StarWind Virtual SAN Review

A robust solution that makes us always available, and matched our limited infrastructure budget

What is our primary use case?

We were looking for a Microsoft Windows 2016 Hyper-V clustered solution that didn't require an external SAN network. Something that could utilize the local storage on each server, and also allowed us to configure the storage as we required it. We had looked at Storage Spaces Direct, but it was too restrictive in terms of configuration.

How has it helped my organization?

We are operational 24/7, every day of the year, so prior to having a clustered system, our users were faced with downtime anytime we applied patches or upgrades to the system.   With the StarWind VSAN software and Hyper-V Guest Cluster, we are able to create an environment where we can perform system updates without any downtime to the users.

What is most valuable?

We are not a very large organization and have a limited budget available for infrastructure.  

The most valuable feature for us is having the ability to configure our local storage using a limited number of disks and using the StarWind VSAN software to keep the cluster nodes in perfect sync.

What needs improvement?

The system performs as expected, but we're always looking for performance improvements regarding the best utilization of NVMe disks.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for a year and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not experienced any failures or problems with the software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It handles our environment very well and I don't see any reason why it wouldn't handle a much larger environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their software support team had been very helpful in the initial setup of the system and also helped to reconfigure the system after we lost one node in the cluster.

Overall, their support has been excellent. They will stick with you until your issues are resolved!

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

We did not use another solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

Their technical support team was available to install the software both during the demo phase and when we installed the licensed version. It would have been complex for us, as it was our first cluster experience, but their support team made it look easy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, but it was too restrictive in terms of configuration.

What other advice do I have?

So far, the software is doing everything we need.

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