StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Improved data redundancy by avoiding storage vendor locking and improves the performance and availability of our Customer Service

What is our primary use case?

I'm running StarWind VSAN in an Hypercoverged virtualization cluster. The capability of running the software on top of a general windows os gives me the ability to create a fully redundant SAN solution on almost every virtualization platform. I'm using the software to provide core infrastructure services like AD, DNS, DHCP to my users. Every service is automatically fully redudant thanks to VSAN and in the event one host goes down VMs will be automatically restarted on a second node with a little downtime.

How has it helped my organization?

The product improves my company's data redundancy by avoiding storage vendor locking and improves the performance and availability of our Customer's Services. We don't need at all of the expensive storage appliances like EMC or HP by using standard x86 servers to provide the same level of data security. We could then lower the prices of hardware support contracts by simply using StarWind VSAN on top servers like Dell PowerEdge or HP ProLiant. The ability to sync data on two servers gives users a perfect disaster recovery plan at almost no cost.

What is most valuable?

  • The ability to run the software virtually on every virtualization platform and the ability to eliminate all storage vendor locking are the most valuable features. 
  • The capability of creating a hot copy of my data on another piece of hardware and continually sync it. 
  • The ability to increase the performance of reads and writes thanks to data caching and load balancing on the two hardware nodes. 
  • The capability to implement an asynchronous replication on the third node outside my main data center in order to create a disaster recovery solution.

What needs improvement?

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).

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the product for two years.

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.
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