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Convince me to switch from FreeNAS

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 19:46
by edwardjamesgaff

I currently have a dedicated mini-ITX box running FreeNAS 9.3 on bare-metal. I also have a separate server running ESXi that I'm hopefully going to transition to Proxmox in the near future. As part of this transition, I'm planning on virtualizing my NAS on the Proxmox server and freeing up my ITX box for other uses.

I'm not tied to any one NAS solution as I'll be buying new drives and coping the data over from my current NAS. I've narrowed down my decision to sticking with FreeNAS or switching to XigmaNAS. Some reasons I'm leaning toward XigmaNAS:
  1. Less emphasis on a do-it-all box. Since I have a VM server I'm no longer interested in running all kinds of jails and plugins on my NAS. I just want my NAS to be a NAS.
  2. Less bloated/resource intensive. The more resources I have for other VMs the better.
  3. Updates seem to be smoother? The reason I'm still on 9.3 with FreeNAS is that I have had enough trouble updating within 9.3 that the thought of jumping to another version gives me PTSD. I've seen stories of people jumping from old NAS4Free versions up to the latest XigmaNAS without problems. That's very encouraging.
  4. Community seems more willing to help. Most probably know the reputation the FreeNAS community has.
I'd love to hear from others who have made the switch and why. What do you like that I might not know about? Also, and I realize this might not be the best place to ask this, what don't you like as compared to FreeNAS?

Re: Convince me to switch from FreeNAS

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 21:54
by netware5
Hi, maybe I am not the right person to answer as I never been a FreeNAS user. My story i s much more simple - I used a dedicated NAS appliance (Seagate BlackArmor) during about 7 years. Then the device HDDs reached EOL and I found how difficult is to extract my valuable data without having the right RAID controller. So I decided to switch to DIY NAS with OpenSource OS. After short study only two options remained viable - FreeNAS and XigmaNAS. Finally my choice was XigmaNAS. The main reasons were exactly the 4 points you mentioned above in the following order:

1. Friendly community - no comparison between FreeNAS and XigmaNAS in favour of the last. Try to ask a simple newbie question in FreeNAS forums and will see what will happen :)
2. Simple to use, fast, less resource hungry, less bloated
3. This is just simple NAS - everything I needed, without any fancy extras.
4. Easy updates

That's all - using since January 2017 without issues. Very happy user :)

Re: Convince me to switch from FreeNAS

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 15:43
by edwardjamesgaff
Thanks for the reply. Good to have someone confirm the assumptions I made during my research of XigmNAS.

Re: Convince me to switch from FreeNAS

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 17:12
by Lee Sharp
As a consultant I have worked with both, but I generally install Xigmanas.

1) The "commercial" aspect is way to "in your face" for me.
2) They have focused on appearance rather than function.
3) Slower releases. They are still on 11, and Xigmanas has 12 out.