Compare StarWind Storage Appliance vs. StarWind Virtual SAN

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Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
There is unified storage, which provides flexibility. It is set up perfectly for performance and provisioning. We are able to monitor everything using a separate application. It provides error and critical warnings that allow us to take immediate action through ONTAP. We are able to manage everything, log a case, and follow up with the support team, who can fix it. That is how it is unified.The feature which I like the most is that it has the capabilities that the traditional storage system offers. It provides all the functionality. The deduplication and compression work exactly like ONTAP's traditional storage. So people who have experience with that find it very easy to manage.The most valuable features are tiering to S3 and being able to turn it on and off, based on a schedule.If you have a larger amount of data than normal in cloud, it is easy to provision and maintain. Waiting for the delivery of the controller, the configuration of enclosures, etc., all this stuff is eliminated compared to using on-premise.Its features help us to have a backup of our volumes using the native technology of NetApp ONTAP. That way, we don't have to invest in other solutions for our backup requirement. Also, it helps us to replicate the data to another geographic location so that helps us to save on the costs of backup products.They have very good support team who is very helpful. They will help you with every aspect of getting the deployment done.One of the most valuable features is its similarity to the physical app, which makes it familiar. It's almost identical to a real NetApp, which means you can run all of the associated NetApp processes and services with it. Otherwise, we would definitely have to deploy some hardware on a site somewhere, which could be a challenge in terms of CapEx.We are definitely in the process of reducing our footprint on our secondary data center and all those snapshots technically reduce tape backup. That's from the protection perspective, but as far as files, it's much easier to use and manage and it's faster, too.

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Another good feature is that you can pause the appliance if you want to move it from one location to another and then once it's moved you can resume it, this way you can physically move the whole cluster or storage without any downtime. Its really easy to use, if you have a good foundation in storage and clustering then you will need less then one hour to figure out how to operate it.The management interface is the most valuable feature for us.

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The most valuable feature is the reliable storage replication, which enables me to create a robust infrastructure to run our business.PowerShell library is pretty good feature as I created with APC PowerChute a script to put volumes on maintenance mode then turning off the StarWind nodes together with the VM and Hosts when UPS reaches 15 percent, this way after a blackout or electrical problems when turning servers on again, there is no issues for syncing or data loss due to energy interrupts.Highly available storage is the most valuable feature. The entire rollout is hyper-converged and requires no extra storage further than the hosts in which Hyper-V is running. Another feature that has been great is the support from StarWind in general. We have their proactive support package on the main cluster that employs Starwind Virtual SAN.The ability to run the software virtually on every virtualization platform and the ability to eliminate all storage vendor locking are the most valuable features.Updates to server hardware are now painless and done during working hours with zero stress. We had a RAID failure a few months back, and nobody in the building even noticed and there was no after hours time used for repair.StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere is a software-defined storage solution that has reduced administration time for storage. It's pretty straightforward to install and setup it and so far it has been robust and worked as advertised from StarWind.The management interface on the software is very simple. It is insanely simple compared to most SANs. The interface is also powerful when used to complete tasks that an IT administrator needs to complete.Using our own choice of HW allowed us to price our service to answer our customers' needs.

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Cons
We are getting a warning alert about not being able to connect to Cloud Manager when we log into it. The support has provided links, but this particular issue is not fixed yet.When it comes to a critical or a read-write-intensive application, it doesn't provide the performance that some applications require, especially for SAP. The SAP HANA database has a write-latency of less than 2 milliseconds and the CVO solution does not fit there. It could be used for other databases, where the requirements are not so demanding, especially when it comes to write-latency.I would like to see more aggressive management of the aggregate space. On the Cloud Volumes ONTAP that we use for offsite backup copies, most of the data sits in S3. There are also the EBS volumes on the Cloud Volumes ONTAP itself. Sometimes what happens is that the aggregate size just stays the same. If it allocates 8 terabytes initially, it just stays at 8 terabytes for a long time, even though we're only using 20 percent of that 8 terabytes. NetApp could undersize that more aggressively.I would like NetApp to come up with an easier setup for the solution.The automated deployment was a bit complex using the public APIs. When we had to deploy Cloud Volumes ONTAP on a regular basis using automation, It could be a bit of a challenge.We want to be able to add more than six disks in aggregate, but there is a limit of the number of disks in aggregate. In GCP, they provide less by limiting the sixth disk in aggregate. In Azure, the same solution provides 12 disks in an aggregate versus GCP where it is just half that amount. They should bump up the disk in aggregate requirement so we don't have to migrate the aggregate from one to another when the capacities are full.There is room for improvement with the capacity. There's a very hard limit to how many disks you can have and how much space you can have. That is something they should work to fix, because it's limiting. Right now, the limit is about 360 terabytes or 36 disks.I think the challenge now is more in terms of keeping an air gap. The notion that it is in the cloud, easy to break, etc. The challenge now is mostly about the air gap and how we can protect that in the cloud.

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It needs more integration with backup vendors so there is native integration with it that will allow storage level backup/snapshots. I would love to see integration with Veeam and Commvault so it can be recognized by them directly and added as network storage.They could improve by providing integration with HP.

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I wish the sync after a failure, such as hardware failure or power-related issues, for example, was faster.Android app for monitoring and receiving push notifications as alarms or monitoring I/O from any mobile device could be a good feature and nice to have as we are not always on our desk.Management of VSAN itself could be improved. A Web UI for management would be great rather than an application installation. StarWind is testing a command center virtual appliance that I have installed in my environment.Management tools could be improved, sometimes the usage seems to be slowed down and confusing. A native web interface could also be an option. I love to see in the future port of the software on a general Linux distribution like RedHat or Ubuntu in order to avoid windows license costs. I would also like to see features like erasure coding implemented. On the VSAN software, I would like to see some improvements in the storage pools (eliminate the usage of the file as a data container and use the raw partition).We would like the documentation to be more complete. Most items are covered, but if you don't know something, you may need to contact their support.When StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere nodes go offline unexpectedly, the nodes have to re-sync disks fully which takes a long time. We had a power failure and when both nodes came online, VMware vSphere didn't see StarWind disks before I manually re-scanned them form ESXi administration console even though it should happen automaticallyStarWind relies on the underlying OS to manage the "SAN files" whether that would be a RAID volume, software RAID (such as LVM), etc. It would be useful if StarWind could incorporate the actual physical drive management inside of the solution, similar to Storage Spaces Direct.Performance when in storage-separate configuration needs to be improved.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
If a customer is only using, say, less than 10 terabytes, I don't think CVO would be a good option. A customer using at least 100 or 200 terabytes should get a reasonable price from NetApp.Once we deploy the pay as you go model, we cannot convert this product as a BYOL model. This is a concern that we have.They have a very good price which keeps our customers happy.They give us a good price for CVO licenses. It is one of the reasons that we went with the product.For NetApp it's about $20,000 for a single node and $30,000 for the HA.Our licensing costs are folded into the hardware purchases and I have never differentiated between the two.Cost is a big factor, because a lot of companies can't afford enterprise grade equipment all the time. They skimp where they can. I would recommend that they improve the cost.Cloud is cloud. It's still expensive. Any good solution comes with a price tag. That's where we are looking to see how well we can manage our data in the cloud by trying to optimize the costs.

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It costs about 50,000 euros.

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The premium support from StarWinds is a must have. The ability to have access to a storage engineer 24/7 is a must for a production environment.This is the best priced solution for an SMB.The cost, including OPEX, is lower compared to other solutions.The cost takes into account the number of nodes, so the size of the storage is not important.Licensing is easy and the whole package is cost-effective.There are two tiers of support and in my opinion, support is worth the cost.This solution has competitive prices and the implementation is very easy.The free version is great to use for labs or test environments.

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Questions from the Community
Top Answer: The solution’s unified file and block-storage access across our infrastructure is invaluable. Without it, we can't do what we do.
Top Answer: Our licensing costs are folded into the hardware purchases and I have never differentiated between the two.
Top Answer: I suspect ONTAP will just end up being a portion that runs on StorageGRID. Ultimately, everything will be object-based, then you'll just have a little dock of ONTAP that will do your NFS and CIFS.
Top Answer: The management interface is the most valuable feature for us.
Top Answer: They could improve by providing integration with HP.
Top Answer: The management interface on the software is very simple. It is insanely simple compared to most SANs. The interface is also powerful when used to complete tasks that an IT administrator needs to… more »
Top Answer: The premium support from StarWinds is a must have. The ability to have access to a storage engineer 24/7 is a must for a production environment.
Top Answer: A duplication feature inside of a CSV would be very useful. I'm sure there are a lot of duplicated blocks on a CSV that have 75 VMs of Windows Server. StarWind relies on the underlying OS to manage… more »
Popular Comparisons
Compared 35% of the time.
Also Known As
ONTAP Cloud, CVO, NetApp CVO
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NetApp
StarWind
StarWind
Overview

The leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services and supports up to a capacity of 368TB. Software service supports various use cases, such as: File shares and block-level storage serving NAS (NFS, SMB / CIFS) and SAN (iSCSI) Disaster Recovery, Backup, and Archive DevOps Databases (SQL, Oracle, NoSQL) Cloud Volumes ONTAP is offered in a standard single-node configuration or in a High Availability (HA) configuration.

For SMB and Enterprises who are looking for high performance primary storage for server virtualization, VDI, database and Big Data scenarios, or inexpensive secondary backup tier, our solution is StarWind Storage Appliance. It unifies commodity servers, disks and flash, and associated software into an easily scalable storage platform.

Additionally, the appliance features an optional gateway to Azure public cloud, which helps to implement an effective Disaster Recovery plan or meet regulatory requirements. StarWind SA scales up by adding individual disks and flash modules, or JBODs, while adding ready controller nodes allows scaling out. 

StarWind SA targets those, who need high-performance primary storage or secondary storage for backup. In case there is a whole virtualization infrastructure to build from scratch, StarWind HCA will come in handy. Otherwise, if all the required hardware is present, StarWind Virtual SAN will be enough to build a high-performance virtualization setup. 

For SMB, ROBO, Cloud and Hosting providers, who look to cut down virtualization expenses, our solution is StarWind VSAN. It is software that eliminates any need in physical shared storage by basically “mirroring” internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers. There is less hardware to buy in general, consequently less money is spent on purchase and maintenance. The existing hardware is used with maximum efficiency, so there is no money wasted at all.

StarWind Virtual SAN targets those who already have servers, or are bound to a particular vendor list to buy from. In case there is a new virtualization infrastructure to be built from scratch, StarWind offers a much better way – StarWind HyperConverged Appliance. It is a turnkey solution complete with hardware and software, powered by StarWind Virtual SAN. Those who need to build and maintain virtualization infrastructure at little to no expense, may be interested in StarWind Virtual SAN Free.

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Sample Customers
Rohit, AdvacnedMD, D2L, Trinity Mirror, Eidos Media, WireStorm, Cordant Group, JFK Medical Center, ALD Automotive, Healthix, City of Baton Rouge, ON Semiconductor Bosch, EC2 IT, Solid Earth Inc., CanonBaker Tilly BVI, CMS Internet, Board Harpeth Hall School
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
Healthcare Company27%
Energy/Utilities Company12%
Comms Service Provider8%
Manufacturing Company8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company40%
Manufacturing Company13%
Comms Service Provider9%
Media Company9%
No Data Available
REVIEWERS
Construction Company9%
Manufacturing Company9%
Energy/Utilities Company7%
Transportation Company7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Computer Software Company20%
Comms Service Provider11%
Government7%
Energy/Utilities Company6%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business8%
Midsize Enterprise15%
Large Enterprise77%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business10%
Midsize Enterprise8%
Large Enterprise83%
No Data Available
REVIEWERS
Small Business62%
Midsize Enterprise22%
Large Enterprise16%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business54%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise25%
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM Spectrum Scale vs. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP and other solutions. Updated: September 2020.
437,557 professionals have used our research since 2012.
StarWind Storage Appliance is ranked 7th in NAS with 2 reviews while StarWind Virtual SAN is ranked 2nd in Software Defined Storage (SDS) with 51 reviews. StarWind Storage Appliance is rated 9.6, while StarWind Virtual SAN is rated 9.6. The top reviewer of StarWind Storage Appliance writes "Works as a service and does not require too many resources on the host". On the other hand, the top reviewer of StarWind Virtual SAN writes "It is more flexible than most VSAN solutions. You can run it across two hosts. You don't need a third host observing it". StarWind Storage Appliance is most compared with FreeNAS, StorMagic SvSAN, HPE StoreVirtual and VMware vSAN, whereas StarWind Virtual SAN is most compared with VMware vSAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, Nutanix Acropolis and DataCore SANsymphony SDS.

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