StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Reviews

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HunterMorgan
Consultant
Owner at Data Barn
Jan 05 2020

What is most valuable?

I have burned a lot of time in the past configuring stuff like this myself, so the ability to pay a little bit of extra money to have something like this delivered, where… more»

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has probably saved me 100 hours of implementation work. In terms of support, we're probably on the low end of requirements because we don't have a lot of… more»

What needs improvement?

That situation, where Dell EMC servers were going down, has been my only real difficulty. I do understand that we were using refurbished Dell EMC hardware, so that may… more»

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

In terms of the hardware pricing, we ended up going with refurbished machines because we're not in quite as critical a situation as other service providers may be. The… more»

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

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… more»

What other advice do I have?

Look long and hard at your current hardware. There is a significant utility in sticking with a single vendor for stuff like this. If you are at that point where you need… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options and, overall, the thing that made us go with StarWind was really the community involvement, mostly on Spiceworks. They're on Reddit too. Seeing… more»
David Rager
Real User
CEO CIO at Store & Haul Inc
Sep 10 2019

What is most valuable?

High-availability is what I bought it for. The hardware footprint size is good. They use Dell EMC boxes for the appliances. They're pretty standard for the industry, as… more»

How has it helped my organization?

We're getting close to 50 trucks and growing pretty quickly. We have guys out on the road all the time and this system we're putting in place is going to track all of that… more»

What needs improvement?

This is just being nit-picky but 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… more»

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

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… more»

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

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… more»

What other advice do I have?

I feel like it's a pretty solid solution. I actually asked them if they're publicly traded because I was going to buy stock in their company. I would really encourage… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at other options like the vSAN from VMware, but the prices for our size of company were just too cost-prohibitive. Cost was the main, deciding factor. I compared… more»
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.
Kristopher Skully
Real User
Systems Administrator at Hospice of the Western Reserve
Sep 02 2019

What is most valuable?

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… more»

How has it helped my organization?

The old solution we had worked. It was starting to show its age and it consisted of several more pieces of equipment than the StarWind HyperConverged Appliances. It has saved us time because there are… more»

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

Other than the standard licensing fee for StarWind HCA, there are the server costs and the server support. We purchased all of this thorough StarWind on one invoice.

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

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… more»

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson that we've learned from using it is to let somebody else do all the hard work of finding the right configuration and putting together the hardware. It will save you a lot of time… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Dell EMC VxRail, Nutanix, HPE Simplivity, and another option. In terms of the differences between these solutions and StarWind, price was a huge factor, as well as flexibility and the… more»
Claire Madison
Real User
IT Manager at Projects Inc.
Nov 01 2019

What is most valuable?

Nearly all of it is valuable. On a software level, it works really well. I've never had any issues with the hosts communicating with each other. The failover works… more»

How has it helped my organization?

We used to have a lot of issues with our database servers. At one point, we had a database front-end that required five different servers to run, literally five physical… more»

What needs improvement?

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… more»

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

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… more»

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

We didn't have a previous hyperconverged solution.

What other advice do I have?

Not so much with the appliance itself, but more the process for going from physical to virtual machines took a lot of planning. That was a little challenging. They did… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Nutanix and we looked at Dell VRTX and we decided on StarWind ultimately, by a pretty significant margin. With the Nutanix, we didn't like the fact that… more»
Andrew_Lee
Real User
IT Infrastructure Analyst at a retailer with 201-500 employees
Nov 01 2019

What is most valuable?

We bought their ProActive Premium Support. That's why they email us when we have rebooted to patch, and they check with us that everything is okay. We've not really had any problems with it, so it has… more»

How has it helped my organization?

It's just taken over the job of something that was going out-of-support. The only thing that we have really noticed as being a massive improvement — because of the live migrations, because it's… more»

What needs improvement?

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… more»

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

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… more»

What other advice do I have?

They're not really appliances, they're are just two servers with a bit of software on them. It's slightly misleading that it's hyperconverged appliances. It's just two white-box servers with a… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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. If we… more»
ReinierMuller
Real User
Interim CTO at Royal Koopmans
Dec 03 2019

What is most valuable?

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… more»

How has it helped my organization?

Using the StarWind solution, I was able to consolidate all the servers, hardware and firmware, with a three-node StarWind cluster, based on Hyper-V. As a result, in this… more»

What needs improvement?

A past problem that they fixed was related to split-brain syndrome. The only thing that is lacking would be a fool-proof GUI for system administrators. At the moment, the… more»

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

The pricing model is very straightforward. I always go for the maximum, enterprise-level. It includes all the services I need and availability guarantees. It's a turnkey… more»

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

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… more»

What other advice do I have?

I would advise you to let StarWind be in control. Let them guide you through the process. If you follow the procedure they offer you, it will be an easy implementation… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If I have to decide, if I can choose, I will never evaluate other options. I know the market. I have been in the IT business for over 35 years. I know what's good and I… more»
ChrisKlose
Real User
IT Manager at a transportation company with 51-200 employees
Nov 04 2019

What is most valuable?

The fact that it has eliminated a separate SAN has been really handy. We moved away from an older SAN and that's one of the reasons we got this. The synchronization has also worked really well. From a… more»

How has it helped my organization?

By using this solution we have reduced some of our physical machines and virtualized them. We've consolidated some other standalone, virtual hosts into the single cluster. It's really helped that… more»

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

There was a one-time, upfront cost but I don't know what the recurring cost is. I imagine it's the standard 18 to 20 percent maintenance. Nothing stands out as unusual about this solution in my… more»

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

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… more»

What other advice do I have?

Know what your needs are. Know your requirements. Know your environment. Those are the typical things you ought to know before investing in something like this. Beyond that, ask any questions you have… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't think we considered anything else like this. Our other choice would have just been to update our SAN and update our other Windows servers: keeping the old model but with new hardware.
Real User
IT Operations Manager
Dec 03 2018

What is most valuable?

The management interface is really easy to use. Updates are much less painful, and the proactive support is fantastic.

How has it helped my organization?

Our two goals were to improve performance and add fault tolerance. Even before implementation, the StarWind team analyzed our current workload to determine which HCA would be appropriate for us. This… more»

What needs improvement?

We are happy with the product, and my only suggestion would be a better process for an unplanned power outage.

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

Do your research. You will find that nothing compares to the value you get with the HCA appliance. If you have a limited budget, the decision is an easy one.

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

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… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes. We evaluated Nutanix, HPE, Dell, NetApp, Scale.
See 7 More StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Reviews

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User Assessments By Topic About StarWind HyperConverged Appliance

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.

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Questions

What is StarWind HyperConverged Appliance?

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. 

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance customers

Sears Home and Franchise Business