StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Simple to set up, facilitates redundancy of mission-critical applications, and the support is good

What is our primary use case?

We built an HCI Hyper-V two-node cluster without SAN or S2D at our main site. It is used to run 25 virtual machines that host operating systems and applications including Windows 2016/2019, Debian, SQL, and PostgreSQL. It provides business continuity to my organization.

We also implemented a "Windows 2019 Guest Cluster" inside a Hyper-V Cluster without any problem. 

How has it helped my organization?

I'm not an IT Manager but an insurance broker with limited IT knowledge, and I was able to install, configure, and manage a hyper-converged cluster in a couple of hours without any problem.

VSAN works great; it's very easy to install, configure, and manage. I received precious support before buying, during the installation, and after.

All of our mission-critical applications and services are now completely redundant.

What is most valuable?

VSAN doesn't require either an expensive SAN or the expensive hardware required for Microsoft S2D on Windows Server Datacenter Edition. I can have an HCI two-cluster node using our 2,5" SAS HDD in RAID 10 without an SSD and the performance is great.

In the case of power failure or critical events, it's very simple to get back in production. The console is very simple and clear, and the PowerShell commands are very useful. 

Using one of the numerous tutorials, we created scripts to shut down and restart the cluster in case of a power outage.

What needs improvement?

There is no Italian-language version of the software available. Although I'd prefer an Italian version, I received extensive and comprehensive support in all of the deployment steps. This included communication by email, call, and video.

During a long power outage our UPS batteries was completely discharged, on power on Starwind vSAN wasn't able to choose which node was the correct node to sync from so we had to "mark as Syncronize" one of them. Then we wrote some powershell scripts to power off and power on   the nodes in sequence  before ups completely discharghe and then on power on. I'd like to manage these cases directly on GUI. Something like "in case vSAN isn't be able to mark as Syncronized a node, mark this node as sync"

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

StarWind is extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In case we should decide to add other nodes, I think that this solution will scale easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is perfect.

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

We did not use another similar solution prior to StarWind.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple.

What about the implementation team?

I was able to install VSAN on my own and I'm not an IT manager but an insurance broker. I received great support from StarWind technicians.

What was our ROI?

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

We found that the pricing was perfect; simple and clear.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Microsoft S2D before choosing this product.

What other advice do I have?

In summary, I think it's the best solution I could buy to achieve my goals.

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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