IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why
Director Of Technical Services at D-J Engineering Group Inc.
User
Top 20
Quick to set up, lowers costs, and offers easy training
Pros and Cons
  • "Training is also easy as it is just one system to learn."
  • "We just need more integration with Veeam."

What is our primary use case?

We use the StarWind Virtual SAN in a HA stack. We then use readily available HPE servers (DL380DL - 26 disk) to be the hardware. This allows us to have reliable hardware with reliable software and no downtime. It also drives costs down to almost nothing compared to hardware-based SAN devices.  Year after year costs are also down with not needing to keep hardware warranties up, due to parts being available easily. Overall, we have saved many thousands of dollars by going this way. We see no difference in IOPS or any other performance metrics.  We have also tested the high availability a few times (once on purpose and a few not). It seems to work flawlessly.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to scale our storage much easier and cheaper than we would with traditional SAN or NAS systems.  The cost justification is very easy since the overall cost is literally support for the software. We do not keep any sort of hardware support since we can just buy hardware as needed from anywhere. This means that you have to have some knowledge of hardware if you are picking it out - or their support is more than willing to help. I like this as it allows me to pick out how resilient I want my system to be and how much I want it to cost.

What is most valuable?

The ability to use off-the-shelf standard servers to increase storage space is great. For example, we use Gen 9 DL380 servers with 26 bays. This allows us to migrate to newer hardware at any time without having to buy new shelves or head units of expensive SAN solutions (or even worse, have multiple SAN support contracts going at once in order to swing data between them). This also makes it so we can easily keep older data without immense cost to our organization.  Training is also easy as it is just one system to learn.

What needs improvement?

We just need more integration with Veeam. Overall, I like the fire and forget model, so really there isn't an immense amount of things that I would request.  Possibly some reporting via SMTP of some metrics would be nice to have. That said, quite honestly I get that from enough systems already and end up ignoring most of them.  If this was something I was logged into every day then maybe I would request more features. Then again, I would be more concerned with its quality (we shouldn't need to log in daily). I'm not really sure what more to ask for.
Buyer's Guide
StarWind Virtual SAN
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about StarWind Virtual SAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for around six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Been using the solution for six years and have not had it fail.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have scaled quite large. It scales well.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support seems responsive. We've only used them a few times.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We had three different systems (Dell PowerVault, HPE Lefthand, Lenovo NAS) and they were expensive to keep and more expensive to expand.

How was the initial setup?

The setup takes about five minutes.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented the solution myself. 

What was our ROI?

The ROI is almost immediate.

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

I'd advise new users to just do some homework on what they need. Pick out hardware that can support it and get a license. The setup would be about 5 minutes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we looked at Dell PowerVault, HPE Lefthand, and Lenovo NAS.

What other advice do I have?

The solution offers great ROI.

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.
Flag as inappropriate
TRAIANO ... - PeerSpot reviewer
Technology Solutions, Support & Training at UNISONMEDIA Group, Inc.
Real User
Top 5
Resilient with seamless failover, and the support is helpful
Pros and Cons
  • "Recovery and maintenance are now less stressful and most importantly, it allows our users to keep working."
  • "A mobile app to sync up for overview and status would really be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We have Microsoft Hyper-V.  StarWind is configured as a two-node cluster with a Windows environment. It is crucial for the Virtual Machines that give us the resiliency of Exchange, 4TB File Servers, Networking Services, Quickbooks Server, Terminal Servers, Virtualized Spam Protection, Active Directory Services, and a few others.

We needed something that allows for better resiliency than the old way of doing things.  We have seen other choices out there but this seemed to be the best one, given our budget and the hardware we wanted to use.

How has it helped my organization?

This StarWind solution has enabled us to be more resilient, once it was set up and tested.

Failover happens very smoothly. Recovery and maintenance are now less stressful and most importantly, it allows our users to keep working.

Before StarWind, we were dealing with an archaic way of synchronizing Virtual machines and data between non-clustered physical hosts and it was very frustrating. Now, things are less hands-on and easier to manage and navigate the virtual environment, including maintenance while other users keep working.

What is most valuable?

We found that robust communications between clusters and synchronization were key and most valuable to us due to the amount of data we were synchronizing.

The expertise from their technicians is very helpful even in the middle of the night, with the right support plan of course. The technical documentation, the follow-up and the details noted on a per-call basis was amazing. We really appreciate that kind of commitment to our success and stability that the StarWind software brings to our business.

What needs improvement?

Built-in Notification would really help and as I understand, their new release has this now.  

A mobile app to sync up for overview and status would really be helpful.

Also, it would be helpful if the software had a few more guides and links/videos on how-to's.

An "Update available" notification within the software would also be helpful and a guided wizard to do the upgrade properly would also be nice and efficient.

A better visual of the SAN storage/actual storage and how it is used would be good, especially when it comes to where the files are located on the disk. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for the last two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability seems great and we have not had any problems with the software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Seems very scalable, although we chose to have a two-node cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

This area has been the best for us, especially being new to this technology. The support team was amazing with follow-up and they are super patient.

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

I have not used another solution for the same purpose. This was what I picked based on my research.

How was the initial setup?

Initially, I didn't quite understand the framework and what exact hardware was needed so I had to do some learning. However, once all was in place it went pretty smoothly.

What about the implementation team?

We did our deployment in-house, with help from StarWind.

What was our ROI?

Return on investment for us, I would say maybe breaking even. As I said, I wish the costs were better balanced.

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

The cost seems a bit steep, and I wish it was less expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have looked at Nutanix and VMware.

What other advice do I have?

Mainly that the costs would be less expensive.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
StarWind Virtual SAN
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about StarWind Virtual SAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Network Specialist at Nexans aeA
Real User
Top 5
With basic knowledge you can use the GUI from the node to create partitions then, creating volumes on the management console and manage it
Pros and Cons
  • "PowerShell library is pretty good feature as I created with APC PowerChute a script to put volumes on maintenance mode then turning off the StarWind nodes together with the VM and Hosts when UPS reaches 15 percent, this way after a blackout or electrical problems when turning servers on again, there is no issues for syncing or data loss due to energy interrupts."
  • "Android app for monitoring and receiving push notifications as alarms or monitoring I/O from any mobile device could be a good feature and nice to have as we are not always on our desk."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for physical to virtual environment migration, requiring a VSAN storage for a data center we had an old BLC 460 gen 6 blades with physical storage attached. If we had any issues with the hardware or operating system the downtime for production would be for hours, so we created a virtual data center with VMware vSphere and added 3 20TB storage on each host then created 3-node StarWind scenario being shared on all 3 hosts, and creating virtual machines on 3 hosts and now running on StarWind storage.

How has it helped my organization?

StarWind VSAN improved our organization as we had a project to migrate from a physical environment to a virtual environment using Vmware Vsphere 6.7 and we needed a secure VSAN storage to be able to share it over the virtual Datacenter and to be able to use the vSphere high availability feature as we needed storage visible overall host on our SITE, this way we have less downtime if one of the hosts fails and HA comes out as the VSAN storage from StarWind is our main storage where all Virtual Machines are running.

What is most valuable?

One of the best features on the management console is the way you can deploy the VSAN storage, with basic knowledge you can use the GUI from the node to create partitions then, creating volumes on the management console and manage it like, sync priority, or putting them on maintenance mode to be able to restart hosts.

PowerShell library is pretty good feature as I created with APC PowerChute a script to put volumes on maintenance mode then turning off the StarWind nodes together with the VM and Hosts when UPS reaches 15 percent, this way after a blackout or electrical problems when turning servers on again, there are no issues for syncing or data loss due to energy interrupts.

What needs improvement?

  • Easy migration to ZFS system that is being presented on a new version of StarWind, migrations look complicated as this restructures the whole architecture on the raid level, but could be a good option just by having it and letting the user decide this new feature migration, as based on our experience with ZFS systems they work pretty fast and secure.
  • Android app for monitoring and receiving push notifications as alarms or monitoring I/O from any mobile device could be a good feature and nice to have as we are not always on our desk.

For how long have I used the solution?

For more than 3 years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Good stability as we have a mirrored storage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Pretty good impressions, especially the support.

How are customer service and support?

Fast response and great attention.

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

We migrated from HPE StoreVirtual.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward if you have RAID, array controllers, and network knowledge.

What about the implementation team?

We tried at first doing it ourselves, but I recommend letting the support team the VSAN installations as we missed some configurations that based on their experience we missed as beginners.

What was our ROI?

About $3500 USD every 3 years.

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

its a good option compared with other vendors as licence is perpetual and wont charge every three years as HPE.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we used HPE StoreVirtual, we moved to StarWind to reduce costs. We tried VMware VSAN and the cost was too elevated for our requirements.

What other advice do I have?

By letting the support team do it next time, as based on their knowledge we have the correct configurations.

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.
Flag as inappropriate
Field Engineering Lead at Superior Support Resources, Inc.
User
Top 20
Hardware agnostic and easy to set up with great support
Pros and Cons
  • "The top-notch support before, during, and after deployments are better than any other vendor I have come across."
  • "The only way I can see this product needing improvement is the consultation level of the StarWind sales and engineers."

What is our primary use case?

We are an SMB IT consulting company with an infrastructure department. 

Before 2019, we had been deploying HP StoreVirtual VSA in order to deliver a typical 2-node hyper-converged cluster. Since the publishing of EOL/EOS for HP StoreVirtual we had been looking for a suitable replacement. 

We looked at and deployed various solutions - from StorMagic, Open-E, NetApp, and EMC. StarWind was the easiest to deploy. It was very inexpensive, offered the best support, and was hardware agnostic. After several deployments, this has been the best 2-node hyper-converged solution accepted by all engineers on my team.

How has it helped my organization?

StarWind Virtual SAN has given us the ability to bring a stable and functional 3rd party 2-node hyper-converged solution to our SMB clients. 

The typical roadblock with SMBs is the cost. It is very difficult to convince an SMB of the value of redundancy, highly-available hardware configurations, up-time, and quality vendor support until an emergency happens and solutions are needed ASAP. 

With StarWind, we are able to present best practices to SMBs and since the price point is attractive, we can more efficiently convince SMB clients to make the investment in best practices before a disaster happens.

What is most valuable?

The top-notch support before, during, and after deployments are better than any other vendor I have come across. There is very little wait and very little pain to get an engineer who is very knowledgeable about this product to assist us.

The fact that it is hardware agnostic gives us the capability to customize the solution according to the client's needs and budget.

We are in the middle of converting our own infrastructure to StarWind Virtual SAN since we are so satisfied with the ease and function of the environments where this product is deployed.

What needs improvement?

The only way I can see this product needing improvement is the consultation level of the StarWind sales and engineers. For example, the method of management of the StarWind environments that have been deployed has been a downloaded management console program. This downloaded program which needs to be installed on the network of the environment was the suggestion of the deployment engineers. 

I would like to see more consultation on a web UI management console.

For how long have I used the solution?

Our first deployment was in 2019.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No deployments have ended badly. All are still running without issues. It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is hardware agnostic. Storage can be added if licensing is increased. It offers above-average scalability. 

How are customer service and support?

Customer service is the best part of this product. The customer service and support I have received are unmatched by any other vendor.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used HP StoreVirtual. The switch was needed as it came to its end-of-life and end-of-support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. Anything complex is done by the StarWind personnel.

What about the implementation team?

Our implementation was a hybrid of vendor-team and in-house. The vendor team has a very high level of expertise.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is for our clients. There is less downtime, less troubleshooting, fewer issues, and fast speeds. 

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

The setup is simple and the cost is attractive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Open-E, StorMagic, NetAPP, and EMC.

What other advice do I have?

I'd advise users to initiate lots of communication with their support staff. Their responses are quick and sufficient.

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.
Flag as inappropriate
Engineer at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia
Real User
Top 10
Helpful support, easy to set up, and it works on top of hardware or software RAID
Pros and Cons
  • "The iSCSI protocol is quite simple to configure."
  • "It would be nice to add the ability to use raw partitions instead of file containers."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is hyper-convergence and storage virtualization.

Our configuration has eleven servers installed. Three of these are SQL servers, five are installed as application servers, and on the remaining servers, various small services are hosted. These include web servers, RDP servers, and so on.

StarWind vSAN for Hyper-V consolidated the last three servers into a failover cluster for load balancing and increased availability. This made it possible to transfer the specified services to virtual machines.

How has it helped my organization?

Initially, it was not planned to use virtualization, but at some point, I realized that it was necessary. I had no opportunity to install any shared storage and in this case, the StarWind Virtual SAN solution was perfect.

I did not have any type of failover cluster. StarWind vSAN for Hyper-V solves the problem without any kind of hardware lock-in and with its low impact, easy to configure vSAN solution. This made it possible to create a failover cluster with high performance without significant costs.

What is most valuable?

The most important features for us are:

  • StarWind vSAN requires two nodes, which can be completely switchless, and it doesn’t require any additional equipment to get started.
  • StarWind works on the iSCSI layer.
  • StarWind requires at least two 1 GbE networks.
  • StarWind works either on top of a hardware RAID or a software RAID.
  • There are only three servers in our installation and it was great that I didn't need to buy any additional network hardware.
  • The iSCSI protocol is quite simple to configure.
  • The requirement for two-gigabit adapters also avoided additional costs.
  • In particular, it was important to me that the implementation of the StarWind vSAN solution did not require reinstalling the operating system or reconfiguring the RAID.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice to add the ability to use raw partitions instead of file containers.

I think that using equal partitions would improve performance by eliminating the additional file system necessary to host the container

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not face any critical issue for our main purposes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Very positive. As far as I understand, it will be very easy to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very competent in matters not only of the product but also of the features of the hypervisor and the operating system on which the installation was performed.

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

I have not used other solutions before.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not difficult. I received help with the first installation from technical support.

What about the implementation team?

The vendor team helped with the initial setup and I rate their level as very high.

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

I think that purchasing StarWind Virtual SAN Professional Edition would be optimal for most.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As an alternative to StarWind vSAN for Hyper-V, I considered Microsoft S2D, but I had to abandon it due to the fact that it does not support hardware RAID.

What other advice do I have?

I have not been using the product for long enough to objectively name the features that should be added in the next release or would not suit me in the current release. The functions that I needed to work on do not cause any complaints from me.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mart Vernik - PeerSpot reviewer
Digital Archive System Administrator at Rahvusarhiiv
Real User
Top 10
Has a web-based management interface where you can make software RAID and monitor environment main characteristics
Pros and Cons
  • "StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere is a software-defined storage solution that has reduced administration time for storage. It's pretty straightforward to install and setup it and so far it has been robust and worked as advertised from StarWind."
  • "When StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere nodes go offline unexpectedly, the nodes have to re-sync disks fully which takes a long time. We had a power failure and when both nodes came online, VMware vSphere didn't see StarWind disks before I manually re-scanned them form ESXi administration console even though it should happen automatically"

What is our primary use case?

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere provides redundant and highly available storage for our VMware vSphere environment. We have two Supermicro 2029BT-DNC0R servers with VMware ESXi 6.7 and one StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere virtual machine on each. Local SSD-s are directly attached to StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere virtual machine and software RAID is used to make storage from them. For StarWind synchronization, we are using Mellanox ConnectX-4 adapters and directly attached cable between nodes.

How has it helped my organization?

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere has helped us to reduce complexity and is more cost-efficient than an old solution. Previously, we had separate storage (EMC AX4-5) with a fiber channel environment. With StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere we are not forced to use vendor locked-in storage hardware, have to deal with costly fiber channel environment, and our power consumption is also reduced. Also now we have fewer hardware components to worry about and more flexibility to change storage when and where needed.

What is most valuable?

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere is a software-defined storage solution that has reduced administration time for storage. It's pretty straightforward to install and setup it and so far it has been robust and worked as advertised from StarWind. It does have Windows Management Console, from where you can make main configurations and monitor events, etc. and Web-based Management interface where you can make software RAID and monitor environment main characteristics like LAN and disk traffic, and so on.

What needs improvement?

When StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere nodes go offline unexpectedly, the nodes have to re-sync disks fully which takes a long time. We had a power failure and when both nodes came online, VMware vSphere didn't see StarWind disks before I manually re-scanned them form ESXi administration console even though it should happen automatically - maybe I had to wait till all the StarWind disks were fully synchronized but that toked in our case 8+ hours.

There are no security and bug fixes without an active support agreement!

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for a little bit more than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Product is stable and works most of the time on it's own.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service is helpful.

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

This is the first software-defined storage solution for us.

How was the initial setup?

It took some time to get familiar with the software and I did mostly set it up myself and in the process, it was inspected and checked by a StarWind technician.

What about the implementation team?

In-house implementation.

What was our ROI?

We have not calculated ROI.

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

Something to keep in mind is that you are not allowed to install security and bug fixes without active support agreement.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

VMware vSAN financial aspects give StarWind an advantage.

What other advice do I have?

Product updates are not that frequent (two-three times per year). Also, it concerns me that back-end OS (we are using StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere and it's built on top of CentOS 7) is not updated every time the update is coming out. For example, our installation is more than half a year un-updated, and there are many updates available for CentOS. StarWind support does not recommend installing them independently.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
reviewer1378515 - PeerSpot reviewer
CIO at Sheremetevo Security
Real User
Top 10
Updates to server hardware are now painless and done during working hours with zero stress
Pros and Cons
  • "Updates to server hardware are now painless and done during working hours with zero stress. We had a RAID failure a few months back, and nobody in the building even noticed and there was no after hours time used for repair."
  • "We would like the documentation to be more complete. Most items are covered, but if you don't know something, you may need to contact their support."

What is our primary use case?

We are using VSAN in our cloud environment to provide CSVs to the Hyper-V Group. We are using a converged environment, so we have two commodity class servers configured as a high availability StarWind cluster and then we have many Hyper-V compute nodes that access the CSVs from the StarWind cluster.

We can use Veeam to back up and replicate the virtual machine files from the CSV/cluster.

We use SPF + 10 GbE modules off the shelf and 10 GbE switches off the shelf. We were able to create a redundant network infrastructure to support our SAN network.

How has it helped my organization?

Creating a high availability cluster required the configuration of the cluster on our hardware and the shared space to access the files has improved my organization.

Using the StarWind VSAN solution allowed us to reduce costs by using equipment that we already owned.

StarWind has allowed us to virtualize our environment without the huge expense of a dedicated SAN, putting cluster technology and its benefits within our reach. Server downtime was a constant threat to our operation before StarWind but has never been a problem since.

What is most valuable?

Updates to server hardware are now painless and done during working hours with zero stress. We had a RAID failure a few months back, and nobody in the building even noticed and there was no after-hours time used for repair.

The ability to use off the shelf hardware (servers, RAID cards, SSDs, etc.) is also invaluable in terms of cost and flexibility.

The configuration is so much simpler, with fewer points of failure to worry about. Integration with Microsoft clustering has been perfect, allowing us to leverage our investment in MS server licensing to the fullest

What needs improvement?

The product can be improved:

  • There is no good way to see how all networks are distributed on the console. Besides, once they are created and highlighted, everything seems to be going well.
  • If we stay with Virtual SAN instead of managed devices, it would be nice to have more automated tools to manage iSCSI connections in Windows, which can be a bit confusing at first.
  • We would like the documentation to be more complete. Most items are covered, but if you don't know something, you may need to contact their support.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are using VSAN in our company for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We have tested storage network outages with failure of one or two nodes. The solution is able to stay online or repair itself with ease

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this solution is impressive. We're very happy to use it.

How are customer service and technical support?

The experience of work with clients/technical support is very positive. Everything is fast and available.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup wasn't difficult.

What about the implementation team?

We have implemented through a group of suppliers. Their level of experience is quite high.

What was our ROI?

Will soon pay off by reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

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

Make sure that you understand what all of the pieces do and don't make the assumption that you can drop support once setup is complete.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We immediately chose Starwind because our system administrator had experience with this product in the past.

What other advice do I have?

This product is definitely worth the investment.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
User
Top 20
Easy to set up, saves us on hardware costs, and gives us improved fault tolerance
Pros and Cons
  • "StarWind vSAN has allowed us to leverage our server infrastructure more completely without the need to add more hardware."
  • "I would like to see options for automated notifications of any changes, including, for example, synchronization issues."

What is our primary use case?

We are running Dell PowerEdge Series as Hyper-V hosts with StarWind providing a virtual SAN infrastructure to allow for CSVs and data replication between the hosts without having to add dedicated storage hardware.

This serves to allow us to have a fault tolerance of suffering not just a drive loss (RAID Configurations on each server allow for that) but it also allows for the loss of an entire server since we are running N+1.

The servers are directly connected to one another using 10GB NICs, allowing for fast connectivity and support for direct wiring. This meant that we did not have to invest in a dedicated 10GB SAN switch, either.

How has it helped my organization?

Prior to the implementation of this solution, our servers were all standalone Hyper-V Hosts. VMs resided on a host and were unable to live migrate or sustain connectivity when a host had a reboot or maintenance item.

StarWind vSAN has allowed us to leverage our server infrastructure more completely without the need to add more hardware.

The failover ability has proven useful already in maintaining connectivity to VMs during a power event that impacted one host. VMs failed over immediately and the data replication brought the downed host back to fully synced status quickly after reboot. 

What is most valuable?

The ability to utilize my onboard disk from the Hypervisor hosts, not requiring the purchase of dedicated SAN hardware, SAN switching, etc., is a real cost value.

The replication of data between the hosts that StarWind does also allows us to create redundancy since we are able to operate at an N+1 configuration. This feature allows for much greater fault tolerance than we have had before.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see options for automated notifications of any changes, including, for example, synchronization issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

It has been a few months since we implemented StarWind Virtual SAN.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support team, from implementation to general operating questions, has been an incredible value add and well worth our support contract already.

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

Not at this employer,  but my experience previously does include HP, Dell, EMC, and Nimble hardware-based SAN units.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. StarWind provided good documentation and access to engineers to help guide the process at each step.

What about the implementation team?

StarWind provided guided installation with an engineer. He was quite well prepared and great to work with on the project.

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

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.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did preliminary pricing on HP, Dell & Nimble, but the costs associated with hardware were going to present a challenge to our school at this point.

What other advice do I have?

As of this time, I really do not have a wishlist of features beyond perhaps some automated notifications of any changes, sync issues, etc. That being said, we have not had any operating issues come up that I would have really needed automated alerts for, so this would just be a wish list item.

From what we have implemented, we are not finding any lacking features or issues with our configuration that we would like to see improved. If this changes over time, I would certainly update my opinion, but for what was advertised, we feel like this is a pretty stable product that is meeting its goals.

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.
Buyer's Guide
Download our free StarWind Virtual SAN Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: June 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free StarWind Virtual SAN Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.