10 Best Open Source Storage Software for Enterprises in 2023

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As data storage needs continue to grow and many organizations move toward software-defined infrastructure, more enterprises are using open source software to meet some of their storage needs. Projects like Hadoop and Ceph have become very common in large enterprises.

These applications can make it possible to set up your own NAS or SAN device, back up data, or manage large-scale computing using industry-standard hardware without paying the high prices vendors charge for dedicated storage appliances. Open source software also offers users the option to set up a cloud storage solution where they have control over security and privacy, and it can also offer affordable options for backup and recovery.

The following selections cover a wide range of storage software, highlighting open source solutions that particularly stand out. 

Best open source storage software solutions

Red Hat Ceph Storage

Red Hat logo.Red Hat’s open source Ceph Storage is designed for object, block, and file types. It’s software-defined storage that can store both structured and unstructured data, an advantage for enterprises that need to store both on one platform. 

Ceph is a good choice for organizations that already use Red Hat solutions. It’s a suitable storage solution if your business needs to store both structured and unstructured data. And because Ceph runs on commodity hardware, it can help storage teams avoid vendor lockin. 

If your business has other storage solutions that need to integrate with Ceph, make sure that the different systems will integrate before deploying Ceph. Additionally, ensure that your storage teams have the ability or experience to implement and use Ceph so it can be effective in your organization.  


Contact the Red Hat sales team for exact pricing.

Key features

  • Integrations with other Red Hat solutions, like OpenShift and OpenStack
  • REST management API
  • Integration with Microsoft Active Directory
  • Configurable storage policies based on company SLAs


  • Good for businesses with existing Red Hat software
  • Stores both structured and unstructured data
  • Supports blob, file, and object formats


  • Ceph could be challenging for less experienced storage teams to deploy and customize 

Learn more about the storage software market


TrueNAS logo.TrueNAS not only offers NAS technology but also SAN software and appliances. If your business is looking for an open source alternative to storage networking, don’t let the name fool you. True NAS’s offerings go beyond simple NAS file storage. 

TrueNAS offers a solution for the majority of needs: 

  • TrueNAS CORE, an operating system for NAS solutions, is designed for non-critical stored data
  • TrueNAS Enterprise is designed for mission-critical data 
  • TrueNAS SCALE is a hyperconverged solution for both compute and storage 
  • It supports both Linux containers and virtual machines 
  • It’s designed for applications and virtual machine use cases 

Consider TrueNAS if your enterprise is searching for an open source storage solution for Linux container environments. 

TrueNAS also offers a management solution for all its storage plans. Storage admins can use single sign-on to log into any of the three platforms, and they have access to alerts and reports from the NAS systems.


TrueNAS CORE and SCALE are free. To receive a quote for TrueNAS Enterprise, contact the sales team.   

Key features

  • Single sign-on
  • Support for VMs and Linux containers
  • Unlimited snapshots


  • Multiple deployment options, including an enterprise plan for large organizations that are willing to pay
  • Supports multiple operating systems, including Android and iOS


  • The free versions of TrueNAS won’t have the level of technical customer support that a paid enterprise NAS or SAN would 

Learn more about the differences between NAS and SAN


OpenStack logo.OpenStack supports block, file, and object storage. It also supports virtual image storage, known as Glance, which holds virtual disk images on multiple storage backend servers. OpenStack supports multiple backend storage solutions, including Ceph and iSCSI. Some versions also support vendors like NetApp and Pure Storage.  

OpenStack is a project supported by technology experts and developers around the world. Its managing body is the OpenStack Foundation. Notably, Red Hat partners with OpenStack to deliver the Red Hat OpenStack platform for cloud resource management. Consider OpenStack if your organization already uses Red Hat storage or you’re looking for an open source cloud virtualization solution. Through Red Hat, users can containerize OpenStack services, too. 


OpenStack is a free cloud platform.

Key features

  • Support for multiple backend storage solutions, including Ceph
  • Virtual image storage
  • Supports all three major storage types 


  • Good for businesses with existing Red Hat solutions
  • Good for on-premises private cloud environments


  • Limited technical support compared to its proprietary competitors 
  • Takes time to build out and customize — not a great solution for inexperienced storage teams  

Read more: Is Open Source Cloud Storage Ready for Prime Time? 


CloudStack logo.CloudStack, managed by the Apache Software Foundation, is a cloud computing and IaaS platform designed for virtualization management. In the early years of the platform, CloudStack was quickly adopted by service providers, including telecommunications companies. 

CloudStack uses hypervisors like Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere to run virtual environments. It supports Amazon Web Services’ EC2 APIs and S3 APIs. CloudStack is a good solution for enterprises that use VMs from multiple providers and need a hypervisor-agnostic IaaS platform. 


CloudStack is a free cloud platform.

Key features

  • Supports multiple hypervisors
  • Native API compatible with AWS APIs
  • Public repository hosted on github for developers


  • Extensive documentation on CloudStack’s website
  • Good for organizations that use multiple hypervisors
  • Good for MSPs that want open source


  • Large organizations like service providers will have access only to the technical support provided by their business or what’s available in CloudStack’s community  


lustre logo.Lustre is a file system designed for scaling and high-performance computing environments. It was first developed at Carnegie Mellon University, and its first users included various U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories. Lustre supports both Ethernet and InfiniBand standards. 

Lustre has thorough documentation available, including the Lustre Manual for setup and management information. It runs on Linux, and its source code includes a testing framework so your teams can test individual components as well as an entire cluster. Lustre is a good choice for IT and storage teams that already have system administration experience and want to move to an open source platform. 


Lustre is a free file system. 

Key features

  • Testing framework
  • Support for both Ethernet and InfiniBand 
  • DDN clients support NVMe SSDs


  • Plenty of documentation
  • Good for Linux organizations
  • Public git repository for source code


  • Lustre isn’t the best choice for businesses that mainly use non-Linux machines
  • Lustre may be challenging to configure and use for inexperienced IT and storage teams 


SnapRAID logo.SnapRAID was built for home media servers or other environments with a lot of big files that rarely change, making it a good choice for businesses with archive file storage. SnapRAID arrays can recover from up to six disk failures, and admins can add disks to a SnapRAID array at any time. Key features include data hashing and the ability to recover deleted files. 

Storage teams can start using SnapRAID with disks that are already full, which is beneficial for organizations moving their existing hard drives into a new RAID array. SnapRAID does not lock in users’ data, allowing businesses to stop using it whenever they want without needing to reformat. SnapRAID supports Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. 


SnapRAID is a free RAID solution.

Key features

  • Ability to add new disks to the array at any time
  • Data hashing
  • Deleted file recovery


  • Recovery from up to six disk failures
  • Supports multiple operating systems 


  • SnapRAID won’t have the same level of technical support as major proprietary RAID vendors will, though community developers may provide some assistance 

Bacula Systems

Bacula Systems logo.Bacula Systems offers a full-featured solution for enterprise backup and recovery management. It provides backup software for virtualization solutions like XenServer, Hyper-V, Red Hat Virtualization, and Nutanix AHV. Bacula also supports multiple databases, including PostgreSQL, Maria DB, and SAP HANA. Consider Bacula if your enterprise needs to back up SAP solutions. 

Bacula also offers continuous data protection (CDP) and snapshot management. It’s one of the most comprehensive open source backup and data protection suites. Consider Bacula if your business needs hardware and software flexibility with a solution designed specifically for large organizations. Bacula is also a good backup solution for hybrid cloud environments, particularly if you have Docker containers or Kubernetes clusters deployed. 


Bacula.org does offer free backup software. For the enterprise paid plan, request a quote from Bacula Systems. 

Key features

  • Backup for Docker or Kubernetes
  • Continuous data protection
  • Snapshot management


  • Supports multiple virtualization solutions
  • Supports multiple databases


  • Bacula Systems’ paid edition may be too expensive for small businesses 
  • Because it’s highly customizable, the enterprise plan will likely take time for inexperienced teams to configure and learn 


libvirt logo.libvirt is an API for creating storage pools and volumes on a host system. It supports a wide variety of storage pool types, including filesystem, logical volume, disk, iSCSI, SCSI, Gluster, and ZFS. It’s available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and FreeBSD operating systems.

libvirt posts security notices and allows users to submit vulnerabilities to its response team. They can also report bugs observed in the software. libvirt’s website provides documentation for XML schemas for snapshots, network filtering, storage encryption, and more. The knowledge base offers further articles, and libvirt even posts blogs to provide virtualization information and insights. 


libvirt is a free solution.

Key features

  • User-submitted security vulnerabilities
  • Extensive documentation
  • Regular blog posts about industry-relevant technology


  • Supports multiple storage pool types
  • Supports multiple operating systems


  • libvirt’s main web page gives few details about the solution and is an older site 
  • Potential users may need to spend time looking through the documentation to understand more about its capabilities 


7-zip logo.Open source file archiving software 7-zip offers multiple formats for packing and unpacking. 

It includes encryption capabilities, self-extracting files, and a powerful file manager. 

7-zip provides 256-bit AES encryption for 7z and ZIP formats. Consider 7-zip if your business needs to compress and archive highly sensitive files. 


7-zip is a free solution.

Key features

  • 256-bit AES encryption 
  • Support for multiple packing and unpacking formats


  • Free solution for small businesses with sensitive data
  • Supports multiple operating systems


  •  7-zip is only designed to work on Windows machines 


Hadoop logo.Hadoop, managed by the Apache Software Foundation, is an open source platform for distributed computing. It can process large volumes of data and scale to thousands of servers. Hadoop is designed to solve application-layer failures, helping key business applications maintain resiliency and meet enterprise expectations.

Hadoop is Java-based, so it can be useful to have experienced Java programmers on your dev team if you’re considering it. You’ll also want team members who are familiar with system software and hardware, especially for a large-scale distributed computing solution. 


Hadoop is a free solution.

Key features

  • Failure detection at application layer 
  • Big data processing


  • Good for teams with experienced Java engineers
  • Can handle large data operations


  • Teams with little to no Java experience may struggle with Hadoop 

Key features of open source storage software

Open source storage software has multiple beneficial features for businesses: 

  • Collaboration with other developers. One of the biggest advantages of open source software is the ability to share and improve code, learning the experiences of others who have done similar experiments. 
  • Customizing storage to your needs. This is challenging to do with proprietary software, especially if you want to integrate different storage platforms. Open source allows for more customization.  
  • No vendor lockin. This is especially helpful for large enterprises with a lot of storage solutions or businesses that want to install storage software on their less expensive commodity hardware. 
  • Lower costs. Generally speaking, open source software is less expensive than proprietary software; some solutions are even free. Because no single provider benefits monetarily from the solutions, they can remain affordable.  

Choosing an open source storage solution

Although not all are as well known as proprietary competitors, opensource solutions can still be overwhelming for buyers to sift and analyze. Follow these steps to select the right open source storage solution for your business:

  • Look at the software’s history. How long has it been running, and how successful is it? Although the number of years active doesn’t mean everything, it can still be helpful to know.
  • Look at the activity of the developer community. If your dev team wants to collaborate with other software experts while using a solution, you’ll want to select one that’s frequently updated. 
  • Ask around. Sometimes user reviews for open source solutions are limited, so ask other developers in your industry or community that have used the software you’re considering.  
  • Don’t be afraid to implement more than one solution. The software listed here meets different needs, and while some offerings overlap, your business might benefit from two or more depending on your needs.

Bottom line: Open source storage software

The right open source solution can not only boost your storage systems’ performance but also give your dev and storage teams flexibility they wouldn’t have otherwise. Open source software is also often easier to implement than proprietary solutions, allowing teams to determine more quickly if the storage product works well for them.  

Because storage requires management in so many areas, open source is particularly helpful: it’s simpler to download multiple tools if you need, and the source code owners often provide thorough documentation. It’s beneficial for junior storage personnel and developers to get used to open source technology, too. Open source storage software requires attention to detail and hard work as all new solutions do, but it’s worthwhile to explore tools designed to support multiple operating systems, virtualization platforms, and cloud environments. 

Is your business considering an open source storage solution? Read the open source storage buying guide next. 

Cynthia Harvey contributed to this article.

Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a staff writer for Enterprise Storage Forum and eSecurity Planet, where she covers data storage, cybersecurity and the top software and hardware solutions in the storage industry. She’s also written about containerization and data management. Previously, she wrote for Webopedia. Jenna has a bachelor's degree in writing and lives in middle Tennessee.

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