IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

StarWind Virtual SAN Valuable Features

MIT - PeerSpot reviewer
IT System Administrator at Ludwig Meyer GmbH & Co. KG

We like the ability to be installed and used on the same host, so we get the max performance possible.

It is easy to set up and maintain, resulting in a happy admin and low TCO/good ROI.

It offers good performance and stability and also makes for a happy admin.

It provides HA for our failover cluster storage where anything can go wrong up until compute, the thing still chugs along like nothing ever happened.

The upgrades are also very easy to implement. It's basically "click click click" once everything has been shut down and you're back up really quickly.

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reviewer1667487 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Technical Architect at HS Data Ltd

We have found the solution surprisingly simple to use. The management console allows us to monitor the solution and we have configured email alerts to alert us about critical issues. These alerts have been proven to work in an actual failure scenario, for example, when we had a memory issue with one of our servers that caused the entire server to crash. The management console also allows us to monitor the solution performance and provides us with access to system logs.

The level of support provided by StarWind both during pre-sales and post-implementation has been excellent. The solution validation session with StarWind engineers was one of the best we have experienced and the vendor has also demonstrated a willingness to create a long-term relationship.

The solution is also quite flexible. As an example, other vSAN solutions that we looked at had more stringent requirements regarding mixed HDD/SSD storage which wouldn't have worked in our environment.

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I.T. Director at MBI

By far, the best features are the cost, implementation, and support. The VMWare equivalent license upgrade would have been quite a bit more than the StarWind solution, and the only additional hardware requirements were the dual 25GB fiber NICs needed for the storage Sync functionality. 

They also worked with our preferred reseller (PCM at the time) and had our two brand new Dell hosts shipped to them first for pre-configuration, which they then turned around and shipped to us pre-configured and ready to go.

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Buyer's Guide
StarWind Virtual SAN
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about StarWind Virtual SAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
622,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.
reviewer1495242 - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Administrator at Daifuku America

A great feature is that I basically set it and forget it, as everything is automatic. This is one less major thing to worry about.

Before, we had a lot of stock and pressure on our singular backup server. It carried a lot of weight. Now with the VTL software in place, we have three backup targets. The primary backup server is still critical but if that server were to go down, we would still have backup data intact. If our data center went down, we would still have backup data intact thanks to the offsite options. 

We can rest easier knowing our data is fully protected. The fact we have a DR strategy is priceless.

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reviewer1465917 - PeerSpot reviewer
Corporate Technology Manager at MTE Logistix

Without a doubt, it would be support. Either we were sending an email to our Rep or simply calling in to open a case, a returned call could be expected within the hour. Always courteous and helpful. Those guys know there products and surrounding, like VMWare. They also keep on following up until you say that all is well.

We were having issues with our vCenter when we first deployed, and we had to call back technical support a few times. Each time was a fast and professional service that was offered to us.

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Chief Information Officer at Scott County Hospital, Scott City, KS

It's very stable and is easy to use. The system failovers properly on its own without too much worry. Support has been amazing. I wasn't at my position last year, but we had a hard disk in a host machine fail last year. Through a series of unfortunate events, a VM failed. StarWind support helped the technician pull the system back up and even assisted with restoring the VM, something he didn't have to do. I've since read other accounts of service like this. The community and KB articles are also very valuable. In any event, I know I can get help with this system.

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System Administrator at Wilson Logistics

Starwind support was extremely helpful throughout the entire process, from the trial period to the actual production implementation. They responded to my emails quickly and did a walkthrough to validate the final production configuration to ensure there were no issues.  

The engineer that assisted me with the walkthrough was very knowledgeable, and not just on Starwind software. He had several recommendations about our Hyper-V cluster configuration, and he always made sure to explain why he was making those recommendations. 

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Chief Information Officer at Ohio Dominican University

We use the virtual SAN piece of the solution because we're not hyper-converged, so I value the highly available storage that all of my clustered servers can see and utilize.

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Director Of Information Technology at Cass County Government

The support has been top-notch. The engineers you get are knowledgeable and are able to solve issues right out the gate, which is huge for us. We don't get finger-pointing between vendors with them either, as they own issues and take care of them from the beginning. The installation and setup were done with a dedicated engineer, who went through the system step by step and made sure our techs understood the process while getting a great setup out the gate. This was all handled via Zoom, which was a nice thing to not worry about it. 

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Director Of Technical Services at D-J Engineering Group Inc.

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.

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Enterprise Cloud Manager at Exponential-e

The solution allows for highly available stretched vSAN technology, independent of hardware vendors was the primary selling point of this platform. We have had a scenario where one of the server rooms, in this case, the primary where all of the virtual machines run, fail. The virtual machines are key to the management of a production facility that employs hundreds of staff on a rostered basis. In the event that the underlying infrastructure is no longer able to serve data the hourly cost and loss to the company in exceptionally large.

The ability to continue to be back up and running within minutes definitely saved the company hundreds of pounds.

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TRAIANO ... - PeerSpot reviewer
Technology Solutions, Support & Training at UNISONMEDIA Group, Inc.

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.

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Project Engineer at ACTA inc.

vSAN implementation is straightforward and easy to setup. 

The support has been amazing and quick to reply. They also reached out and made sure that everything was setup correctly. Support quickly answered any questions we had and setup a screen share meeting to validate our install and give optimization tips. 

After the initial meeting, they reached out a few weeks afterward to double-check that their recommendations were implemented properly.

Their support did not try and upset anything and were very helpful and knowledgeable about their product.

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Network Specialist at Nexans aeA

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.

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Field Engineering Lead at Superior Support Resources, Inc.

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.

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Engineer at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

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.
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reviewer1560054 - PeerSpot reviewer

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.

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Senior Systems Engineer at a tech consulting company with 1-10 employees

Starwind is very easy to configure and even easier to provision.  

Even better is how simple it is to maintain and patch without any downtime.  

Over the years we have updated both the operating system and the hardware on several of our nodes without any downtime incurred.  

The cache features that are available have significantly improved our performance.  

The ability for us to manage all of our nodes from the same console makes systems administration very easy.  

Tasks such as adding, removing, and expanding volumes are very easy.

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CIO at a renewables & environment company with 1-10 employees

The solution offers fully redundant computation and storage.  

We are now more tolerant of hardware failures without vastly reduced performance or increase human workload.  

We are very sensitive to making sure our infrastructure is reliable, bulletproof, and resilient to issues. StarWind vSAN helps with this since we now have two identical nodes with compute and storage that can both independently serve our needs without and a drastic reduction in available services or reduction in performance.  

On top of that, having the ability to scale horizontally if needed is a huge plus for future growth.

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reviewer1493754 - PeerSpot reviewer
Informatics Analyst III at University of Alabama at Birmingham

The primary purpose of this software is to create a virtual SAN between local storage on Hyper-V hosts. I find this feature most valuable since it accomplishes this quite well. This is a unique product, as I haven't found another software that does this. 

I've also found their tech support very valuable. They helped me to save our data and set up new virtual disks using their best practices. Their customer support is also very responsive. They reached out to me to make sure everything is working as expected. 

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Justin Graves - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Supervisor at Area Agency on Aging Region 9, Inc.

The most valuable aspects are the support and the high availability.

They offer top-tier support. The support staff is knowledgeable and very willing to help. The proactive support option is unlike any support I've ever dealt with. If anything gets out of sorts, the team is on top of it with an email.

Achieving a highly available environment can be hard to execute and lead to a hardware vendor lockin. StarWind is hardware agnostic and supports as few as two hosts to create a fully functional, hyper-converged, highly available server cluster at a fraction of the cost of other vendors.

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PeerSpot User - PeerSpot reviewer

The features that I found most valuable are ease of use of the software that StarWind offers - with the first setup being a bit painful. However, now that we have a handle on it, it saves a great ton of time on management and caring about the hardware part of it as all it is is a software-based solution. I love managing the cluster that we have set up via the Virtual Storage Attached Network device, with the Web Management being so simple yet packed with all the features that I require. The management of the traffic and the speeds are awesome as well.

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Chief Technology Expert at Rapid Response Networks

Support was great and provided presale support for our test environment before the purchase and after to help us configure the product before it went into production.  

They have also been great in following up on our project and helping with other implementation issues.  

Being able to use existing hardware was a big factor in our purchasing decision and helped this project fit the needs of our client's budget. Using existing hardware greatly reduced the project costs and overall complexity of the solution.

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Company Owner at a insurance company with 11-50 employees

VSAN doesn't require either an expensive SAN or the expensive hardware required for Microsoft S2D on Windows Server Datacenter Edition. I can have an HCI two-cluster node using our 2,5" SAS HDD in RAID 10 without an SSD and the performance is great.

In the case of power failure or critical events, it's very simple to get back in production. The console is very simple and clear, and the PowerShell commands are very useful. 

Using one of the numerous tutorials, we created scripts to shut down and restart the cluster in case of a power outage.

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Web Services and Systems Development at a non-profit with 201-500 employees

The admin portal has been easy to use and provides a great overview of health and usage.

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Justin Graves - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Supervisor at Area Agency on Aging Region 9, Inc.

Highly available storage is the most valuable feature. The entire rollout is hyper-converged and requires no extra storage further than the hosts in which Hyper-V is running. Another feature that has been great is the support from StarWind in general. We have their proactive support package on the main cluster that employs Starwind Virtual SAN. The StarWind support team is right on top of all monitoring activities. If I am maintaining a physical host and it has been down for too long, I will get a notice from StarWind to confirm a problem or inform them that maintenance is being performed. They are top-notch.

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From my point of view, the main advantages of this solution are the drastic reduction of the number of physical servers required and the reduction of acquisition costs for servers. 

In addition, there is less electricity consumption for servers and for their cooling and the possibility of dynamic and fast allocation of storage resources where needed. This simplifies the backup and restore process. The product has the ability to take snapshots on production servers before any major upgrade so that if problems occur you can quickly return to the previous configuration.

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Indeep G - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Systems Administrator at Prism Economics & Analysis

The cloud replication feature is most valuable as it copies the local virtual tapes from our on-prem storage to object storage where we can set object locking and governance.  This is a great feature in case something happens to our on-prem storage. 

Also, since it's virtual tapes, there is no manual intervention of changing tapes and scheduling them to take them offsite which is another additional cost. The support team is also good as they were able to resolve the majority of issues during the initial implementation.

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Application Engineer at Rakuten

Data replication is useful as it enables storage high availability on the cluster.

The fact that the solution is vendor-agnostic allows it to be used with any virtualization vendor while remaining a powerful abstraction over storage.

There are easy-to-use tools for the administration and maintenance of hyper-converged storage.

StarWind Virtual SAN also let us fine-tune the desired level of replication across all nodes, allowing the administrator to specify a custom number of fault to tolerate across the cluster nodes.

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Bern Farrant - PeerSpot reviewer
Security and Systems Engineer at New Creation Consulting

First, we have found StarWind to be a "set and forget" type of product. It really is nice to not have to spend administrative time monitoring, tweaking, and configuring a product.

Second, the reliability has been exceptional. In the three years that we have been using StarWind, the product has yet to cause us any problems.

Third, their support team is excellent to work with when we do have questions.

Fourth, the documentation on the product is exceptional, and while not necessarily part of the vSAN product, they publish a lot of helpful information on their blog.

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IT Director at Marion County R-II School

As a technical admin, the GUI is a nice bonus that allows sometimes faster actions rather than going into the CLI. A great benefit in my current solution is showing off GUI configurations and monitoring to our non-technical administration in the school and helping them understand implementations and values from that.

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Technical Helpdesk Manager at PurpleJelly Ltd

The extra redundancy in a two-node hyper-converged setup has been the most valuable feature. If we wanted this with an actual SAN, we'd need to purchase not only one but two SANs and enable replication between the two. With StarWind, you get the vSAN replicated between the two hosts out of the box. The vSAN also offers fine-tuning options for the replication between these hosts. For example, if there was a host failure and we were to run off one for a period of time, once the secondary host is recovered, it will need to resync with the one that stayed up so that the data is up to date. You can choose whether to prioritize the replication speed or performance of the virtual machines. 

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Christopher Morley - PeerSpot reviewer
Founder and Consultant at Unified Microsystems (UAE, Philippines)

We have multiple sites running StarWindws Virtual SAN, which have been running for years without any issue.

The thing that impressed me the most about the product is the technical support from the vendor. Everyone knows the benefit of high-availability clusters, but setting one up and reading the documentation is an enormous task in itself.

With StarWind Virtual SAN and the installation support, we have high-availability clusters running within a couple of hours. This has been repeated over and over on many customer sites, so they have their process perfected in this regard.

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reviewer1423983 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at North Valley Health Center

Speed and high availability have been the most valuable for us. Again, I would say the speed for our users has been extremely valuable. I wouldn't say it was terrible before but you know it's fast when normal, non-tech-savvy users are asking if we upgraded something because some local database app feels faster today!

From a business continuity standpoint, I love how it has improved our failover processes in vSphere. Having the data replicate in real time between host pairs has almost completely automated the process. 

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Luca Bertellini - PeerSpot reviewer
Cardio Solution Architect EMEA at General Electric

There are tons of valuable features that StarWind vSAN brings to the table. It is very difficult to choose one to be raised as a role model.

The unique capability to create a vSAN on a 2-node cluster while all the other competitors will require users to have at least an external witness to set the Virtual SAN.

The service team is very collaborative and skilled and followed us from the implementation to the go-live of the system constantly.

The license price is one of the cheapest in the market.

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Adam Charlton - PeerSpot reviewer
DevOps Engineer at Slimming World

Immediately we noticed huge performance gains, even on older hardware and once we implemented a 10GB link between both servers, the sync was near-instant after the initial sync was complete.

In addition, their support contact was fantastic. They spent several hours troubleshooting an issue with me and due to the complexity of our environment this only made it more challenging, yet they were persistent and helped resolved any issues

Additionally, their white papers were a great starting point to get started.

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CEO, Founder at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

The most valuable features are high availability and real-time replication between two servers. StarWind VSAN immediately copies all data to the second server over the 10GE/40GE network to ensure instant failover. Multiple connections can be made for the heartbeat. 

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Jordi - PeerSpot reviewer
Netwerkbeheerder at a construction company with 201-500 employees

What we like best about it is that it is the only true two-node Hyper-V cluster solution that's available. On both production locations, we have a two-node setup over two different server rooms.

Our main goal was that we wanted to have all VM servers available on one cluster host in case of a disaster in one of our server rooms.

Microsoft SSD (Storage Space Direct) always needs a third witness (SMB or Cloud), however, in our two-node solution, this is not ideal. Directly connected fiber connections between the nodes make everything fast and make the chance of a cluster split-brain fault less likely.

Pros include:
- Starwind Support will install and configure the software;
- Starwind will do the updates for you, and this all without any downtime of hosts/VMs
- It's the only a two-node cluster scenario available
- It is compatible with the latest Windows Server versions

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Lead Network Engineer at consulting group

We only had to purchase two new servers and no other storage or networking equipment. Virtual SAN runs on iSCSI, which is free and easy to configure. It's easy to manage from StarWind's GUI console, and it only required a few extra switch ports. StarWind has specialized in storage solutions for many years, and its track record reassures us that the solution will continue to exist and be supported in the future. I scheduled an interactive validation and tuning session before we went live. I found this to be very valuable, and it proved to us how much the company is committed to its product.

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IT Manager at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees

Our Datacenter is based on VMware vCenter and initially, after some testing with other vendors and VMware vSAN itself, Starwind, in our case, was a better solution. We prefer to have the storage layer separated from the hypervisor kernel.

We have also products in our Datacenter like VxRail, however, in an honest storage level, in comparison, Starwind has an easier interface.

It's quite easy to manage. Good storage hardware is a must in our case, however, you can also run it in a software solution despite not being recommended in some cases.

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Technical Department Manager at ACS SA

High Availability is the best feature of product. You have redundancy of storage systems at a competitive price. All other storage solutions are very expensive and without redundancy and if you have it the price is very high.

Additionally, the feature of asynchronous replication, both for on-site and off-site systems is very competitive. Also the support of LSFS file system is very good.

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IT Infrastructure Manager at Highbridge Caravan Centre

StarWind SANs provide fast and reliable storage. Migration from the old system has meant the storage is much faster now. In turn, this has improved our virtual infrastructure's reliability and access times.

StarWind SANs come with outstanding support. We decided halfway through to change the implementation in a major way, contacted their support, and found that they understood what we were trying to achieve and offered the best help and guides. Not only did they help us, however, they also provided remote assistance where necessary.

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Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Clyde's Donuts

There is immediate redundancy and HA without a huge amount of configuration - which is ideal. Their support was even better - with proactive monitoring and efficient setup and configuration changes. 

We recently upgraded the physical hosts and maxed out the memory and hard drive space, and their support team walked us through the upgrade every step of the way. There were no issues. Even with an older HCA we have plenty of room for future growth. 

We also can install security patches with no problems during the day instead of after-hours. 

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CEO at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees

The most useful aspect is the hyper-converged SD SAN and the ease to expand it by just adding cheap SSD or NVME disks. 

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Head of Information Technology at Head of Information Technology

Shared storage between two devices is great. It was done seamlessly. StarWind has been straightforward to configure and installs StarWind organize a time and configures the software using their best practices. As a company, we have been able to install many StarWind clusters with no extra hardware required, meaning less hardware to maintain. The software is also cost-effective vs purchasing dedicated hardware SANS.

StarWind support has been great in helping resolve other issues not caused by their software.

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Norman Allen - PeerSpot reviewer
Head of Information Technology at Baker Tilly BVI & Baker Tilly Cayman

The most valuable feature is the reliable storage replication, which enables me to create a robust infrastructure to run our business.

Presenting Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) from StarWind Virtual SAN to Hyper-V simplifies my storage management and reduces costs vs having a physical SAN.  

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Principal Specialist - Technology at ABERDEEN DRILLING CONSULTANTS LIMITED

The instant failover, with vSAN copying data to the second node, allowed for the continuous availability of our applications. By far, the best features are implementation and support. 

From our research into other options, an equivalent installation would have been quite a bit more than the StarWind solution. We did have to invest in another server and improve the connections between the nodes. This implementation now far exceeds our previous setup, which, in hindsight, was convoluted. 

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Buyer's Guide
StarWind Virtual SAN
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about StarWind Virtual SAN. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
622,358 professionals have used our research since 2012.