FreeNAS Corral – Initial Impressions

The FreeNAS that we built last year has been upgraded to FreeNAS Corral.  The teething problems that are inherent with a new release were more prominent than expected.  While the core functionality and stability was very good, the ground-up rewrite has certainly led to some unexpected challenges.  Over the past few weeks, ixSystems has done an amazing job of tackling the initial errata.  At this point, the product now feels as if its ready for standard production use cases.  Although some of the missing or non-existing GUI elements that were phased out as part of the new version may require some searching or experimentation to leverage the more advanced functionality of this product, the time and effort is certainly worth it.  The CrashPlan Docker container alone is worth the price of admission since it is incredibly easy to set up.  Anomalies that occurred when running said solution in a jail using the CrashPlan 9.x tree are now a thing of the past.  The pitch of free hyper-convergence is certainly attractive.  While we haven’t explored the finer nuances of the bhyve hypervisor just yet, FreeNAS Corral has delivered the goods in an elegant and powerful package.

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