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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Networking / Storage

TrueNAS SCALE Network Attached Storage Meets High Demand

The TrueNAS SCALE Network Attached Storage distribution is designed for hybrid clouds, and will soon offer enterprise support options. The OS is powered by OpenZFS and Gluster for scalable ZFS features and data management.
Mar 2nd, 2023 7:13am by
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TrueNAS SCALE might not be a distribution on the radar of most cloud native developers, but it should be. Although TrueNAS SCALE is, by design, a network-attached storage solution (based on Debian), it is also possible to create integrated virtual machines and even Linux containers.

TrueNAS SCALE can be deployed as a single node or even to a cluster. It can be expanded with third-party applications, offers snapshotting, and can be deployed on off-the-shelf hardware or as a virtual machine.

IXsystems‘ TrueNAS SCALE is built on TrueNAS CORE, is designed for hybrid clouds, and will soon offer enterprise support options. The operating system is powered by OpenZFS and Gluster for scalable ZFS features and data management.

You’ll find support for KVM virtual machines, Kubernetes, and Docker.

Even better TrueNAS SCALE is open-source and free to use.

Latest Release

Recently, the company launched TrueNAS SCALE 22.12.1 (Bluefin), which includes numerous improvements and bug fixes. The list of improvements to the latest release includes the following:

  • SMB Share Proxy to provide a redirect mechanism for SMB shares in a common namespace.
  • Improvements to rootless login.
  • Fixes to ZFS HotPlug.
  • Improved Dashboard for both Enterprise HA and Enclosure management.
  • Improved Host Path Validation for SCALE applications.
  • Support for external share paths added.

There have also been a number of new features added to the latest release, including the following:

  • SSH Key Upload to simplify and better secure remote access for users.
  • DFS Proxy Share
  • Kubernetes Pass-Through enables external access to the Kubernetes API within a node.
  • Improved first UI login (when root password has not been set).
  • Allow users to create and manage ACL presets.
  • Sudo fields to provide correct privileges for remote targets.

Read the entire changelog to find out all of the improvements and new features that were added to TrueNAS SCALE.

Up-Front Work

One thing to keep in mind when considering TrueNAS SCALE is that there is a bit of up-front work you must do to make it work. Upon installation of the OS, you’ll have to create storage pools, users, shares, and more. There is a bit of a learning curve with this NAS solution, but the end result is very much worth the time you’ll spend making it work.

As far as the web UI is concerned, you’ll find it to be incredibly well-designed (Figure 1).

Figure 1: The default TrueNAS SCALE web UI is a thing of beauty.

In order to use the Virtualization feature, your CPU must support KVM extensions. This can be problematic when using TrueNAS as a virtual machine (with the likes of VirtualBox). To make this work, you must enable Nested Virtualization. Here’s how you do that.

First, create the virtual machine for TrueNAS. Once the VM is created, you’ll need to find the .vbox file in the TrueNAS VirtualBox folder. Open that file for editing (in my example, the file is TRUENAS.vbox). Look for the following section:

Add the following line to that section:

The new section should look like this:

The GUI Method

If you prefer the GUI method, open the Settings for the VM, go to System, and click the checkbox for Enable Nested VT-x/AMD-V, and click OK. Start the VM and Virtualization should now work. You’ll know if it’s working if you click on the Virtualization section and you see Add Virtual Machine (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Virtualization is now enabled for our TrueNAS VM.

In a soon-to-be-written tutorial, I will show you how to start working with containers via TrueNAS. Until then, I highly recommend you download an ISO image of this incredible NAS solution, install it, create your pools/users/shares, and start enjoying the ability to share files and folders to your network.

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Enable, Docker.
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