StarWind HyperConverged Appliance vs VMware vSAN comparison

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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between StarWind HyperConverged Appliance and VMware vSAN based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two HCI solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed StarWind HyperConverged Appliance vs. VMware vSAN Report (Updated: January 2023).
672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"This solution enables us to make better cost-effective use of our existing hardware and leverage the current infrastructure at a higher level than we could before.""StarWind Virtual SAN is a highly flexible solution, as it can be deployed on physical servers or on top of virtual machines running on hypervisors such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.""Having the ability to scale horizontally if needed is a huge plus for future growth.""The StarWind Virtual SAN provides a clever and unique solution to the Computing Split Brain problem.""The most useful aspect is the hyper-converged SD SAN and the ease to expand it by just adding cheap SSD or NVME disks.""Besides being 80% cheaper than the other alternatives, the simplicity makes reconfiguration and support much easier.""StarWind saved us about 80% of our storage costs over our old solution.""In the three years that we have been using StarWind, the product has yet to cause us any problems."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Pros →

"Having this all backed up by pro-active support gives us good peace of mind.""The solution has provided our company with a fully redundant virtual environment at half the cost of a traditional SAN implementation.""UI Options are simple and easy to find.""We opted for 24-hour monitoring and support, which has already paid for itself.""The pricing and discounts given by Starwind on the hardware were unmatched.""We also substantially reduced network complexity by eliminating that standalone SAN. That reduced complexity has allowed us to concentrate on improving other areas of our network.""Their service is top-notch and if a node goes down they immediately are following up with us to make sure that everything is working smoothly.""We run probably 16 virtual machines, and all of them are now highly available, and highly redundant."

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"Allows us to implement more quickly, and to ease the maintenance.""Storage virtualization software with a good storage management feature. It's a scalable and stable software.""It easily integrates with all types of storage.""The scalability is very good and the solution is stable and reliable.""It is easy to work with, easy to handle, and easy to manage.""We didn't only choose vSAN; we chose VMware because of SR-IOV, which is more on the hypervisor level and not on the vSAN storage. It's part of the whole system.""The solution is stable.""The implementation is simple, it was very straightforward. It took us approximately three weeks because it was installed in four locations."

More VMware vSAN Pros →

Cons
"The most disappointing side of the application is the free edition. There used to be GUI attached. That has recently changed to only CLI management of the application.""Currently, the StarWind management console is a bit clunky to navigate and isn't the most user-intuitive interface.""I would like to see more advanced free versions.""Feature-wise we are only waiting for the release of a "planned disaster" feature that would allow us to patch a hypervisor node without having to take the full storage offline.""The documentation is good yet is still lacking in a few areas.""The gathering of monthly consumption and performance reports for future dissemination to concerned parties is very important. Unfortunately, StarWinds vSAN doesn't offer this functionality.""They need to invest more in the support documents for real issues happening when integrating the solution with the hypervisor.""StarWind Virtual SAN architecture is slightly complex and requires the team to carefully identify and study how the solution integrates with VMware vSphere."

More StarWind Virtual SAN Cons →

"At times there has been a language barrier when communicating issues.""The overall product documentation and knowledgebase articles could use some rewriting and clarification.""CSVs require the storage to be configured through iSCSI, even though the storage is local.""I think that the pre-installation questionnaire was a little confusing and ambiguous.""The only area that surprised me had to do with the fact that each host runs a StarWind virtual machine used to maintain the health of the vSAN, which individually uses 24GB of memory per host. You should keep this in mind when determining the resources you will need when selecting hardware and components for your specific setup. If I knew that, I would have chosen to add more memory per host to make up for the use.""The monitoring and report software is a bit hit and miss.""Not much can be improved, to be honest.""The only thing that can use improvement is the StarWind Management Console and Command Center."

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"I would like to see more support for applications. I think currently it only supports applications between two vSAN clusters.""The interface is a little complicated, it could be simplified with more graphical gadgets. We have many servers, and the built-in functions, such as rate configuration, are a bit complex.""When designing the implementation for vSAN, I have noticed that it requires a minimum of six nodes, and this creates a problem when it comes to maintenance. If, out of the six nodes, I put one node in maintenance mode, then vSAN does not create other VM components.""I would like for the next release to be a bit cheaper.""I am looking for more of a software-defined storage platform that uses different protocols, such as iSCSI, NFS, and CIS, and maybe also has an object as part of that. They should 100% make it more of a storage-based product where it is not linked just to VMware, and it also has NFS and iSCSI built-in at a scalable level. They should turn it more into a dedicated storage-as-a-service platform instead of just being built into the VMware kernel. Their level one and level two support is not at all good, and it should be improved.""Hardware load balancing is available on the enterprise version of the solution, however, it's extremely expensive and therefore out of our budget.""On the DevOps side, if there could be more automation it would be more helpful.""The only thing that can be improved is the cost."

More VMware vSAN Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "I think the cost of this solution is quite fair."
  • "The StarWind VSAN business model is very cost-effective."
  • "This solution has competitive prices and the implementation is very easy."
  • "StarWind is a low-cost, full-featured alternative to the traditional SAN environment, and their support will guide you every step of the setup."
  • "The support contract is well worth it. The price for it was very reasonable and their team has been very engaged whenever we reach out."
  • "This solution is very accessible and the pro-level for support is well worth the cost."
  • "We found that the pricing was perfect; simple and clear."
  • "For two nodes, it cost us $10,000, and we spend $2,000 a year on support."
  • More StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The HCA price is all-inclusive (setup, hardware, support, warranty), except for your standard Microsoft Server licensing."
  • "I was able to bring the price per year down by going out to a five-year plan."
  • More StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The price of vSAN could be lower."
  • "It is too expensive."
  • "It is expensive, but you get what you pay for."
  • "The price is okay."
  • "vSAN has many versions with standard and advanced including Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. Regarding the Enterprise and the Advanced, it could be lower."
  • "The solution requires a license. The payment is on a yearly basis and It is not overly expensive."
  • "Every product is licensed with full support for a certain number of years. The licensing could be cheaper."
  • "It is expensive. It should be cheaper. It has a perpetual license as well as a subscription-based license, but they are moving towards subscription-based licenses."
  • More VMware vSAN Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The most valuable features are high availability and real-time replication between two servers.
    Top Answer:The StarWind Management Console is available only for Microsoft Windows/Windows Server, and should also be available for… more »
    Top Answer:The presence of built-in storage saved the company from having to purchase a separate storage array and related network… more »
    Top Answer:My only concern was with the terms and conditions of the proactive support. Our legal department didn't accept them, so… more »
    Top Answer:While both run on the vSAN technology from VMware, vSAN needs to be deployed on vSAN ready nodes while VxRail is an… more »
    Top Answer:We found the reduced power consumption with Nutanix Acropolis AOS a very attractive feature. We also like the interface… more »
    Top Answer:HPE SimpliVity is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution that is primarily geared to mid-sized companies. We… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    vSAN
    Learn More
    Overview

    For SMB, ROBO, Cloud and Hosting providers, who look to cut down virtualization expenses, our solution is StarWind VSAN. It is software that eliminates any need in physical shared storage by basically “mirroring” internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers. There is less hardware to buy in general, consequently less money is spent on purchase and maintenance. The existing hardware is used with maximum efficiency, so there is no money wasted at all.

    StarWind Virtual SAN targets those who already have servers, or are bound to a particular vendor list to buy from. In case there is a new virtualization infrastructure to be built from scratch, StarWind offers a much better way – StarWind HyperConverged Appliance. It is a turnkey solution complete with hardware and software, powered by StarWind Virtual SAN. Those who need to build and maintain virtualization infrastructure at little to no expense, may be interested in StarWind Virtual SAN Free.

    For SMB, ROBO and Enterprises, who look to bring in quick deployment and operation simplicity to virtualization workloads and reduce related expenses, our solution is StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA). It unifies commodity servers, disks and flash, hypervisor of choice, StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN and associated software into a single manageable layer. The HCA supports scale-up by adding disks and flash, and scale-out by adding extra nodes.

    StarWind HyperConverged Appliance consists of StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN “Ready Nodes”, targeting those, who are building their virtualization infrastructure from scratch. In case there is an existing set of servers, we offer a “software only version”, which is essentially our years proven StarWind Virtual SAN. Basically, it’s the fuel powering StarWind HCA. 

    VMware vSAN is a software-defined storage product that is used in collaboration with VMware ESXi hypervisor and that provisions and manages storage based on policies, regardless of the underlying hardware. The solution enables you to prime your business for growth through its seamless evolution (it is integrated with vSphere and requires no new tools), its flexibility, and its multi-cloud capabilities. As an industry-leading software, VMware vSAN provides high levels of performance with minimal impact on CPU and memory.

    VMware vSAN Features

    VMware vSAN has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Storage policy-based management (SPBM): VMware vSAN supports storage policy-based management for automated management of storage profiles.
    • Software-defined data-at-rest encryption: With this VMware vSAN feature, you can prevent unauthorized access of data at rest.
    • Multiple nodes: VMware vSAN provides clusters that can include as few as 2 nodes or as many as 64 nodes.
    • High security and availability: VMware vSAN offers stretched clusters, allowing more than one virtualization host server to be used in the same setup, promoting higher security as well as availability.
    • Deduplication: VMware vSAN’s deduplication compresses data to ensure efficient storage management and security.
    • HCI mesh updates: VMware vSAN clusters can share storage capacity with non-HCI Sphere clusters and can adopt HCI without having to scale computing resources and storage or replace existing servers.
    • Simplified file services: With VMware vSAN’s file services, backup of file shares is simplified. You can use APIs that allow backup and recovery software vendors to integrate with your VMware vSAN file services, which enables backup software to track new data and add scalability enhancements to files.

    VMware vSAN Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing VMware vSAN. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO): VMware vSAN helps you reduce upfront costs for businesses because it can be easily deployed on inexpensive x86 servers. In addition, its highly scalable infrastructure and quick deployment also save organizations time and money, making it an efficient storage solution. 
    • Good manageability: VMWare vSAN is easy to set up, manage, and provision, without sacrificing performance. 
    • Scalability: VMware vSAN is agile and allows administrators to scale storage on demand, quickly, and efficiently via policies and rules.
    • Simplicity: VMWare vSAN is simple to configure since it is embedded in the vSphere hypervisor. Installing it using the vSphere Web Client can be done quickly. 
    • Reduced risk: VMWare vSAN reduces the risk associated with digital transformations by utilizing existing tools, skill sets, and solutions.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the VMware vSAN solution.

    PeerSpot user Yves S., CEO, Cloud Evangelist at Comdivision Consulting GmbH, says, “vSAN gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources. We have an overall larger host infrastructure, and we split that up for specific customer test and use cases. In that specific scenario, we can easily add more hosts or reduce the number of hosts in the environment.”

    A reviewer who works in Infrastructure Security explains, “The ease of use is great. The initial setup and upgrade process was pretty straightforward. And, technical support is great.”

    Laurent N., Director at Softlogic, comments, "The feature that I have found most valuable is that it is easy to deploy. It is easy to create and delete virtual servers. It is easy to create the load balancing and the clustering."

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    Learn more about VMware vSAN
    Sample Customers
    Baker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
    Sears Home and Franchise Business
    Read Some Case Studies At Home Cloud CaribCINgroupDiscovery Check out the Rest of our Customer Stories Here
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Educational Organization10%
    Construction Company9%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government9%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    REVIEWERS
    Construction Company12%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Transportation Company9%
    Healthcare Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Government7%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company12%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Government9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business62%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise16%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise58%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business66%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise48%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    Buyer's Guide
    StarWind HyperConverged Appliance vs. VMware vSAN
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about StarWind HyperConverged Appliance vs. VMware vSAN and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is ranked 6th in HCI with 42 reviews while VMware vSAN is ranked 3rd in HCI with 77 reviews. StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is rated 9.8, while VMware vSAN is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of StarWind HyperConverged Appliance writes "Flexible and easy to set up with excellent support". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware vSAN writes "Gives us a lot of advantages when we need to expand resources". StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is most compared with Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), VxRail, StorMagic SvSAN, Dell PowerFlex and HPE SimpliVity, whereas VMware vSAN is most compared with VxRail, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), HPE SimpliVity and HPE Hyper Converged. See our StarWind HyperConverged Appliance vs. VMware vSAN report.

    See our list of best HCI vendors and best Cloud Software Defined Storage vendors.

    We monitor all HCI reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.