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10 Great Things About FreeNAS

July 30th, 2009

What is it that makes FreeNAS so special? Here is a list of 10 things which make FreeNAS great.

  1. It works – The thing about FreeNAS is that although the version numbers sound a bit freighting 0.69 or 0.7, it actually works. You can safely commit your data to it. Aside from hardware failure, power spikes or your roof collapsing the FreeNAS server will keep your data safe and sound.
  2. It is free – Unlike commercial NAS solutions FreeNAS is free as in that it costs $0 but also free in that the full source code is available for one. There are no hidden or proprietary secrets here.
  3. Low system requirements – How much does a hard disk cost nowadays, less that $100 for 1TB. If you have an old PC (and when I say old I mean a Pentium 2 or 3 not a 3Ghz Pentium 4 with 1GB of memory) then you can slip in a couple of 1TB drives (with maybe the addition of a new SATA controller) and your NAS is up an running. FreeNAS doesn’t need much memory, no fancy video card or a blinding fast CPU. My personal FreeNAS system runs on a 700Mhz Celeron system.
  4. Supports Windows, Mac, Linux and FreeBSD – It doesn’t really matter what type of computers you have in your home or office, FreeNAS probably will talk the right lingo.
  5. RSYNC – RSYNC is an incredible protocol for doing backups over your home network, over the internet or even internally in the FreeNAS. It is almost universally available on all platforms and is kind to your network or Internet connection.
  6. iSCSI – For those who are looking for more complex storage solutions, FreeNAS support iSCSI. Now that Windows has a free iSCSI initiator from Microsoft, iSCSI on FreeNAS can give you new hard drives in your PC without having to physically connect them!
  7. Media Streaming – FreeNAS supports several different types of media streaming and is uPnP compatible and can also act as an iTunes server.
  8. RAID – FreeNAS supports a whole plethora of RAID types including 0, 1 and 5 but also 1+0, 0+1, 5+0, 0+5 and so on.
  9. ZFS – With the advert of version 0.7 FreeNAS now officially supports ZFS the revolutionary filing system from Sun. With ZFS you data is organized into data pools rather than hard drives and to increase your storage you just add a hard drive to the pool. No more drive C:, D:, E:, F:, G:, H:…
  10. Easy to use – Even though FreeNAS is built on top of FreeBSD, you don’t need to get your feet dirty with technical Unix type things. FreeNAS is managed with a web interface. Simple, clean and easy to learn.

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