"The purpose of his test was to find the best performing iSCSI target with all other things being equal. Under this criteria alone, it would be a split decision between Openfiler and Microsoft.
However, the Microsoft solution requires the purchase of a licensed copy of Windows 2008 R2 server to run its filer software so it isn't exactly free. In addition, Openfiler can be run from a USB key, leaving all disks available for storage, where Microsoft cannot easily be run from anything other than a hard drive, taking up storage space for the OS.
With this added criteria, Openfiler emerges as the iSCSI champ."
Have a look at the results here (warning: loads of graphs and screenshot): FreeNAS / Openfiler / Microsoft iSCSI performance shootout.
The FreeNAS development team has announced the availability of FreeNAS 8.3.1-RELEASE.
FreeNAS 8.3.1 is based on FreeBSD 8.3 with version 28 of the ZFS filesystem, and features volume based encryption for ZFS.
Release information, images and plugins can be downloaded from the Release Page. The Press Release with more details can be read here: iXsystems debuts exclusive ZFS Encryption Feature in FreeNAS 8.3.1
There's some good plugin documentation available on the FreeNAS website explaining how to use the plugins, how to install the plugins jail, how to create, find, install, and configure PBIs, such as Firefly, miniDLNA and Transmission. If there's no PBI available (yet), the page shows how you can create your own PBIs, and how to install non-PBI software using the FreeBSD ports and packages collections.
Plugin support is still a bit crude in FreeNAS 8.2, but it is looking a lot more polished in the upcoming FreeNAS 8.3.
FreeNAS 8.2.0 Plugins Part 1: Installing
FreeNAS 8.3.0 Plugins Part 2: Plugins Configuration