TrueNAS is extremely flexible and feature-rich storage platform. With OpenZFS and a suite of other open-source software under the hood, it can be used to turn an old computer into a home media server or to host dozens of petabytes of critical research data; it can provide simple, reliable storage for home photos and movies or blazing-fast backing for enterprise database applications. It's built to be as user-friendly as possible while still providing the core functionality of the very complex software under the hood. Any software as flexible and capable as TrueNAS will have a learning curve to it, but hopefully this guide will help make that a bit more manageable!
Whether you're brand new to TrueNAS and OpenZFS or a seasoned pro, this guide should prove useful. It covers a broad range of topics related to TrueNAS, OpenZFS, server hardware, and enterprise data storage. Its aim is to give interested users a deeper understanding of each topic so they can work towards getting the most out of their TrueNAS system.
This guide is not intended to replace the official TrueNAS or OpenZFS documentation. It will not provide explicit instructions on how to create a pool, dataset, or share, nor will it exhaustively document everything TrueNAS and OpenZFS have to offer. Instead, it's meant to supplement the official docs by offering additional context around the huge range of features that TrueNAS and OpenZFS support.
TrueNAS is a range of free and open-source network-attached storage (NAS) operating systems produced by iXsystems. TrueNAS CORE and Enterprise are based on FreeBSD while TrueNAS SCALE is based on Debian Linux. All versions of TrueNAS use OpenZFS to provide the file system and volume manager.
TrueNAS supports file sharing via SMB and NFS, block device sharing via iSCSI, and object sharing via S3. TrueNAS also includes functionality to manage remote connectivity, cloud sync, application containers, virtual machines, and third-party plugins.
Below is a breakdown of the topics covered; feel free to dive in at any point and skip around as needed.
I have also written several other articles that dive quite a bit deeper into a few specific topics within ZFS and enterprise data storage. Links to each can be found below.
If you have questions, comments, or corrections, my contact information can be found here.