iXsystems supercharges OpenZFS storage

iXsystems claims it has the world’s fastest OpenZFS storage systems with the new M60 array and TrueNAS v12 software. With this week’s upgrade, TrueNAS users get twice the capacity headroom and an accelerated box to support storage operations.

Update: M60’s 15GB/sec bandwidth updated to 20GB/sec sustained.

OpenZFS is an open source version of the ZFS file system, and is the basis of iXsystems’s FreeNAS and paid-for TrueNAS products. There are an estimated one million-plus installed FreeNAS andTrueNAS systems.

Morgan Littlewood

Morgan Littlewood, biz-dev SVP at iXsystems, said: “There has been increasing demand from midsize and enterprise organisations for higher price/performance storage solutions  … With the M60, we are leading the Open Storage revolution, both with high performance hardware and the increased performance of TrueNAS 12.0.”

iXsystems’ hybrid or all-flash M50 array, launched in April 2018, has one or two controllers with 40 cores max, 3TB of RAM (348GB/controller), 32GB of NVDIMM write cache and up to 12.8TB of NVMe flash read cache per controller. There are up to four 100GbitE ports and eight external 60-bay expansion shelves that support 504 drives to scale upwards of 9PB. Maximum flash capacity is 2PB raw.

TrueNAS M60 array

The M60 has much faster hardware – up to 768GB RAM/controller with 64 cores total, two x 32GB NVDIMM write cache/controller but with the same NVMe read cache as before. It has up to 8 x 100GbitE ports, double the previous total. The system supports 12 expansion chassis with up to 1,248 x 18TB drives and 20PB raw capacity maximum. The all-flash version supports 4PB maximum raw flash capacity.

iXsystems suggests the M60 can run at one million IOPS with a 20GB/sec sustained bandwidth, compared to the M50’s 800,000-plus IOPS. We don’t have a maximum bandwidth number for the M50.

TruNAS v12

TrueNAS v12 unifies the software, documentation and branding of FreeNAS and TrueNAS. FreeNAS is renamed ‘TrueNAS Core’ and is available as an open source edition of TrueNAS. There are two supported TrueNAS editions: TrueNAS Scale and TrueNAS Enterprise. TrueNAS v12 runs on iXsystems hardware or existing customer hardware.

TrueNAS v12 provides Fusion pools with mixed SSDs and HDDs, putting metadata on flash. The ZFS subsystem gets asynchronous operations and vectorisation. Asynchronous write calls return control immediately while synchronous calls don’t return until they have been committed to storage. Vectorisation can speed processing. 

The iSCSI, SMB and NDS areas have been optimised to increase performance by more than 20 per cent.

Security improvements include data set encryption for remote replication, Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) support for drives and datasets and 2-factor admin authorisation. There are also API keys for TrueCommand vSphere and other REST API systems.

The M60 and TrueNAS v12 are both generally available.