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?
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?
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.