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FreeNAS & TrueNAS Plans - 2020 and Beyond!

sremick

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
312
Just to clarify, FreeNAS as it exists will continue on FreeBSD for 12.0 and beyond. This will be bringing some of the same software-base to Linux to unveil some new products that are Linux-based in the coming months. If you currently are happy with FreeNAS as it sits today, you can expect to keep updating it on BSD going forward.
This is critical. I'm not interested in running my servers on Linux. I choose FreeBSD for my servers for a reason (router, NAS, and other servers including internet-facing ones).

I hope that you never lose the FreeBSD version, and that these other efforts don't dilute the resources available to give due attention to the FreeBSD-specific builds. I can think of other projects that, after spreading themselves more thinly, basically gave the finger to their FreeBSD version. So my concerns are based on real life and not hyperbole.
 

RegularJoe

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
234
There are a few things I am hoping for:

1) FreeNAS keeping current with FreeBSD so that an iocage jail can get updates from the repo
2) a Pro version of FreeNAS priced inexpensively for home users*
3) a Pro version of FreeNAS priced right for SMB with some kind of support, i.e. email*
4) commercial modules like openFiler, Fiber Channel, multi-path, vmware vcenter integration
5) ZFS dedupe tables on SSD/NVME so we can actually use dedupe
6) checkpoints on the file system in case a corruption does happen
7) Linux OS integrated containers*
8) Linux integrated KVM virtual machines*
9) shared nothing cluster for FreeNAS*
10) hot patching the running OS, like Cisco CAT 6k's, VMS and SuSE
11) FreeNAS as a hypervisor guest so we can do a shared nothing cluster if we have enough RAM on the same box, used for in-place software upgrades, i.e. upgrade node B and if all is well switch over and upgrade node A.
12) enable SAMBA CUPS so we can use SAMBA as a print server, the hard part is done, i.e. getting the FreeNAS node as a member server
13) commercial module active directory module or pro module*
14) the ability to add more charts and graphs, i.e. graph the time it takes to run a scrub, run a long smartctl, replication time and fragment %.
15) the ability to stage or daisy chain smart tests, i.e. start a short on /dev/da0 and once complete go to /dev/da11
16) multi domain SAS abilities, pro version here too*
17) AI driven stats where a pro or enterprise license would allow the data to be uploaded and analyzed to present when to prepare for a disk failure, smarter than smartctl as some brands and smart values may be better know by iXsystems to indicate an issue.*
18) pro version that lists the drives firmware and what it should/could be.*
19) reporting that pro users can see from a dashboard for popularity of a disk
20) do some live/dynamic reporting like backblaze.com does to show what disks have the best power on hours with no errors and what ones are not so good.
21) Virtual Beta FreeNAS so we can non-destructively test the user interface and features, this may also help internally at iXsystems for QA testing
22) a simple canned benchmark tool that can be run on a pool and present the data the way the ATTO benchmark for Windows. This is so we KNOW the volume is preforming well without using command line tools like dd.

Even if the customers use all the features and do not pay for a pro version I say let them at it. Some of us want to support iX systems, I personally have a subscription to Snort and when NetGate had the yearly subscription for home I had that as well.


* functionality is all there just some kind of recognition in the support page to create tickets automatically and some place where a happy face is shown.
 
Last edited:

Kris Moore

VP of Engineering
Administrator
Moderator
iXsystems
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
260
There are a few things I am hoping for:

1) FreeNAS keeping current with FreeBSD so that an iocage jail can get updates from the repo
2) a Pro version of FreeNAS priced inexpensively for home users*
3) a Pro version of FreeNAS priced right for SMB with some kind of support, i.e. email*
4) commercial modules like openFiler, Fiber Channel, multi-path, vmware vcenter integration
5) ZFS dedupe tables on SSD/NVME so we can actually use dedupe
6) checkpoints on the file system in case a corruption does happen
7) Linux OS integrated containers*
8) Linux integrated KVM virtual machines*
9) shared nothing cluster for FreeNAS*
10) hot patching the running OS, like Cisco CAT 6k's, VMS and SuSE
11) FreeNAS as a hypervisor guest so we can do a shared nothing cluster if we have enough RAM on the same box, used for in-place software upgrades, i.e. upgrade node B and if all is well switch over and upgrade node A.
12) enable SAMBA CUPS so we can use SAMBA as a print server, the hard part is done, i.e. getting the FreeNAS node as a member server
13) commercial module active directory module or pro module*
14) the ability to add more charts and graphs, i.e. graph the time it takes to run a scrub, run a long smartctl, replication time and fragment %.
15) the ability to stage or daisy chain smart tests, i.e. start a short on /dev/da0 and once complete go to /dev/da11
16) multi domain SAS abilities, pro version here too*
17) AI driven stats where a pro or enterprise license would allow the data to be uploaded and analyzed to present when to prepare for a disk failure, smarter than smartctl as some brands and smart values may be better know by iXsystems to indicate an issue.*
18) pro version that lists the drives firmware and what it should/could be.*
19) reporting that pro users can see from a dashboard for popularity of a disk
20) do some live/dynamic reporting like backblaze.com does to show what disks have the best power on hours with no errors and what ones are not so good.
21) Virtual Beta FreeNAS so we can non-destructively test the user interface and features, this may also help internally at iXsystems for QA testing
22) a simple canned benchmark tool that can be run on a pool and present the data the way the ATTO benchmark for Windows. This is so we KNOW the volume is preforming well without using command line tools like dd.

Even if the customers use all the features and do not pay for a pro version I say let them at it. Some of us want to support iX systems, I personally have a subscription to Snort and when NetGate had the yearly subscription for home I had that as well.


* functionality is all there just some kind of recognition in the support page to create tickets automatically and some place where a happy face is shown.
Thanks! We're already on track to make a lot of these happen in 2020. Some random thoughts / questions though:

1) - With 11.3 and 12.0 we'll start getting a bit more in sync with upstream FreeBSD versions going forward.
12) - First I've heard of anybody wanting CUPS support with Samba. Personal experience has taught me CUPS is no fun to maintain. Not sure we'd have the cycles to take care of that, but it could be an interesting community plugin.
10) - While hot-patching would be cool, I think that's a huge ask, that may be a ways off.
21) - We already do a lot of VM testing, loading the ISO inside a VM has worked for ages. Is that not sufficient?
 

RegularJoe

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
234
21) the virtual beta freenas, I was thinking of a jail, so that just the parts that change need to me presented and loaded on disk.
 

blanchet

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
209
Suggestion for future versions of FreeNAS:
  1. a command line interface (like on Netapp, VMware ESXi)
  2. a firewall (like on VMware vCenter Server Appliance) (PF + fail2ban)
  3. a better integration with iXSystems rackable FreeNAS Certified servers (for example enclosure management with sesutil, fan regulation)
  4. revert boot loader to GRUB, because some servers do not work with BTX (for example my QNAP TS-EC2480U-RP)
 

HolyK

Ninja Turtle
Moderator
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
461
Suggestion for future versions of FreeNAS:
-a firewall (like on VMware vCenter Server Appliance) (PF + fail2ban)
Personally i am against this. NAS and Firewall should never co-exist on the same system for the sake of good. We all know that FreeNAS is not pure NAS anymore and it can cover multiple areas but Firewall? Just ... no ...
 

Patrick M. Hausen

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,439
Personally i am against this. NAS and Firewall should never co-exist on the same system for the sake of good. We all know that FreeNAS is not pure NAS any more and it can cover multiple areas but Firewall? Just ... no ...
Place the firewall in a jail/plugin or a VM - problem solved.

Kind regards,
Patrick
 

HoneyBadger

Mushroom! Mushroom!
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
2,453
Personally i am against this. NAS and Firewall should never co-exist on the same system for the sake of good. We all know that FreeNAS is not pure NAS any more and it can cover multiple areas but Firewall? Just ... no ...
I don't know that the intention was "firewall" as in "consumer NAT box" but more as "additional security for FreeNAS itself" - eg: the ability to fail2ban malicious SSH actors. But with that said, you still shouldn't expose FreeNAS to anything but a "trusted/internal" network, and even more appropriately put the management traffic on an even more secure network.
 

RegularJoe

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
234
FreeNAS can and should be in a trusted network but I do not trust ANY network. Fail2ban and some reporting when failures occur or email/smtp alerting is professional grade. VMware ESXi is not to be put on the outside and it still has a firewall. Synology has a firewall also for the NAS that can be enabled.

I say make it a pro option so that the end users have to pay $1 per year per firewall, so for techies at home it is a no brainier and then have a larger set that is like a buffet with more/all features that the home user techies could pay for. I think there are millions of users and just $1 could be some serious cash infused to iXsystems....
 

HolyK

Ninja Turtle
Moderator
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
461
Place the firewall in a jail/plugin or a VM - problem solved.
Uhm ... there were security incidents in the past about escaping the Jail so there could be another ones in future. Anyway even if the "jail" is superduper safe you would still need to pass everything through the Parent OS NIC. This is not about the "what is possible or not" or "what is right or wrong". Some things just should not be mixed together in any case. Firewall (acting as network Gateway!) + NAS is one of these as per my personal opinion.

I don't know that the intention was "firewall" as in "consumer NAT box" but more as "additional security for FreeNAS itself" - eg: the ability to fail2ban malicious SSH actors. But with that said, you still shouldn't expose FreeNAS to anything but a "trusted/internal" network, and even more appropriately put the management traffic on an even more secure network.
Well i thought "PF" was for "pfsense" and in that case i suppose it would act as a GW. For a "inside-LAN" purpose as an "another layer of protection" i am perfectly OK with that and in that case a simple UI for iptables would be fine i guess.
If i misunderstood the original post then i apologize and please ignore my comment above :]

VMware ESXi is not to be put on the outside and it still has a firewall. Synology has a firewall also for the NAS that can be enabled.
Uhm i would not compare with Synology SOHO products (duno about enterprise ones). That is a plug-and play thingy. Frankly i haven't seen the Synology UI in last ~7 years so no idea about how "inteligent" their implementation is but from old days i remember a checkbox with "Enable security" description which just enabled some hard-coded IPtable rules actively closing ports/protocols used my well-known worms and other naaaad things...

Don't get me wrong here. I am not saying that "ANY" kind of FW implementation is bad. My point here is that the Gateway-like (pfSense) Firewall could easily backfire to bunch of the end users and i would put that idea to the very bottom of the "feature request" list.
 
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blanchet

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
209
PF is Packet Filter, the FreeBSD firewall that comes from OpenBSD folks.

FreeNAS is hosting many network services (nfs, smb, ftp, iscsi, tftp, s3, etc.), therefore having a basic firewall would be useful to enhance the security, on the local network.

On VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), there is a basic "allow/deny" list, which can be use to limit access to the webUi. It is a basic but very effective security feature.

Coupled with fail2ban, pf is even more interesting because you can bans IPs that show the malicious signs (too many password failures).
 

ChaosBlades

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
96
FreeNAS based on Linux instead of FreeBSD would be the bees knees. Not going to get my hopes up. Native docker, Much better VMs, No more ports (at least for me), better documentation on installing additional applications, No more waiting for ports to be updated, and no more having ports always be behind the officially supported platforms. Always fought with myself on choosing FreeNAS over Unraid. Don't know how many FreeBSD annoyances I have had, usually trying to install an application not officially supported on FreeBSD just to tell myself I would switch to Unraid then not do it.
 

adrianwi

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Oct 15, 2013
Messages
1,091
Whilst I like the idea of native Docker support, wouldn't a move to Linux from FreeBSD result in the loss of jails? I've grown to love FreeBSD jails and like having the option of both jails or Docker via a Linux VM. For me that's still the best of both worlds.
 

gary_1

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
29
We're specifically making all the portable bits (middleware and UI) able to run on other OS's for future product(s). Right now we're working to port it to Debian 11 (Bullseye)
I really hope you have a lot of success with that. I'd much prefer a Linux Debian base and have considered moving my server over and rolling my own maintenance scripts, but the freenas ui is just too convenient.

If you do release a version with Linux as the backend, especially Debian, I'll certainly be giving that a go :)
 

gary_1

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
29
Whilst I like the idea of native Docker support, wouldn't a move to Linux from FreeBSD result in the loss of jails? I've grown to love FreeBSD jails and like having the option of both jails or Docker via a Linux VM. For me that's still the best of both worlds.
Debian Linux has its own jails system that I expect they can build off of.
 

RegularJoe

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
234
with Linux we should be able to get those "Docker Containers" and KVM virtualization with real storage under it. I like the IOCage jails but if the FreeNAS FreeBSD version gets to out of date I do not think we can use the packages to get new apps, so that is very bad. Jails are so cool that they start up so fast. When FreeBSD works it is GREAT!
 

latez

Neophyte
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
10
I was curious if any of you had caught some of Linus's recent comments.

While the points Linus brings up regarding uncertainties with licensing in regards to ZFS are somewhat valid (to an extent). The FUD regarding its utility was in true Torvaldian fashion. I'm curious to see how his stance affects this project and the direction it takes in the future. Like many, I am quite interested in a Linux based FreeNAS but I've always regarded the GPL as inferior to the BSD licenses from a true freedom standpoint. Curious to hear what some of you may think.
 

JoeAtWork

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
53
How about some clustering magic(a cluster without InfiniBand switches but using dual port cards via a ring).

iXsystems would sell a pair of Mellanox CX-5/6 cards for use via "host chaining" so we could have a cluster of FreeNAS servers. Shared nothing cluster so that the node would appear as 1 host/1 ip address. You could even change a setting on the cards and on the FreeBSD driver so the software only worked with cards sold by iXsystems.

After a few years these cards will be on ebay for $50 so I think before that happens the developers should get something that works today. The last I looked at these the Mellanox "host chaining" feature only worked in Linux. Sp the window users, VMware users and anyone else were shut out of the game and that is a pity.
 

JoeAtWork

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
53
There are NO excellent file systems for Linux, the ones that exist are OK or just good enough for now.

As soon as ZFS gets the all clear I can see where all UNIX type OSes should default to use it, I can also see Uncle Larry wanting to license it to Microsoft as they have rubbish file systems and Apple as well.

===========================================================================

BTRFS has issues with raid5/6
BTRFS has a black eye as the way Synology uses it on their NASes is terribly slow.
all file systems have issues when run on top of LVM
Red Hat is trying to make another file system(Stratis file management) to replace or extend the functionality of XFS/LVM
In 2017 Red Hat has said there is NO future in BTRFS and is deprecating and removing it
LVM/XFS when shutdown dirty results in IT doing the single user mode thing and "Y" a few hundred/thousand times
MD and LVM are two complex tools to manage part of what ZFS does

I think Linus is just using a ploy to poke Uncle Larry in the eye to see if he will really release ZFS or if he still has a hand of cards to play....

Here is that Red Hat said about the new file system to replace ZFS from scratch by two guys writing it:

Red Hat is funny, bashing BTRFS rather than fixing parts that are broke
 
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