Manage any Remote TrueNAS with TrueCommand Cloud

It’s easy to manage a local TrueNAS directly through the web UI or via TrueCommand. TrueCommand 1.3.2 can easily be set up as a Docker instance or as a VM on the local LAN. However, it’s difficult to set up remote management if the admin is not on the same VPN as the TrueNAS systems.

TrueCommand is the ZFS-aware management platform that allows storage administrators to monitor, configure, control services, manage data, and report on all TrueNAS systems from a “single pane of glass” interface. Automated alerting lets the admin know if there are any issues and keeps historical data. Now, TrueCommand Cloud can also solve the remote management problem.

TrueCommand Cloud is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) version that can manage remote TrueNAS systems without the need for a pre-established VPN. It’s useful for travelers, professionals, and MSPs that want to manage remote TrueNAS systems without the need for dedicated networking or management infrastructure. It’s like a turnkey Network Operations Center (NOC) for TrueNAS. You can manage family, business, global enterprise, or multiple client TrueNAS systems (MSP model) from anywhere with a single web interface.

TrueCommand Cloud removes the need to set up your own (TrueNAS-independent) machine to run TrueCommand and is based on several components shown in the diagram above:

  • iXsystems Portal: This self-service portal manages subscriptions to TrueCommand Cloud, provisions the TrueCommand instance for the user, and then hands out the VPN and API keys for the TrueNAS admins and the systems.
  • TrueCommand Instance: This Docker instance runs on an iXsystems private cloud and includes a WireGuard VPN capability with an allocated IP address.
  • TrueNAS Client: Each TrueNAS system (CORE and Enterprise v12.0+, or SCALE20.10+) has a WireGuard and TrueCommand client that needs an API key to interact with the specific TrueCommand instance. This API key is common to all NAS systems for a TrueCommand instance and is installed via the web UI.
  • Wireguard Client: Each admin receives a unique WireGuard key/profile and an IP address for their TrueCommand instance. Using that IP address, they have a secure connection to TrueCommand and from there can login as a user/admin.

Setting up TrueCommand Cloud is straightforward and designed to ensure system security. The use of WireGuard will protect your instance from random hackers if you securely manage the keys of your TrueCommand Cloud instance. The WireGuard VPN allows each TrueNAS system and client to connect through a firewall to TrueCommand as if it were an outgoing web connection. The IP traffic allowed is only to the specific TrueCommand system and so no other information exits via this VPN.

TrueCommand Cloud provides all the same functions as described in the TrueCommand documentation:

  • Consolidated Monitoring and Reporting
  • Rapid Diagnosis and Management of Faults
  • Single Sign-on Security with Web Proxy
  • Automated Software Updates and Configuration Restores
  • ZFS-aware Pool Management
  • Predictive Analytics (e.g capacity shortages)
  • 24×365 Team-based Operations
  • Integrated Audits for Compliance and Troubleshooting
  • Role-based Access Control

TrueCommand 2.0 is in development and will be released in Q1. More information will be provided later, but this version will be available for Docker, VM, or Cloud versions and include new features such as:

  • Data Management
  • Simplified Data Migration
  • Bulk Storage Automation
  • TrueNAS SCALE Cluster Management

Screenshots of TrueCommand in operation provide an indication of the functionality and ease of use. There are multi-system views of the key resources and single system views that provide a window into the data and snapshot/replication tasks.

TrueCommand software remains free for deployments with less than 50 drives. It’s great if all your TrueNAS systems are local or on a VPN. Trial licenses (unlimited drives – 60 days) are also available for free via the portal. For larger systems, TrueCommand and email support are available for less than $2/year per drive via the portal. Enterprise support (Bronze) licenses are also available via the iXsystems Sales Team (sales@iXsystems.com)

TrueCommand Cloud requires the allocation of physical compute, storage, and networking resources and so is provided as a subscription service. There is a $6/month option for 30 drives and the cost is about $20/month for each hundred drives. No long term commitments are needed, so it’s easy to run a full trial before deciding. Follow the directions here.

Whether you use the TrueCommand software or the TrueCommand Cloud service, we hope you’ll find lots of value in the simpler administration and more reliable TrueNAS operation. Let us know how we can improve the software or solve your key business problems.

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