How TrueNAS Delivers Unbeatable Value


January 24, 2024

What We Do

At iXsystems, we do not answer to the same Wall Street or Venture Capital stakeholders that other vendors do. This allows us to focus exclusively on making our customers successful, powered by our core value to always “think people before profit”.

The benefits of our Open Source business model are no secret. They are simply unique to iXsystems in the Enterprise Storage market. We leverage open source development, non-traditional tactics, and the energy and engagement of the massive TrueNAS Community to help deliver products rated higher on Gartner than our competition. Collectively, this gives iXsystems an unfair and sustainable advantage in delighting customers while charging less to deliver positive outcomes.

Simply put—our model requires far fewer resources, and we pass those savings on to our customers. We charge less.

How It Works

Compared to iXsystems, traditional data storage vendors are forced to maintain outsized corporate overheads — both in terms of expense and effort — just to keep their technology closed, patented, and to capture 100% of the value they create.

We carry none of that burden, which enables us to be more nimble and efficient. Here’s how that works and how it benefits our customers:

Community – Community is the special ingredient. We are grateful to be stewards of the TrueNAS Open Source project. Consider the unique combination of TrueNAS community and users; iXsystems and partners; customers; and non-paying users. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and contributions from the Community bring enormous value. With iXsystems’ contributions and the incredible Community, this enables agility, investment, and innovation to TrueNAS that no proprietary company could emulate.

Software Development – Plain and simple, making software that is proprietary and closed-source requires more effort, resources, and money than open-source development. Most storage vendors also have multiple code bases, further compounding this disadvantage, while iXsystems has one open-source code base to maintain and grow. This common code base includes many other open-source elements (e.g., OpenZFS), which expands the community of talented Engineers directly contributing to TrueNAS, further reducing costs.

Product Management – Unlike other enterprise storage vendors, iXsystems does not invest in efforts to lock in customers; we do the very opposite by making TrueNAS as open, compatible, interoperable, and easy to leave as possible. However, we believe that once you experience TrueNAS, you won’t want to leave. We don’t have complex software licensing, and our appliances can run the latest software for years, long after the hardware is depreciated — a sustainability practice we fully encourage! At iXsystems, there are zero development cycles spent on planned obsolescence.

Security – TrueNAS is Open Source and therefore transparent by default, with broader user coverage and more eyeballs on the code, thereby leveraging massive user communities to help uncover, alert, and respond to security vulnerabilities. This enables code fixes much faster than proprietary vendors who can only rely on internal resources or respond only after the vulnerability has impacted their customers. Additional security enhancements (e.g. FIPS 140) are available with TrueNAS Enterprise appliances.

Quality – This is another area where the Community makes a huge difference. At a fraction of the investment, Quality Assurance for TrueNAS software takes less time, money, and resources, all while providing more complete test coverage. When a version is declared ready for general use, it has benefitted from extensive community testing. TrueNAS sees faster bug reporting/testing and a more rapid access to new features and fixes than other vendors (who often use their first customer shipments as QA) because of the feedback from the community.

Interoperability – Being open also makes iX a very easy company for other software vendors to partner with, as they need no demo units or non-disclosure agreements to test that their technology works well with TrueNAS.

Documentation – Like Quality, many hands make for light work. By the time a release is recommended for general use, documentation has been reviewed by thousands, accelerating the process of ensuring accuracy.

Intellectual Property – Effort is required to protect technology for maximum profit. iXsystems spends no energy on patents, choosing instead to focus resources on value creation rather than blocking innovation.

Sales – TrueNAS Community Edition software is free to try and use, and has been shown to run on almost any x86 hardware, or can be spun up easily in a VM. As such, we encourage audiences to try it for themselves without any involvement from a sales team. Our experts at iX then help customers identify the optimal configuration of TrueNAS Enterprise appliance(s) for important storage applications.

Marketing – Where our competition spends money on marketing, we instead spend on developing free software that delights our users. Word of mouth is the original marketing tactic and the goodwill we invest in the TrueNAS community results in outsized awareness. With more than 15 million downloads and more than a half million active community members, appreciative users write blogs and how-to content, influencers create videos, and hundreds of thousands of community members tell others about their positive experiences with TrueNAS.

Sustainability – Most storage vendors rely on forced obsolescence to maintain growth. At the end of its supported life, most IT infrastructure is scrapped and not recycled, let alone reused. With TrueNAS software, organizations can repurpose infrastructure beyond its normal life and extract more value from it. After 3-7 years of mission-critical duty, appliances from iXsystems can remain updated with the latest software and transition to a less critical storage role for many years while positively impacting sustainability and financial efficiency.

How This Benefits YOU

“Value” means receiving the most for your dollar. However, most traditional vendors use the word “value” in the context of justifying why it’s worthwhile to pay more for their product. At iX, we don’t have to contort the definition of the word into something it’s not. Our goal in creating TrueNAS was to allow our customers to receive more from our products while also paying less — the true meaning of value as far as we’re concerned.

Experience it for Yourself

We encourage you to experience True Data Freedom for yourself today (download TrueNAS here), see what our customers are saying on Gartner’s Website, or if you’re storing critical data, feel free to schedule a call with one of our helpful Product Experts.

Still curious about why we do what we do? Check out this video with some of the faces behind TrueNAS, sharing their perspectives on what it is like for iXians to come to work every day and deliver TrueNAS to the world.

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