FreeNAS 11.2 released: New interface, better plugin support

FreeNAS 11.2-RELEASE has arrived with a many new features such as  iocage for jails and plugins, a new web interface, and numerous fixes to enhance system capabilities, stability, and performance.

It is the latest stable version of the FreeBSD-based network attached storage (NAS) system. Some of the changes can be found in the new look web interface, support for self-encrypting drives, and new, backwards-compatible REST and WebSocket APIs. The 11.2 update also introduces iocage for improved Plugins and Jails management and simplified Plugin development.

New web interface

The web interface is now based on Angular (previously it was Django) and Javascript, to  be more modern, snappier and more pleasing to the eyes. One thing that I have always found a waste of space has been addressed: the top bar has been removed and most FreeNAS configuration menus can be accessed by clicking the appropriate item in the left column. The new design streamlines the layout with cleaner dropdown menus, while maintaining the same functionality and workflow you’ve grown familiar with while using FreeNAS.

Rebuilt Plugins and Jails support

The development team removed the Warden Plugins and Jails manager to iocage to improve manageability and ZFS integration. For new users, this change will be seamless as the new web interface only displays Plugins designed, tested, and optimised for the new manager.

More FreeNAS enhancements

I really like FreeNAS Corral. It was modern, had Docker support, good cloud storage support, theming and a few other things that I can’t think of now, but it is good to see that FreeNAS 11.2 has caught up with Corral. The following list of system enhancements show this.

  • Cloud Choices: Huge increase in the number of choices for cloud backup, with the ability to sync with leading storage providers such as AWS, Google, Azure, Box, Dropbox, Backblaze, and more. These backups can be encrypted for data security.
  • VM Management: Better management and handling of VM creation to ensure VMs have more memory during boot.
  • Enhanced Encryption: Support for self-encrypting drives (SEDs). SEDs are FIPS 140-2 compliant, which is useful for government use, HIPAA, PCI, and GDPR.
  • ZFS Improvements: Latest up-to-date version of OpenZFS with performance and feature enhancement to improve ARC performance, scrub speeds, and vdev resiliency.
  • Robust API: Swagger-compliant REST and WebSockets API with integrated documentation, improved usability, and backwards compatibility with the legacy API.
  • Mobile and Theming Support: Choose from several built-in themes or create your own custom theme. Built-in mobile support makes it easier than ever to access FreeNAS via your smartphone or tablet.

In this video Joshua Smith and Kris Moore from iXsystems sit down to discuss the latest changes in version 11.2 and demonstrate the new user interface, in the iX blue theme.

I am planning to upgrade to FreeNAS 9.2 over the weekend.

Full release notes can be read here: FreeNAS 11.2 has ARRIVED

Let me know what you think about the new release.

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