Last year, Linus Tech Tips (LTT) chose TrueNAS for their high-performance video editing system that serves as the daily content creation machine for their enormously popular YouTube channels. After countless frustrations with Microsoft Windows Server (Storage Spaces), TrueNAS cured their storage headache, while also enabling them to increase both performance and reliability significantly. Over 3 Million people watched the video.
Last week, LTT announced they’d called on TrueNAS yet again, this time to rebuild a major 3.6 petabyte (that’s 3,600 TB) Archive server. Everything went well and the project has been very successful. As of this posting, over 1.3 Million people have already watched the most recent video, and it’s as entertaining as all LTT videos, so we suggest you check it out.
Please do not use their rack installation techniques at home or at work. They are professional IT stunt men who need a server lift.
OpenZFS simplified Data Migration
LTT began migrating their previous ZFS pool from 2015 into the new NAS system. The old pool (on tens of HDDs) and all its contents migrated seamlessly. The ZFS pool import capability is one of the compelling advantages of OpenZFS in TrueNAS. ZFS pool import allows pools to be migrated to a totally different NAS platform with the drives shuffled and installed in a different order, but the data is still protected, imported, and migrated.
TrueNAS CORE 13.0 was used for this project due to the scale-up architecture that was selected.
The TrueNAS M60 is a Great Archive Option
LTT operates on an extremely tight budget and built a custom solution for their archival server. TrueNAS software is provided free to anyone interested in DIY projects like this who doesn’t mind supporting and maintaining a system themselves. In this case, LTT used free drives and enclosures from other vendors to build a single controller NAS with 270 drives, and we don’t blame them!
For anyone who would be looking for a similar system with enterprise support, we would recommend a TrueNAS M60. This high-capacity model is available with either a single or dual controller and can scale up to 20 PB. The single controller TrueNAS M60 has about the same RAM, NVMe, and performance as the LTT build, but also has NVDIMMs for highest possible performance write caching.
The dual controller version of the M60 provides High Availability. Large systems like this one built by LTT, with hundreds of drives and multiple expansion shelves (JBODs), can be more susceptible to failures on account of the number of components and its complex connectivity. By contrast, the M60-HA significantly reduces the risk of service outages due to hardware failure and greatly reduces downtime when doing software updates. The M60 comes with TrueNAS Enterprise pre-installed and ready to take on high-performance workloads.
The TrueNAS M60 has been tested in configurations up to 1200 drives, about five times the size of the LinuxTech media deployment. Plus, iX provides professional deployment assistance and up to 24/7 support. Graphical enclosure management is available on all TrueNAS appliances and greatly simplifies operations.
Media Use Cases
LTT demonstrates the common use cases of Editing and Archival for Media and Entertainment workloads for which many customers and users also leverage TrueNAS. The next step is to link those systems and automate workflows. By using ZFS and TrueNAS, the ZFS replication tools can be configured to automatically protect the data and video footage in the Editing system and ensure the Archive system has a recent copy.
Now that LTT has multiple TrueNAS systems protecting their precious footage, they are planning to use TrueCommand to help further simplify the management and monitoring of their growing storage fleet by providing unified management for all systems.
If you have any additional questions or need advice on a new media project, please contact us. We are standing by to help.