FreeNAS is a mature NAS distro with the most advance WebUI I know of, but ZFS's limitation on vdev resizing and hardware requirements should be planned for.
FreeNAS is probably the most well known and most mature NAS distro at this time. Its WebUI is very advance and can do virtually everything from the WebUI. It also has a large collection of jails to run application like "plugins", some are more stable than others but overall it works very well.
ZFS is now the only file system officially supported by FreeNAS, older versions used to support UFS. ZFS is very stable, fault tolerant, and has wonderful error correcting properties. ZFS is one of the few implementations that have solved the RAID write hole problem and is resistant to data corruption on power loss.
While ZFS is a very resilient and advance filesystem it is not without disadvantages. ZFS is very resource intensive and requires a large amount of RAM to house all the checksum data. It is also strongly recommended to use more expensive ECC RAM so data scrubs don't cause corruption. Be sure to carefully plan your vdev and zpool layout and growth plan. Otherwise it is can be very troublesome to do expansions in the future. If you mess up, the only way to fix it is to move your data off, create a new vdevs/zpools, and move the data back. Simply adding a single physical drive will not keep the zpool's redundancy, which is a bit different than how a traditional RAID array works.
Overall a great choice for a NAS, just make sure you know what you are getting into in terms of hardware requirements and vdev/zpool planning.
Version: 11.0 Rating: 9 Date: 2017-08-15 Votes: 6
Been using FreeNAS for a couple years now and it works great for me. It's older hardware but ROCK SOLID. Version 10 or "Corral" was a cluster/fiasco but I was smart enough to stick with 9.10 until things were a little better situated and waited till 10 was killed and 11 was released to upgrade. To me the GUI has been easy to pick up with everything at my fingertips as I need it.
I have actually built three FreeNAS servers out, my own naturally, one for my father and one for my stepdaughter with a few other people wanting to have one as well. I use Plex for all my media needs inside of a simple FreeNAS jail and with 1300 movies at my fingertips this is EXACTLY the machine I have always wanted. I used to have a windows XP and then windows server box with media strewn across a few drives when a couple crashed I knew I needed something better and different. FreeNAS is what I needed.
Makes data storage management along with use of the ZFS file system more end user friendly.
Unnecessarily bloated with features and services, a "NAS" should handle data storage and management that's it nothing else do "one" thing and do it very well, not VM's, containers, plugins, on and on, it's not named FreeServer.
After the FreeNAS Corral ordeal it makes me question the projects leadership.
I think FreeNAS should jest be a FreeBSD package where you install FreeBSD and you install this web management interface, with the thought why waste time and resources maintaining an entire OS when it's all ready being done reminds me of some other popular projects.
Version: 9.10 Rating: 2 Date: 2017-05-05 Votes: 0
Nice interface (better than the newer version). Unstable with occasional crash when backing Mac using TimeMachine emulation. Decided to go to NAS4Free which has been very stable.