StarWind Virtual SAN

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What is StarWind Virtual SAN?

StarWind VSAN eliminates any need in physical shared storage by simply mirroring internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers.

StarWind VSAN runs as a native hypervisor component or in VM, and it does not require any deep storage and network administration or UNIX management skills. A typical system administrator with minimal experience in Hyper-V, VMware or Windows can do VSAN configuration, configure and maintain VSAN operations. Virtual SAN from StarWind cuts the costs at least in half, meaning both Operational and Capital Expenditure, and frees from hidden VSAN licensing expenses. It eliminates the actual physical shared storage, corresponding infrastructure, associated deployment and maintenance activities. Virtual SAN from StarWind works on commodity hardware, so there’s not only less hardware to purchase and maintain, but also the required hardware is inexpensive. VSAN performance is uncompromised by the minimalistic hardware footprint, reduced deployment and management costs. StarWind VSAN brings to the table server-side flash and memor caches, log-structuring and an absolutely minimalistic I/O path. The resulting performance is unmatched by either typical virtual appliances or physical shared storage.



StarWind Virtual SAN Awards


StarWind Virtual SAN currently scores 93/100 (Top 3 in IT Management) in the IT Management category. This is based on user satisfaction (97/100), press buzz (48/100), recent user trends (falling), and other relevant information on StarWind Virtual SAN gathered from around the web.

The score for this software has declined over the past month. What is this?
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Regional Restrictions: USA, EMEA, Asia

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StarWind Virtual SAN Review

Editors' Review by the IT Management Software Review Team

StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN) is an entirely software-based ‘cloud storage solution’, a ‘hypervisor-focused virtual machine storage’ designed for small and midsize businesses, cloud and hosting providers.

It is a cloud storage solution that enables SMBs, ROBOs (remote office/branch office) and cloud hosting service providers to mirror internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers, thus eliminating the need for physically shared storage. StarWind Virtual SAN (storage area network) is equipped with features and capabilities geared towards SMBs, such as a high-performance iSCSI (internet small computer systems interface) stack, synchronous replication and two-node scenario.

StarWind VSAN works by instantly copying or replicating data to a secondary node over a network, ensuring immediate failover for the organization’s mission-critical apps.

The VSAN platform is being presented as a lightweight software-defined storage (SDS) meant for SMBs and enterprise ROBO. The cloud-based platform is specifically designed to be compatible with any hypervisor and is hardware-agnostic. It can be seamlessly integrated into any existing infrastructure with minimum requirements, so businesses and organizations implementing the platform can benefit from continuous uptime in a true two-node scenario.

The StarWind Virtual SAN solution works with no strict hardware compatibility lists (HCL) and it is licensed on a per-node basis. A single license will give users access to all the available features once purchased, with the difference lies only in the capacity volume. The platform also facilitates other key processes, including data migration, deployment and configuration. StarWind VSAN is capable of providing up to 90% of raw performance, can squeeze up to 100% IOPS out of the user’s existing hardware and works on the iSCSI layer.

In addition, StarWind VSAN is capable of understanding and communicating with the majority of uplink protocols, including NVMe-oF (nonvolatile memory express-over fabric). It also works effectively on top of hardware or software RAID, using MDADM command with the Z file system (ZFS). Finally, the cloud storage solution is capable of performing two- or three-way synchronous replication and the true two-node solution is enabled via HeartBeat with no witness required.

StarWind Virtual SAN Features

The features listed below are just a few of the many features and services that are offered by StarWind Virtual SAN cloud storage platform. To get the complete feature set and other offerings, you should visit the StarWind official website.

StarWind command center

The command center is a management feature that allows you to operate your organization’s hyper-converged infrastructure components from within a single web tab. StarWind Command Center has a web-based user interface that works as a centralized window for human-computer interaction (HCI) management and monitoring. This feature gives you the ability to simplify your day-to-day routine by having complete control over your hardware and software resources, such as storage and networking, workloads, virtual machines (VMs) and backups, all in one cohesive location.

Web-based management

StarWind VSAN is equipped with a robust web-based management solution that empowers system administrators to access and manage their VSAN storage infrastructures through an HTML5 web console from anywhere at any time. This kind of functionality provides them with complete control over their organization’s storage-related operations by simply using iOS, Android or Windows mobile devices, in addition to their conventional desktop PCs and laptops.

StarWind NVMe-oF protocol

StarWind’s nonvolatile memory express over fabrics, or NVMe-oF for short, is a protocol implementation method that enables you to fully maximize your PCIe SSD utilization in hypervisor-centric or Hyper-V environments. The implementation of the NVMe-oF protocol makes it possible for the system to completely remove or diminish the core variations between an NVMe that is presented over the network and a locally connected NVMe drive.

Z file system (ZFS) integration

StarWind has the ability to integrate with the Z file system or ZFS, which delivers reliable data integrity and local redundancy for businesses and organizations that want to protect their highly sensitive, business-critical data. With ZFS integration, your team should have the ability to create enterprise-grade storage systems at reasonable cost, i.e. at small and midsize business level cost. StarWind integration with ZFS also provides great scalability options, which can facilitate business growth devoid of hardware restrictions.

VSA deployment support

StarWind supports virtual storage appliance (VSA) deployment. This means you have the option to deploy StarWind VSAN as a VSA in which the VSAN is operated as a pre-packaged Linux-based virtual machine (VM) on top of the hypervisor you have chosen. This approach allows you to experience the benefits of an open-source Linux operating system, including its innovative capabilities and how updates can be efficiently implemented into your system as soon as they become available.

Storage management initiative specification (SMI-S)

This StarWind Virtual SAN feature offers a straightforward and cohesive method of orchestrating your entire storage infrastructure. The StarWind SMI-S provider gives both the system and storage administrators access to a single management interface, which the vendor refers to as a single-pane-of-glass, over OpenStack and SCVMM. With the SMI-S support, the majority of all system operations can be conveniently run from the console and are mostly automated.

Automated storage tiering

StarWind Automated Storage Tiering is a feature that effectively removes the need for users to manually intervene when it comes to assigning storage space for specific applications. This is mainly because the information flow between tiers is fully automated. In addition, the system also prevents SMBs and enterprise ROBOs from going all-flash since the feature is capable of effectively matching workload-intensive apps with equally high-quality storage. This helps eliminate, or at least reduce, the possible occurrence of overprovisioning.

StarWind VSAN Dashboard

StarWind Virtual SAN Benefits

StarWind VSAN offers a number of benefits that businesses and organizations find very useful. There are a lot of benefits, but we’re only going to cover a few in this review. If you want to learn more, you can visit the official StarWind website.

High-quality performance at SMB-level cost

StarWind Virtual SAN delivers high uptime and fault tolerance even with just two nodes. The cloud-based platform doesn’t require a witness if you choose to not have one and your entire IT infrastructure won’t get bogged down even if you lose a whole node plus a single storage device, HDD or SSD. You can easily scale up, scale down or even scale out whenever and however you want. This software-based cloud storage solution ensures that cost-efficiency and high-quality performance are working together seamlessly.

Powerful and unique user experience

With StarWind VSAN, you can effectively run your HCI clusters via a cohesive StarWind web user interface (UI). The company employs a highly experienced team of engineers who are able and willing to assist your own team in the migration process of all your existing workloads to the StarWind platform with no added expense.

You may also opt for the ProActive Premium Support package, so the StarWind team will be able to fully manage your IT environment 24/7 and your team can focus on other aspects of your operation. The StarWind team will even identify, troubleshoot and take care of any issues that may arise and debrief you and your team about it on a time and date that’s convenient for you.

Maximum return on investment (ROI)

StarWind Virtual SAN is designed to serve the needs of small and midsize businesses. It was created with SMBs in mind, especially companies with limited IT resources and budgets. This software-based cloud storage solution is capable of pulling out close to 100% of the IOPS from your existing raw storage facility and it does it all without any expensive hardware necessary. The best part is that StarWind VSAN licensing is completely flexible and transparent. You don’t have to worry about any potential pitfalls when purchasing the product and there are no feature paywalls.

No more dedicated shared storage

StarWind VSAN supports the implementation of the network file system (NFS), a dedicated system protocol that enables users to remotely access information over a network just as if they were stored locally. The implementation of the NFS protocol renders the demand for dedicated shared storage completely unnecessary. This strategy also helps significantly reduce the capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) of your company. Moreover, this approach fuses the storage and compute layers, thus allowing the cluster to work well even with just two nodes.

Ransomware protection with no added cost

StarWind VSAN offers ransomware protection at no extra cost. Ransomware is not capable of encrypting tape libraries, making virtual tapes the far safer option when it comes to backup repositories, especially when compared to network-attached storage (NAS) or storage area network (SAN). With additional copies of your data stored in Glacier and Amazon S3, you pretty much have a robust data security system. You don’t have to worry about losing access to your data, even if your entire on-premises IT infrastructure has been compromised.

StarWind Virtual SAN Pricing

Pricing for StarWind Virtual SAN is quote-based only, so interested parties will need to contact the vendor directly to ask for a quote.

Conclusion

StarWind VSAN is considered by many in the industry as the premier hyperconvergence and storage virtualization system in the market. The software-based cloud storage platform delivers customizable software-defined storage and turnkey solutions designed to optimize underlying storage capacity requirements, ensure fault tolerance, maximize uptime of IT environments and boost the customer’s return on investment. A free version of StarWind Virtual SAN is available on the vendor’s website. It might be worth checking out if you’re interested.

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StarWind Virtual SAN Product Overview


Languages Supported: English
Regional Restrictions: USA, EMEA, Asia

IT Management Software Buyer Guide 2022

Product recommendations, vendor rankings, market overview and tips on how to select IT Management software for business. Published in August 2022.

Products in this software category help an organization manage its IT resources, including workstations, servers and applications. These products often include remote device management functionality, which means you can monitor and resolve any issues remote...

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StarWind Virtual SAN Features

  • 2-Factor Authentication
  • Anti-Virus
  • API
  • Calendar Management
  • Customer Management
  • Dashboard
  • Data Export
  • Data Import
  • Data Visualization
  • Email Integration
  • External Integrations
  • File Sharing
  • File Transfer
  • Firewall
  • Google Apps Integration
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Multi-User
  • Notifications
  • Project Management
  • Scheduling
  • Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons
  • Malware Protection
  • SAP Integration
  • Bug Tracking
  • Network Traffic Monitoring
  • Network Visualization
  • Network Device Performance Monitoring

StarWind Virtual SAN FAQs

Does StarWind Virtual SAN offer an API?

Our services offers several APIs:
• PowerShell API
• REST API (coming Q4 2019)
• Swordfish API
• SMI-S
• VVOLs/VASA

What platforms does StarWind Virtual SAN support?

The service supports Windows Server 2008R2 or later, VMware vSphere 5.5 or later.

Does StarWind Virtual SAN offer multi-user capability (e.g. teams)?

The nature of the software doesn’t create the necessity for multi-user capabilities.

What is StarWind Virtual SAN generally used for?

StarWind is generally used to ensure constant uptime of all the application of a business. It does so by replicating data between multiple servers and making sure that in case of hardware or software failures the applications will resume working on the remaining servers.

Who are the main user groups of StarWind Virtual SAN?

This product is typically a B2B product. If we were to segregate the user groups by industry and business size, StarWind typically is used by Small and Medium Enterprise companies within the Educational, Public and Government Sectors. In the Enterprise business we are typically represented in Retail, Restaurant chains and other Remote Office Branch Office style businesses. If we were to identify the user groups within the businesses that purchase StarWind, the typical stakeholders are IT admins and CIOs.

Does StarWind Virtual SAN offer guides, tutorials and or customer support?

Yes, you may find it on our Resource Library: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/resource-library/

What are some applications StarWind Virtual SAN is commonly used in tandem with?

This service is typically used as the underlying storage for applications. The most common applications deployed on it are SQL databases, ERP systems, and various industry-specific mission critical applications.

Does StarWind Virtual SAN integrate with any other apps?

The service can be either integrated into various infrastructure management applications or applications can be integrated into our software.

StarWind Virtual SAN User Reviews

Average User Rating:
4.87/5 based on 34 user ratings.
Your Rating:
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"A Solid and Affordable VSAN Technology "


What do you like about StarWind Virtual SAN?

StarWind provided a preconfigured setup of hardware and VSAN software that was easily customizable prior to ordering. This enabled us to build systems that fit our different sized environments. We also like the redundant storage aspect of the solution which improves our storage availability at our sites.

What do you dislike about StarWind Virtual SAN?

There could be better product listings on their website with pricing for current and future customers. Also, a product tracking feature would be nice to view the configuration and shipping status of your hardware.

What have you been using it for and what problems did StarWind Virtual SAN solve?

StarWind provides the hardware and the virtual storage for my company. We needed to replace our aged server infrastructure at our sites without breaking the bank. In addition, we needed to introduce new technologies like VSANs. StarWind was able to provide an affordable solution that fit our needs.

5/5
Usefulness
4/5
Ease of use
5/5
Value for money
5/5
Customer service
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