iXsystems Announces Release of FreeNAS™ Version 8.0.1

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Release features back end changes and bugfixes, as well as new front end user features

The FreeNAS™ Team has announced the release of FreeNAS™ Version 8.0.1. FreeNAS™ 8.0.1 represents a major leap in functionality and stability for FreeNAS™ 8. Features added to FreeNAS™ in the 8.0.1 branch include S.M.A.R.T. and UPS services, USB 3.0 support, and OSX Lion AFP and Time Machine compatibility. In addition, cronjob support and rsync have been added to the GUI, and replication has been improved for increased data integrity.

In addition to the many back end changes and bugfixes, FreeNAS™ 8.0.1 also includes new front end user features. A new stoplight icon in the top right of the GUI functions as an alert system, keeping administrators in tune with the overall health of their installation. This icon is visible from every page of the GUI, and will change color in keeping with the condition of the system as indicated by the alert messages. Clicking the icon brings up a dialogue outlining which messages have keyed the alert.

The stoplight system will be most noticeable to new users and administrators booting a fresh install. As of 8.0.1, FreeNAS™ no longer has a default password, which will cause the alert light to flash red until one is added. This has the added security benefit of blocking SSH or root shell access until a root password is set by the administrator. The GUI also now includes a checkbox to set the root user shell password to be the same as the webGUI administrator's password, if desired.

8.0.1 includes another less immediately obvious, but still notable update - the ZFS deletion system now actually functions as a volume export utility. “Deleted” ZFS volumes can be added through the volume importer until the member disks are eventually reused in another volume. For the security-conscious, the GUI has an option to wipe the disks on deletion rather than leaving them usable, as well as an option to prevent the volume deletion from cascading over and affecting shares attached to the deleted volume.

Another important back end change in 8.0.1 is support for arbitrary mount points for UFS volumes. The size of the FreeNAS™ boot device no longer sets a cap on the size of the /var slice, if properly exported to another storage volume. While this only affects a small number of users in specific applications, this is an important milestone for users with large amounts of temporary data to cache, such as an Active Directory's 'users and groups' data.

“8.0.1 represents a significant advancement towards the goals outlined by the current FreeNAS™ roadmap,” says Josh Paetzel, Director of IT at iXsystems. “With all the significant issues addressed, FreeNAS™ development will be able to better focus on total feature parity with Version .7, rather than just solid completion for existing new features.”

Eventually, with the final release of FreeNAS™ 8.0.1, development will shift to the 8.1 branch, which will add a third-party plug-in system. The plug-ins will use a variation on the PBI system pioneered by PC-BSD®. Through plugins, FreeNAS™ 8 will be able to support most or all of the features that were part of FreeNAS™ .7 (such as BitTorrent and UPNP) while keeping the base install image slim for those who only want the core functionality of FreeNAS™. Version 8.1 will also feature a supported upgrade path from FreeNAS™ .7.x.

About FreeNAS™ 8
FreeNAS™ is a free and open source Network Attached Storage operating system based on FreeBSD. The goal of the project is to design a lightweight, BSD-based software package that acts as a full featured NAS server, complete with a Django-based web user interface, full ZFS implementation, and the ability to interface perfectly with existing networks – regardless of operating system or protocol.

About iXsystems
iXsystems is the all-around FreeBSD® company that builds FreeBSD-certified servers and storage solutions, oversees FreeNAS™ development, and is the corporate sponsor of the PC-BSD® Project. iXsystems is an employee-owned and operated, open source-centric, customer focused organization, dedicated to providing the highest quality built-to-order enterprise rackmount server solutions, pre-configured server appliances, and scalable storage solutions to our customers around the globe.


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Denise Ebery
iXsystems, Inc.
(408) 943-4100 x119
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