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StarWind Storage Appliance OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

StarWind Storage Appliance is #7 ranked solution in top NAS tools. PeerSpot users give StarWind Storage Appliance an average rating of 9.4 out of 10. StarWind Storage Appliance is most commonly compared to FreeNAS: StarWind Storage Appliance vs FreeNAS. StarWind Storage Appliance is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 50% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 21% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the NAS Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is StarWind Storage Appliance?

For SMB and Enterprises who are looking for high performance primary storage for server virtualization, VDI, database and Big Data scenarios, or inexpensive secondary backup tier, our solution is StarWind Storage Appliance. It unifies commodity servers, disks and flash, and associated software into an easily scalable storage platform.

Additionally, the appliance features an optional gateway to Azure public cloud, which helps to implement an effective Disaster Recovery plan or meet regulatory requirements. StarWind SA scales up by adding individual disks and flash modules, or JBODs, while adding ready controller nodes allows scaling out. 

StarWind SA targets those, who need high-performance primary storage or secondary storage for backup. In case there is a whole virtualization infrastructure to build from scratch, StarWind HCA will come in handy. Otherwise, if all the required hardware is present, StarWind Virtual SAN will be enough to build a high-performance virtualization setup. 

StarWind Storage Appliance Customers

Bosch, EC2 IT, Solid Earth Inc., Canon

StarWind Storage Appliance Video

StarWind Storage Appliance Pricing Advice

What users are saying about StarWind Storage Appliance pricing:
  • "StarWind by far provides the best bang for the buck."
  • "On the homepage, you can not see the pricing."
  • StarWind Storage Appliance Reviews

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    MemphisGuy - PeerSpot reviewer
    Network Services Manager at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
    User
    Top 5
    Great performance with excellent technical support and good scalability
    Pros and Cons
    • "They call us when monitoring shows a possible issue and are very flexible in working with our schedule to troubleshoot when it is convenient for us."
    • "They offered onsite installation, but we chose to do it ourselves. That took longer and was more work for us but saved us a ton of money in the end."

    What is our primary use case?

    We were using 4GB FC to support our 3-host ESXi cluster and switched to StarWind over 10GB iSCSI. We installed one 2-node SAN for proof of concept, then another one so we could retire our FC SANs, then another SSD-based one when we needed better performance on critical VMs. We were able to select hardware from our preferred vendor. Two of the clusters run on standalone servers, and the SSD SAN runs on our ESXi hosts, giving us a hyper-converged environment for those servers that need the additional performance.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We had end-of-life (and end-of-support) 4GB FC switches and SANs which were going to cost us a ton of money to upgrade, and decided to switch to iSCSI over a 10-GB backbone.  Going with iSCSI simplified our infrastructure. Instead of running FC for storage in parallel with our ethernet, we were able to purchase 10GB switches that could handle both and that gave us combined visibility and manageability with one management interface which also handles our periphery switches and wireless in one interface.

    What is most valuable?

    First of all, it is iSCSI. We were looking to get rid of our FC infrastructure and go to pure ethernet switches, and this enabled us to do so. Second, the Proactive support has been excellent. They call us when monitoring shows a possible issue and are very flexible in working with our schedule to troubleshoot when it is convenient for us. They are experts in hardware and software and are able to troubleshoot and fix underlying issues like firmware and drivers. The solution also has excellent performance.

    What needs improvement?

    I'm really not sure what improvements are needed to the product. It works pretty well and I haven't seen anything that obviously needed improvement. We elected to do the physical installation ourselves, so they preconfigured the equipment and shipped it - complete with excellent installation instructions. Once we did the physical install, they connected remotely to do the final configuration and helped get us into production. They offered onsite installation, but we chose to do it ourselves. That took longer and was more work for us but saved us a ton of money in the end.

    Buyer's Guide
    NAS
    September 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about StarWind, FreeNAS, StoneFly and others in NAS. Updated: September 2022.
    632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution since about 2015.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has been very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is widely scalable. It is as simple as plugging in additional hard drives into the server and adding storage space up to its capacity.  The software license is independent of hardware and is for Unlimited storage, so you can replace the entire storage server and use the same software license.  It can run on your virtualization hosts for a hyperconverged environment or on standalone servers.  There is even a free version with full functionality.

    How are customer service and support?

    It's been great. They generally call if there is any issue.

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

    We previously used FC SANs from EMC and Xiotech which were end-of-support and were going to cost us a ton to replace.

    How was the initial setup?

    If you want turnkey, they will come onsite. Our setup was more complex due to the fact that we did the physical install, however, they were available every step of the way.

    What about the implementation team?

    We had our in-house team handle it with support from StarWind.

    What was our ROI?

    It gave very good ROI. The alternative was to spend a lot more to upgrade our FC infrastructure and that was just not acceptable.

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

    Licensing is straightforward, per node and capacity, with only 2 capacity tiers. It wasn't difficult. They will install it onsite or preconfigure it and ship it to you. We saved a ton by installing it ourselves. The pricing was great and simplifying to iSCSI saved us even more money in the end. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at several options. I swore I would never buy EMC again, but we looked at Xiotech, NetApp, Dell, and others.

    What other advice do I have?

    We love it and rely on it.  We also have had no problems. Others likely will like it too.

    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
    reviewer1493760 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Founder at Provectus Networks
    Real User
    Top 10
    Knowledgeable support, good performance, and has instant failover redundancy
    Pros and Cons
    • "Having instant failover redundancy helps me sleep easier at night."
    • "StarWind no longer sells HDDs for primary storage."

    What is our primary use case?

    I manage a number of different IT environments ranging in the 10 to 500 staff level, and the StarWind Storage Appliance is one of the products that I use in this role.

    What is most valuable?

    StarWind is very good, performance-wise. I opt for all-flash arrays every time, and I see they made the announcement that they are only selling all-flash. This is a great move, as all-flash at the server level is an absolute game-changer.

    Whole environments run so much smoother and this really makes the IT admin's life easier. If we have to deploy on-premises servers, it's all-flash or nothing for us.

    Having instant failover redundancy helps me sleep easier at night.

    What needs improvement?

    StarWind no longer sells HDDs for primary storage.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I work with environments ranging from 10 to 500 users.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    What also sets StarWind apart is the support. They have techs that are not just call-routers, but that actually know and can troubleshoot issues 24x7. Most do have accents, which may be an issue for some, but everyone I have worked with, in their support team, has been patient and professional. So, in my opinion, this is not an issue.

    Besides, at the end of the day, the goal is to solve issues and this is something you will definitely achieve.

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

    StarWind by far provides the best bang for the buck.

    The big players are a stretch price-wise for the clients in this range, and StarWind beats them every time.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There are several other competitors in this space that I did look at, but StarWind was just really easy to work with. They have resources on every team to get you what you need. This includes pre-sales, design, management escalation, and technical support.

    They provided the specs I needed, so I didn’t really need to look much further.

    What other advice do I have?

    How they can offer all of this and 24x7 level support and provide the hardware at extremely affordable costs is beyond me. There is no question that for future purchases, StarWind will be my #1 go-to.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    NAS
    September 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about StarWind, FreeNAS, StoneFly and others in NAS. Updated: September 2022.
    632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    President at EXAG Multimedia
    Real User
    Top 20
    Excellent integration, stable, and current trial testing done in-house for each customer

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it together with Microsoft services.

    What is most valuable?

    The integration with StarWind Storage Appliance is the most valuable.

    What needs improvement?

    The dashboard features are not in the free version. Today it is normal to have the full features in both versions and only pay for support.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using StarWind Storage Appliance for the past three months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    StarWind Storage Appliance is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have only measured scalability currently with two servers.

    How was the initial setup?

    For the first time, it takes a little time to know how the concept works. There is a learning curve when you do not know if you can also use it as a boot drive or if that is not possible. It takes days to deploy.

    What about the implementation team?

    We do it in-house for all the customers and we test it.

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

    That is a problem with StarWind they do not tell you the license cost. On the homepage, you can not see the pricing.  There are different solutions, free and standard costs.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate StarWind Storage Appliance an eight out of ten.

    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