StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Made it possible to deploy a new infrastructure in the shortest amount of time and at a low cost without purchasing expensive hardware storage

What is our primary use case?

We needed to deploy the new infrastructure in our new data center as soon as possible. As a reliable, fault-tolerant storage, we chose StarWind solution. I took two old Supermicro servers and installed them in RAID controllers and SSD drives, then installed Windows Server 2012 R2 with the Hyper-V role. Then, I made StarWind the two-node iSCSI target. The servers were connected to the VMware cluster via the iSCSI 10 GbE interfaces. The storage showed very good speed results with SQL databases, file servers, and MS Exchange, which completely satisfied us.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution made it possible to deploy a new infrastructure in the shortest amount of time, at a low cost without purchasing expensive hardware storage, and use unused servers. As a result, we got a reliable fault-tolerant storage with good performance and placed virtual machines that are important for business on it. This solution has been working for several months without a single failure. 

What is most valuable?

It has a nice, simple control panel. You can clearly see the state and health of storage along with the synchronization. 

StarWind installs on the Windows Server host where I can monitor RAID using various software already installed in my organization. 

  • Easy to install and configure.  
  • A lot of documentation, video instructions, and excellent technical support. 
  • The ability to install on almost any type of equipment, including legacy. 
  • Fast delivery compared to hardware storage facilities, which have a delivery time of four to six weeks.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see all the network adapters in the console with their assigned roles as sync, Heartbeat, and iSCSI, then their link speeds and real-time loading.

In the next release, they could make some graphs of the real-time loading, speed of storage, and interfaces. Of course, these can be viewed in other places. But, in the event of a malfunction or troubleshooting, this would be convenient.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For three months, there has not been a single failure. Testing was performed and restarting one server did not affect the performance of the storage and important virtual machines.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I didn't have that task.

How are customer service and technical support?

They are very friendly and have quick support.

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

No, I haven't used such solutions before.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I installed everything myself. Later, the technical support connected with me and to the servers to inspect the installation.

What was our ROI?

This is the best priced solution for an SMB.

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

This is a very good solution for small businesses.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also considered the option of VMware vSAN, but it is very expensive.

What other advice do I have?

Everything works. I am completely satisfied with the reliability and speed.

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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