StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Highly available with no downtime, easy to deploy, good support

What is our primary use case?

We needed a SAN to support our environment comprised at the time of two Hyper-V 2012 Clusters. We're now migrating to Hyper-V 2019 and we had no issues with the migration from the storage. We use SATA NL and SSD to give our VMs different performance tiers.

Update: We finished the migration and moved all storage iSCSI comms to Mellanox. We have had 0 issues with Starwind. 

How has it helped my organization?

StarWind allowed us to deploy SSD storage with very high availabilty at a good price at a time where all other vendors were pushing huge premiums on SSDs. We were also able to deploy different storage tiers with no issues, which was very important to our solution.

What is most valuable?

Using our own choice of HW allowed us to price our service to answer our customers' needs.

The high availability made sure we never had downtime from it.

Having twin nodes has made maintenance and upgrades easy.

Support has always been great with issues and planning.

What needs improvement?

Performance when in storage-separate configuration needs to be improved.

The virtualization layers and not having the storage on the same node as compute take a lot of the IOPS we could have on an HCI scenario, but we grew out of it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution since 2015.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution itself is simple and having two separate hosts gives it great availability. There is no single point of failure apart from the software itself and while we had some issues we never lost both nodes.

We only came close when Microsoft introduced a bug that crashed our hosts if they had pending iSCSI connections, and you have those if a node is not synced.

How are customer service and technical support?

No issues.

They solved our problems, validated our configurations and roadmap, and suggested improvements.

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

Prior to this solution, we used HPE MSA. We wanted easier tiering, better performance, and not to have everything on one "box".

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was simple. We chose our HW, validated with support, and had them help configure them.

It's easy to understand and to deploy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated solutions by HPE, EMC, and NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

We're satisfied with the features available.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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