StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Helped us build a redundant, highly available Hyper-V cluster


What is our primary use case?

We had to build a highly available Hyper-V cluster.

As I work for a charitable organization, the most important part is keeping costs as low as possible. I have looked into a few solutions and none was as easy to deploy because it allows us to use hardware that we already have and not invest a lot of money. 

How has it helped my organization?

Building a High Availability cluster required that we set up a cluster on our hardware and shared space for file access. Using the StarWind VSAN solution allowed us to reduce the cost by using hardware that we already owned. Instead of managing two server boxes, the SAN device, and SAN backup, we have everything included in two servers with shared disk space.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature is the ability to experience the loss of one node or one storage device, and not lose the entire cluster. This is great if you think about data redundancy and failover. It gives you time to rebuild node that is offline and keep your business running. Time is money!

Scalability is a great feature because if you need more space and more redundancy then can easily add another node!

What needs improvement?

We would like to see the documentation more fully developed. Most subjects are covered but if you do not know something then you may need to contact their support.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since the initial setup, I've had no problems with the software. I am constantly checking new versions and what updates it includes. Update one node, then another, and you can forget about it again. To be honest, if you install the current version and it works then you can forget about it right away. This solution just works. I have had no problems at all for the whole time that I've used it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great and easy. You need more space to deploy another node, which gives you more fast storage. Redundancy will also improve.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service is very helpful and polite. They will help you with pricing and to find the proper license that suits your needs.

I have used technical support once for a general question. I received a reponse fast and it was very technical, covering all of the questioned subjects.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I have never used different solutions.

How was the initial setup?

Initial set up was easy and straight forward. Read all of the how-tos and FAQs. Having basic knowledge about the subject will allow you to go through the setup process hassle-free.

What about the implementation team?

I installed everything myself.

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

I would suggest that you download the free version, deploy in your lab, and play with it. If you like it then you will definitely like the more advanced, full paid version.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have read about different solutions, especially VMware vSAN. In comparing these two, it is easy to choose StarWind for a company the size of mind, with needs that StarWind can easily cover.

I have done some research on that subject and everything directed me to StarWind VSAN. Now, I can clearly state that I do not regret my decision.

What other advice do I have?

Technical support is the thing that completes a good product. If the software is good but you can also count on fast and accurate resolutions then you have got everything you need.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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