Open source storage vendor iXsystems launches scale-out HCI software, new single-controller R-series hardware

The new TrueNAS SCALE rounds out the company’s software options, while the R-Series, which addresses non-mission critical use cases, and can still scale to huge capacities when paired with the HCI software, adds to the hardware options.

Brett Davis, EVP Sales and Marketing at iXsystems

Today, open source storage provider iXsystems is making a pair of announcements. They have launched a new hardware series, the R-series, single controller systems designed both for non-mission critical use cases and to pair with the newly announced TrueNAS SCALE Open Source HyperConverged Infrastructure [HCI] software. The second announcement is the new HCI software itself, one of the first open source HCI offerings, which is being targeted at those who specifically want an open source HCI option.

iXsystems has been around since 1991, and has been a key vendor in the open source storage space over that period, starting with FreeBSD, and also moving into Linux with OpenZFS 2.0. In August they announced their TrueNAS 12.0 OS, and also merged their TrueNAS brand with the FreeNAS brand, to provide a single code base and a more efficient development road map. At that time, they telegraphed their intent to enter the HCI space, and serve it through the same TrueCommand pane of glass and the same OS with which they serve the enterprise, midmarket and prosumer markets.

“TrueNAS SCALE is a unique HCI solution, one of the first open source HCI solutions,” said   Brett Davis, EVP Sales and Marketing at iXsystems. “It uses the Open ZFS file system in HCI, which is also unique.”

The TrueNAS SCALE ‘Angelfish’ release is available as Open Source software built atop Debian Linux, or as an appliance-based solution that combines TrueNAS SCALE with one of iXsystem’s hardware offerings, including the new R-Series or the High-Availability [HA] X-Series and M-Series. TrueNAS SCALE is Disaggregated HCI, so that the storage and compute can be scaled independently. Users can get started on a single node, so it is suitable for small and home offices. It can also incrementally scale up and scale out to over 100 storage nodes with many additional compute-only nodes. Each node can support Virtual Machines with the KVM hypervisor, and Docker containers with native Kubernetes.

The open source components also give TrueNAS SCALE a price advantage over the HCI market leaders.

“The open source angle is what is unique here for people who want to develop with it and build on it,” Davis said. “It’s for people who want to use open source for HCI, or to address the scale-out market since TrueNAS SCALE does both.”

The new hardware family, the TrueNAS R-Series, is highly complementary to TRUENAS SCALE, also runs the TrueNAS CORE Community edition and the TrueNAS Enterprise edition as well.

The TrueNAS R-Series is a single controller non-HA system, designed for density and for less critical use cases, but it is also good to pair with TRUENAS SCALE,” Davis said. “It’s part of the democratization of enterprise storage.”

There are four models in the series. The TrueNAS R50 is a high capacity 4U system with up to 890TB capacity. The TrueNAS R40 is a high density 2U all-flash system with up to 360TB of flash capacity. The TrueNAS R20is a power efficient 2U with up to 230TB capacity. The smallest, the TrueNAS R10, is a compact 1U all-flash system with up to 120TB of flash capacity.

“The TrueNAS R10 can be used in small or home offices because it only requires one node,” Davis indicated. “But these systems can scale massively with TRUENAS SCALE software, up to hundreds of petabytes. They don’t have HA, but when they are integrated with the HCI they don’t need it.”

R-Series pricing starts at under $4,000 and grows with processing and storage capacity.