Book Review: Learning FreeNas (PacktPub)

Packt Publishing has done it again! Another great book about technology that matters. This time I am talking about FreeNAS. If you are like me and you have oodles of movies, music, pictures and just plain data that you want to keep safe and secure, and possibly free up some space on your main PC or laptop, then you really need to know about FreeNAS. There is no better way to know about FreeNAS than to read Learning FreeNAS from Packt Publishing.

[caption id="attachment_80" align="alignleft" width="243" caption="Learning FreeNAS cover"]Learning FreeNAS cover[/caption]

As with most of their books the book is around 230 pages, short but crammed with good information. Author, Gary Sims, starts out with an overview of was NAS is and how it can play into your current network and usability.

Gary wastes no time after the first chapters digging in and configuring FreeNAS. He walks you through adding a disk, mounting it, and then connecting to it from a remote PC.

This isn't a super indepth book, I would wager anyone who is familiar with installing software and has the need for storage will be able to follow the principles laid out in the book. Here are some highlights of the book:

  • Understand the concepts of Network Attached Storage (NAS) and where FreeNAS server fits into your business.
  • Install, configure, and upgrade the FreeNAS server.
  • Deploy your NAS following best practices to plan capacity, hardware, backup, redundancy, and network infrastructure.
  • Deploy FreeNAS as a file sharing, backup, streaming server by using different protocols like CIFS, NFS, FTP, RSYNC, Unison, AFP, and UPnP.
  • Use FreeNAS as a bridge to Storage Area Networks by using SCSI.
  • Connect to the FreeNAS server from Windows, OS X, Linux, or UPnP devices.
  • Carry out common administrative tasks: add and authenticate users, rebooting and shutting down, network management, and configure FreeNAS to use DNS.
  • Improve fault tolerance and drive performance by creating RAID sets.
  • Explore backup options—create copies of data on a remote server or another hard drive within the FreeNAS server.
  • Carry out advanced system configuration: encrypt discs, add swap space, S.M.A.R.T, and SSH access.
  • Troubleshoot your FreeNAS server when faced with networking problems or RAID failures.
  • Carry out basic FreeBSD administration tasks.

Overall I was really impressed with the amount of FreeNAS (and consiquently FreeBSD) they covered in only 200+ pages, but it was well laid out knowledge, and easy to understand.

You can pick up FreeNAS now at Amazon, or at Packt Publishing.