back to article FreeNAS sheds storage skin, tries on sexier hyperconverged garb

FreeNAS, the FreeBSD-derived software that turns a server into a network-attached storage box, has upgraded, changed its name and now asserts it's a hyperconverged platform. The new name is FreeNAS Corral, replacing the expected FreeNAS 10, because “Only a new name could do justice to the sheer amount of change and new …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's in a name?

    I can understand that they kept the FreeNAS name because of name recognition and/or trademarks. But claiming the rename is due to not being just a NAS anymore while in fact keeping NAS in the name kinda defeats the stated purpose, no? Well, putting that aside I don't really think corral works either. Maybe if containers or VM's were given anthropomorphic moe blobs then corral name would kinda make sense, but I'm pretty sure ixsystems isn't based in Japan.

    Or are cowboy analogies hip in Sysops?

    Seriously though, if you're going to tack on to the existing name wouldn't something like - FreeNAS Converged/Hyper/++/Plus/Stack/n' more/etc make more sense?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's just the naming nonsense virus that hits more and more companies today.

      If you want a laugh, just look at how Borland Inrprise Codegear Embarcadero Delphi is named today... up to have something like Delphi 10 Seattle, Delphi 10.1 Berlin (but the .1 is actually the next release you have to pay for, they stick on 10 just to piggyback Windows 10).

      They also tried to add a "Springtime Update", until someone from the South hemisphere taught them season are reversed there, thus if you released in 2016, a Springtime Update and an Autumn Update, which one comes first?

      Just, in the alternative world marketing lives, numbers look dull. They can't really understand them until they see them on their paycheck, and only there. So, after smoking some substances, they "invent" useless names just to make your life more complex....

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: It's just the naming nonsense virus that hits more and more companies today.

        "they stick on 10 just to piggyback Windows 10"

        This can't be one of the brighter marketing ideas. Not that marketing is renowned for brightness of ideas.

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: It's just the naming nonsense virus that hits more and more companies today.

        Delphi Seattle? .... oh you mean Pascal.

        To the marketing doids, if you can steal it, and rename it - then you own it.

    2. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name?

      Or, just maybe, you're overthinking it?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's in a name?

      Flashbacks to JASC Paintshop Pro becoming Corel Paintshop Pro.

      *shudder*

    4. Marc 13

      Re: What's in a name?

      Or because they want a "brand" for their Hyperconverged play - Imagine the CV:

      .... VMware 5.5/6.x, Hyper-V, FreeNas Conv / Hyper / etc etc

      vs

      .... VMware 5.5/6.x, Hyper-V, Corral.

      and it helps to steer the brand away from having "Free" in the title too (which put a lot of people off, even though paid support and retail hardware is available)

      1. Justin Clift

        Re: What's in a name?

        > and it helps to steer the brand away from having "Free" in the title too (which put a lot of people off, even though paid support and retail hardware is available)

        Hmmm, not sure. Their "Enterprise" version of FreeNAS is called "TrueNAS". Haven't seen any announcements about that (yet). There might be a matching "TrueNAS Corral", or iX might be trying something different. (no idea)

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: What's in a name?

          Guess they will let "free" users gamma-test the new release for a while, then deliver it on TrueNAS too.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: What's in a name?

            I'm afraid gamma-testing will take some time... upgraded today my NAS and "Corral" create issues in the SMB shares, couldn't use robocopy to sync, throwing "access denied" errors, seemingly when trying to access file attributes. Reverted to 9.10 and everything was fine again.

            The UI was surely more modern, but often not more intuitive. The new scheduler is better, volume management looks better too. Some issue with Firefox 52, they say to use Chrome, but this way Chrome is becoming the new IE, "it works with every browsers as long as it is Chrome"?? C'mon, Google is no better than MS if you need an evil company behind a browser.

            The new middleware looks quite heavy, I'd be careful on older, less powerful machines.

    5. ScissorHands
      Devil

      Re: What's in a name?

      Since they're supporting VMs and containers, Corral must be a nod to the "cattle, not pets" server deployment buzzword very much in fashion nowadays. I'm kinda reluctantly grumbling in approval.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Gnoitall
    Stop

    Increased capability comes at a cost

    Even if FreeNAS whatever continues to be free-as-in-beer and more or less free-as-in-freedom (BSD license and all), the extra capability -- unneeded in most current use cases -- increases complexity and correspondingly decreases reliability. If the VM or Container capability is useless to you (because it's just a NAS, dammit), that's still X thousands of lines of code that can knock down the machine unless you brutally and thoroughly neuter it from the installed configuration.

    Extra unneeded capability is not a benefit, no matter what iXSystem's roadmap says.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Increased capability comes at a cost

      Extra unneeded capability is not a benefit, no matter what iXSystem's roadmap says.

      Quite.

      After the splitTM, I was slightly torn as to which one to choose when it was time to upgrade from old trusty freenas 0.7.2. In the end, despite the lure of the plugins, I chose nas4free and it has performed impeccably. My old Microserver with 8GB RAM and intel pcie nic has not missed a beat. To my surprise it even imported old 0.7.2 mirrored volume, now of course long gone and copied over to new ZFS pool.

      I think what iXSystems has done with FreeNAS is great and intend to give the new one a whirl to test, but for pure storage purposes nas4free has been flawless and I have no intention to retire that anytime soon.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In what way is this "hyperconverged"?

    I sat through the whole 26 minute video.

    In summary: you administer a single node via its web interface. The web interface lets you create volumes out of local disk, and you can create VMs which are backed by these local disk volumes (or a remote NFS server).

    This is otherwise known as "running VMs on a server" - just as everyone has done since VMware Workstation.

    So what justifies the "hyperconverged" label?

    Is there a central management platform which lets you treat a whole pool of these boxes as a cluster, automatically deploy workloads to nodes, and migrate them between nodes? If there is, you'd have thought they'd mention it.

    Still: I suppose some people might be excited by the fact that you select the system timezone from a world map, or you can drag the DNS servers into the order you want.

    FreeNAS: putting the Hype into Hyperconverged.

    1. DougMac

      Re: In what way is this "hyperconverged"?

      The Hype of Hyperconverged in the market today is that you do storage and virtualization at the same time on the same box so you don't have to buy storage and hypervisor separately.

      Although for the life of me, I haven't still figured out why you'd really want to starve a storage system's resources by running a hypervisor on top of it. If you are SOHO, or really tiny SMB, I can see not having the resources to run a real proper setup and get away on the cheap, but even tiny enterprise or mid-sized and up SMB are going to want to do things a bit more properly.

      Previous FreeNAS systems did jails, and let you run VirtualBox inside a jail, which worked fairly well, but bhyve is really more a full on type 2 hypervisor.

  4. SharkLasersPew

    FreeNAS "Forever"

    I say this in reference to Duke Nukem Forever, since this software took 3 years to develop.

    That being said, I personally find this "release" to be a disaster. Why do you ask?

    - Performance is abysmal. Your boot device is under constant heavy load and regardless of service type, and network speeds, you will experience horrific write/read speeds versus 9.X.

    - Chrome is the only supported browser. Seriously, guys? This is the only webUI that I have come across that is only supported by a single browser.

    - iSCSI has gone backwards. To be specific, much of the advanced configuration options that were once available are now gone. You can either share all or nothing!

    - Upgrades are a nightmare. If you have an encrypted pool and are trying to upgrade from 9.X, forget about it, not happening.. Jails/plugins are not able to migrate as well.

    - VM shenanigans. Windows 2016 and Ubuntu will not install in the new VM hypervisor. How is this hyper convergence?

    - Lastly, the UI has all sorts of random "quirks" that can result from fields disappearing to outright VM's and scheduled jobs disappearing too. You will find yourself wondering what the hell happened and even more so when a reboot causes even worse behaviors.

    In the end, the new UI is "shiny and pretty" but the software itself seems far from finished.

    Just wondering what the hell happened and why they didn't spend this time fixing what they already had with the 9.X branch...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019