StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Resilient with seamless failover, and the support is helpful


What is our primary use case?

We have Microsoft Hyper-V.  StarWind is configured as a two-node cluster with a Windows environment. It is crucial for the Virtual Machines that give us the resiliency of Exchange, 4TB File Servers, Networking Services, Quickbooks Server, Terminal Servers, Virtualized Spam Protection, Active Directory Services, and a few others.

We needed something that allows for better resiliency than the old way of doing things.  We have seen other choices out there but this seemed to be the best one, given our budget and the hardware we wanted to use.

How has it helped my organization?

This StarWind solution has enabled us to be more resilient, once it was set up and tested.

Failover happens very smoothly. Recovery and maintenance are now less stressful and most importantly, it allows our users to keep working.

Before StarWind, we were dealing with an archaic way of synchronizing Virtual machines and data between non-clustered physical hosts and it was very frustrating. Now, things are less hands-on and easier to manage and navigate the virtual environment, including maintenance while other users keep working.

What is most valuable?

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.

What needs improvement?

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. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for the last two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability seems great and we have not had any problems with the software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Seems very scalable, although we chose to have a two-node cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

This area has been the best for us, especially being new to this technology. The support team was amazing with follow-up and they are super patient.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have not used another solution for the same purpose. This was what I picked based on my research.

How was the initial setup?

Initially, I didn't quite understand the framework and what exact hardware was needed so I had to do some learning. However, once all was in place it went pretty smoothly.

What about the implementation team?

We did our deployment in-house, with help from StarWind.

What was our ROI?

Return on investment for us, I would say maybe breaking even. As I said, I wish the costs were better balanced.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost seems a bit steep, and I wish it was less expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have looked at Nutanix and VMware.

What other advice do I have?

Mainly that the costs would be less expensive.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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