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OCS 2020 Breakout: Brett Davis, EVP of iXsystems

Brett Davis is an open source evangelist that also oversees Marketing & Sales for iXsystems and the world's most popular open source storage project: TrueNAS Open Storage (formerly FreeNAS). Passionate about open source, Brett has been a contributor to various communities (FreeBSD, PC-BSD, TrueOS) since the early 2000s.

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10 years of lessons, successes, and failures from a COSS business based on the world's most popular Software-Defined Storage: FreeNAS.

Brett’s introduction and session topic: 10 years of open core with FreeNAS and TrueNAS - 0:00

Presentation Agenda - 1:02

Who is iXsystems? - 1:39

Walking through FreeNAS. (World’s first and #1 software defined storage.) - 3:08

FreeNAS by the Numbers - 4:41

How did this all get started? Open Source in the company DNA - 5:34

The History of iXsystems, FreeNAS, and TrueNAS, starting in 2002 - 6:20

Adopting the FreeNAS project in 2009, and Sun Microsystems open-sourced ZFS - 7:42

Pivoting to appliances and FreeNAS Pro, rebranding FreeNAS Pro as TrueNAS, unifying FreeNAS and TrueNAS - 10:15

Walking through the rebrand and challenge of managing two branches (FreeNAS and TrueNAS) - 12:20

Showing the product line evolution with the rebrand - 16:26

TrueNAS GTM Strategy integrates Community and Partners - 17:30

TrueNAS delivers storage freedom to thousands of organizations with a “channel-first” GTM Strategy. Walking through clients and Channel Partners, as well as use cases - 18:48

New Edition: TrueNAS Scale - 19:47

TrueNAS Scale Architecture 2021 - 21:14

TrueNAS Full Spectrum Product Line - 22:47

TrueNAS enables a ZFS Hybrid Cloud - 24:26

Visit for more info (new home for all things TrueNAS) - 25:29

Five Open Core Lessons (Learned the Hard Way) - 25:42

1. Foster a warm and welcoming community -26:05

2. Community transparency wins the day - 27:57

3. Avoid “Second System Syndrome” at all costs - 28:31

4. Own your mistakes. Never run from them. - 30:16

5. Once you give it away, you can’t take it back. - 31:21

Concluding remarks, contacts, and job openings (, - 32:08

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