FreeNAS is a FreeBSD based storage platform that utilizes ZFS. The fact that it 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 FreeNAS components. We are going to focus this guide on FreeNAS servers with under 30 storage devices and will periodically update the listing.
Of course, iXsystems, the company behind FreeNAS sells NAS units so if you want a pre-configured solution that is a great place to start. Here are our Top Picks for FreeNAS Buyer’s Guides:
Top FreeNAS 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 FreeNAS 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 FreeNAS: Boot Drives
- Top Picks for FreeNAS: Hard Drives
- Top Picks for FreeNAS: L2ARC Drives (SSDs)
- Top Picks for FreeNAS: ZIL/ SLOG Drives
- Top Picks for FreeNAS: Host Bus Adapters (SAS HBAs)
We will keep these updated on a periodic basis.
Top FreeNAS Networking Picks
We have a list of our Top FreeNAS 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.
Have a specific question?
If you are looking for an awesome deal or have a specific question about FreeNAS hardware, feel free to ask in the STH forums.