iXsystems X series chassis

dpearceFL

New Member
Jun 22, 2022
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Long time reader and watcher, first time posting.

I have been using FreeNAS and TrueNAS for quite some time. I have bought their hardware also. I like it so much I have convinced three employers to purchase their hardware with TrueNAS.

In my most recent purchase, we bought an X20 chassis with TrueNAS. To say this has been a difficult installation would be an understatement.
  • This chassis has NO video ports (no HDMI, DP, VGA). Only a 3.5MM serial port that would connect with a USB cable. These cables are very finicky with Windows. Have to find an older laptop with a USB A connection and it will work. Newer laptops seem to have issues. I blame MS for the compatibility but iXsystems should have known better. This is a continuing source of issues for us.
  • The BIOS is something very unusual and complex.
  • There is no power or reset button on the front panel. This could be considered a security plus, but in a locked room not having it is a drag.
  • Our X20 arrived with a deactivated IPMI port (text only)
  • When we received the installation checklist, we did not know what IP address we would be using. So they turned all of the network ports off, rather than leaving at least one to DHCP. So the only way to access the unit was through the serial port. See above.
I have spoken with several iXsystems folks who are experiencing difficulties with this chassis and not enjoying supporting it.

If you are considering purchasing the X chassis, please reconsider. I would love to just go back in time and stick with the M chassis.
 

BoredSysadmin

Not affiliated with Maxell
Mar 2, 2019
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My company purchased a few Truenas X20-HA systems a few years ago, considering the combination of professional services installation, price, and fantastic 24/7 support.
It's not the most intuitive system to use, and the chassis does indeed have weird quirks, but it works very well. No issues with the initial installation, but not nearly as smooth as, for example, Pure SAN was.
Keep in mind that you won't compare X20 systems even to entry-level NetApp; for 210TB usable storage (which can sustain 10 Gig write speed all day long) we got, the price difference is vast. For businesses, I would pick Truenas for the secondary storage system instead of QNAP/Synology any day.
 
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ericloewe

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Apr 24, 2017
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I was going to say that no video out was probably for the best, but then you said the IPMI LAN had been deactivated. That is short-sighted and frustrating.
 
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oneplane

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Jul 23, 2021
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I suspect the biggest issue was the expectation of a KVM or GUI where machines like this really don't need more than a serial console. Had they advertised the system as such, it would probably not have been as much of a surprise out of the box. On the other hand, they could just leave the Serial-over-LAN interface on DHCP, it's not like that protocol hasn't been proven to work well for decades.