StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Reviews

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Ross Bullock
Real User
IT Manager at Bonitas Trust
Jan 26 2020

What is most valuable?

What makes it valuable is the high-availability. In the education field, when you've got students in classrooms, any loss of service disrupts the lessons to a point that the whole lesson is affected… more»

How has it helped my organization?

Overall, the solution has improved our system's performance. We were with Dell products before and those products were getting towards seven years old so they were at end-of-life. This product has an… more»

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

We bought a seven-year solution including licensing, hardware maintenance, and ProActive Support. For us, in a school, we tend to buy high-end equipment — hardware and servers — and look at them in… more»

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

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… more»

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to check it out. Everybody has a tick-box of what they want to achieve with a product. If you've got that, apply it to StarWind. Give them a chance to offer you a solution that meets all… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Microsoft storage but what we wanted was the resilience and the dynamic replication of data across two comms rooms. Before, we did that with EqualLogic SANs and physical Hyper-V hosts… more»
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»
Find out what your peers are saying about StarWind, Dell EMC, DataCore and others in Software Defined Storage (SDS). Updated: January 2020.
397,408 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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»
Real User
Systems Admin at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Feb 04 2020

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of the solution are the redundancy and its cost. I used to have a SAN, a Dell EMC EqualLogic. Unfortunately, it was what they call an "inverted pyramid of doom." It was two… more»

How has it helped my organization?

We can do updates without any problems. We can move all my VMs to one host and do updates on the other host. We can bring it down, move everything over to the other host, and then update the other… more»

What needs improvement?

One area for improvement of the solution is that I had to get the HCAs with Windows Server installed to install the StarWind SAN software on, which I really didn't want because of the extra… more»

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

Regarding licensing fees, the caveat is that with the Windows-based OS, we have to pay for that licensing for both hosts. That's is another reason I wanted Linux. As for VMware, we already had VMware… more»

What other advice do I have?

I love StarWind HCA because of the cost and the redundancy. I love the service, the support. Across the board, it was the best choice. I love the HCA because it's all-in-one and everything is… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Dell EMC storage. The only option was Compellent, which was highly expensive. I looked at Nutanix which was still highly expensive. I also looked at StorPool; I liked the idea behind it… more»
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»
Matt_Thomas
Real User
Network Manager at Riverston Schools
Feb 02 2020

What is most valuable?

The support is the most valuable feature. The support has been amazing. It's around the clock. One of our hard disks accidentally ejected without me knowing or being… more»

How has it helped my organization?

To have someone looking at the alerts when the network, or at least when the HCAs go down, this means I don't have to keep checking the clusters and virtual machines to… more»

What needs improvement?

The only real flaw that I have seen so far is this hard drive that was accidentally ejected because when it was received and added back into the RAID. There was an error… more»

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

I was quite hesitant to buy these, and I don't know why. There is a bit of a start-up cost. Having never used HCAs before, I was reluctant to buy it. I would suggest that… more»

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

It fits into our racks very nicely. Before, we had a couple of data modules which were plugged in. They were huge, bulky, and heavy. They didn't fit in the racks. This is… more»

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson that I learned was I should have started as 1st Line Support. There was a situation where our old network manager had to leave quite suddenly, and there… more»

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at other options, just not HCAs. We looked at static storage to plug straight in. I spoke to Softcat about alternatives, but they said StarWind was getting… 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»
See 10 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.
397,408 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