Jordan Hubbard, CTO of iXsystems and Co-Founder of FreeBSD, gives us a rundown on what to expect for the upcoming FreeNAS 10. It is slated to release in the next few months.
One of the greater challenges in software engineering, particularly once you’ve actually released your latest magnum opus to the world, is deciding what to do next. How long do you continue to support version X, carefully fixing bugs and polishing the rock, before the list of architectural limitations and # of tickets requesting radical, substantial new features (all of which are potentially disruptive) begin to suggest that simple rock-polishing isn’t going to cut it as your only investment in engineering time and resources?
We reached that tipping point with the FreeNAS 9.x branch about 6 months ago. While putting the finishing touches on FreeNAS 9.3, a release which was a substantial improvement over previous 9.x releases, it was clear that we were still fundamentally limited by various design decisions made during the 2nd major rewrite of FreeNAS (FreeNAS 8).
This is not to say that those decisions were wrong or bad – all software technologies evolve and hindsight is always 20-20 – but it’s still fair to say that the world is constantly changing and FreeNAS as a product has little choice but to change with it.
First, just to set the context for the description of FreeNAS 10 which follows, a quick Architectural overview of FreeNAS 9 is in order: