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Norman Allen
Head of Information Technology at Baker Tilly BVI & Baker Tilly Cayman
Real User
Top 5
A simple to use, cost-effective replacement for our physical SAN that has reliable storage replication

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the reliable storage replication, which enables me to create a robust infrastructure to run our business."
  • "I wish the sync after a failure, such as hardware failure or power-related issues, for example, was faster."

What is our primary use case?

StarWind Virtual SAN, along with two Fujitsu Primergy servers, forms the backbone of our hyper-converged solution. This storage, network, and compute solution is used for our Hyper-V cluster. From this cluster, we run all of our virtual servers, which in turn run our business-critical infrastructure. This includes domain controllers, file servers, database servers, application servers, and everything to support it.

How has it helped my organization?

We once operated with a physical SAN, several servers, along with the networking equipment and the required fiber-channel infrastructure.

StarWind Virtual SAN allowed us to eliminate the need for any physical SANs. We also got rid of the expensive fiber-channel equipment. Now, we just have two servers that form the StarWind nodes and that's it!

All of our storage, networking that includes 1GB and 10GB Ethernet, and compute power are all housed in the StarWind Virtual SAN solution. 

It's simple and very reliable.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the reliable storage replication, which enables me to create a robust infrastructure to run our business.

Presenting Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) from StarWind Virtual SAN to Hyper-V simplifies my storage management and reduces costs vs having a physical SAN.  

What needs improvement?

If a node goes offline unexpectedly, a re-sync between the nodes takes place in order to ensure data integrity.  This sync, though necessary, can take several hours.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had StarWind Virtual SAN for nearly four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've now been using StarWind Virtual SAN for over 7 years.  While I have had underlying hardware go bad during this time, the Virtual SAN never failed.  I have replaced an entire hardware node with zero downtime.  It's rock solid.  

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

Prior to adopting StarWind Virtual SAN, I had multiple Dell Equallogic SAN devices.  When it was time to replace the Equallogic with new hardware, the costs were unjustifiable after learning about and evaluating StarWind Virtual SAN.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
FF
IT Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Eliminates the need for other physical shared storage

Pros and Cons

  • "It's quite easy to install."
  • "Updating the software can be a bit tricky."

What is our primary use case?

As traditional storage is too expensive, our clients are looking for a more affordable solution. If you compare StarWind to EqualLogic EMC or NetApp, it's a cheaper option.

What needs improvement?

Updating the software can be a bit tricky. You have to go down scripts to put it in maintenance mode, etc. It takes a while to update. From my experience, I think that's a thing that they need to improve on.

Every time I put it in maintenance mode, all of the replications stop. If they could fix this, it would be a great product.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using StarWind Virtual SAN since June 2020.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it's hard to say because I haven't really added anything. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Most of the information was quite clear on their website. The knowledge base is quite sufficient with all the info required. For this reason, I haven't had to contact technical support.

How was the initial setup?

It's quite easy to install. Also, the configuration and documentation guide from their site was quite good.

What about the implementation team?

We don't need maintenance. We do it ourselves. As I said, it's pretty straightforward —  standard, to install. It's not complex.

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

I think the cost of this solution is quite fair.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure to consider the requirements of your environment. If you're in a high-performance-driven environment, I don't think this is the right solution. In this case, I would go with a traditional storage solution because you'll get better performance out of a physical one. For me, it's just a cheaper solution that doesn't require indigenous apps, etc.

I would not go for enterprise deployment. I'll go with the traditional one. Make sure your requirements fit with what you want to buy.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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DM
Tech Support Manager at National Health Fund
User
Simple to set up, easy to configure and manage and allows us to achieve storage redundancy
My organization has been using StarWind for about two years. We use it as a storage solution for our virtual environment. It is used to provide a High Availability cluster. We found this to be the best option for us as we have a myriad of servers, some applications, some SQL, some web, etc. Using this solution has allowed us to use virtual services to achieve our business objectives The solutions use span our entire organization. It gives us the ability to use existing hardware in a cost-effective manner. PROS vSAN we found was simple to set up, easy to configure and manage and allows us to achieve storage redundancy. CONS I see no need for major improvements but there could be some improvements in the form of notifications and the simplifying of maintenance mode.

My organization has been using StarWind for about two years.

We use it as a storage solution for our virtual environment.

It is used to provide a High Availability cluster. We found this to be the best option for us as we have a myriad of servers, some applications, some SQL, some web, etc. Using this solution has allowed us to use virtual services to achieve our business objectives

The solutions use span our entire organization. It gives us the ability to use existing hardware in a cost-effective manner.

PROS

vSAN we found was simple to set up, easy to configure and manage and allows us to achieve storage redundancy.

CONS

I see no need for major improvements but there could be some improvements in the form of notifications and the simplifying of maintenance mode.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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ITCS user
IT Department Manager/Senior IT Administrator at Synergium Sweden AB
Real User
Top 20
Performs well, quick to set up, stable, and good technical support
High performance while eliminating the single point of failure. Our previous physical SAN was outdated and wasn't able to keep up with our needs. It was a single point of failure as well, so we started looking for another solution to replace it. Once we started searching, we found really good reviews and recommendations on StarWind VSAN. After some consulting, we chose them and weren't disappointed. The overall experience is really good, and Starwind VSAN has been working rock-solid from the launch. We are especially happy with the pre-sales help, where all of our questions were answered quickly and accurately. The installation and initial configuration were quick. The deployment was completed by StarWind support and everything worked as promised.  Pros: Quick setup, great support,…

High performance while eliminating the single point of failure.

Our previous physical SAN was outdated and wasn't able to keep up with our needs. It was a single point of failure as well, so we started looking for another solution to replace it. Once we started searching, we found really good reviews and recommendations on StarWind VSAN.

After some consulting, we chose them and weren't disappointed. The overall experience is really good, and Starwind VSAN has been working rock-solid from the launch.

We are especially happy with the pre-sales help, where all of our questions were answered quickly and accurately. The installation and initial configuration were quick. The deployment was completed by StarWind support and everything worked as promised. 

Pros: Quick setup, great support, stability is great. 

Cons: Having more support plan options would be nice. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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reviewer1296921
IT Manager at a pharma/biotech company
Real User
Top 10
Cost-effective, easy to implement, and the technical support is good

What is our primary use case?

We have a fault-tolerant infrastructure, consisting of two storage nodes hosting the VM's storage and two Hyper-V nodes.

How has it helped my organization?

It has given the company an almost zero possibility of downtime.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are: Easy implementation Great Support It doesn’t break the bank

What needs improvement?

New versions of this solution should be tested more thoroughly before the release, as we had a few problems with one version due to a bug.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for four years.

What is our primary use case?

We have a fault-tolerant infrastructure, consisting of two storage nodes hosting the VM's storage and two Hyper-V nodes.

How has it helped my organization?

It has given the company an almost zero possibility of downtime.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are:

  1. Easy implementation
  2. Great Support
  3. It doesn’t break the bank

What needs improvement?

New versions of this solution should be tested more thoroughly before the release, as we had a few problems with one version due to a bug.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for four years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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