Archive for April, 2011

FreeNAS 8.0 Release Candidate 5 – Last One Before Final Version?

April 12th, 2011 3 comments

The FreeNAS team and iXsystems have surprised themselves by shipping FreeNAS 8.0 RC5.
It wasn’t planned but since they fixed so many issues in RC4 it was clear that an RC5 would be beneficial.

There are two new major features in RC5:

  • Volume drive replacement in the GUI
  • The ability to add to ZFS volumes, which also doubles as the ability to create stacked ZFS volumes, such as a stripe of RAIDZs (RAID 50) or a stripe of mirrors (RAID 10)

The GUI contains functionality to replace components in volumes. Mainly useful for replacing failed drives in arrays, it can handle replacing devices in place or migrating devices depending on is the new device has the same or a different device name in it. Due to a bug in FreeBSD’s ZFS implementation, occasionally ZFS will attempt to hold on to the old device. The GUI contains a detach button for such cases. Spare, Cache, and Log devices can now be added to ZFS volumes at any time through the GUI.

The ability to create “stacked” ZFS configurations is now present in the GUI. This also goes hand in hand with the ability to add devices to ZFS volumes. For ZFS the volume wizard will now accept an existing volume name when adding volumes. If an existing volume name is specified, the volume being created will be added to the existing volume as a stripe. In this manner one can create complex volumes such as RAID 10, RAIDZ+0, RAIDZ2+0, RAIDZ3+0 in the same manner as conventional RAID controllers build complex volumes. Simply start with the subgroups and build up from there. The top level group is implicitly a stripe, there is no provision to build a mirror of mirrors, or a RAIDZ of mirrors, or a mirror of RAIDZs

FreeNAS 8 should be installed to a USB stick or Compact Flash device. It requires a device of at least 1 GB in size. In a departure from FreeNAS 0.7 releases, the OS drive can not be used as a component for a volume, nor can it be partitioned for sharing.


You can download FreeNAS 8.0 RC5 from here.

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