After a very successful ALPHA cycle with thousands of deployed and tested nodes, TrueNAS SCALE 21.06  marks the official beginning of BETA and is now being tested for general NAS usage, scale-out, and application deployment.  Many thanks to the thousands of community developers and testers who have contributed to the effort.

As our initial community post and blog indicated, TrueNAS SCALE is defined by its acronym:

Scale-Out ZFS: Capacity & Performance

Converged Compute and Storage

Active-Active Reliability

Linux containers & Virtualization: Docker, K8s, and KVM

Easy Setup & Management

With TrueNAS SCALE 21.06 and the recent release of TrueCommand 2.0, every element in the acronym has been delivered and is ready for BETA testing on the path to RELEASE later this year. The major new capabilities of TrueNAS SCALE 21.06 include:

SMB ACLs: TrueNAS CORE supports NFSv4 and SMB ACLs, based on OpenZFS with FreeBSD-compatible extended attributes. TrueNAS SCALE includes an iXsystems enhancement to Linux which also allows importing of TrueNAS pools while keeping the same extended attributes functional. This is the final piece that allows the migration of storage from TrueNAS CORE to SCALE.

Applications: Third-party applications can now be deployed as single (Docker) containers or “pods” of containers using Helm charts with dynamic, customizable configurations. TrueNAS SCALE 21.06 also includes the ability to use one or more community-provided application repositories.  One of our community members (Ornias) has built an extensive library of applications called TrueCharts, which also provides a process for users to build and customize their own libraries.

Scale-Out ZFS: TrueCommand 2.0 provides a WebUI for TrueNAS SCALE which enables ZFS datasets to be pooled together as cluster volumes which span multiple nodes. Cluster volumes will have a variety of redundancy properties including 3-way Mirrors, N+1, and N+2.  Each cluster volume can then be shared with GlusterFS natively. Support for clustered SMB access will be available in August with SCALE 21.08.

The WebUI, while similar to TrueNAS CORE, has also been vastly improved with new UX enhancements which enable configuration and management of a system with far greater ease than ever before. Users will find much more relevant and important information readily available with less need to navigate through multiple pages in the interface.  See the animated demo below.

TrueNAS 21.06 WebUI

Unlike other hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, TrueNAS SCALE will have several deployment options: single node, as a dual-node “High-Availability” (HA) system, or as a cluster of multiple nodes. Using the same software platform, you can build powerful single-node solutions, as well as the capability to create scale-out file systems that span multiple SCALE instances. You can start off with a single node system today, and in the future, you will have the option to scale-out should the need arise. The HA capability is currently being tested and will be available for approved enterprise beta-testers on the M-Series in an upcoming release. TrueNAS SCALE documentation has also reached its BETA phase. It is based on the greatly improved documentation of TrueNAS CORE. In addition, there are Developer Notes and Release Notes.  Even if you aren’t ready to make the leap, please review the docs and let us know if you have any questions. We appreciate the community feedback and bug reports and hope to get all those features to RELEASE quality faster. A special thanks also go to the large number of awesome community members who joined the development and test team. We’ve really appreciated your contributions and teamwork and it has greatly contributed to the accelerated development process.  

Is TrueNAS SCALE for Users or Developers?

At this BETA stage of its Software Development Lifecycle, TrueNAS SCALE is primarily for developers, testers, and early adopters. The SCALE software can be downloaded here.   For Linux developers, there are many opportunities to contribute to the Open Source TrueNAS SCALE project, and we have a vibrant Slack community for contributors.  It is a well-coordinated and managed environment to develop the best open hyperconverged infrastructure. For more information, see this community post. For larger commercial users with scale-out needs, iXsystems has started a formal BETA program to support specific deployments and applications before they complete testing and enter the production phase later this year. Please contact your iXsystems Account Representative or email us at info@iXsystems.com if you are interested in joining the BETA program. TrueNAS SCALE 21.06 is also intended for tech-savvy enthusiasts who have one or more nodes, a backup plan, and a willingness to resolve any issues they find. The feedback from enthusiasts has been positive and we hope to see more feedback on the community forum. Users should read the release notes to confirm support for their particular use case.   Production users with standard NAS (NFS, SMB, iSCSI, S3) requirements are still advised to use TrueNAS CORE and Enterprise, which have hundreds of times more data under management and over 10 years of operation. TrueNAS SCALE has inherited some of that maturity and the automated testing, but it will be a while before it has the same quality and reliability.   If you have any additional questions or need advice on a new project, please email us at info@iXsystems.com. We are standing by to help.

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