Kristopher SkullySystems Administrator at Hospice of the Western Reserve
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"GPFS monitoring is the best feature."
"The most valuable feature is the ability to share files across different platforms."
"We are using it for monitoring all of our storage."
"The high performance of the solution is its most valuable aspect. If you compare it to other storage solutions, it's much better."
"The initial setup is straightforward once you know what you're doing."
"The biggest thing we were looking for was redundancy, with both the compute and the storage, so that way we could lose a full node and still keep everything up and running, and not have to worry about it... StarWind was able to provide a solution for what we wanted, - to provide for redundancy."
"High-availability is what I bought it for."
"The hardware footprint is perfect. It fits in our rack perfectly, and we were able to condense a lot of physical servers we had. It has greatly eliminated the excess stuff in our server rack..."
"We have the ProActive Premium Support and it has reduced our monitoring efforts. It has been very useful. They have been able to detect things such as when there's an issue with the cluster or they're getting some kind of weird reading that I have no idea about. They're really quick to let me know about it and even set up a schedule to address it. I've been very happy with their level of support on that."
"The software is great. It's very easy to understand. I've not delved into any of the command-line stuff, but there's no real need to script it. Since it went in, pretty much the only thing that I have needed to do is increase device image sizes and that process is very straightforward."
"Overall, the solution has improved our system's performance. I was concerned about the physical-to-virtual conversion of our database server. It's actually much faster now, as a virtualized host on this Hyper-V cluster."
"The most valuable feature is the high-availability. We have three nodes, and all data will be synched instantly through all the nodes. Even if we had a disaster where two nodes failed, containing dozens of critical machines, almost automatically, all the loads would be run on the remaining node."
"The biggest problem is that it is not able to provide block storage."
"The pricing and licensing model for this solution are complex and it is sometimes difficult to explain it to customers."
"Integration with other vendors is not available."
"It would be helpful if there was a graphical user interface that could walk you through the deployment process. The instructions surrounding setup aren't the best. They need to be more step-by-step."
"This product is not one hundred percent enterprise-ready, so it is more suitable for SMB."
"We haven't had to use the ProActive Premium Support feature much yet. But they contacted me one time because there was a glitch on one server, a networking issue... I have not seen the problem since."
"The only thing I have run into is that I did want to add more hard drives into the host, so that we could look at doing a RAID 10, and the hard drive prices were pretty expensive... that's pretty nit-picky and I don't think it has anything to do with StarWind itself. I think it's more on whomever they work with for their hardware."
"I wish I understood what goes into the StarWind software a little bit better. To me, it's kind of magic the way some of it works. As an IT professional, you don't really want things to be magic. I do wish there was a little more "Here's how it works." There could be more documentation given to administrators..."
"We were slightly disappointed with the hardware footprint. We were led to believe, and all the pre-sales tech information requirements pointed to the fact, that it was coming on Dell hardware. Then it came on bulk servers."
"The only critique I might have is that the support is overseas in Eastern Europe and, on occasion, there has been a language issue. But in general, they're as good as can be..."
"At the moment, the initial configuration is very technical and error-prone. That is the reason Starwind does it for you as a service, which is a great thing. But it would be nice if we could change or rearrange storage assignments ourselves."
"That situation, where Dell EMC servers were going down, has been my only real difficulty... it ended up being something that the wider audience of Dell EMC was actually aware of as an issue. Neither the StarWind technicians nor the Dell EMC technicians were able to actually identify that problem sooner than a week or so... The communication between Dell EMC support and StarWind support, in that particular scenario, left something to be desired, for me. I did express those concerns to StarWind and they were very responsive to that."
"The licensing is based on the number of terabytes."
"The licensing model is complex and depends on factors such as the number of processing cores and the amount of storage."
"When I researched they came the most cost-effective."
"The other solutions we were looking at were priced much higher than this and they didn't necessarily have full redundancy... Nutanix and VxRail were in the final running... but it came down to our price point."
"I honestly feel that there's no one else in the market doing what they're doing for the price point that they're doing it at. That's why I asked them about investing in their company. I think that the options they're providing and the software that they have is sort of revolutionary for the price point... The total cost was $24,400."
"The Nutanix piece was about $45,000, getting close to $50,000 with all the licensing involved, whereas the StarWind was less than half of that, after Microsoft licensing and such."
"We looked at Nutanix and found it did almost the same thing but for more money. In fact, StarWind was nearly one-third of the price; it cost us £36,000. That includes five years of monitoring... The Nutanix was near enough £110,000 for relatively the same amount of performance and storage."
"Our entire package was around $35,000 for everything, including three years of support."
"There is a bit of a start-up cost. Having never used HCAs before, I was reluctant to buy it. I would suggest that you jump in and do it, as I wish I hadn't wasted so much time."
"In terms of cost, a storage array is more expensive... For half the cost of Compellent, I got two hosts, more storage, and redundancy."
For SMB, ROBO and Enterprises, who look to bring in quick deployment and operation simplicity to virtualization workloads and reduce related expenses, our solution is StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA). It unifies commodity servers, disks and flash, hypervisor of choice, StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN and associated software into a single manageable layer. The HCA supports scale-up by adding disks and flash, and scale-out by adding extra nodes.
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance consists of StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN “Ready Nodes”, targeting those, who are building their virtualization infrastructure from scratch. In case there is an existing set of servers, we offer a “software only version”, which is essentially our years proven StarWind Virtual SAN. Basically, it’s the fuel powering StarWind HCA.
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IBM Spectrum Scale is ranked 11th in Software Defined Storage (SDS) with 4 reviews while StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is ranked 3rd in Software Defined Storage (SDS) with 19 reviews. IBM Spectrum Scale is rated 8.0, while StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is rated 9.4. The top reviewer of IBM Spectrum Scale writes "Storage system with good performance that has GPFS monitoring and NFS support". On the other hand, the top reviewer of StarWind HyperConverged Appliance writes "Because it's all built into one box, they could offer us the majority of the functionality we wanted, affordably". IBM Spectrum Scale is most compared with Red Hat Ceph Storage, VMware vSAN, Red Hat Gluster Storage, NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP and IBM Spectrum Virtualize, whereas StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is most compared with Nutanix Acropolis AOS, VxRail, HPE SimpliVity, Dell EMC PowerFlex and VMware vSAN. See our IBM Spectrum Scale vs. StarWind HyperConverged Appliance report.
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