StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Previous Solutions

Ross Bullock
IT Manager at Bonitas Trust
We had a Dell EqualLogic solution with multiple Hyper-V hosts and resilient SANs before we migrated to StarWind. For us, StarWind was a software option that would potentially reduce our costs and give us the same level of resilience that we had before. We've also increased performance and capacity. If we had to replace the same technology in a Dell EqualLogic product, or whatever the new SAN product that they might have is called, it would cost us significantly more. Being in education, at the moment, money is quite tight. What we wanted is the best possible resilient solution at a good price point. That's what we got from it. Also, the StarWind guys worked really hard to make the right kind of compromises to give us both the performance that we needed and a price we could afford. That's another element to this. When you buy a solution from Dell, you have to buy a particular model. There is an element of configuration, and there are discounts available depending on the time of the month or where you are in that calendar year — offers and deals to schools. Whereas StarWind was prepared to drill right down into the solution, look at exactly what we needed it to do, and make the compromises in the right places. So we still got the same level of resilience that we had before, but we got improved performance and improved capacity at a much cheaper price. View full review »
Owner at Data Barn
The solution this replaced was all home-brewed. It was all running on a Windows Server. We had a backplane connected to a few different storage area network arrays. It worked well but it incurred quite a bit of overhead just to manage it. If you've ever heard of people working with just Microsoft Failover Cluster Manager with backplanes, it was a bear, both to physically connect and to manage. The concept of an HCA was actually kind of new to me, at the time. We had been under the practice of putting processing and volatile memory on one box and putting all of our storage into other boxes. That introduced some issues with single points of failure: If your switch fails then your storage is done and if your network switch fails then your communication is done. I had started researching Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, which I believe was a new feature in 2016. StarWind must have a lot of search engine optimization related to Storage Spaces Direct, because they ended up coming up, really early, as an alternative. They're very active on Spiceworks and they were constantly in threads about Storage Spaces and putting their product out there. I ended up researching them and the total cost of ownership, hardware-wise, was possibly a little bit higher than bringing up your own, but the fact that support and configuration were included in that price, made it a slam-dunk for us. View full review »
David Rager
CEO CIO at Store & Haul Inc
We didn't have a previous solution. This TMW system, deploying it, is the first that I've had. It's my first attempt at streamlining everything from a systems perspective. I had some physical servers that I was using for different things, like a QuickBooks Server and print server, a domain controller, and some basic things like that. I didn't have anything that was high-availability. StarWind was one that in my research had come up again and again. It was like, "Hey, look at these guys and what they're doing, and their pricing is reasonable for a mid-sized to small business." I found them in several different forums at several places and decided to give them a call. I was really impressed with everything that I'd seen from them. View full review »
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Kristopher Skully
Systems Administrator at Hospice of the Western Reserve
Our previous Hyper-V cluster was a classic architecture cluster with separate iSCSI SANs. It consisted of five Dell EMC servers and four Dell EMC EqualLogic SANs that took some trial and error, along with many support calls to multiple companies, to get running properly. That took quite a while to set up after finding problems with the initial deployment and hidden limitations with the hardware. One of our initial requirements was to have the data on two separate pieces of hardware, which the EqualLogic SANs support with their SyncRep feature, but the performance was so terrible with that feature activated that we couldn’t even run one virtual machine on the system. We were forced to find a different option, at minimal cost, to fulfill this requirement. We actually ended up buying StarWind's Virtual SAN solution years ago, and layered that on top of the Dell EqualLogic SANs to provide the redundancy that they were unable to provide, out-of-the-box, at a reasonable rate of performance. StarWind’s Virtual SAN software was able to keep synchronized copies of the data on two separate pieces of hardware and the performance was great. When we first built our previous cluster, we had looked at a hyper-converged option, but that architecture was still very new and we weren’t quite comfortable with it. Since then, the industry has moved towards hyper-converged and there are many more options available. When it came time to refresh the hardware, we wanted a hyper-converged solution to save on expense and complexity. We looked at several vendors before making a decision. We made sure to look at StarWind’s options because we had been using their vSAN for years. It seems like the perfect solution. View full review »
Claire Madison
IT Manager at Projects Inc.
We didn't have a previous hyperconverged solution. View full review »
IT Infrastructure Analyst at a retailer with 201-500 employees
It was just a straight one-for-one swap. Decomplication was really was the main driver for it. If you're troubleshooting problems on Windows Server core on iSCSI and logging into a bit of an unfriendly VNX with no info panel on it, and if it was struggling, it had a lot of trouble telling you. We had to actually order a special cable to be able to serial into it at one point. This solution is relatively straightforward now. We came across StarWind by just having a look at what options were out there. I liked StarWind because, when you look at their material online, they seem more geared towards education. They've got a quite extensive Knowledge Base and they are very good at tutorials. Other companies seemed more to emphasize the marketing: "Look at our shiny boxes." View full review »
Interim CTO at Royal Koopmans
A hyperconverged cluster had never been used at this company, but from a storage point of view, LeftHand was used. The company moved to StarWind because I advised it. I know StarWind, how it performs and how good it is. To me, there was no other option. I will always start with StarWind, for all clients I will service in the future. I know it's good, it performs well, and the price is right. View full review »
IT Manager at a transportation company with 51-200 employees
We never had anything that was hyperconverged like this. We had a standard pair of Windows servers that were utilizing a SAN appliance. That equipment was becoming very old and with the StarWind solution we could eliminate the SAN component altogether. View full review »
IT Operations Manager
We used an HP StorageWorks X1600 for our shared storage with two HP DL360 G7s as our hosts. We switched due to performance issues (slow backups) and to increase fault tolerance since we only had one shared storage device. View full review »
Ho-Ching Yung
IT Director/Senior Software Developer at a construction company with 201-500 employees
Ben Poole
Previously we used a mix of physical and virtualized servers. This was antiquated and inadequate for our organization, so we gave StarWind a try. View full review »
User at a non-profit with 501-1,000 employees
Andrew Wolf
Civil Engineer at a construction company with 11-50 employees
We didn't previously use a hyper-converged solution. We used Veeam to take care of any potential failovers manually. We still utilize Veeam, but we wanted to add a hyper-converged product to free up some time devoted to manual maintenance. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about StarWind, Dell EMC, DataCore and others in Software Defined Storage (SDS). Updated: January 2020.
391,122 professionals have used our research since 2012.