Introduction to iXsystems: Not just #FreeNAS anymore


In this short video, Brett Davis, EVP of iXsystems describes what makes them unique in the world of data storage arrays. They are known as the owners of the FreeNAS technology, the largest software-defined-storage solution in use today.


David Littman:                    Hey, Dave Littman, Truth in IT. I am joined today with Brett Davis. Brett is Executive Vice President with iXsystems. Brett, welcome.

Brett Davis:                           Hey, Dave. Thanks for having me.

David Littman:                    All right. So, we are going to talk about some really, I think very compelling technologies that you guys have, especially because it's open source, because you guys have one of the most popular, if not the most popular software defined storage infrastructures and also some finely tuned appliances to go with it and some new news. So, give us a brief overview of iXsystems and we'll go on to some of those bullet points.

Brett Davis:                           Okay. Great. Thanks, Dave. Yeah, so iXsystems has been around since the 90's actually, so we spawned out of BSDI and so we have an open source heritage that traces all the way back to the roots of the Free BSD operating system. And so, once those software assets were acquired by Wind River in about 2000, early 2000's, the hardware division spun back out as iXsystems. And so, we've been focused as a system integrator. Since that time, we've built some of the largest websites and web backends and clouds, some of the most popular clouds that you're aware of today.

                                                      Our primary focus is servers and storage for folks that are building on open source infrastructure, and our hardware has always been compatible with that. In about 2009, we took over the FreeNas project. And the FreeNas project was and is the most popular software defined storage, as you said. Has almost 10 million downloads to this date and hundreds of thousands of active users still. We find it in use from almost 80 plus percent of the Fortune 500 today, all the way down to people's homes. And that's basically designed for folks that want to spin up storage, network that storage specifically for kind of non business or mission critical applications, [inaudible 00:02:22], things like that. Although, we do have community members that are savvy enough that are running FreeNas at multi petabytes scale. So and in production. But then we have TrueNas, which is the enterprise version of FreeNas. And that's an appliance that's built around FreeNas with some additional enterprise support, as well as enterprise features.

David Littman:                    Okay, great. And so you guys have taken the FreeNas concept, you've now built appliance called TrueNas. And this comes in hybrid, it comes in all flash. So talk to us a little bit about that and then we'll talk about the X series.

Brett Davis:                           Sure. Absolutely. So, yeah, TrueNas is a series of arrays, and the arrays do come in both hybrid and all flash. Today we support up to five petabytes on the hybrid arrays. They integrate flash as both read and write cache. So L1 read cache, L2 read cache, and then right cache as well, or right log. And so they're highly performant, highly scalable systems. They have high availability capability. And then the all flash system support up to 400 terabytes today.

David Littman:                    Okay, and so all the features, replications, snapshots, all of that good stuff packed in there?

Brett Davis:                           Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So remote replication, snapshots. Everything's built on the ZFS file system. We incorporated the ZFS file system into FreeNas in 2009 and then about two years later, TrueNas was born. And so, yes, you get all the bells and whistles inherent with ZFS.

David Littman:                    Alright. And to wrap things up, talk to us about the new X series.

Brett Davis:                           Okay, yeah. So the X series we launched in July. There's an X10 and an X20. And those are our most entry level TrueNas units and they're specifically aimed at competing with EEMC Unity, Net FS2000, and it's down at more of a Soho level price point. So given the performance and features that you get per dollar, we think that the value is unparalleled in the market today.

David Littman:                    Alright, fabulous. Well, Brett, thanks very much for taking the time to speak with us today and for helping us understand more about iXsystems. We'd love to have you back. Maybe take a look at the interfaces, but for now, thank you very much for taking the time and thank you all for watching.

Brett Davis:                           Absolutely, Dave. Thanks for having me.