Why I Chose FreeNAS When I Started My Own Landscape Architecture Firm

After fourteen years of working in the field of landscape architecture, I decided to start my own firm. I have always considered myself a quick learner when it comes to software programs and enjoy the challenge of learning new ones. Knowing my way around computer hardware, on the other hand, was another matter. I did not have a lot of experience in this area at first and found it much less approachable. That all changed about a year and a half before I started my own firm when I had an opportunity to help start and run a small branch of another landscape architecture firm. The main office of the firm purchased and/or built all of the computers, software and related computer equipment. They also purchased and built a server using FreeNAS software. I was given a quick 30 minute tutorial and showed how it worked and how to oversee it. Not long after, using screen sharing, I was instructed in how to set up separate volumes, how to control permissions, and how to add new users. I found the interface easy to use and soon had a much better understanding of network servers.

A year and half later, when I started my own firm, I decided to buy and set up a server right away so that it would be easy to grow the firm when the time came. Based on my experience with the FreeNAS software, I chose to go with the FreeNAS Mini, a server from iXsystems that comes with FreeNAS already installed. It came at a good price and was easy to set up. In fact, I had it up and running in just a few hours despite no real training in information technology. The machine came with a quick setup guide that was clear and easy to follow. Within no time, I had set up my volumes, users and access. It has been up and running now for eight months and I have had only one issue, which I was able to quickly resolve by calling a person recommended by iXsystems who specialized in FreeNAS software.

As a new business owner, it is nice to know that my data is stored on a secure and reliable system whereby I don’t have to worry about it and can instead spend my time focusing on growing my business.

Mary Moore Wallinger, RLA, ASLA
LandArt Studio


  1. Peter

    It sounds like you had very good use use of the FreeNAS system. Is it possible to get you to elaborate on some of the specifics it is in use to?
    Do you have a database like MariaDB running on it?

    • Michael Dexter

      This is strictly a traditional NAS use but one could host a database in a plugin jail. Note that one of our October #MissionComplete best stories mentions how they are hosting their web site under FreeNAS.

  2. Paul

    As an IT Manager for another landscape architecture/urban planning firm who’d also tackled putting together a FreeNAS server this last year – congratulations!


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