What needs improvement with StarWind Virtual SAN?

Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with StarWind Virtual SAN.

What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?

Julia Miller - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Director at PeerSpot
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114 Answers
NisarAhmad - PeerSpot reviewer
Freelance Technology Writer at TechnologyAdvice
Real User
Top 10
Feb 12, 2023

While our experience with StarWind Virtual SAN has been positive, we don't have any issues yet. The price makes it a pretty perfect and affordable solution as compared to other solutions available in the market for the same deployment scenarios. I want to suggest that the complexity of the startup and shutdown procedure needs to be reduced. Another thing that I want to highlight about the documentation that needs some improvement and better organization. Right now, I don't have any other issues in my mind that can be written here.

Spencer Lines - PeerSpot reviewer
Information Systems Manager at HALL'S CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION
Real User
Top 20
Mar 15, 2023

@NisarAhmad I agree completely...  so far, and we are talking about 5 years or more now, we have been absolutely BLOWN-AWAY-Impressed with the hardware and software we are running... and when there has been an issue, they've emailed me directly telling me what was happening, and offering their expertise to resolve it.  I appreciate that they put their mouths where their money is, and walk to walk--- not just talk the talk!

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Integration Engineer at Insight
Top 20
Jan 17, 2023

Geolocation could be better, for example, for site mirroring for DR purposes. I would like a future release to explore the possibility of secure, reliable site replication. Disaster recovery site mirroring would provide several benefits, including business continuity. A disaster recovery site can be used to restore critical systems and operations in the event of a disaster, ensuring that the business can continue functioning. The deduplication feature could also be more robust. That said, I am comparing it to the features of an HPE Nimble, which is a really unfair comparison given the cost difference.

Solutions Architect at ITsavvy
Top 20
Dec 15, 2022

The configuration can a bit cumbersome. There is a CLI learning curve for which limited documentation exists.

A Mizuno - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at The Children's Foundation
Top 20
Aug 24, 2023

It is hard to find adequate technical documentation on their support website. However, they have a fantastic technical forum and Premium ProActive email support services. We can find a lot of solutions from geek technical peers from their forums. If we cannot find an adequate solution from the forum, we can also send our request to the StarWind support team. The tech support has provided us with optimal solutions and even released the new builds to us to help fix issues we found in a timely manner.

Seth Weber - PeerSpot reviewer
Network & Systems Administrator at Clarion Forest VNA
Top 20
Aug 10, 2023

The only thing I could suggest to improve is the documentation. The initial setup got a little confusing at a few points with differences between the VMware version in documentation vs the latest, etc. CONS include: • Documentation for initial setup can be a bit ambiguous at times, yet support helps you get through it; you're good once you're up and running. • It's not native and not a bad thing. Just keep in mind it's a third-party solution so it won't be as "drop-in" as a native solution offered by your hypervisor.

Global IS Admin at Benshaw, Inc.
Real User
Top 20
Aug 10, 2023

The terms and conditions of the proactive support were the only things that I had an issue with. We were unable to benefit from it due to the fact that our legal department didn't accept them. The heartbeat monitor would help you save time by alerting support to problems as soon as they arise and ideally even before they occurred in our environment. To enable the proactive support capability that is part of our support agreement, I would ask that the terms and conditions be revised and made acceptable to corporate security.

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reviewer295625 - PeerSpot reviewer
Manager of Information Technology at a non-profit with 11-50 employees
Top 20
Aug 9, 2023

StarWind Command Center's single-pane management solution only works with Hyper-V. I was disappointed to find there was no disclosure of VMware incompatibility so the single-pane management system was not available in a VMware environment. Understand your hardware lifecycle and align it with the available options StarWind offers for their HCA. There are options available that could be expanded on regarding hardware. Further options from a hardware perspective would add value to the company and allow for a broader audience.

Tayre José Rivas Salas - PeerSpot reviewer
TI support analyst at Invermedia
Real User
Top 10
Aug 8, 2023

I wish they would improve the documentation for the beginner level as it's not very clear on the web page. Better documentation would have saved me time in the beginning. The documentation is hard for new users to understand.

Owner at Integral IT Services
Top 20
Aug 2, 2023

StarWind doesn't really have any performance reporting, especially compared with other vSAN products we've used, which has spoiled us. The management console is very simple -- reflecting the limited feature set that StarWind provides. I'm concerned that if sync breaks or we face another kind of major issue and have to fix something, it might be hard to track down the source of the problem. I would very much like to see greater granularity in reporting of active iSCSI channels, for example. That said, we haven't had any problems yet; that says something in itself.

Area Sales Manager at ABPL
Top 20
Jul 5, 2023

Overall the experience with StarWind Virtual SAN is good. One main thing this product needs to work on is reporting. It has all predefined reporting. They should introduce reporting which can be customized according to the organization's needs. They need to have local support available for the product which will make response to the support cases easier and more effective. Overall, the experience with StarWind is good and the product is precise and readily available.

zeeshan ahmed9211 - PeerSpot reviewer
Manager SOC at Askari
Top 10
May 22, 2023

The management console of StarWind Virtual SAN is pretty complex. Most team members in our organization are new or have less experience with these kinds of complex solutions. It would be better to have a more user-friendly Web UI so that users with even the bare minimum amount of knowledge can also handle the product. In my country, it does not have a strong local support partner. If we have any issues or require support, we mostly contact the principal. It would be ideal if Starwind had a strong local partner with solid technical skills. That way, it would be very easy for us to handle any operational issues.

Senior Network Engineer at Accel Entertainment Inc
Top 20
Apr 20, 2023

The Command Center, a free guest VM for management and monitoring, leaves something to be desired. It could have more accurate real-time information and better reporting visuals, which seem to be an afterthought. Our inability to use Azure File Sync Share meant we had to deploy a separate hypervisor for a file server that isn't on the Starwind High Availability setup. We could not install SentinelOne EDR on the hypervisors without getting too many warnings in the storage event logs.

System Admin | Network Engineer | Project Lead at R.K. Black, Inc
Top 20
Mar 28, 2023

I would love to see more vendor selection to be available for the HCA/vSAN appliances. All the appliances are currently Dell, and the additional cost savings could be found with Supermicro or Lenovo configurations. If StarWind's proactive support alerting could also have an email integration or work with a PSA system so we open alerts when StarWind has an event generated, it would be great. Right now, we operate off the alerts being sent to StarWind and their proactive service team is reaching out to us to work on remediation.

Senior Cyber Security Pre-sales/Solution architect/ SOC Consultant at Hilal Computers
Mar 27, 2023

The documentation of StarWind Virtual SAN could be improved to provide more detailed and comprehensive information about the product's features, functionalities, and best practices. StarWind Virtual SAN could benefit from better integration with other tools and technologies, such as backup and disaster recovery solutions. StarWind Virtual SAN could benefit from better integration with other tools and technologies, such as backup and disaster recovery solutions. These are some areas where the product or service could potentially be improved

Partner at Arbeit
Top 20
Mar 7, 2023

The NFS functionality is a Windows-based NFS which has caused issues and forced us to implement a Linux-based NFS solution. You have to do a "full" sync on write-back cache disks instead of a quick sync if there is an issue. This is annoying since, if you have a very large volume, it can take upwards of 30+ hours to do a full sync. With a "fast" sync, you can just sync the difference instead of needing to do a full copy. It would be nice if you could control the software via web GUI instead of the desktop application management software.

reviewer2120202 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at Hilal Computers
Mar 6, 2023

The platform needs to improve user management and the web console. Improved help for more up-to-date advancements would be ideal. As fresher innovations and guidelines arise, it tends to be provoking programming suppliers to keep up. While StarWind Virtual SAN, by and large, works effectively to support the most recent advancements, there might be a few regions where it lingers behind the opposition. Further developing help for fresher advances could assist the product with remaining cutthroat and pertinent. Upgraded investigating capacities are needed. While the product incorporates a scope of symptomatic and investigating devices, there might be a few regions where it very well may be gotten to the next level. For instance, giving more nitty gritty mistake messages or better direction on the most proficient method to determine issues could be useful for clients.

Jacob Egan - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Administrator at White Oak Management
Real User
Top 10
Nov 21, 2022

StarWind really needs to market its product more. It's a game changer not only for our medium-sized business. However, I could see how organizations of all sizes could benefit from their solutions (not just their Virtual SAN product). I wish I could tell more people about how great the software is and how phenomenal their support team is. The only "improvement" for the software would be having a web-based GUI interface for monitoring their storage nodes. While the software has e-mail notifications and a desktop client for management, having a mobile, web-based solution could make management even easier. Hopefully, this is something that can be included in the next version.

Principal of ICT Infrastructure and Services at Northgate High School
Top 20
Nov 21, 2022

We don't really have any issues with this product. StarWind has a great technical support team that helps with the installation and has ironed out any issues we had early on. The price was perfect, as we didn't have to shell out for new SAN servers. We found that StarWind's Virtual SAN was a cheaper solution to install on two storage servers than buying a new dedicated SAN server. Due to the fact our old SAN was no longer supported and out of warranty, finding that StarWind's technical support team is so incredibly helpful and knowledgeable has been amazing. There are no negatives or improvements that we can think of at our current stage.

NOC Operator at SEDOC
Top 20
Nov 18, 2022

I would like to see improvements in the documentation area. Some things need to be clear, although, for some people, the manuals being larger is a big no. That said, it is more important to explain things in detail. The free version does not offer GUI, and for some people, it will be very difficult to test all the features of the product. They might feel disappointed about the product without a GUI. It would be better to have a trial of the full features for new customers that want to learn about the product. Other than that, I have no other improvements to talk about.

Kevin Kastberg - PeerSpot reviewer
Software Consultant at Brightkast
Top 20
Nov 17, 2022

The setup and documentation for the installation with the free version could definitely be improved. It took some time to get it up and running; however, when running, it worked well. The setup is done in PowerShell and requires quite some knowledge about how to navigate windows through Powershell. Fortunately, there were scripts available to help out. That said, the documentation was not that thorough in helping me understand the scripts. This is definitely room for improvement since it would be nice to quickly get up a demo of the SAN running to evaluate if it works as one expects, which it did in our case.

Technical Manager at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Top 20
Nov 3, 2022

I'd prefer it if a remote console was provided. That way, the customer doesn't have to log in to a specific server where the product is running. That could be very beneficial.

Virtualized Solutions Engineer at Quanti solutions
Top 20
Oct 27, 2022

They need to improve the speed of the interfaces, thus allowing for better traffic on the network. They should continue with the development of protocols such as LACP that allow aggregation and maximal connectivity. As for the V2V converter, it would be a good option to develop it not only as a converter but as an option for the migration of virtual machines between platforms, creating integrations with Azure, AWS, and GCP. It could even be a way to migrate machines between HyperV, VMware, Nutanix, and other virtualization and hyper-converged environments.

Sr. IT Systems Engineer at Weidner Property Management LLC
Real User
Top 10
Oct 9, 2022

I don't have many ideas for improvement as the product "just works." I suppose if I had to pick something to say concerning improvement, I would say that the documentation is mostly great, however, some features could be expanded upon a bit. Another thing that isn't very important yet would be nice is an update to the OS of the Linux appliances. They're running CentOS 7, so I understand why they haven't been updated to something newer, due to Red Hat pulling the plug on CentOS 8 in favor of CentOS Stream.

Automation Engineer at Wunderlich-Malec Engineering
Top 20
Oct 5, 2022

The only current drawback that I see for the configuration as it stands is that it can be a little complicated to configure compared to other, more traditional solutions. If it were up to me, I would focus on streamlining a vSphere appliance for configuring the virtual storage machines. I would also like them to invest time in reducing the complexity of the startup and shutdown procedure. Currently, it requires you to jump in and out of virtual environments placing storage components on or offline, and all steps must be done in their proper order, or you can create an issue. It seems to me that this could be integrated into an add-on for vSphere that could handle the details of the startup/shutdown procedure more gracefully and with less manual intervention.

Chief Technology Officer at American Data Technology, Inc.
Top 20
Sep 30, 2022

While it is possible to implement disk encryption in StarWind using Windows Bitlocker, such a solution can be a little tricky to manage, for example, when servers are rebooted. Bitlocker solutions require a physical presence in the data center to enter the encryption string on the server's physical console. Built-in "Data at Rest" encryption would be an important need, especially for customers with sensitive compliance requirements e.g. Government customers, healthcare customers, eCommerce customers, and many other compliance-sensitive application areas.

Director of IT at Kelly Aerospace, Inc.
Top 10
Aug 29, 2022

Though I have learned some of the nuances with the upgrading of firmware/windows/etc., it would be nice to have a more efficient method of doing so. Though truthfully, it's not bad. I have had to call support to help me through some of the updates, so I know they are done right. A missed SSD update caused a few headaches. That said, thanks to support, no data loss occurred, and considering the issue, we had minimal downtime. Overall, I find StarWind above par and am excited to see what they think of next.

Manager, Network at Burnham Holdings Inc
Top 20
Aug 24, 2022

The documentation is good yet is still lacking in a few areas. I would love to see more comprehensive walk-throughs or perhaps even videos. With this being such a critical piece of infrastructure, I do not like to take chances. Fortunately, support will be there to help hold your hand or even perform the process for you, ensuring everything is working. It would be really nice to have a documented "Best Practices" list to ensure you are doing everything you can to ensure stability and performance. I have to be a bit nitpicky; overall, there is not much I can really add.

IT Infrastructure Manager at Highbridge Caravan Centre
Top 20
Aug 11, 2022

This currently relies on a virtual machine. This may be migrated to a container approach or integrated into the solution in the future. However, this isn't really a large area of concern. A better overall view of the different deployments could be beneficial, although this is difficult due to how flexible the solution is. You need to know what you are doing to get this set up. It could have a wizard-like setup for basic scenarios. This would need to be able to be skipped, however for advanced setups.

Technical Helpdesk Manager at PurpleJelly Ltd
Top 20
Jun 30, 2022

For me, the product could be improved by it being made cheaper. We can't use this as an option for some of our smaller clients. Being able to replicate RAM between the hosts would be a nice feature so that VMs could be live-migrated fully in the event of a full host failure. Currently, the vSAN offers the ability to live-migrate the virtual machine as the VHD is on shared storage, however, if the virtual machine were to be rebooted, it would lose the running configuration (e.g. memory, etc). If this could also be live-migrated, that would be gold.

Top 20
Jun 10, 2022

Some users have commented on online forums and others that the documentation and KB articles could be clearer or better written. However, I found this to be the case a couple of years ago. Now, in 2022, this has been rectified and you can usually find the information that you are looking for. Another problem that we have come across is that when you will cease your contract with StarWind (for support) your product won't be updated and that is a big selling point, especially for us, as we have loads of products from StarWind.

MIT - PeerSpot reviewer
IT System Administrator at Ludwig Meyer GmbH & Co. KG
Top 10
Jun 9, 2022

Feature-wise we are only waiting for the release of a "planned disaster" feature that would allow us to patch a hypervisor node without having to take the full storage offline. ATM (20220609) is still necessary, since taking a node offline without properly activating the maintenance mode on the vSAN would trigger a full sync of the vSAN nodes. This is fine and a good thing since it ensures data integrity. However, there is something in the making that would ensure integrity without a full sync after a node goes down, which, as stated above, one could "abuse" to patch (and boot = take down) the hypervisors during business hours 😁 Other than that, the thing is rock stable and chugging along without issues. We are an SMB so we "only" have around 50 VMs on our FO cluster, which is a medium load for SSDs. If you plan to go more to the "max" side of performance use, do proper testing!

Director Of Information Technology at Cass County Government
Top 10
Jun 9, 2022

It would be nice to see a new UI for the windows client, as it is not the easiest to find settings. However, we normally don't have to. I do see a lot of info about them now offering a VSAN-like software that is a Linux VM base for VMware. I'd like to see this same option available for Hyper-V, or at least make it more apparent the differences between the two. I would like to see more US-based resellers. Working directly with the company was fine, but we prefer to have local resellers available as needed.

Adam Charlton - PeerSpot reviewer
DevOps Engineer at Slimming World
Real User
Top 10
Jun 6, 2022

The forums can lead to lots of topics with no resolutions. The logs can also become very noisy when there is an issue, which is very infrequent. However, when they do occur, it makes it very challenging to figure out what the cause is. A feature that would be helpful, is a way to update the software automatically on all the hosts. Instead, you must find the download link, which in itself can be challenging, and then manually upgrade each server one by one. This process can take a while depending on the time to resync your VDISKS.

Luca Bertellini - PeerSpot reviewer
Cardio Solution Architect EMEA at General Electric
Real User
Top 10
Apr 14, 2022

The price is the key aspect (yet not at the expense of reliability and stability). It is not so easy to find an aspect where StarWind can improve their offering or any additional feature they can include for the price they ask. I know that StarWind can scale out easily, however, I wasn't in the position to test that. I would like an automated installation/configuration despite the fact that their service is very collaborative, a customer should be able to deploy the solution by themselves.

Director Of Technical Services at D-J Engineering Group Inc.
Top 20
Mar 30, 2022

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.

Field Engineering Lead at Superior Support Resources, Inc.
Top 20
Mar 28, 2022

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.

IT Supervisor at Area Agency on Aging Region 9, Inc.
Real User
Top 10
Mar 28, 2022

A good area of improvement would be at the level at which StarWind vSAN is managed. Currently, the StarWind management console is a bit clunky to navigate and isn't the most user intuitive interface. It gets the job done, however, following guides and documentation is highly advised to make sure things are being set up correctly. Another area of improvement would be the ability to manage your entire setup using StarWind software. Hyper-V, for example, still needs to be managed using a manager and failover cluster. Combining these into the StarWind product would be a game changer.

Lead Network Engineer at consulting group
Top 20
Dec 21, 2021

It would be helpful if StarWind provided more precise and detailed documentation explaining how to configure the solution in various scenarios, including the advantages and disadvantages of each. I'd also like a mechanism for notifying us when updates are available as well as a visual interface for iSCSI and physical storage. A mobile app for alerts and notifications would be helpful, too. We should still have access to security patches even if we don't pay for support. Lastly, StarWind should make it easier to perform an orderly shutdown of the entire environment in a power outage when everything is running on battery.

Chief Technology Expert at Rapid Response Networks
Top 20
Nov 24, 2021

The main issue we ran into was the documentation. We attempted to set up the product in our test environment by ourselves and ran into several areas of the documentation that were unclear to us. Starwind provides excellent pre-sale support and scheduled several meetings between our IT staff and their support team to review the configuration and answer questions. This helped immensely in deploying the software in our test environment and helped us to understand the product better. Support was always willing to help with any documentation that we were confused over and continued to follow up with us after the project went live.

Senior Technical Architect at HSData LTD
Sep 10, 2021

The main thing I would like to see improved is the level of documentation. I had some initial difficulties understanding the solution which could have been solved via additional documentation aimed at newcomers to their solution. Although the solution does admittedly have many moving parts, I found that internal knowledge transfer to my peers was not that difficult. Hence I'm convinced that better documentation would have helped. I would also like to see a better system implemented for obtaining updates for solution components. The system at the moment works on a request/response model.

Real User
Jun 29, 2021

It would help if the manufacturer provided clearer and more detailed documentation, with explanations of how the application can be installed in various HA configurations. They should include advantages and disadvantages for each proposed configuration. Currently, you can only find information on this on the manufacturer's website, but it does not contain very detailed information regarding each proposed configuration. It might help to add the functionality to automatically send an email to a predefined address when errors occur in the application.

CEO at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Jun 15, 2021

A great feature would be a wizard and to include a new disk in the SAN. At the moment, including a new disk requires several steps - some that must be done at the OS level and others in each node. We have no more recommendations for the product beyond that.

Company Owner at a insurance company with 11-50 employees
Real User
May 28, 2021

There is no Italian-language version of the software available. Although I'd prefer an Italian version, I received extensive and comprehensive support in all of the deployment steps. This included communication by email, call, and video. During a long power outage our UPS batteries was completely discharged, on power on Starwind vSAN wasn't able to choose which node was the correct node to sync from so we had to "mark as Syncronize" one of them. Then we wrote some powershell scripts to power off and power on the nodes in sequence before ups completely discharghe and then on power on. I'd like to manage these cases directly on GUI. Something like "in case vSAN isn't be able to mark as Syncronized a node, mark this node as sync"

IT Director at Marion County R-II School
Real User
May 25, 2021

This product would benefit from having automated alerting functionality.

Apr 20, 2021

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

Web Services and Systems Development at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
Real User
Apr 14, 2021

I found that certain browsers are not fully compatible with the administration web access portal. I would like to see continued improvement with additional compatibility for other browsers to be able to work properly with the administrator web portal. I did find out, with the help of StarWind's support, that the Firefox browser seems to be the browser that works the best with their web portal. It also appears that vMotion is slower than my previous SAN solution, which was a traditional physical unit.

CEO, Founder at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Mar 31, 2021

The StarWind Management Console is available only for Microsoft Windows/Windows Server, and should also be available for Linux and macOS, as it would reduce implementation costs.

Security and Systems Engineer at New Creation Consulting
Real User
Top 20
Mar 26, 2021

Perhaps more reporting features on the utilization, usage, and performance of the configured high-availability images and underlying physical disks would be helpful.

IT Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Mar 16, 2021

Updating the software can be a bit tricky. You have to go down scripts to put it in maintenance mode, etc. It takes a while to update. From my experience, I think that's a thing that they need to improve on. Every time I put it in maintenance mode, all of the replications stop. If they could fix this, it would be a great product.

reviewer1495242 - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Administrator at Daifuku America
Real User
Jan 25, 2021

The console is something that I feel could be improved. There is nothing technically wrong with it, but it can be jazzed up and/or made to be a little more intuitive. Perhaps introduce a few right-click options, as that's my general go-to approach as opposed to searching for specific menu items. I also feel that when dealing with a magnitude of tapes perhaps better formatting or color-coding will help locate or identify tapes easier than scrolling through the list. Also if the lists' real estate on the screen could be increased that would be helpful as well. Other than that, I have no complaints or issues with the software.

reviewer1493754 - PeerSpot reviewer
Informatics Analyst III at University of Alabama at Birmingham
Real User
Jan 22, 2021

If there was a way to automatically put disks in maintenance mode when shutting the host down and exit maintenance mode automatically, that would simplify things. I'm not sure how they would implement that, but I think it would be possible. Another feature they could add would be better integration with Windows networking and disk management tools. Maybe something as simple as shortcuts to those applications within the StarWind management console. Perhaps automatic recommendations when setting up hosts/disks would be helpful as well.

Engineer at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia
Real User
Jan 20, 2021

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

reviewer1465917 - PeerSpot reviewer
Corporate Technology Manager at MTE LOGISTIX INC.
Real User
Dec 3, 2020

This is a tough question. One that I wouldn't have put in here for the simple fact that I decided to write a positive experience with Starwind. Now, if I want to be picky, I could simply say that the price is not cheap. I started with the basic package, for 4 TB. Than I had to purchase to go up to 8 TB. It does look now that I will have to pay the remaining fee to purchase unlimited data. Should I have done so first, maybe but things change very rapidly and what wasn't needed not too long ago is now. SO overhaul, price. I would also need to pay extra to be able to have support during the weekend, otherwise, you have support only from Monday to Friday. Can be inconvenient if your business work 24 hrs shift Sunday to Friday.

reviewer1423983 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User
Oct 16, 2020

I think the setup could be streamlined a bit. I was already familiar with iSCSI and setting up shared storage, but the abstraction process of getting from configuring the raid array on the local host machine, and making sure all the correct values are set to get the best performance, was a bit finicky. Then, you had to prepare the appliances on each host and again make sure your VMDKs are properly formatted and then mounted correctly so they can be shared as iSCSI disks. It just felt like a lot of opportunities for a user to make big mistakes that would affect the end performance. I was very impressed with the tech who walked me through the whole process, as I'm just not sure I would have gotten there on my own.

Technology Solutions, Support & Training at UNISONMEDIA Group, Inc.
Real User
Oct 6, 2020

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.

Network Specialist at Nexans aeA
Real User
Jul 31, 2020

* 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.

IT Supervisor at Area Agency on Aging Region 9, Inc.
Real User
Top 10
Jul 27, 2020

Management of VSAN itself could be improved. A Web UI for management would be great rather than an application installation. StarWind is testing a command center virtual appliance that I have installed in my environment. It is very much a step in the right direction to make StarWind Virtual SAN management easier and even Hyper-V as a whole. Something Hyper-V has lacked for years is a good Web UI to manage a host or cluster. StarWind has taken upon themselves to help with this as well as manage the Virtual SAN in a single pane of glass.

System Engineer & IT Manager at General Computer Italia
Real User
Jul 10, 2020

Management tools could be improved, sometimes the usage seems to be slowed down and confusing. A native web interface could also be an option. I love to see in the future port of the software on a general Linux distribution like RedHat or Ubuntu in order to avoid windows license costs. I would also like to see features like erasure coding implemented. On the VSAN software, I would like to see some improvements in the storage pools (eliminate the usage of the file as a data container and use the raw partition).

reviewer1378515 - PeerSpot reviewer
CIO at Sheremetevo Security
Real User
Jul 5, 2020

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.

Mart Vernik - PeerSpot reviewer
Digital Archive System Administrator at Rahvusarhiiv
Real User
Jun 28, 2020

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!

reviewer1351425 - PeerSpot reviewer
CTO - Partner at SabreTech Consulting LLC
Real User
May 14, 2020

A duplication feature inside of a CSV would be very useful. I'm sure there are a lot of duplicated blocks on a CSV that have 75 VMs of Windows Server. StarWind relies on the underlying OS to manage the "SAN files" whether that would be a RAID volume, software RAID (such as LVM), etc. It would be useful if StarWind could incorporate the actual physical drive management inside of the solution, similar to Storage Spaces Direct. A web interface for management and StarWind SNMP MIBs would also be very useful.

Andrey Naumov - PeerSpot reviewer
System Administrator at Craft Group
Real User
Apr 19, 2020

I would like to see all the network adapters in the console with their assigned roles as sync, Heartbeat, and iSCSI, then their link speeds and real-time loading. In the next release, they could make some graphs of the real-time loading, speed of storage, and interfaces. Of course, these can be viewed in other places. But, in the event of a malfunction or troubleshooting, this would be convenient.

Head of Information Technology at Baker Tilly BVI & Baker Tilly Cayman
Real User
Feb 28, 2020

If a node goes offline unexpectedly, a re-sync between the nodes takes place in order to ensure data integrity. This sync, though necessary, can take several hours.

reviewer1296921 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at a pharma/biotech company
Real User
Feb 25, 2020

New versions of this solution should be tested more thoroughly before the release, as we had a few problems with one version due to a bug.

Head of Software Development Department at Everest
Real User
Jan 29, 2020

If we could get more within its price, it would be useful to: * Be able to collect operational logs with external dedicated syslog or SNMP servers; * Be able to encrypt separate LUNs/iSCSI targets with a key stored on external KMS/KMIP servers; * Being able to run StarWind vSAN on top of any free UNIX operating system to build a resilient iSCSI/FTP/SMB storage system would be useful.

Deputy Director at a government with 11-50 employees
Real User
Dec 20, 2019

For the StarWind VSA vSphere solution, I would like to see a simpler and automated virtual machine installation process in terms of network settings. The areas where this solution should be improved are: * Use as a node server without RAID volumes to ensure a longer period of use of the equipment and faster recovery of the complex; * You need a separate server responsible for the main node, which is synchronized in case of failure of one of the nodes; * Use SSD caching to write to industrial operation; * Monitoring the status of server equipment. Programmatically bypasses the offline state of disks; * To circumvent the speed restrictions of the network data when using virtual adapters VMware Vsphere VXNET3.

reviewer1253883 - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Network Engineer at OSAS
Dec 20, 2019

If there was one feature I would like to see it would be a built-in subsystem for managing UPS backups shutdown procedures providing a way to initiate VM shutdown on all host servers, shut down the host servers, then put the fault-tolerant mirroring in standby, and finally shut down the StarWind SANs.

reviewer1244424 - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Systems and Security at a wellness & fitness company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Dec 4, 2019

I would like to see some additional, and possibly clearer, implementation videos with some slower and possibly more detailed descriptions of what the various steps of implementation are for someone who is unfamiliar with high availability and failover clustering in Windows.

Computer Engineer at Savronik Electronic
Real User
Nov 29, 2019

I wish there was online support because email return takes a long time and a faster solution should be found.

reviewer1238652 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a tech services company
Real User
Nov 25, 2019

Performance when in storage-separate configuration needs to be improved. The virtualization layers and not having the storage on the same node as compute take a lot of the IOPS we could have on an HCI scenario, but we grew out of it.

Director of Technical Sales at SSTL Group
Real User
Nov 11, 2019

This solution should be more self-sufficient, running without creating domains or failover clusters.

Technical Department Manager at ACS SA
Real User
Oct 25, 2019

Maybe in the future, the replication will be supported in more cloud providers. I don't think there are features that this product doesn't have it. It has all of the things that a system engineer will want.

User at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Oct 7, 2019

The product can include a more simple way of synchronization after a forced shutdown as the current process has a few more steps to check that hosts have synchronized and this can be automated. The service support should have in its basic plan a chat support 24x7 in addition to email.

it_user1194465 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User
Sep 24, 2019

Perhaps the developer should refine the product management through PowerShell. It is not entirely clear and there quite a bit of documentation.

Real User
Sep 10, 2019

The system performs as expected, but we're always looking for performance improvements regarding the best utilization of NVMe disks.

reviewer1157808 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a educational organization with 11-50 employees
Real User
Jul 30, 2019

In testing, we found some features in the Linux appliance were missing. So, for full functionality, you will want to use the Windows version. Server-side snapshots are one thing the Linux appliance can't do yet. I hope the feature is added in the next update release. Adding storage after its all setup is a little difficult.

it_user1146222 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Tech/ Network Admin at Society of St James
Real User
Jul 16, 2019

We would like to see the documentation more fully developed. Most subjects are covered but if you do not know something then you may need to contact their support.

reviewer1145355 - PeerSpot reviewer
User with 201-500 employees
Real User
Jul 15, 2019

The only thing that I have any difficulty with is that in order to perform upgrades, it is required that the SANs be detached from the Hosts before that can happen. In my industry, having one hundred percent uptime means that I must either migrate everything off of the existing SANs so I can perform the upgrade, or shut everything down, detach the SANs and then reconnect them after the upgrade is complete. At this point, while I am running an older version and the features still work within the latest versions of VMware, I won't see it as being a problem until I add more storage to allow for the proper migration and upgrade to happen.

SAO Dept. Head at LLC BIT
Real User
Jul 11, 2019

Some configuration options still demand service restarting. For example, changing of cache settings. Multi-tiering needs to be improved. There is option to use SSD for cache only currently.

Real User
Jun 22, 2019

The ability to manage the SAN with vSphere would be nice. It would also be of benefit to have more vSAN-like features, like not having to worry about creating multiple volumes. It would be nice if we could designate pools, or tiers, for storage of different speeds, and then assign rules to new VMs that would automatically place them into the proper pool.

IT manager at Vertical
Real User
Jun 10, 2019

I would like to see full support for iSER. This time, technical support does not recommend using iSER on NICs except on an internal (StarWind Node-to-StarWind node) connections. High availability for direct attached hardware drives (without virtual disk layer) could be useful to increase the performance of StarWind virtual storage cluster.

reviewer1100463 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Real User
May 22, 2019

I would like to see more monitoring and alert tools. StarWind offers a management console to configure the and monitor the servers, setting up SMTP alerts would be a plus.

Director of IT and Corporate Security at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
May 6, 2019

This product could be improved with the inclusion of new health check procedures. Operations performed in distributed file systems are complex and in case of network outage admins rarely know what is going on. Any kind of simple UI for admins is better than nothing. Something that would admins give fast, easily understandable information about status and rebuild status etc.

reviewer1073631 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Apr 24, 2019

I'd like for it to be more user-friendly in the future.

User at Cloud4y.ru #1 корпоративный облачный провайдер
Real User
Apr 18, 2019

In all areas, the product could be made faster. If any additional features appear, we would appreciate having the service inform us. We are quite satisfied with the things we have already received, but we also would be glad to see other inspiring features from a new generation.

Real User
Apr 17, 2019

StarWind currently has a Windows native application that it uses for management. There is not a web-based GUI at this time. This may be a choice to reduce the services running on the storage nodes but does seem like it would be a good alternative.

Head of Local Area Network Department at JSC Ufanet
Real User
Apr 16, 2019

It would help us if the vendor continues to release software updates for earlier versions of the Windows operating systems. For example, Windows Server 2008 R2. We are sitting on earlier Microsoft products while there is support. This is because of the need for new hardware when switching to new software.

Real User
Apr 16, 2019

The cluster configuration is time-consuming and tedious. StarWind's guide for a two-node cluster can be found at (https://www.starwindsoftware.com/resource-library/starwind-virtual-san-hyperconverged-2-node-scenario-with-hyper-v-server-2016) and it is a long document to work through. I am not sure if it is possible to make the confiugration process more streamlined on generic hardware. This only affects the cluster configuration, not it's production use. I am very satisfied with the StarWind features so far and not interested in additional ones.

Regional IT Manager at SABIS
Real User
Apr 14, 2019

They recommend RAID 10 for HDD which reduces the usable storage capacity. If they could improve this area, it will be of great benefit in terms of storage.

GrzegorzEBX - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner at ElectronicsBox.com.pl
Real User
Mar 29, 2019

I would like to have an easy way of automatic notification about issues, even when I'm away. The system has the possibility to send e-mails, but only in an internal mail system. Simply there is no possiblity the e-mail sender to log on smtp server. Several years ago some smtp server didn't require user to log on. But now it's impossible to send e-mail without login on. So if I had my own company internal e-mail server I could use it. Otherwise not. It's not enough for me.

Real User
Mar 19, 2019

Central management webpage should be a must-have. We have three different sites where we use VSAN, and a single webpage to manage everything is necessary. For example a website where I can add each cluster and manage everything in one place rather by each physical server.

Specialist in the center of security at PERN S.A.
Real User
Mar 18, 2019

It would be great if the Linux version of the management console offered the same features as Windows.

Real User
Feb 25, 2019

The price is a bit more expensive than analogs.

IT Manager at a hospitality company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Feb 12, 2019

It would be helpful to have a little more insight into what kind of performance the VSAN cluster is utilizing; something that would be more proactive on our side, versus their ProActive Support.

Real User
Feb 8, 2019

* We would like the price to be lower. * In the next releases, we would like a new improved interface.

Real User
Feb 1, 2019

There is a limit on HA storage for standard and professional versions which is too low to be very useful for any but the smallest of SMBs or startups. Most SMBs we work with have more than 50TB of data, so the 4TB and 8TB limits are nothing more than a sales gimmick. The enterprise-level supports unlimited HA storage but starts competing with Windows Server (S2D) at the price point. The hardware requirement for S2D, however, puts the Windows HCI out of reach for most SMBs.

Information Systems Manager at a aerospace/defense firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Jan 31, 2019

The documentation could be a little more concise, but, for the most part, it just works.

Network Administrator at MUM Industries
Real User
Jan 24, 2019

For improvement, I would like to see how the software determines which networks to use for which purpose. It seems like the naming terminology changes a bit from here to there. When I access the console on the computer, where is it going in through: * The computer's connections? * The heartbeat connection? * The iSCSI connection? It is a little odd as far as making sure those networks are isolated just for their function. On the console, there is no good way to see how all the networks are allocated. Other than that, once they are set up and allocated, everything seems to run nicely. I just don't want, e.g., my heartbeat network bleeding into other things, like the iSCSI. For this market, in general, it would be nice if I could go to a website where they had all the pricing listed comparatively, then maybe I could shop around.

IT Manager at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Jan 24, 2019

I'm sure it needs bug fixes, and there are new features coming down the pipe, but it works great.

Owner at Split Digital LLC
Real User
Jan 23, 2019

If there are domain controllers inside the cluster, there needs to be some sort of logic allowing them to boot independently so all the rest of the domain clients can gain the authority they need to come online. We made that mistake at first. We have since moved one of our domain controllers out of the cluster, so everything can obtain whatever authentication it needs on the initial boot. Ultimately, Microsoft says they support it, but we would like to see all of our domain controllers running within the cluster, too. We don't want to have additional hardware just to run domain controllers.

Deputy Director of Technology and Communications at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Jan 23, 2019

Initially, when we first started, the sync was horrible. It would take about 13 hours. However, they have since then improved on it. It also depends on the pipe. We had a small pipe back then. So, we would do things at around 8:00 AM, then by 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning (the next day), everything would be back on. Once we upgraded the pipe between them, within half an hour, it was synced. StarWind made us understand that we had a small pipe and our drives were not SSD, but SATA. All these things contributed because they have tons of clients. Thus, if we were the only ones having this issue, then we had the issue. Once we made the changes, we saw amazing improvement on the way it synced. Instead of 13 hours, it took five to ten minutes for it to complete. For improvement, there should be simpler, user-friendly training about how the system works. I have dabbled in it, but if I need to do anything I'd rather pick up the phone, call them, and say, "This is what I need to do," and they're more than happy to help. While they do have help documentation, there is a relatively steep learning curve. You need to take into consideration the amount of data that you are syncing as it will come into play: The amount of data that needs to sync between the two devices and the amount of data that the pipe has to read right. With data verification, I would like to know how does the solution perform validation of data being synced between two VSANs. If data is corrupt, how does it determine that I'm not going to sync something because it's corrupt? How does any software determine that the data is bad. Then, how does it fix it? Because if we get corrupted on one server, we don't want to transfer it to the other server.

Operations Manager at Lipman Insurance Administrators Inc.
Real User
Dec 5, 2018

Encryption: I would love to see "at rest" data encryption as a new feature for organizations like mine looking for ways to simplify this mandated compliance issue.

Mahmood - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at Allied Engineering
Real User
Nov 22, 2018

* A detailed performance monitoring of the storage system. * A tool/wizard which analyzes the installed system and its configuration and gives a recommendation for improvement.

VMware Administrator, VMware vExpert at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Oct 19, 2018

* Linux version for vSphere could incorporate deduplication. * Also, the documentation for configuring alerts in vSphere is not simple.

Real User
Top 10
Oct 19, 2018

* The documentation is sub-par. The pre-sales documentation and information is sub-par. * StarWind is not cheap. It is not hard to set up but not a cakewalk either. Having tech support set you up is certainly a good value. I would say the performance cost ratio is great, if not fantastic. Be sure to plan well and ask lots of questions. * Next release needs to include complete documentation. Even if it's download only or even optional.

CEO at Simplify Technology
Sep 12, 2018

I would like additional documentation regarding possible networking configurations with 10GbE switching.

System Administrator at a renewables & environment company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Aug 27, 2018

* It would be great if it provided thin provisioned virtual disks. * It should reclaim white spaces after big files are deleted.

LeonKan - PeerSpot reviewer
Virtual Cloud Admin at IST
Aug 15, 2018

* I would like to replace Windows nodes to Linux. As of today, Linux nodes are ready for production. * Ability to to test the virtual storage are network area and storage speed from StarWind Management Console. * Ability to check network card settings (such as MTU), VMware settings, and other settings needed for work under StarWind best practices. I would like to have something like a StarWind Best Practices Analyzer.

Adjunct Professor at Lone Star College
Real User
Aug 6, 2018

One area that could be improved is the reconnection of the attached drives upon a reboot. Rarely, the shared drive will not connect automatically.

it_user910362 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a consumer goods company with 51-200 employees
Jul 31, 2018

I haven't had a lot of interaction with support. My only complaint is that an update caused a syncing issue and it took over a month to resolve it. Every other time I have used support, it has been for a training/configuration question and was not time sensitive. They normally responded to those requests within 24 hours.

Jul 17, 2018

It's been a while since I checked the associated PowerShell module, but I would like to see an extensive set of cmdlets that could allow for easier automation as well as status management.

TXITGUY9000 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at a construction company with 51-200 employees
Jul 12, 2018

Updates seem to be non-existent. The software is stable, but I do not get any updates or emails about new releases.

1981DMC - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Sys Admin at Garland Power & Light
Jul 11, 2018

It is difficult to control all of the hardware components. I went through a couple of different NICs before I found the one that would work with my hardware and server OS, and yield the necessary throughput for the StarWind portion.

Director of Technology at FAFCO, INC.
Jul 11, 2018

Very few aspects of this solution need improvement. Sometimes documentation on their site can be out of date, and it is always good to check with support to make sure that whatever you are looking at is current. The good news here is that this is very easy to accomplish. If we stay with the Virtual SAN instead of the managed appliances it would be great to have more automated tooling around managing the iSCSI connections in Windows, which can be a bit confusing at first.

Related Questions
Julia Miller - PeerSpot reviewer
Community Director at PeerSpot
Aug 24, 2023
Hi Everyone, What do you like most about StarWind Virtual SAN? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community!
2 out of 108 answers
Director of Technology at FAFCO, INC.
Jul 11, 2018
Integration with Microsoft clustering has been perfect, allowing us to leverage our investment in MS server licensing to the fullest.
1981DMC - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Sys Admin at Garland Power & Light
Jul 11, 2018
The StarWind tech support is extremely helpful, especially during the initial setup.
Miriam Tover - PeerSpot reviewer
Service Delivery Manager at PeerSpot
Aug 24, 2023
Hi, We all know it's really hard to get good pricing and cost information. Please share what you can so you can help your peers.
2 out of 82 answers
Director of Technology at FAFCO, INC.
Jul 11, 2018
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.
Jul 17, 2018
As a nonprofit with a limited budget, we are very satisfied with the licensing model provided by StarWind. The initial setup was quick and mostly effortless. Additionally, the support has been superb on the few occasions we've had to reach out to them.
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