Here she is: the new, major release of FreeNAS. Jordan Hubbard of iXsystems announced the release of FreeNAS Corral, previously known as FreeNAS 10. I am really surprised how quickly iXsystems has pulled this off. They have more-or-less built a complete NAS operating system from the ground up in less than two years (the first FreeNAS 10 alpha was released in Oct 2015).
In the “FreeNAS Corral GA- State of the Union #5” video Jordan goes into the different FreeNAS version numbers since 7.x (2005 – 2009), and explains that the project has moved on from numbering the releases after the underlying FreeBSD base, and to a release name nomenclature. From the logo above, you will notice that the new series also has a new logo.
Some other notable changes and updates that he goes into are:
A new intuitive user interface. The latest FreeNAS version looks very slick and helps you step-by-step to update your settings. You work from left to right, with every time a new ‘column’ with options and dropdown menus showing. I would have preferred a lighter, and not a black background, but that is my opinion.
FreeNAS Corral makes setting up ZFS really easy through Flexible Storage Provisioning. You drag and drop your drives, with FreeNAS setting the optimal configurations for you. With the new middleware layer, all your changes are processed, while you can carry on setting up FreeNAS. You don’t have to wait for changes to be applied first before continuing. It all happens quietly in the background.
FreeNAS Corral comes with a powerful Command Line (CLI) and a scriptable interface. This is especially good for system administrator who administer many FreeNAS instances.
Setting up scheduled tasks, whether they be daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, is a real breeze with the Scheduled tasks in Calendar View.
Last, but not least, FreeNAS Corral supports bhyve virtual machines and Docker containers.
I think FreeNAS Corral is an awesome release. It is packed with enterprise-grade features, easy step-by-step configuration wizards, and also VM and Docker support. All this for free. If you have a powerful machine, treasure your data (ZFS!), and don’t want to pay for over-priced NAS solutions, FreeNAS Corral should be one at the top of your list.