Iconik Content Management Solutions with FreeNAS – Part 1

[ Note: This is still experimental and should not be taken as production materials. I took a couple days over the weekend to “muck” around the new Iconik plug-in in FreeNAS™ to prepare for as a possible future solution. ]

The COVID-19 situation goes on unabated. A couple of my customers asked about working from home and accessing their content files and coincidentally both are animation studios. Meanwhile, there was another opportunity asking about a content management solution that would work with the FreeNAS™ storage system we were proposing. Over the weekend, I searched for a solution that would combine both content management and cloud access that worked with both FreeNAS™ and TrueNAS®, and I was glad to find the iconik and TrueNAS® partnership.

In this blog (and part 2 later), I document the key steps to setup the iconik plug-in with FreeNAS™. I am using FreeNAS™ 11.3U1.

Dataset 777

A ZFS dataset assigned to be the storage repository for the “Storage Target” in iconik. Since iconik has a different IAM (identity access management) than the user/group permissions in FreeNAS, we have make the ZFS dataset to have Read/Write access to all. That is the 777 permission in Unix speak. Note that there is a new ACL manager in version 11.3, and the permissions/access rights screenshot is shown here.

Take note that this part is important. We have to assign @everyone to have Full Control because the credentials at iconik is tied to the permissions we set for @everyone. Missing this part will deny the iconik storage gateway scanner to peruse this folder, and the status will remain “Inactive”.  We will discuss this part more in Part 2.

Install iconik plug-in and jail

In FreeNAS™, a plug-in is essentially a pre-packaged and specialized jails. Go to Plugins > iconik > Click “Install”. FreeNAS™ will require input for a jails name as below:

IMPORTANT: The networking part automatically switches to NAT (Network Address Translation) after 2-3 seconds. Choosing DHCP or static IP address caused errors of which I have not investigated. I suspect it is related to VNET in the iocage implementation in jails, and mind you, this part is still flaky at times. I will investigate soon. For now, just stick with NAT because the plug-in installation will complete.

UPDATE 1 [Apr 1, 2020] : Investigate work pointed to the VNET component in jails and the installation errors. Bypassing the vnet0:bridge0 will allow the installation to succeed. This is done in the Advanced Mode.

The plug-in install will take a while (over an hour) because it downloads the FreeBSD™ image and install it into the plug-in jails. Your patience (when it worked) will be rewarded with the pop-up as shown.

Assigning the ZFS dataset to iconik jails

The iconik jails is just FreeBSD™ with a typical Unix filesystem tree. The earlier ZFS dataset should be assigned to a directory inside the jails. We have /storage to be “mounted” to this ZFS dataset but we have to stop the jails first.

Click Save to complete the storage mounting.

Coming in Part 2

In part 2, we look into integration with iconik. I will put a link here soon

[ Note: A lot of the implementation details come from this iXsystems™ documentation by Joe Dutka. This is an updated version for the latest 11.3 U1 release ]

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About cfheoh

I am a technology blogger with 25+ years of IT experience. I write heavily on technologies related to storage networking and data management because that is my area of interest and expertise. I introduce technologies with the objectives to get readers to *know the facts*, and use that knowledge to cut through the marketing hypes, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and other fancy stuff. Only then, there will be progress. I am involved in SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) and as of October 2013, I have been appointed as SNIA South Asia & SNIA Malaysia non-voting representation to SNIA Technical Council. I currently run a small system integration and consulting company focusing on storage and cloud solutions, with occasional consulting work on high performance computing (HPC).

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