Network Center takes TrueNAS to Azure


April 13, 2021

While people talk about “the Cloud” as if it’s singular, it’s more like the sky. There are multiple cloud platforms, hosts, and applications. There are small clouds on premises. In the corporate world, the hybrid cloud environment is the norm, not the exception. TrueNAS is designed to simplify and support multiple deployments within the hybrid world. Recently, Mike Pagan, Senior Solution Architect at Network Center Inc., an iXsystems partner, used published tools to deploy TrueNAS to the Microsoft® Azure public cloud.

TrueNAS is the leading open source storage system. While the historic focus has been on on-premises deployments, the flexibility of the architecture means that more customers are looking at how to use it for hybrid cloud applications. Organizations want the power to migrate data and workloads between on-premises, co-location (colo), and their favorite cloud platforms. There are three primary reasons to manage TrueNAS on cloud platforms:

  • Applications in the cloud needed to access information in TrueNAS systems.
  • On-prem systems backing up data to cloud storage.
  • On-prem systems replicating to the cloud for disaster recovery.

TrueNAS CORE and SCALE can both be deployed in the cloud. TrueNAS SCALE is being developed for scale-out applications on multiple cloud platforms. While the iXsystems development team has enabled TrueNAS on Amazon® AWS, the architecture has been designed from the start to be open and deployable to other cloud vendors and platforms.

Network Center, Inc. (NCI) is a cutting-edge technology solutions company serving the Upper Midwest. As part of their toolset, they partner with iXsystems to provide TrueNAS storage solutions to their customers. As a technology partner, NCI has been looking at early versions of TrueNAS SCALE. Mike Pagan was interested in knowing how easy it would be to deploy TrueNAS on Azure. “Some customers are willing to work with hybrid deployments, with data on one cloud platform and on-prem storage on another,” said Mike. “Others want their early hybrid cloud deployments to be simple. I wanted to understand what it would take to deploy TrueNAS on Azure for our customers who wish to initially work only with a single hybrid cloud storage platform.”

Mr. Pagan documented his own deployment process in an excellent blog post (Archived), which documented how to create TrueNAS appliances on Azure. He first accomplished it with TrueNAS CORE, and then worked to do the same with TrueNAS SCALE. SCALE provided the additional tools to simplify operations and management within the Azure environment.

With TrueNAS operating on Azure, replication and migration of data and workloads between Azure and on-premises storage systems is now possible. The on-prem systems provide much lower costs per terabyte (TB) and also improve the performance of local applications. The Azure cloud platform, like AWS, makes it easy to spin up compute and storage resources for shorter term tasks.
To learn more about how TrueNAS works with the cloud, including on Microsoft Azure, contact iXsystems or Network Center.

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