PeerSpot user
Director of IT at BLDD ARCHITECTS INC
Real User
Top 10
Great management console, good support, and great performance
Pros and Cons
  • "I do like that I can manage StarWind with a console running on my local desktop."
  • "Although the setup documentation was very complete and succinct, I found StarWind documentation to be a bit sparse."

What is our primary use case?

This is used for a two-node VMware Horizon View Cluster. This cluster supports our VMware Horizon View environment. We are a smaller environment supporting about 65-70 users. This disk is all SSD. We support a variety of users from typical office production staff to CAD, Adobe, and some light 3D work. So far the users have been pleased with the performance, even with Adobe products - which is saying something. 

We have a small on-site data center. All files and prints are on HP DL-380s with HP and Meraki networking. 

How has it helped my organization?

This was at a hardware refresh. I was replacing the old three-node cluster with a two-node cluster and going from discrete software/hardware to a Hyper-Converged Appliance. Obviously, the performance was outstanding, however, at a hardware refresh, it better be!

I have noticed a definite increase in performance all around. I would say we were most limited in our previous cluster by disk. There just is no comparison to SSD

Even with that said, the HCA screams. I've very satisfied. Install, setup and migrations were foolproof. I love that it's being monitored 24/7. I have previous experience with StarWind support and I know it is excellent. 

What is most valuable?

Having already been familiar with StarWind there really weren't any big surprises but SSD will always be faster than spinning disk of course. I do like that I can manage StarWind with a console running on my local desktop. There is not a lot of management that needs to be done but it's nice not having to go to the Windows server running StarWind, since it is all running on an "appliance" now. I also appreciated the way support walks you through all the startup and migration phases. I appreciated that they were always there to assist and instruct.

What needs improvement?

My only two cons are sort of minor and one definitely biased towards my taste in hardware vendors. The first "con" is that the hardware is Dell. I much prefer HP servers. I have had a much better experience with HP than with Dell. As I said that's just my preference. Since the hardware is a covered item I can't complain too much. I really don't have much to deal with.

Although the setup documentation was very complete and succinct, I found StarWind documentation to be a bit sparse. Not a lot of this is how this all works type of documentation. Not much on the way of reference. It is totally supported so I guess I can't complain too much. 

Buyer's Guide
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance
December 2022
Learn what your peers think about StarWind HyperConverged Appliance. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2022.
670,080 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the HCA for four months but have been using StarWind for several years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

StarWind from my experience is extremely stable. I have used the StarWind VSAN product for several years and other than self-inflicted issues it has been rock solid. I expect the HCA to be even more stable since it is all "in the box".  It has been the best storage solution I have used with VMware. I have used a variety of SANs previously. The whole virtualized SAN concept, I believe, is the smarter choice technology wise. With a smaller environment as we have, two node cluster, it makes more sense and is cheaper than VMware's VSAN product. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable. Fortunately, we are on the lower-end side of scaling. 

How are customer service and support?

They offer some of the best customer support I've ever had.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used StarWind vSAN on my own hardware. I switched as it made more sense all the way around. It comes mostly set up and ready to go.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was simple. They will set up your nodes ahead of time. Then, they walk you through the rest of the process.

What about the implementation team?

I did the in-house part and they supported all the rest.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is unknown.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I liked that there were no surprises. The costs were all conclusive and included everything that I needed, including migration assistance. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was already very satisfied with StarWind vSAN.

What other advice do I have?

I thoroughly recommend this product. I wouldn't hesitate to chose it again. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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General Do It All at Western Idaho Cabinets, Inc.
User
Excellent support with increased uptime and good monitoring
Pros and Cons
  • "Repair efforts have been reduced to nearly nothing."
  • "I'd like a better UI and some limitations on "breaking it.""

What is our primary use case?

We went with StarWind HCA primarily for Hyper-V Clustering. 

We were having hardware issues that lead to downtime on our single server environment. 

We aren't "huge," so IT budgeting is tight. However, every dime spent on our HCA has been 100% worth it. 

Since implementation, we've had nearly no downtime. No downtime has been thanks to the HCA itself. I'll definitely go with StarWind when we're ready for a hardware refresh. It's a no-brainer. The prices are obviously more than we had been used to in the past. However, it's been worth the investment.

How has it helped my organization?

Uptime alone has been substantially increased. 

Repair efforts have been reduced to nearly nothing. 

Monitoring is provided free of cost to StarWind, which also reduced expenses.

In instances where we had issues outside of the HCA, StarWind support has gone above and beyond to help us diagnose Windows issues. 

I've been in IT for 15 years now, and you kind of expect to have to "work on things" as part of your job description. That said, we're 3 years in, and I have yet to "need" to work on anything with the hardware or software. It just works.

What is most valuable?

Support is the highest on my list in terms of great aspects. You simply cannot have issues, as they're on top of monitoring and resolution. 

Uptime is the second-best aspect of the product. The software solution is so solid, you don't really have issues; however, when you do, support is there to jump in and help you fix it. 

Honestly, with those two items, there's no reason to "not" use them. In my experience, you want your solutions to work, and when they don't, to get them fixed fast. It's a combo that StarWind has perfected and is the reason I don't even want to look anywhere else for other solutions.

What needs improvement?

I'd like a better UI and some limitations on "breaking it." Best practices ask you not to reboot both servers simultaneously, as it breaks the "heartbeat" between the servers. I didn't know that during my first week having it, and sure enough, I had some issues. Maybe there could be some notifications like "are you sure you want to reboot" or whatnot to prevent issues like the one I experienced. 

StarWind did release a VM that had some integration into the Windows cluster side of things. However, I found it easier to just use the Windows tools. Maybe if it was more robust, I'd use it. That's not the case at this point in time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 2019.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We do not need to scale. Still, you can scale to more than 3+ servers in the StarWinds solution.

How are customer service and support?

Support is the best thing about StarWind. I can't praise them enough. The initial setup and purchase are a single point in time and support is ongoing. You need an amazing support team to have an amazing product. And StarWind is an amazing product.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not switch from something else. The adoption of this product was just a massive upgrade for our company.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy. The hardware came pre-configured, and support did the rest of the network-specific setup after we had the hardware installed. It was the best experience I've had with a vendor.

What about the implementation team?

StarWind support only employs experts. I have yet to deal with anyone on their support team that didn't know the product inside and out. It's really refreshing compared to other vendors I have to deal with.

What was our ROI?

We produce 15-20 full kitchens a day. The ROI was almost instant when you consider we had been down two days the month before.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing was a bit high. That said, it was on par with other solutions we looked into. It's worth it alone for the support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

StarWind had me sold. I was looking at doing a SAN with two Hyper-V's, however, why buy additional hardware when it can be done more simply with the same results.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance
December 2022
Learn what your peers think about StarWind HyperConverged Appliance. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2022.
670,080 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PeerSpot user
Network and Information Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Straightforward to set up, reduces our physical server footprint, and provides almost 100% uptime
Pros and Cons
  • "Live migration between nodes was quick and simple."
  • "Perhaps the initial configuration and documentation could be a little clearer and simpler to follow."

What is our primary use case?

We were looking to replace a large amount of older physical servers and move to a smaller footprint with a lot more virtualized systems. We also wanted to be able to increase the uptime of our server by being able to failover between nodes. 

We had all our eggs in one basket - a single powerful Hyper-V server running VMs which ran our business systems and customer systems. If that machine had died our business would've died. We implemented HCA and were then able to load balance and have resiliency for all of our systems across the infrastructure estate. 

We initially ran with a demo system, a couple of older servers with some high-speed network cards configured using the Starwind software - which was provided as a demonstration even with some technical support for a number of months, so that we could try the system out. 

We had some very niche bespoke software that we provided to the recruitment industry, which in turn used some bespoke indexing and categorizing software that was very picky on how it runs. Starwind amazed us by being able to host this bespoke software on the HCA and failover between nodes with Live Migrate without any issues whatsoever.

How has it helped my organization?

Starwind HCA allowed us to provide customers with a much higher service level. We could guarantee 99.999% uptime. Previously, we were not confident enough to offer this. 

We were able to reduce the footprint of our physical servers in the datacentre, by virtualizing most of them and running them as VMs on the HCA. We were therefore able to reduce costs in the datacentre.

We also had peace of mind in that we were able to retire a lot of older hardware and consolidate on to brand new powerful hardware. 

It also looked fantastic in the data center.

What is most valuable?

Live migration between nodes was quick and simple. The management interface was clean and intuitive. The system ran with no issues whatsoever, it never had any problems.

It was able to run all of our VMs without struggling one bit.

We were able to run Hyper-v and Failover Cluster Manager. Therefore we already knew how to use these, being Microsoft certified engineers. These fit easily on top of Starwind, in fact, the Starwind software is pretty much invisible in the background, running cleanly underneath the Hyper-V and Failover Cluster Manager.

What needs improvement?

Perhaps the initial configuration and documentation could be a little clearer and simpler to follow. It is a little fiddly and easy to make mistakes. I remember that I had to follow the instructions very carefully during the initial setup.

Also what is slightly disappointing, although understandable, is that the demo/free version of Starwind vSAN reverts to "command line only" and limits access to the GUI when the trial license runs out. Perhaps this license time limit could be extended to allow further evaluation time.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used the solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution's stability is absolutely faultless.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From what I understand, it can be scaled up and out as required - although we never needed to do this. Scale up by adding more RAM, more CPU and more disks. Scale out by adding more HCA nodes. If we had more budget we would've added more RAM to the nodes, or added an additional node when we initially bought the system.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is absolutely fantastic, always eager to help, and technical support was fast and concise.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, although it is a little fiddly and tricky to follow. It's best to implement this when you can't be interrupted.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation in-house.

What was our ROI?

We saved a lot of money by reducing the data center footprint by half.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is the best value HCA available. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Nutanix and HPE Simplivity.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for an HCA solution and other vendors are proving excessively expensive, I would advise companies then take a look at Starwind instead.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Igor Beck - PeerSpot reviewer
IT-Administrator at Milchwerk Jäger GmbH
User
Straightforward to use with good remote management and a simple GUI
Pros and Cons
  • "It is a safe, fast, and cost-effective storage system that improved our systems to have zero downtime."
  • "It would be nice if it were possible to do the ISCSI setup that you do on Windows directly in the management GUI of StarWind."

What is our primary use case?

We are using the product primarily as the base and storage for our failover cluster on a Hyper-V Environment (Server 2012r2 - 2019). 

All 3 of the HCA are all flash variants and have a 10GB uplink to our network, sync between the nodes is 25/40GB. We have Microsoft SQL Servers, Active Directory, and file servers running across all 3 systems without any major issues so far. 

We have a VMWare ESXI with VCenter 6.7 on one of the HCA. In this scenario, the storage is inside a virtual machine and works without any performance issues. 

How has it helped my organization?

It is a safe, fast, and cost-effective storage system that improved our systems to have zero downtime. Before we used manual failover methods and systems by other vendors, that required switching master and slave roles which could result in a longer downtime. 

If a storage error occurred outside of our office hours, it could result in critical downtime and production needing to stop. Besides the business continuity, our performance levels have risen from the all-flash setup and active-active sync scenarios.

What is most valuable?

The straightforward management GUI and the compatibility catalog are great. You can add every StarWind system into one management GUI and have a complete overview of every system.

You can remotly manage new storage volumes and use the maintenance mode for moving your systems physically to other locations. 

You can practically add any NIC or RAM you want. The compatibility catalog is huge. We have a system with an Nvidia Tesla M60 and DDA which works great in combination with StarWind HCA. Also, we are mixing NICs from Intel, Mellanox, and Broadcom without any issues.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if it were possible to do the ISCSI setup that you do on Windows directly in the management GUI of StarWind. Further, it would be nice if you expand the storage of one target, the corresponding CSV would rise the capacity as well. This would lead to lesser missed or wrong configuration steps in the loopback configuration. They could program some checkups for the ISCSI configuration that the management GUI would do and could show you possible misconfiguration that someone evidently has done.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used the solution since 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In all the years we've used the product, we have not had any major problems or issues with any StarWind systems. This reality speaks for itself.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale the system very well. You always have the possibility to add another host to your HCA complex if you need more processing power.

How are customer service and support?

We always used customer support on any new HCA setup. They do checkups and look over the configuration to make sure that everything runs flawlessly. We've used the support on two minor cases that were handled very, very well - even on holidays.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did use something else beforehand. The previous solution could only do a master/slave switch if a failure occured and there was significant downtime. The architecture of this storage was active-passive, which resulted in some performance degradation by writing always to the second member.

How was the initial setup?

If you are an experienced administrator, the setup is straightforward. Even if you have some difficulties in some parts, they have many guides and services that will support you.

What about the implementation team?

We have implemented the software-only solution by ourselves. The HCA was implemented together with the StarWind support team.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Users should plan the needed space before ordering the whole system. It isn't impossible to expand the physical storage space later, however, it is a time and cost-intensive process.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tested and used the software-only version of StarWind. We wanted to test the software and its behavior.

What other advice do I have?

They offer a custom trial license for free. Everyone who is interested in storage systems should try the software out.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PeerSpot user
IT Manager at TrendHR
Real User
Top 20
Great support and automated monitoring with excellent cost savings
Pros and Cons
  • "The pricing and discounts given by Starwind on the hardware were unmatched."
  • "Shipping options should be explained in detail and offer more white glove delivery options even if it comes at an additional cost for some SMBs without docks."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of the HCA is to provide a Highly Available, clustered virtualization environment to house all of our internally operational VMs. 

We host all of our internal server infrastructure on the HCA utilizing Hyper-V as our virtualization platform. 

The performance of an all SSD storage array allows us to easily and quickly expand our interal servers as needed without worries of performance degradation.  

The largest benefit to our company was to finally be able to have a no single point of failure setup at a pricepoint that was below that of competing enteprise oriented solutions. 

How has it helped my organization?

The HCA appliance replaced aging hardware, formerly cluster-in-a-box solutions, at a savings of over $20,000.00 and provided increased performance and more redundancy. The pricing and discounts given by Starwind on the hardware were unmatched. 

The HCA solution provides increased redundancy in that all storage is duplicated between multiple servers with multiple arrays of drives, rather than depending upon a single storage solution. It also allows us to utilize more cost-effective storage solutions rather than being handcuffed to dual port SSD with their higher price points when the performance far exceeds our needs. 

What is most valuable?

If you stay with a two or three-node solution, the HCA allows you to eliminate implementing a redundant storage network switch solution providing tons of savings on top of the affordable HCA offering. 

Additionally, the server cluster manager web tool provided by Starwind provides fast information at a glance to give you a complete overview of all virtualization, compute, storage, memory, and network resources throughout your network in a single plane of glass. 

The support and automated monitoring is a huge improvement over our previous vendor's offerings as well. It truly feels like we have a point of escalation on any issues and that provides a large amount of comfort to our small team. 

What needs improvement?

Shipping options should be explained in detail and offer more white glove delivery options even if it comes at an additional cost for some SMBs without docks. 

Our only pain point has been dealing with the freight shipping initially not showing up when promised, then showing up unannounced, and then sending us some small fees afterward due to the fact that we made them wait (since we weren't expecting them). Starwind has taken care of all of the fees after the fact, however, and they were more than accomodating in resolving the situation. 

We would like more visibility into the reporting that Starwind uses to monitor our solution for errors. We'd like to be able to receive the same data and notifications that their team receives.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the HCA for almost one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, we have had zero downtime. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is moderately scaleable. It should fit any SMB and works even in larger organizations. The product allows quick additional of multiple nodes. At a certain point, eventually your storage replication might be better served by dedicated sans rather than the VSAN, or it might be beneficial to check out the newer Storage Spaces in DataCenter edition when it comes to storage scaling up. However, I think the VSAN included with the cluster will meet most small and medium sized deployments by just adding more nodes with additional storage when needed. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used cluster-in-a-box from DataON. We switched as they were reaching the end of life and it did not provide an affordable solution to replace it.

How was the initial setup?

The solution offers an easy setup. Support was there to hold hands as needed every step of the way, with a dedicated contact point who took us through the entire process. She was great!

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We do not have any warnings to share. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at options from TrueNas, DataOn, Dell, and HPE. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Brendan - PeerSpot reviewer
Technology Manager at Tryon International Equestrian Center
User
Top 20
Easy to set up with excellent technical support and great high availability
Pros and Cons
  • "The low cost of this solution has also made a big difference in our budget, which has been very helpful."
  • "If I had to pick something to add to the product, it would be nice if you could have more than one user account on their command center VM."

What is our primary use case?

We use the StarWind HCA as the main solution for hosting all of our core VMs. 

We have about 20 Microsoft and Linux VMs that we are running on Hyper-V on the StarWind HCA. 

Our HCA is made up of two Dell servers running the StarWind VSAN software. The VMs that we have are mainly made up of general-purpose servers with a few other custom-use servers thrown in. 

We also use the HCA to host both of our domain controllers, although we don't have them in the cluster, they are still on the appliance. 

How has it helped my organization?

Having high availability has definitely improved the reliability of our infrastructure and made server maintenance much easier, which is a significant improvement for the organization. 

The low cost of this solution has also made a big difference in our budget, which has been very helpful. 

The reliability of the VSAN software has also been a big improvement in our infrastructure. 

The quality of support from StarWind has probably been the biggest improvement though as we went from having a relatively low level of support with our previous solution to having a truly top-tier support team at our disposal.

What is most valuable?

High availability with only two nodes has really been enormously valuable to us. Our infrastructure is relatively small and we really didn't need more than two nodes, however, for many reasons, we really needed to have high availability. Being able to accomplish that without extra hardware was huge. 

The ability to use whatever hypervisor that we wanted has also been very valuable to us. We were able to switch over to Hyper-V from VMWare and save on the licensing costs that we previously had with VMWare.

What needs improvement?

I really don't say this very much, however, I actually don't have many issues with this product. However, if I had to think of something, some people might not like the fact that a lot of the engineers tend to have relatively thick eastern European accents, and that might be an issue for some folks. 

If I had to pick something to add to the product, it would be nice if you could have more than one user account on their command center VM. It's not really a big deal, however, that would be a good addition.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for about six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is extremely stable. I haven't had any issues at all. It's one of my favorite things about this solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is extremely scalable.

How are customer service and support?

Their customer service and support are top-notch. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our previous solution was very old and not really a good comparison. 

We switched due to the fact that the hardware needed to be refreshed and we needed high availability.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was extremely easy and their support team was assisting through the whole process.

What about the implementation team?

It was implemented through their support team and their level of expertise was extremely high.

What was our ROI?

We've seen an ROI of 100% to 150%

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The setup cost and support contract was significantly cheaper with StarWind than with any of the other options that I evaluated.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered just buying new server hardware and staying with VMware. We also evaluated Scale and Nutanix.

What other advice do I have?

I really can't recommend them enough. 

Their VSAN software is excellent. The ability to get a highly available setup with just two nodes is fantastic. Their support is top-notch, and from a cost perspective, they blew everybody else out of the water. Give them a call; you won't be sorry!

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Artur Eichmann - PeerSpot reviewer
Systemadministrator at WebID
Real User
Top 10
Well-priced, allows for live migrations, and offers good storage
Pros and Cons
  • "The product runs wonderfully and has already gone through several failure tests."
  • "What would have to be done urgently is the adaptation of the hardware to the configuration."

What is our primary use case?

We are running a small Windows server farm with VMware, and we have chosen StarWind as our solution. It is a hyper-converged cluster connected with 25 GB. The servers themselves are located in different locations to increase security in case of failure. Also, the servers are connected to a server switch cluster to create additional protection. Only the standard servers were set up, such as the domain controller, file server, and app server. The backup strategy was implemented with Veeam and amounts to a synthetic full backup procedure located locally and performed on tape drives.

How has it helped my organization?

We had an old server infrastructure from two major vendors that ran without flaws yet were no longer state of the art and thus reached its limits in terms of memory and processor for large projects. 

In addition, the support for the servers was expiring, and we wanted a solution that would allow a live migration in real-time. After extensive research, we decided on StarWind. It has the advantages of a storage solution yet is priced much more attractively than the competition (when considering hardware in the premium range). 

What is most valuable?

We were looking for a solution that would allow live migration, however, we didn't want to spend a lot of money. We wanted an attractively priced system that offered all the advantages of a storage solution and not the disadvantages of having a highly available environment 365 days a year that would not allow any downtime. That's why we chose StarWind. It offered us a hyper-converged independent cluster with a complete package. A VM can be migrated directly in real-time in the event of a failure, and if a complete failure is imminent, a switch is made to the backup with 25 GB. 

What needs improvement?

There is not much that could be improved. StarWind was affected by the delivery problems typical for the market and could not be improved by different partners. 

What would have to be done urgently, however, is the adaptation of the hardware to the configuration. We could only decide on a model that was in the upper premium segment, although we only needed standard specifications. Therefore, we have a solution that is a bit too performant concerning our requirements. That said, this also allows us to try something out. The price was excellent, so we accepted it. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used the solution since April 2022 as part of a project. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product runs wonderfully and has already gone through several failure tests.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Regarding the hardware, there are still delivery problems, however, the software can be attached to any backup or cloud solution.

How are customer service and support?

I haven't had a chance to contact support yet; the consultation process through to implementation is great.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched due to the fact that our old infrastructure was in dire need of improvement and it was old.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was done with the help of StarWind. There were a few things that needed to be considered and unfortunately were not communicated by StarWind.

What about the implementation team?

The connection was made by StarWind and a partner of StarWind integrated the solution very well and very quickly.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

StarWind is a good and cheap provider that sells high-quality products. That said,  you shouldn't always look for the cheapest price or the cheapest hardware. Sometimes you get a bargain in the higher segment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other providers of a pure storage solution and purchased them with StarWind. We couldn't get anywhere close to StarWind in terms of price.

What other advice do I have?

Absolutely compare the infrastructure. It should be modernized.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PeerSpot user
Director of IT at Kelly Aerospace, Inc.
User
Top 10
Simple to set up with great support and easy monitoring
Pros and Cons
  • "Servers came pre-configured for our environment and as soon as they were in the rack, Starwind got them up and running."
  • "Updates need improvement."

What is our primary use case?

We had to replace our infrastructure consisting of about eight aging servers. I began looking for a good, redundant system and ran across the HCAs. 

Having never used one before I began researching the different providers as well as looking at going the traditional route. I lucked out by finding StarWinds through a colleague of mine and was greatly impressed. The Dell Enterprise servers not only replaced what we had but also gave me the piece of mind I haven't had in years.

The StarWind system also made managing the units easy and not too time consuming. For a very small IT department, that was key.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has improved our ability to prepare for future needs by easily being able to add servers, storage, backup devices, and more. 

With their highly knowledgeable sales and support team, we are not anxious about upgrading our equipment or suffering long downtimes. We were hosting our ERP environment outside the organization which limited some of the functionality. 

With the HCA appliance we are comfortable with it being in-house and finally get to take advantage of some advanced features we have been missing out on.

What is most valuable?

The ability to balance servers across the appliance effortlessly and knowing that if we do experience a hardware failure we can keep on trucking is the most valuable aspect.

I cannot say enough about their support team. They are the greatest and extremely knowledgeable. Proactive support is a lifesaver.

The setup was simple and very fast. Servers came pre-configured for our environment and as soon as they were in the rack, Starwind got them up and running.

Monitoring the servers is a breeze and is possible all on one screen. This makes managing the environment super easy - even for a novice.

What needs improvement?

Updates need improvement. We do not receive critical update notices from Dell. This would be extremely helpful since my primary focus every day is software and DB development and not server updates. A notification when critical updates are available would make management of the systems even easier than it already is. 

The StarWind Command console stopped working for us and we managed the system manually. There is an update that we will be taking advantage of within the next week that I am sure will correct this issue.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for 14 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution has been very stable with a single exception. We missed a critical update to the firmware of our Samsung SSDs that took us offline. I wish there had been a way to have had a notification of the missing critical update prior to getting to the failure point.

Even with this,  StarWinds support worked with us and the hardware provider to get us back up quickly with no data loss.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable.

How are customer service and support?

I have nothing bad to say. They are very quick to respond and with the proactive support, they generally know of issues before I do. They are very knowledgeable.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We just used standalone servers previously.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward with handholding from support every step of the way.

What about the implementation team?

We used the vendor team. They were very highly experienced.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI was almost immediate since we stopped using a hosting company for our ERP environment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is a very affordable solution and extremely easy to set up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Nutanix.

What other advice do I have?

If this is your first HCA or your next, you will not go wrong with StarWind.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: December 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.