What is our primary use case?
The StarWind HCA solution provided our company with a turnkey hyper-converged platform that strengthened our processing and storage capabilities by greatly expanding our RAM, processors, and flash-based storage.
It also enabled us to take advantage of VMware vMotion technology. This allows us to transfer a virtual machine from one host to the other without interrupting production, which is critical in our manufacturing plant.
I haven't had to make any software related changes since the solution was implemented.
How has it helped my organization?
By having multiple servers, we are able to perform maintenance on one server while the other is still operating. The speed of the flash drives helped with performance, and the support that StarWind offers is very professional and accommodating.
We had to engage with support several times during the migration as we made licensing changes, and moved virtual servers from the old host to the new ones. The response time was quick and although there was a bit of an accent, I had no trouble understanding as the work was being completed.
What is most valuable?
The presence of built-in storage saved the company from having to purchase a separate storage array and related network equipment. When we looked at the costs for a storage array, they were somewhat higher than the solution from StarWind.
Knowing that the virtual machines will continue running in the event of one of the servers failing provides peace of mind. Also, having support readily available in the event of a problem helps as well.
We were impressed by all of the redundancy built into the solution to protect it from failures.
What needs improvement?
My only concern was with the terms and conditions of the proactive support. Our legal department didn't accept them, so we weren't able to take advantage of it. Having the heartbeat monitor working would save some time, by getting issues resolved by support as soon as, or possibly even prior to them happening.
I would request that the terms and conditions be reviewed and made more acceptable to corporate security so that we could finally turn on the proactive support feature, as it is included with our support agreement.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using the StarWind HyperConverged Appliance for six months.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
There have been no issues with stability since the solution was implemented.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It seemed that we would be able to increase the scale as needed.
How are customer service and technical support?
The support at StarWind was very knowledgeable and was able to resolve any issues on the current call.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Our previous solution was a single server and it was out of support.
How was the initial setup?
Its initial setup was complex, but that is why we had support from StarWind look after it.
What about the implementation team?
It was implemented mostly by StarWind in coordination with our in house team.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The setup cost was included in the support.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We considered solutions from Dell and Nutanix.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?