So far, iXsystems managed two FreeBSD based operating systems for network access storage (NAS): devices: FreeNAS an open-source version supported by the community, and TrueNAS with more enterprise-grade features and commercial support working on the company’s hardware of the same name (TrueNAS flash-powered arrays).
Even though lots of the code was shared, the company found out that maintaining both projects separately negatively affected the development efficiency and quality of the software since they had to maintain two build processes, two QA processes, and two sets of documentation.
The situation is illustrated in the diagram above, but the company has decided to work on improving the development process, and FreeNAS and TrueNAS will share the same build, QA processor, documentation and even release starting with TrueNAS 12. That means there will be a single binary with two versions:
- TrueNAS CORE previously known as FreeNAS, without the need for license keys, and the source code open source and free to use.
- TrueNAS Enterprise with an extended feature set, and using a license key on supported platforms.
TrueNAS CORE (Community-supported, Open-source, Rapid development, Early available) is just the same as FreeNAS with only the name changing. The key functionalities, update process, etc.. remain the same, but development should now be faster, and releases may happen more often (6 months vs 9/12 months previously).
Nightly images for TrueNAS 12 will become available on March 11th, so you can test it out before the official release. When that will be, I’m not sure, but you can follow the progress in the forums. Besides the FreeNAS & TrueNAS merge, TrueNAS 12 will also bring improved support for AMD EPYC / Ryzen platforms, enhanced NUMA support for more efficient CPU core handling, and Open ZFS 2.0 support with dataset encryption, performance improvements, and compatibility with Linux ZFS pools.
It would be nice to have a features matrix between TrueNAS CORE and Enterprise, and somebody asked in the announcement, but sadly there’s no such document just yet.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.