StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Helpful support, easy to set up, and it works on top of hardware or software RAID


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is hyper-convergence and storage virtualization.

Our configuration has eleven servers installed. Three of these are SQL servers, five are installed as application servers, and on the remaining servers, various small services are hosted. These include web servers, RDP servers, and so on.

StarWind vSAN for Hyper-V consolidated the last three servers into a failover cluster for load balancing and increased availability. This made it possible to transfer the specified services to virtual machines.

How has it helped my organization?

Initially, it was not planned to use virtualization, but at some point, I realized that it was necessary. I had no opportunity to install any shared storage and in this case, the StarWind Virtual SAN solution was perfect.

I did not have any type of failover cluster. StarWind vSAN for Hyper-V solves the problem without any kind of hardware lock-in and with its low impact, easy to configure vSAN solution. This made it possible to create a failover cluster with high performance without significant costs.

What is most valuable?

The most important features for us are:

  • StarWind vSAN requires two nodes, which can be completely switchless, and it doesn’t require any additional equipment to get started.
  • StarWind works on the iSCSI layer.
  • StarWind requires at least two 1 GbE networks.
  • StarWind works either on top of a hardware RAID or a software RAID.
  • There are only three servers in our installation and it was great that I didn't need to buy any additional network hardware.
  • The iSCSI protocol is quite simple to configure.
  • The requirement for two-gigabit adapters also avoided additional costs.
  • In particular, it was important to me that the implementation of the StarWind vSAN solution did not require reinstalling the operating system or reconfiguring the RAID.

What needs improvement?

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

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not face any critical issue for our main purposes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Very positive. As far as I understand, it will be very easy to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very competent in matters not only of the product but also of the features of the hypervisor and the operating system on which the installation was performed.

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

I have not used other solutions before.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not difficult. I received help with the first installation from technical support.

What about the implementation team?

The vendor team helped with the initial setup and I rate their level as very high.

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

I think that purchasing StarWind Virtual SAN Professional Edition would be optimal for most.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As an alternative to StarWind vSAN for Hyper-V, I considered Microsoft S2D, but I had to abandon it due to the fact that it does not support hardware RAID.

What other advice do I have?

I have not been using the product for long enough to objectively name the features that should be added in the next release or would not suit me in the current release. The functions that I needed to work on do not cause any complaints from me.

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?

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

StarWind VSAN for Hyper-V
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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