Synology and QNAP are the two major NAS brands that enjoy immense popularity in the UAE and other regions. Both brands utilize their own operating systems/firmware, which are based on Linux but specifically designed to run on their respective hardware. While it is possible to compile the QTS source code or use Xpenology, it can be complex.
When building your own NAS, you need to select both the hardware and an operating system. While hardware selection is relatively straightforward (such as a powerful server or repurposed desktop), choosing the appropriate OS requires more consideration. While a full-fledged Linux distribution is an option, NAS-specific operating systems often offer easier setup and usability.
Two popular open-source NAS operating systems are OpenMediaVault and TrueNAS/FreeNAS. A common question we are often asked is regarding which one is superior and which should be chosen. Both OS options are robust, stable, and feature-rich, but they do have some differences.
Introduction of TrueNAS and OpenMediaVault:
It all began with FreeNAS, which was originally based on FreeBSD. Later, one of the lead developers of FreeNAS created OpenMediaVault (based on Debian Linux), while FreeNAS was acquired by iXsystems, rebranded as TrueNAS, and released versions based on both Debian Linux (TrueNAS Scale) and the original FreeBSD (TrueNAS Core). Both TrueNAS and OpenMediaVault are open-source.
OMV has one Version, TrueNAS has multiple
TrueNAS has multiple versions, including TrueNAS Core (previously FreeNAS) based on FreeBSD, TrueNAS Scale (which appears to be iXsystems' future focus) based on Debian Linux and easily scalable, and TrueNAS Enterprise designed for mission-critical applications, exclusively running on iXsystems appliances.
OpenMediaVault, on the other hand, has a single version defined as a Linux distribution. It functions as a Linux distribution with an abstract layer on top that facilitates NAS management.
OMV runs on any hardware, TrueNAS needs X86 but has advanced features
OpenMediaVault offers compatibility with a wide range of hardware, including low-end devices like the Raspberry Pi. In contrast, TrueNAS requires X86-64 hardware, with certain versions, such as TrueNAS Enterprise, exclusive to iXsystems appliances. Additionally, due to TrueNAS's use of ZFS, it has higher memory requirements. However TrueNAS surpasses OpenMediaVault in enterprise features like ZFS snapshots, point-in-time backups, Encryption and 2FA.
So, which one should you use? In summary, if you're a beginner, OpenMediaVault is recommended for its easier installation and management. However, if you have experience and require more enterprise-level features, TrueNAS would be the suitable choice.
TrueNAS in Dubai, UAE:
As a reseller of TrueNAS in Dubai, UAE, we at PNP are equipped to assist you with TrueNAS enterprise products for your projects. If you are in need of a TrueNAS solution, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.