StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Saves us money in hardware costs, responsive and knowledgeable support

What is our primary use case?

We were looking for a way to utilize local storage for our Hyper-V cluster to prevent having to purchase a new SAN solution. I discovered this unique software and deployed it. It works well for sharing local storage in a Hyper-V cluster. Our existing, older SAN was too slow for this particular implementation. VSAN solved this problem successfully.

How has it helped my organization?

It helped us to save money by not having to purchase a new hardware SAN. The VSAN works better than our existing, older SAN. This software works well for the vital signs capture software we were implementing in a new Hyper-V failover cluster.

Our organization has less hardware to maintain since we didn't have to purchase a new SAN. Being able to run this software in the new virtual machines saved time and money. 

Their excellent tech and customer support also give our organization peace of mind.

What is most valuable?

The primary purpose of this software is to create a virtual SAN between local storage on Hyper-V hosts. I find this feature most valuable since it accomplishes this quite well. This is a unique product, as I haven't found another software that does this. 

I've also found their tech support very valuable. They helped me to save our data and set up new virtual disks using their best practices. Their customer support is also very responsive. They reached out to me to make sure everything is working as expected. 

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product seems very stable and it seems to recover well if I do something I shouldn't.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is scalable. The number of virtual disks is unlimited, but each disk size is limited to 4TB with my license.

How are customer service and technical support?

I found their tech support to be excellent. I had a major issue where we could have lost all of our data on the VSAN, and they helped me to resolve it. In fact, their customer service and technical support are both excellent. They are very responsive and knowledgeable.

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

I used the free version of StarWind VSAN initially. But when I had a problem, it was much more difficult to solve without a GUI.

How was the initial setup?

Some parts of the setup are straightforward, but other parts are more complex. Their support team helped me through the complex setup portions.

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

The setup cost, pricing, and licensing are very straightforward. They are exactly what you expect.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn't evaluate any other options, as I'm not aware of another software that does this.

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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