StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Good performance, data replication and shared storage capability reduces downtime, and the GUI works well

What is our primary use case?

We are using this to replicate the onboard disks from our Hyper-V Hosts (Dell T640 Servers) for both replication/data protection, but most importantly, to function as shared storage enabling us to have a functional Hyper-V cluster with failover through the shared storage without needing to purchase oversized and pricey dedicated SAN hardware.

This solution enables us to make better cost-effective use of our existing hardware and leverage the current infrastructure at a higher level than we could before.

How has it helped my organization?

The data replication and shared storage have enabled us to dramatically reduce unplanned and planned downtime. With our Hyper-V cluster now able to do automatic failovers of our Virtual Machines, we have reduced the effects of reboots that would have interrupted access before.

We have also noticed performance benefits with this new deployment over the previous configuration that was implemented. This has also allowed us to increase our storage capacity by adding more cost-effective disks rather than pricier SAN solutions.   

What is most valuable?

As a technical admin, the GUI is a nice bonus that allows sometimes faster actions rather than going into the CLI. A great benefit in my current solution is showing off GUI configurations and monitoring to our non-technical administration in the school and helping them understand implementations and values from that.

What needs improvement?

This product would benefit from having automated alerting functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

We deployed StarWind Virtual SAN in March of 2021.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great, so proper sizing makes entering into the solution easy and without waste. We should not exceed the scalability options available.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been very impressed with the support team. Every encounter I have had has been quickly responded to with both the right person and the needed solution. I feel very confident that they are available and accessible if any issue arises that I need to get help addressing or just ensuring my configuration is best practices.

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

We did not use another similar solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and guided by a very knowledgeable engineer on their team.

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

This solution is very accessible and the pro-level for support is well worth the cost. 

What other advice do I have?

Other than automated alerting, there is no real product feature that I feel would be useful to us. We have had no issues with the software as is. There are no gaps that we have had to fill in with other solutions or challenges that have caused us to redesign or change our intended implementations.

I have installed a few updates from the initial installation and found that process to be quite easy and successful each time as well. I look forward to seeing how they may innovate in the future and bring benefits we have not considered.

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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