivacious FreeNAS community, but hardened and tuned for the uncompromising stability and performance that businesses require. FreeNAS makes many of the features available on TrueNAS available in an Open Source platform to users who wish to design, deploy, and administer advanced storage systems on their own. This gives the FreeNAS, and therefore TrueNAS, codebase a larger pool of users and use case implementations than any major storage vendor. iXsystems allows these features to mature in the FreeNAS community before the development team implements them in TrueNAS, bringing more overall stability to TrueNAS and a quicker path to new features.

7. It Saves on Physical Storage

TrueNAS Adaptive Compression (TAC) works with the TrueNAS file system to analyze a file and automatically determine whether the file is compressible, without any noticeable performance reduction. In fact, because TAC uses the CPU to compress data before writing data to the hard disks, it actually speeds up performance. TrueNAS also includes thin provisioning, which combined with the TAC means you have to purchase less physical storage for your critical business applications. You can build a configuration that holds nearly 4PB, which can grow to nearly 10PB after storage optimization.

8. It’s Enterprise Ready

Expanding TrueNAS storage is simple and non-disruptive. Every TrueNAS model supports data corruption protection, replication, file and block protocols, inline storage optimization, thin and thick provisioning, online capacity expansion, storage controller redundancy, hot spares, and redundant power and cooling. When drives are inserted, their capacity becomes available for use, allowing for seamless capacity expansion without service interruption. To add or increase cache, just insert a cache device, and it is available for use. To upgrade any model to high availability, you simply add a second storage controller. If you need to move between models to increase performance, it’s as easy as replacing storage controllers, and network controllers can be added for additional network connectivity. TrueCacheTM ensures cache coherency for High Availability systems.

9. It Comes With White Glove Support

TrueNAS is more than just an storage array – it also includes iXsystems Professional Support. Opening a support ticket is easy, you don’t even have to leave the TrueNAS GUI. If you need help with TrueNAS, you will speak with a team of dedicated support engineers located at iXsystems headquarters in Silicon Valley, CA. The support team has direct access to the people who design and build TrueNAS, whom they can quickly call on if the situation warrants.

10. It’s Certified by Leading Hypervisor Vendors

TrueNAS integrates with all major virtual machine environments, enabling you to deploy VMs and virtual desktops (VDI) in minutes and run more operating environments on a single host from a single, hassle-free array.

TrueNAS has been developed to meet Citrix, Microsoft and VMware standards and has been through each vendor’s certification process. TrueNAS supports their hypervisors and is integrated with VMware VAAI as well as Microsoft CSV, ODX, and VSS. TrueNAS provides instant and crash-consistent snapshots of any VMware VM, allowing you to replicate a VM and restart it. This makes TrueNAS ideal for any virtualized infrastructure.

Conclusion

In addition to this list, iXsystems combines almost 20 years of enterprise server production expertise and a dedicated Open Source software development team to bring customers TrueNAS enterprise storage systems. It is important to realize that every hardware component has been selected, designed, and tested to meet the requirements of mission critical storage applications. Our expert staff works closely with your team to ensure that your TrueNAS system is exactly what you need. This makes TrueNAS more desirable than strictly software-defined storage solutions that force customers to make hardware decisions on their own and to work with vendors that do not have software expertise. These are just some of the things that should make TrueNAS the clear choice for your storage infrastructure.


About the Author:

Mark VonFange has worked for iXsystems since 2008 in various roles including first response for professional services inquiries and developing marketing content.  He has been an open source advocate for over a decade & enjoys building and repairing computers in his spare time.

Article comes from BSD Mag Vol 09 No. 11 (75).

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