TrueNAS 2017: The Year in Review


December 14, 2017

As we wrap up 2017 here at iXsystems, the Product Management team thought it would be helpful to take a quick look back and highlight some of the TrueNAS products and features that we have introduced.
Let’s start out on the platform side where we launched a number of new TrueNAS storage arrays and expansion shelves. Early in the year, we released the new ES60 expansion shelf, a direct replacement for the E60. The ES60 is SAS3-compliant (12 Gb/s) and offers the same density as the E60 expansion shelf, supporting up to 60 2.5”/3.5” drives. Offering high capacity in a 4U form factor, a single ES60 can provide 600TB of raw capacity when used with 10TB drives. Demand for this shelf has been extremely strong and we expect this to persist into the new year and beyond. In August, we announced the availability of the TrueNAS ES12, a 2U expansion shelf that supports 12 2.5”/3.5” drives. At the same time, we also announced the availability of the TrueNAS X10, an entry-level enterprise-class storage server. Designed to provide up to 120TB in a 2U form factor, the X10 has a starting price of $10,000 for a 20TB model. The X10 is designed for SMBs and others that are looking for an economical enterprise storage array, a market segment previously unserved by the TrueNAS product line. So far, it is enjoying a great deal of commercial success. Despite its entry price, it is every bit a TrueNAS and customers can expect the same enterprise functionality and features found on the TrueNAS Z-series products, including support for redundant controllers (also known as HA or High Availability). I wrote a two-part (part 1, part 2) blog about the X series which I encourage you to read if you are not familiar with the component technologies used in the X10 or the use cases it helps customers address.
A few months afterwards, we launched the TrueNAS X20 for customers that require more performance and capacity options than offered by the X10. For example, the X20 can support, using 10TB drives, up to 840TB of raw capacity with the use of an ES12 and  ES60 expansion shelf.  It also has more memory, providing it with enhanced performance.
On the software side, version 9.10 improved our proactive support feature which helps identify and resolve customer issues before they become problems.  This feature is only available for TrueNAS customers that have silver and gold level support contracts. If you have a bronze level contract, consider upgrading it to take advantage of this important feature. We have done a lot of work to enable the use of public cloud storage services with TrueNAS 9.10.  We introduced a new public cloud data movement feature called cloud sync. This service allows for push and pull file data synchronization between a TrueNAS storage server and the Amazon S3 storage cloud. This enhancement supports a wide variety of use cases from archiving to backup to collaboration. The upcoming TrueNAS 11.1 will add support for Microsoft Azure, Backblaze B2 Cloud Services, and Google Cloud, providing customers with more choices for integrating public cloud storage services with their TrueNAS environments.  
In July, with the release of TrueNAS 11.0, we added the capability to create cloud and object storage services from a TrueNAS. For many customers, this opens up a host of different possibilities, including the ability to deploy private and hybrid cloud storage services from a TrueNAS. Because this feature is fully S3-compliant, it is easy for customers to transition back to an on-premise model with minimal effort, disruption, or risk.  Look for us to continue to enhance this capability over time. Other enhancements delivered with 11.0 include new third-party alerting capabilities with support for AWS-SNS, Hipchat, InfluxDB, Slack, MatterMost, OpsGenie, PagerDuty, and VictorOps. TrueNAS users will also benefit from some significant performance improvements made to the base operating system. Internal testing indicates that file serving operations are 25% faster with an up to 45% reduction in latency in 11.0 than the previous version of the operating system.
Well, that’s a quick review of the 2017 TrueNAS product and feature highlights. As I look at our roadmap, I can tell you that we have much, much more in store for you in 2018. So please make sure you stay connected with us so you can be among the first to be informed.

Steve Wong, Director of Product Management

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