Getting Started with Virtualization on TrueNAS SCALE

Getting Started with Virtualization on TrueNAS SCALE

Community Guidelines and Best Practices

FULL DOCUMENT HERE: SCALE_Virtualization_V1.1.pdf
Revision 1.1 – NickF


TrueNAS SCALE was released for general use in February of 2022, after several years of development. As of April 2023, SCALE is now on its second major release (Bluefin) and with 22.12.2 is now available to Enterprise customers. TrueNAS SCALE has become a mature offering in the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure market and is an excellent starting point for Small to Medium businesses and HomeLabbers.

TrueNAS SCALE uses KVM, or Kernel-based Virtual Machine, as its hypervisor. KVM is well-regarded for its stability and market adoption, comparing favorably against competitors like Proxmox in terms of functionality and performance.

Scaled-Out ZFS

  • Converged
  • Active-Active
  • Linux Containers
  • Easy to Manage

This section focuses on the ‘Converged’ aspect of SCALE, referring to software-defined IT infrastructure that integrates hypervisor, software-defined storage, and virtualized networking.

Getting Started: The Use Case

Setting up a server involves various considerations, including hardware specifications and the intended use cases such as file storage, private DNS with PiHole, home automation, and media servers.

Minimum Hardware Requirements

  • Processor: 4-Core Intel 64-Bit or AMD x86_64 processor, with Intel VT-D/AMD-Vi for IOMMU/ SR-IOV Support
  • Memory: 32 GB Memory, ECC Preferred
  • Boot Device: 16 GB SSD
  • Storage: Two or more identically-sized SSDs for a single storage pool

Hardware Recommendations

  • Good: An older corporate desktop like the HP 800 G4 SFF.
  • Better: TrueNAS Mini offers out-of-band management through IPMI, ECC RAM, and a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Best: A used enterprise server, which provides extensive customization and performance but may increase power consumption and noise.

A Bit On Networking

Understanding the OSI Model, especially Layer 2 of the network stack, is crucial. The guide includes a brief overview of setting up VLANs for different network segments, such as PCs, IoT devices, guests, and servers.

Initial Setup

Assuming the installation of TrueNAS SCALE is complete, the next steps involve setting up storage configurations and network stack adjustments. This includes the creation of bridge networks, link aggregations, and VLANs, ensuring a secure and efficient virtual environment.

Storage Configuration: Your First Datasets

Creating hierarchical pools and datasets allows for efficient data management and snapshot retention policies. This involves configuring various types of storage pools and datasets depending on the needs and performance requirements of the virtualized environment.


The document concludes with an invitation for feedback and suggestions for future updates, emphasizing community involvement and the iterative improvement of the guide.