FreeNAS is an operating system that can be installed on virtually any hardware platform to share data over a network. The app is the simplest way to create a centralized and easily accessible place for your data. Use FreeNAS with ZFS to protect, store, and backup all your data. Used everywhere, for home, small business, and business.
ZFS is an open source file system, RAID controller, and volume manager ready for the enterprise with unprecedented flexibility and an unwavering commitment to data integrity. Eliminates most, if not all deficiencies found in legacy file systems and hardware RAID devices. Once you go to ZFS, you never want to go back.
The web interface simplifies administrative tasks. All aspects of a FreeNAS system can be managed from a web interface. SMB / CIFS (Windows File Shares), NFS (Unix File Shares) and AFP (Apple File Shares), FTP, iSCSI (Block Sharing) and more. Snapshots of the entire file system can be taken and saved at any time. Access the files as they were when the snapshot was taken. Use the Replication feature to send snapshots over the network to another system for true off-site disaster recovery.
Features and highlights
Sharing files is what the app does best. All major operating systems support SMB / CIFS (Windows file shares), NFS (Unix file shares), and AFP (Apple file shares), as well as FTP, iSCSI (block sharing), WebDAV, and other methods. to share data over the network are available. iSCSI also supports VMware VAAI, Microsoft ODX, and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2012 R2 Clustering.
If Free NAS has a goal, it is simplifying complex administrative tasks for as wide a user base as possible. All aspects of the system can be managed from a web user interface. A setup wizard further simplifies setup at installation time or later in the setup process. Volume creation, or setting permissions on individual shares, or performing software updates, can be done without missing a critical step or encountering a silent failure.
ZFS is designed for data integrity from top to bottom. RAID-Z, the software RAID that is part of ZFS, offers unique parity protection like RAID 5, but without the “write hole” vulnerability thanks to the copy-on-write architecture of ZFS. Additional levels RAID-Z2 and RAID-Z3 offer double and triple parity protection, respectively. A software mirror option is also available. The Free NAS Volumes screen lists each possible parity array based on the number of disks you select when creating a new volume.
Snapshots can be done on a spot or scheduled basis as a cron job from the web interface. At any time, the entire file system can revert to the most recent snapshot. Older snapshots can be cloned and accessed to recover data from that version of the file system. From the web interface, users can see how much space a particular snapshot occupies on the volume and delete, clone, or revert to individual snapshots as needed.
ZFS snapshots are more than just local backups – they can also be used to create remote backups. File system snapshot replication to a remote ZFS file system creates a full duplicate there. Additionally, additional snapshots of the same file system can be sent incrementally, reducing the size of each backup to the changes that were made between snapshots. In the event of catastrophic damage to a local ZFS file system (such as a disk failure exceeding parity protection or an unrecoverable logging device failure), any backed up snapshot can be sent to a new ZFS file system , recovering all the data until that backup copy.
FreeNAS is the first and only open source project to offer encryption on ZFS volumes! A full volume encryption option is available during volume creation, providing industry standard AES-XTS encryption that can be hardware accelerated (when the processor is AES-NI capable).
FreeNAS supports the main features of a NAS device out of the box. However, many users like to upgrade their NAS device with third party software for streaming media, alternative protocols, or web applications.