For both home and business, so powerful!
January 31, 2018

For both home and business, so powerful!

Tommy Boucher | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with FreeNAS

FreeNAS is the central depot. Not only it is used as a file server (SMB/WebDAV), but also as a block storage for hypervisor (iSCSI), and many services provider (including usage of jail). I host many products on it like UrBackup and NextCloud.

Installed on a dual CPU 2U server with 16 front bays, I use a combination of SATA 3TB Drives and 240 GB SSD drives. The SSD Drives are used as a read cache, but also as a write cache (50 GB mirror).

ZFS is one of the most stable, reliable and fast file systems! Running over FreeBSD is very powerful. The community is awesome.
  • RAIDZ, fast and simple, and reliable.
  • SSD Caching, for both Read and Write.
  • Many services, from FileServer (FTP, SMB, WebDAV, ...), including iSCSI, and many other available using jail
  • Powerful UI, easy to monitor, and manage.
  • Awesome community, with many improvements every build.
  • Deduplication. The deduplication uses so much RAM, and makes every write very slow. I have a very powerful server, with 128 GB of RAM, and when enabling deduplication, writes are 50% slower. Disaster. A Microsoft approach (cron job) using junction would be better, in my opinion...
  • VMs. They have a module for VMs, but, it's a pain. Based on FreeBSD, they should do something to make it work... or provide some images. Tried to make a Windows Server VMs with many tutorials, and can't get it to work.
  • Backup. It is very easy to use FreeNAS as a backup target, but when it's time to backup the FreeNAS itself... not that simple.
  • Positive - Can be download for free, if you don't need support
  • Negative - The paid support is basic, and requires next business day shipping
  • Positive - Can work on almost any hardware
  • Positive - Powerful caching, can have low latency high IOPS for almost any application using ship hardware
  • Positive - Plugin market with ready to go apps, time saver
  • QNap, Sinology, Netgear ReadyNAS, HPE StorageWorks, Dell Storage NX, Openfiler, TrueNAS, D-Link NAS and Western Digital My Cloud
If you are ready to build it yourself, FreeNAS is the best. I tried so many alternatives, including paid versions, and nothing compares to the power of FreeNAS. If you need an enterprise-grade NAS, you would go with an HPE or Dell because of the support, not the features. If you want a middle-range - QNap, Sinology, Netgear - they have an awesome product with powerful features, but you need to buy the hardware and software from them, with fewer options, and very basic support.
FreeNAS is awesome for any kind of storage, including VMs or database because it is really reliable and fast. If you can have a robust backup strategy, and maybe a second box for replication, it would be a no-brainer.

Tried to go true TrueNAS, which is one of the paid versions of FreeNAS, but they will only do next business day, hardware shipping. If you need a 24/7 on-site support, it is a no go. You are on your own.