How TrueSync Beats Traditional Backup Methods


July 9, 2015

The TrueNAS Unified Storage appliance provides a centralized storage repository for all your data, allowing for great savings in the total disk space required and making management simple.  Having all your information in one place offers many advantages, but you are also putting all your eggs in one basket.  The ZFS filesystem comes with a number of intelligent ways of protecting your data.  In order to eliminate silent data corruption TrueNAS uses copy on write technology to ensure that data is never modified in place. It also has enhanced RAID capabilities and includes snapshots, clones, TrueSync replication, and more.
In addition to primary storage, many organizations have secondary or even tertiary levels of storage to ensure that critical data is never lost. In order to account for things such as fires, flooding, or other ways for physical systems to be destroyed or corrupted, some corporations and government agencies have mandates that data must be backed up to a remote location.
Traditional methods such as rsync, require the entire filesystems to be processed before copying, making this slow and painful, sometimes taking days to protect large amounts of data.  In addition, network data usage rates for Internet Service Providers can also make these types of backups between different locations very costly.
TrueSync makes some major improvements over these traditional methods by determining the blocks of data that have changed since the last TrueSync replication task.   Because ZFS performs volume management it can track changes to the filesystem on the block level.  With ZFS each data write is given a birth time.  Whenever a TrueSync task takes place, ZFS checks if the data was replicated previously and only transfers data not replicated before.  This means that replicating data with TrueSync is orders of magnitude faster than synchronous copies.

TrueNAS incorporates TrueSync management into its easy-to-use web interface, allowing users to setup automated replication with simple point-and-click functionality.

This greatly reduces the amount of data needed to be replicated by only sending the data that is different, and can help to minimize data loss in the instance one of your systems goes down. It also helps reduce the risk in not having enough WAN bandwidth.   Using TrueSync with snapshots allows you to roll-back to previous system states.  TrueNAS allows for automation at  the dataset level, so you can establish TrueSync replication times for each dataset.

TrueSync, in combination with snapshots and cloning, is also very handy for maintaining virtual environments.

If you have many users running virtualized desktops, this allows for you to simply keep one desktop VM up to date, then replicate to other VMs as needed, whether local or remote. This feature also allows your source and target systems to have different compression and deduplication settings.


iXsystems makes replication a simple and easy to manage task with TrueSync.  TrueSync offers a speedy alternative to traditional backup technology that’s easy on the bandwidth as well as compatible with virtual environments; that is why it is included with every TrueNAS appliance at no extra cost.  To learn more about TrueNAS visit, call 1.855.GREP.4.IX or email

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