Top Hardware Components for TrueNAS Core Servers

TrueNAS Core is a FreeBSD based storage platform that utilizes ZFS. Previously, it was called “FreeNAS” but as the company transitions to a more Linux focus with products such as TrueNAS Scale, the company decided to do away with the FreeNAS branding. You can read more about that FreeNAS is Dead Long Live TrueNAS CORE and de-emphasizing FreeBSD for TrueNAS Scale Out Project. The fact that TrueNAS uses a thoroughly enterprise file system and it is free means that it is extremely popular among IT professionals who are on constrained budgets.

At STH we test hundreds of hardware combinations each year. From this experience, we are going to keep a running log of the best TrueNAS Core components. We are going to focus this guide on TrueNAS servers with under 30 storage devices and will periodically update the listing.

Of course, iXsystems, the company behind TrueNAS sells NAS units so if you want a pre-configured solution that is a great place to start. Here are our Top Picks for TrueNAS Buyer’s Guides:

Top TrueNAS ZFS Storage Picks

Like most ZFS systems, the real speed comes from caching. ZFS is designed to make effective use of RAM and solid-state drives for caching. This means that there are four primary classes of drives for a TrueNAS (Core) system: boot drives, hard drives, L2ARC SSDs and ZIL/ SLOG devices. We maintain a list of the top five picks in each category to take the stress out of picking components:

  • Top Picks for TrueNAS: Boot Drives
  • Top Picks for TrueNAS: Hard Drives
  • Top Picks for TrueNAS: L2ARC Drives (SSDs)
  • Top Picks for TrueNAS: ZIL/ SLOG Drives
  • Top Picks for TrueNAS: Host Bus Adapters (SAS HBAs)

We will keep these updated on a periodic basis.

Intel Optane 905P 380GB M.2 V 118GB Optane 800P V Samsung PM953
Intel Optane 905P 380GB M.2 V 118GB Optane 800P V Samsung PM953

Top TrueNAS Networking Picks

We have a list of our Top TrueNAS NICs. Networking performance is extremely important to overall performance. Nothing is worse than having an awesome network storage appliance then not being able to use it.

3rd Party Intel X710 DA4 NIC Ports LP Bracket
3rd Party Intel X710 DA4 NIC Ports LP Bracket

TrueNAS System Reviews

The company behind FreeNAS, iXsystems, now sells various appliances aimed at the SOHO, creator, SMB, and ROBO market segments. We are going to have our system reviews here

You can read more about the appliances in:

You can also read about our TrueNAS Core builds in:

There you can see some of the thought processes behind building these systems.

Have a specific question?

If you are looking for an awesome deal or have a specific question about TrueNAS hardware, feel free to ask in the STH forums.

Last updated 2020/06/04