StarWind Virtual SAN

StarWind Virtual SAN

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Score 9.7 out of 100
Top Rated
StarWind Virtual SAN

Overview

Recent Reviews

Great product and support

9 out of 10
September 14, 2022
StarWind is used as our primary storage system in our VMware environment. We wanted a HA storage system. We were using another system that …
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Flexible Storage

8 out of 10
July 09, 2022
A customer of ours purchased two platforms based around Dell VRX Blade technology. Their original thought was that they would replicate …
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An excellent product!

10 out of 10
July 05, 2022
An excellent product! It's easy to install, configure, use, and maintain. It performs well and suits our needs. The great advantage of …
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Pricing

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What is StarWind Virtual SAN?

StarWind Virtual SAN is software-defined storage for efficient storage and backup.

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee
For the latest information on pricing, visithttps://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwi…

Offerings

  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services

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Product Demos

StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN)
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Features Scorecard

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Product Details

What is StarWind Virtual SAN?

StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN) is presented by the vendor as a lightweight software-defined storage (SDS) for Enterprise ROBO, SMB & Edge that removes the need for physical storage. The solution is compatible with any hypervisor of choice, and is hardware-agnostic. The vendor invites users to integrate it into an existing infrastructure with minimum requirements, and enjoy constant uptime in a true 2-node scenario.

StarWind VSAN has no strict hardware compatibility lists (HCLs) and is licensed per node. A license unlocks access to all features upon purchase and differs only by capacity volume. The vendors promises customers get the chance to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO) while receiving 99.9999% uptime. StarWind also helps with configuration, deployment, and migration.

StarWind Virtual SAN:

  • provides 90% of raw performance
  • squeezes 100% IOPS out of existing hardware
  • works on the iSCSI layer
  • “speaks” most uplink protocols, including NVMe-oF
  • works on top of Hardware or Software RAID (MDADM, ZFS)
  • does 2- or 3-way synchronous replication, and more.

The true 2-node solution is enabled through HeartBeat (no witness required). Thanks to “mirroring” of internal disks and flash between hypervisor servers, customers receive fault-tolerant storage. It’s scalable up and out, allowing users to introduce infrastructure changes without downtime or additional licensing costs.

StarWind Virtual SAN makes enterprise-level virtual shared storage accessible.

StarWind Virtual SAN Screenshots

Screenshot of StarWind Management ConsoleScreenshot of StarWind Management ConsoleScreenshot of StarWind Virtual SANScreenshot of StarWind Virtual SAN

StarWind Virtual SAN Video

StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN)

StarWind Virtual SAN Downloadables

StarWind Virtual SAN Competitors

StarWind Virtual SAN Technical Details

Deployment TypesOn-premise
Operating SystemsWindows, Linux
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

StarWind Virtual SAN is software-defined storage for efficient storage and backup.

VMware vSAN and StorMagic SvSAN are common alternatives for StarWind Virtual SAN.

Reviewers rate Support Rating highest, with a score of 10.

The most common users of StarWind Virtual SAN are from Mid-sized Companies (51-1,000 employees) and the Information Technology & Services industry.
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Comparisons

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Reviews

(1-25 of 83)
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Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
My company leads business of alarm monitoring center. We need the system with no data loss in case of issues and with no interruption (or only several seconds of interruption) in data processing. We need full redundant environment for my database and for alarm monitoring center programs. A single server is not considerable. Before, we used a cluster of two Windows servers with shared storage system on a single hardware SAN. On this environment was running clustered SQL server with database mirroring. Every part of the system was redundant except for SAN. It was almost satisfying. Every cluster server system we know needs shared storage system. The cluster could be fully redundant, but this redundancy is worth nothing without a redundant storage system. We had a single SAN system. As a single system, SAN was not redundant. But we needed a redundant storage system. We always were afraid that once upon a time our SAN will stop to work. That's why I use StarWind Virtual San.
  • Before StarWind I used common SAN. It was one and only not redundant element in my system. Now I have redundant SAN system
  • Once I have set up the system I could forget I have it. No issues.
  • Performance of StarWind VSan is good
  • When I started to use it, there was one mising feature - I mean sending reports by email. But it is solved now.
It is very good and not very expensive solution for two node cluster with Hyper-V.
You can have full redundant storage system, you don't need to have third computer for witness.
I my opinion it is really great.
As I wrote I almost did everything without help. But my configuration was not optimal. Technical support od StarWind had cheched up my configuration and gave me some important advices, It was really pleasure to cooperate with support engineer.
September 14, 2022

Great product and support

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
StarWind is used as our primary storage system in our VMware environment. We wanted a HA storage system. We were using another system that was Active-Passive when the HA failed and it had to be rebuilt. We then researched and moved to StarWind and it has been working great for us!
  • Active-Active HA is rock solid.
  • It is relatively simple to set up and support will guide you through the process if needed.
  • Support responds fairly quickly.
  • If a disaster happens (power lost to both nodes due to battery backup failure) determining the most up-to-date storage is a bit tricky. It would be nice if there were clearer indicators.
StarWind works very well as the underlying storage for a virtualized environment. It has multiple configuration options that will fit your needs from Hyper-converged to multi-node cluster. During the update process I don't have to take VM's offline. I simply update one node and when all is synced I update the other node. In general the product just works. I rarely have to do anything but install updates.
In general support has been excellent and willing to go the extra mile to make sure the product is set up correctly and working. Support is generally very quick to respond and is knowledgeable about the product. They always take time to review the setup and make sure it is configured using best practices.
Grzegorz Magierski | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Before we used a cluster of two windows servers with shared storage system on a single SAN. Our theme was working with clustered SQL server with database mirroring. Every part of the system was redundant except for SAN. It was almost satisfying. Every cluster server system we know needs a shared storage system. Cluster could be fully redundant, but this redundancy is worth nothing without a redundant storage system. We had a single SAN system. As a single, SAN was not redundant. But we needed a redundant storage system. We always were afraid that once upon a time our SAN will stop working. We, of course, had backups, but it was not enough. What we needed was a system with no data loss in case of an issue and with no interruption (or only several seconds of interruption) in data processing. We were looking for a relatively simple and not very expensive solution. Now we have a redundant storage system, so our cluster system is fully redundant. We now have two clusters of two nodes Windows Hyper-V servers with StarWind V-san working as hosts.
  • Easy implementation
  • Very good support
  • I had no problems with understanding how the system worked. It was important to me.
  • The system has the possibility to send an e-mail message about issues, but only within the internal company mail system. I would like to have e-mail messages also when I'm away.
Hmm. StarWind gave me what I expected. I was looking for an inexpensive fully redundant storage system and I found it. With StarWind Virtual SAN, I have built my own little cloud system. We have two clusters of two nodes with Hyper-V servers and SW Virtual SAN working as hosts. These two clusters are located in the same city but several miles from one another. The VMs working on one of the clusters are replicated on another one. It works well and I'm satisfied. It is something like a very small private cloud.
Because they helped me to optimize my system and they did even more than I expected.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use StarWind vSAN as a High Availability, redundant and fail-safe solution! Previously we had multiple servers running multiple VM's, but if a server went down, restarted, failed to boot after a restart, we were left with mulitple servers offline and end users putting in tickets! With StarWind vSAN, we now have a three node cluster giving us fault tolerance, the ability to move machines around and have shared storage but without the single failure point of a SAN.
  • Fantastic Customer Support!
  • Stable product at a affordable price (with great support!)
  • Simple licensing model
  • Engineer led PoC Install and configuration.
  • Needs more comprehensive documentation and FAQ's
  • Lack of Instructional video's
Companies looking for a two or more node solution providing HA, scalability and teamed with great support should look into StarWind Virtual SAN (especially if budget is constraining and you do not mind looking at other than MS or VMWare offerings!) You eliminate the need for a expensive SAN bottleneck and use onboard storage per node that is synchronized with all nodes providing immediate failover with no data loss!
One thing in my reviews or mentioning's of StarWind vSAN is that support is really what pointing me in this direction! Having a engineer assist in bringing a PoC into your environment, ensuring everything was running and giving you some hints and pointers was extremely valuable! Working with the same engineer throughout the resolution of a issue, even if over multiple days is another key piece in quick resolution! All this included with our licensing with the ability to add even further support if needed 24/7/365 OR even adding complete monitoring!
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We were looking to replace 3-4 physical hosts running 10-12 virtual servers with one solution that would require less maintenance and full high-availability. We could have developed our own stack, but this was so turnkey and useful that it made the most sense. Now we have two physical hosts that have more power and high availability than all the previous servers combined. Support, incredibly fast response to support requests such as size increase of the SAN and install software updates whenever we need them.
  • Allowed us to take advantage of all the Hyper-V features and live migrations without the expense of dedicated SANs.
  • We can perform maintenance on either host during the day and the users don't even notice a difference in performance.
  • Support also helps us improve our infrastructure with best practices of other organizations.
  • Some of the new Hyperconverged tools seem basic as a single-pane of glass dashboard, but they are constantly looking at improvements and updates.
  • The actual interface is somewhat cryptic, so we wouldn't know what configuration changes to make, but that is kind of the point - we have their full support and we don't have to staff a Level 5 engineer to make large configuration changes.
Immediate redundancy and HA without a huge amount of configuration was ideal. The support they provided was even better - with proactive monitoring and efficient setup and configuration changes. We recently upgraded the physical hosts and maxed out the memory and hard drive space and their support team walked us through the upgrade every step of the way. There were no issues and even with an older HCA we have plenty of room for future growth. We also can install security patches with no problems during the day instead of after-hours.
Support is always amazing and willing to be available and help in any way.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
StarWind Virtual(V) SAN was deployed on our two host VMware ESXi servers. StarWind VSAN has allowed us to deploy a VSAN high availability storage on our servers without having to resort to buying the ESXI solution. The product has been stable and easy to setup. Additionally the support has been amazing.
  • VSAN solution
  • Amazing technical support
  • Price compared to competitors
  • Documentation could be more clear
  • Download links to software could be easier to find
  • Could work to archive their old documentation instead of keeping it up
After purchasing the license it was relatively simple to follow the StarWind documentation on their website once we found the most recent link. After the initial meeting they reached out a few weeks afterward to double check that their recommendations were implemented properly.
Support was amazing! They reached out right after we purchased the software license. They also reached out to check if we deployed the system. They also checked in multiple times to verify that the software was setup. They did a screen share and their tech gave optimization tips and configuration advice. After we implemented their suggestions they reached out a second time to verify that the configuration suggestions they gave during their first screen share were implemented correctly.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We went from active-passive model from an active-passive one. This has resulted in us being in a much better position. It has allowed us to meet business continuity needs; half of the infrastructure can go out of operation without impacting the business or we can use this to perform planned updates and maintenance. StarWind SANs, along with their amazing support, really helped us achieve these improvements.
  • Data Synchronisation
  • Reliability when restarted for configuration changes
  • Support
  • Uses VM over integrated solution
  • Less complicated approach
Our primary purpose of the storage area network was to provide an active-active replicated SAN for Virtual infrastructure and file storage.
Reliable product and the best support I have ever experienced within IT
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have been using it for over a year and have had no problems since.
  • Synchro between servers is super fast, reliable and 100% functional.
  • They have great support and will help you with anything.
  • Everything works fully automatically and you don't have to worry about anything.
I use StarWind Virtual SAN to provide a cost-effective shared data volume for a simple two-node Windows cluster that provides services to the whole school community via Hyper-V roles. The software was selected on price and performance criteria - at the time of implementation the school did not have the budget for a hardware SAN and StarWind vSAN was a perfect fit for our use case.
They have great support and will help you with anything.They answered all my questions and helped me set up production servers. I have not been using StarWind Virtual SAN for very long and have not encountered serious problems that would require contacting support. Post-installation, they provide a 2-hour consultation to ensure that everything is configured by their best practices - during which they accept any decisions you may have made/constraints imposed by hardware without issue.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I run our entire company on one StarWind hyper-converged appliance. I needed high availability with good performance. StarWind provided that with excellent cost compared to traditional SAN.
  • Works flawlessly in background. I don't even realize it's there.
  • Support is quick and knowledgeable.
  • Their management VM needs improvement.
Any small business wanting a SAN would be well suited to look at StarWind. I only have small business experience so I don't know where it would be less appropriate.
They have pro-active support. I get emails about issues from their monitoring software.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are an SMB that was looking for an inexpensive, high-availability, redundant, fail-over Hyper-V solution for our on-premise services at a K-12 private school. I help run a small IT shop that was looking for a highly redundant, budget friendly solution for a two node Hyper-V cluster. We're only running about 15 or so VM servers and several large file shares, but still wanted a robust back-end with as close to zero down time as we could manage. We serve approximately 150 faculty and staff, and 500 students. There are approximately 500 end user clients relying on our on-prem services. Starwind provided a product within budget that met our goal of a robust, redundant, shared storage product that we could base our clustered Hyper-V back-end on.
  • Their documentation for initial configuration and setup, while not necessarily 100% thorough, is as good or better than any I've seen. I got through 99% of the setup with a very good understanding of the config concepts and actual real world configuration for our particular environment. Their support was also very helpful in validating our network and node-to-node connectivity design plan. Once our design plan was vetted, it didn't take more than a couple of days to be fully up and running.
  • Our Starwind VSAN has been bullet proof. We've had ZERO issues with it since it's been built out almost 4 years ago. This is not an exaggeration. I find it almost ridiculous that it's been so rock-solid. Re-synchronization times between nodes after full power outages are lengthy, but I think that is a small price to pay, and it has never impacted our ability to get back up and running quickly.
  • Ongoing maintenance for the VSAN is next to nil. Aside from the periodic Starwind updates, and maybe checking re-sync after full outages, I almost never have to even think about Starwind. It's just there, and it works.
  • One downside to Starwind's VSAN is probably their scalability. If we needed to add more nodes for compute power, or scale out storage significantly, that might be a problem. We're a small shop though, and thought out our initial design to last us through at least 6-8 years of growth. Our general trajectory has us outsourcing more and more services instead of hosting them, so I'm not terribly worried about that. If we ever outgrow this solution, I'm pretty sure it will be well after the expected lifetime of our hardware.
  • The re-synchronization times after a full power outage are very long (4-6) hours. That does not impact our ability to get back up and running quickly off of one node, however.
  • The documentation was thorough, with the small exception of incomplete info regarding all of the iSCSI connections required.
Starwind VSAN is fantastic if you are on a tight budget looking for a shared storage solution for a HCI. Initial upfront educational pricing was dirt cheap compared to the alternatives like DAS units or SANs. For the cost of hard drives and server hardware, we were able to build out an extremely robust, clustered Hyper-V solution with massive compute and storage capacity.
On the few occasions I've needed to reach out to their support, they have been both timely, and highly effective. Their techs know what they're doing and do not waste your time. Their support during our design phase was extremely helpful in validating and vetting both our hardware design and node-to-node network plan.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We needed a highly available environment but did not want extra hardware. We set up a two-node cluster using StarWind Virtual SAN to provide this functionality without purchasing extra hardware. In selecting StarWind Virtual SAN, we found that it was straightforward to use and requires no maintenance and has been working with no issues since installation.
  • Cost effective vs physical hardware
  • No maintenance required on the SAN software
  • Just works once set up with no intervention
  • During set up there are a lot of best practice changes required to the server, but their support team take care of this
  • It would be good to be able to pause a node in starwind so that you can reboot a node with out lots of warning emails
Purchasing the StarWind Virtual SAN was great. They help design the servers and recommend what hardware would work best for performance, such as raid cards and network adaptors. StarWind Virtual SAN was then straightforward to configure and install. StarWind Virtual SAN organise a time and configures the software using their best practices. As a company, we have been able to install many StarWind clusters with no extra hardware required, meaning less hardware to maintain. The software is also cost-effective vs. purchasing dedicated hardware SANS. We now have a defined config that is easy to replicate and works well with no downtime or maintenance required. StarWind support has been great in helping resolve other issues not caused by their software.
Support has been great. They install the product for you and ensure that it is all working. They have also been able to support other performance issues that were not related to StarWind Virtual SAN but were related to the server's hardware.
Christopher Morley | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
I run an MSP and have installed this solution at a number of our clients over the years who require high availability of their servers and virtual machines for their on-premise servers. What would normally require multiple servers running separately we have converged to 2 node individual servers - this reduces CAPEX costs, OPEX costs, and also licensing and support costs. The clients we support run Windows Server and infrastructure (Active Directory, File Servers, etc). We have installed all types of virtual machines from Windows Server, Windows Desktop (7/10/11), and also CentOS, and Ubuntu all running perfectly.
  • Technical support
  • High availability
  • Installation of HA cluster within a few hours
  • Pricing per TB
  • Documentation
Excellent for on-premise servers, running two (or more nodes) with workloads with Windows Server Hyper-V, and running virtual machines (Ubuntu, Centos, Windows Server and Windows 7/10/11). I havent had any scenarios where it is less appropriate, perhaps when using cloud service virtual machines I already expect to have a high-availability setup running underneath my virtual machine with converged computer/storage this would be mandatory part of my decision making process.
Some of the best technical support I have ever had - very complex procedures executed seamlessly with HA clusters up and running within a couple of hours. Post install havent had many tickets open due to the excellent stability of the product, but when opened were always dealt with swiftly.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use StarWind to provide highly available storage to our Hyper-V cluster and our backup server. We've been using it since 2017 and it was originally implemented to replace some old IBM DS3400 SANs. The price was good and it provided exactly what we were looking for. We get highly available storage that also helps keep our server infrastructure highly available and also allows us to improve our backup strategies.
  • Highly available storage at a reasonable price.
  • The support, when needed, has been excellent
  • I once had to get emergency 24-hour support added on. I paid for the support (a yearly rate) but it was only good until the next renewal (so just for a couple of months.) That wasn't great. That kind of support should be pro-rated or permitted to carry over.
We are not a hyper-converged environment, but we do heavily use Hyper-V. Starwind allows our storage to be highly available to provide server and backup reliability I absolutely would not have without it. It's good software at a reasonable price. My understanding is that it also excels at hyper-converged environments, but I cannot vouch for that personally. I can vouch for what it can do for us though with a standard hyper-v cluster. Easy to work with and excellent support.
I've had to use their support a number of times and each time the support has been exceptional. Their team is knowledgeable and friendly and has always come through for us.
July 09, 2022

Flexible Storage

Luke Faichney | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
A customer of ours purchased two platforms based around Dell VRX Blade technology. Their original thought was that they would replicate the workloads between two server rooms on a single large factory site and production facilities. After reviewing some replication technologies they quickly decided, independently of our consulting, that the RPO for their use case scenario was not sufficient. They decided that they needed a solution that was not only highly available but also as close to being 'synchronous' as possible. StarWind Virtual SAN addresses this synchronous replication issue and the high availability considerations the customer had.
  • High availability
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Hardware agnostic
  • Performance metrics
  • Consumption prediction
  • vCenter integration where required
StarWind Virtual SAN is well suited to providing additional or further use for hardware from any vendor which is at least supported by VMware. We ran our storage appliances as virtual machines within a VMware environment and although the vendor said it was not recommended to vMotion them between hosts we never had an issue whereby vMotion caused any problems. These were some welcome unintended consequences and made maintenance much easier on the underlying platform.
Our interactions with support at StarWind have always been excellent. Their breadth of knowledge around their own systems is surprisingly good when compared to much larger organizations. Not on a single occasion have we ever required one of our queries to be escalated.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
An excellent product! It's easy to install, configure, use, and maintain. It performs well and suits our needs. The great advantage of StarWind products is that you can easily and quickly evaluate them for free. Of course, I would not recommend using a free product, without support, for your critical production environment. But it made the evaluation of the product quite easy. It was quick to get hands-on with the product. This allowed us to confirm it suits our need, from a technical point of view... without having to spend time in "commercial discussion".
  • Cost effective
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use
  • Supported Operating systems to run the application
With the support of the Virtual SAN and virtual tape library, we are able to easily and quickly integrate StarWind products in our backup infrastructure and export virtual tape to the cloud, to have archiving and secured copies.
It's the perfect solution to solve our needs.
Liam Wright | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the vSAN in a 2 node hyper-converged set up in a data center. This provides hardware redundancy and so far, 99.9% uptime for our clients using it. It provides failover capabilities for our virtual machines by allowing us to live and migrate them in a cluster. Not only does it allow the compute and storage to failover, but it also replicates the storage, effectively giving us two vSANs.
  • KBs are written up clearly and are easy to follow.
  • Support team are knowledgeable, friendly and quick to respond.
  • It's extremely stable!
  • Bit expensive for smaller customers.
  • It is complicated to setup for the first time.
  • Requires extra hardware we don't use as standard (extra NICs, etc).
We have found it to be most useful in an RDS environment where there are multiple Session Hosts that may need to be failed between the hosts. This is also in our Datacenter which has already got enough redundancy and protection around it but required something inside the cab to bolster the actual server infrastructure. It doesn't work so well for smaller clients that just simply aren't big enough to need this kind of failover.
Support is fantastic, customer service is excellent as they clearly know their product and are always quick to respond. There is also the option to have support review your setup and advise of any changes if necessary to improve/correct the configuration. This is extremely helpful and can be covered in quite a short amount of time.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN) is installed on two of my Production servers for use in a Hyper-V cluster for a few years. StarWind support was excellent in setting up all the connections between the servers and doing the configuration. Performance has been excellent with no issues. I don't even notice it's there.
  • Instant Faillover
  • Always in Sync Replication
  • Support
  • Documentation especially for newcomers to the solution
  • Updates - Requiring a request / response
From our experience, StarWind VSAN would be suited to a two-node cluster providing an instant failover solution. We currently have StarWind VSAN installed with no nodes we use in a Hyper-V cluster. StarWind support was excellent in setting up all the connections between the servers and doing the configuration. Performance has been excellent with no issues. I don't even notice it's there.
StarWind support is excellent and very knowledgeable and support ensures that your system is configured efficiently and effectively. from the initial point of configuration and deployment. The support was on hand to ensure the installation/implementation was at the optimum configuration. Also, we took the opportunity to test out the features.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have a 2-node hyper-converged Starwind VSAN. It runs a couple of Hyper-V hosts which house our electronic medical record system. As a hospital, we need to ensure as much uptime as possible. This system allows this to happen. We can move virtual machines from one host to another while we perform maintenance.
  • Simple configuration - between the community, KB articles, and support, this system is very easy to set up and get running.
  • Support - their technical support goes above and beyond, even helping with non-StarWinds issues
  • The system runs really well and I have little to ask of it. Perhaps some additional video training; how-to's that are more recently done would be helpful.
The entire point of having a SAN or VSAN is to maintain uptime by increasing fault tolerance. In our case, we help to ensure our electronic medical record has the best chance of staying up. I would like to move other systems to the VSAN in the future to also provide that level of redundancy for them as well.

As for scenarios where it is less appropriate, I suppose a system that doesn't necessarily need that level of fault tolerance. The cost of disk space is inexpensive, but putting everything on it might be get too high.
Last year, we had a hardware issue which caused a virtual machine to go down. This was not the fault of Starwind at all, but they did help the tech at the time set the VSAN back up and even helped with the restoration process of the virtual machines. They didn't have to do that. This year, I asked if we could have a tech connect with us and review our configuration. They recommended and helped implement several changes while on our call.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have been using a StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN) on two production locations with a Hyper-V Cluster for almost 5 years now. It has given us very good performance and we haven't had any issue with it in the past years. StarWind support is excellent, very fast and has very good knowledge of the StarWind and Hyper-V Cluster software. What we like best about it is that it's the only true two-node Hyper-V cluster solution that's available. On both production locations, we have a 2-node setup over 2 different server rooms. Our main goal was that we want to have all VM servers available on one Cluster host, in case of a disaster in one of our server rooms. Microsoft SSD (Storage Space Direct) always needs a 3rd witness (SMB or Cloud) but in ours a two-node solution this is not ideal. Direct connected fiber connections between the nodes makes everything fast and makes the chance of a Cluster split-brain fault less likely.
  • True two node Hyper-V cluster solution.
  • Performance.
  • StarWind support will install and configure the software and also update it for you.
  • Simplicity.
It's an easy and simple way to get a great HA Cluster environment without the need for expensive third-party appliances like physical SAN/Switches.
Support from StarWind engineers is great and they have good knowledge of the products.
June 15, 2022

My Datacenter Bone

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have been running Starwind Virtual San in a production environment since 2009 with VMware. We run all types of software on top of Starwind (Different types of Database, factory software, security software, ERP...).We don't have performance issues with the software in fact it responds more than enough to our needs. Since we are a middle size company Starwind is perfect for us.
  • HA
  • Improved Uptime
  • Cost Saving
  • Better alerting features
  • Better protocol integration
For mid-size companies it's perfect.
I believe in the product technology.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are an SMB that can't be bothered paying tens of thousands of dollars just to get a proper HA storage for a two-node failover cluster. Therefore StarWind's vSAN was financially attractive from the start. The reviews you can find all over the web incentivised us to research this solution deeper (e.g. just check all the great posts vom Kooler on Stackoverflow), leading to us actually implementing it. We were coming from an S2D implementation which already gave us a ridiculous amount of headaches (bugs, performance stalls, "we know what's best for you" automatisms) IN ADDITION to being slow AND annoying to administrate/debug WHILE ALSO having the most annoying documentation ever to be created by mankind. Just the usual MS crap basically. Rush out some code and ship it and never fix anything (but break it every few weeks with patches)... The initial tests were easily implementable (without begging some sales folks for a POC, due to a free version being available) as well as proper documentation *that you actually LIKE to read due to it having been typed by a tech* (and that also isn't behind a pay/registration wall). As close to perfect as the documentation is, do read the blog posts e.g. the 2 node HA setup as well - some minute details were only found in those. No showstoppers, and not many things in general, just a few hints here and there. The installation itself is easy as pie, the config file is properly documented (you can do most things via GUI, just some things are set in the main config file). Do help yourself to the iSCSI Powershell commands (Windows defaults from MS) when implementing, way more attractive than clicking via GUI! (New-IscsiTargetPortal, Connect-IscsiTarget etc.) Some things must be done via GUI though since iSCSI has been implemented way back and "making scripting available" wasn't that widespread for developers back then. This being a Microsoft topic, not StarWind though...they would have had to make their very own iSCSI implementation otherwise. For testing, you should use a proper tool like https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure-stack/hci/manage/diskspd-overview since "Windows copy from within the VM running on the test setup" can be flakey. Not as in "the results aren't valid real-world performance if you check with the Windows copy within a VM" but rather "non-scientific" since you can't extract much data from that process aside from size/time. Feature-wise we are only waiting for the release of a... let's call it "planned disaster"...feature that would allow us to patch a hypervisor node without having to take the full storage offline. Atm (20220609) this is still necessary since taking a node offline without properly activating maintenance mode on the vSAN would trigger a full sync of the vSAN nodes. This is fine and a good thing! since it ensures data integrity. But there is something in the making that would ensure integrity without a full sync after a node goes down...which, as stated above, one could "abuse" to patch (and boot = take down) the hypervisors during business hours. Other than that the thing is rock stable and chugging along without issues. Like I said we are an SMB so we "only" have around 50 VMs on our FO cluster, which is a medium load for SSDs. So if you plan to go more to the "max" side of performance use, do proper testing! Price-wise this is very attractive, the support is great (little that we needed due to the good docs) and I would expect you to reach very good performance just like we did. The next-best solution from my research back then - that you would actually want to use, so no S2D crap or anything - would have started at 7x or 8x the price. Started! So...since StarWind's solution has served us very well over the last two years already...you get who I would recommend.
  • Providing HA storage for a FO cluster
  • You can use any underlying disk setup you want.
  • Very attractive price
  • Good support
  • Techy documentation
  • Improved sync speed after node failure, e.g. with a journaling kind of system - supposedly coming this year though!
  • Other then that we are happy with everything. So nothing to add!
Providing a rock-stable HA for a small price for SMBs. You don't need to sell a kidney to VMware to get it!
The support does a final check with you if you choose to implement everything yourself (which we did so we could properly support ourselves day to day should something arise), which was our only required contact so far. Since that experience was proper.... a 9/10. Aside from that we only had small questions which we took to the forums, and timely responses, so...what more can you ask for. :)
  • No Training
Ricardo Gonzalez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Physical to virtual environment migration, requiring a VSAN storage for data center we had an old BLC 460 gen 6 blades with physical storage attached, so basically if we had any issues with the hardware or operating system the downtime for production would be for hours, so we created a virtual data center with VMware vSphere and added 3 20TB storage on each host then created 3-node StarWind scenario being shared on all 3 hosts, and creating virtual machines on 3 hosts and now running on StarWind storage.
  • The three-node hyperconverged scenario for our data center works as fault tolerance and less worries on data loss.
  • The management console over Windows, installing together with the PowerShell library, you can put images on maintenance mode from the management console which saves you a lot of time on syncing.
  • With the PowerShell library I created a batch file for putting images on maintenance mode when our UPS reaches 10% battery capacity in case of a blackout and this lets you bring all host backup and StarWind storage not requiring sync.
  • An easy migration to ZFS system that is being presented on a new version of StarWind, migrations look complicated as this restructures the whole architecture on the raid level, but could be a good option just by having it and letting the user decide this new feature migration, as based on our experience with ZFS systems they work pretty fast and secure.
  • Android app for monitoring and receiving push notifications as alarms or monitoring I/O from any mobile device.
  • SMTP makes management services to crash and restart if SMTP server not reachable
I would advise trying the 30-day trial, or if in a small data center, use the free version and manage it over PowerShell. There is a lot of documentation for implementation.
I sent an email, with an issue I had for notifications, but at the end it was no network communication to our SMTP, I got opened a ticket and asked a lot of log files for this bug, but I consider this as being a software bug by not telling a warning message that there is a network problem and not freezing could be replicated on StarWind's side to fix this issue on next version without asking users for logs. This is my opinion.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We found StarWind when trying to look for a hybrid storage space that could handle various physical hardware as well as virtual operating systems. Upon first contacting the company, the sales and technical demo were superb compared to other products and they clearly explained and showed us a live demo of our potential environment. The whole purchase process was swift and followed up by calls and emails from their team. Compared to other products that we looked at, the cost-saving was so great that choosing StarWind was a no-brainer. When I need something urgently and very technical, I get the answer back that I want. I don't have to battle through with a first liner that tells me to "turn it off and on again".
  • The variety of services offered
  • The financial viability compared to the services offered
  • Product functionality and performance is suitable for our organization
  • StarWind has strong consultation accessibility for customers that wish to discuss the product first with their experts and start the process how they like it, not how the company wants it to
  • The support team has the expertise of a strong service in the products that their customers have purchased
  • StarWind, in general, has a strong user community that offers help on forums and other sites
  • The company has a firm customer focus keeping in touch with us at all times, even after purchasing the initial product after 2 years
  • Some users have commented on online forums and others that the documentation and KB articles could be clearer or better written. However, I found this to be the case a couple of years ago. Now, in 2022, this has been rectified and you can usually find the information that you are looking for.
  • Another problem that we have come across is that when you will cease your contract with StarWind (for support) your product won't be updated and that is a big selling point, especially for us, as we have loads of products from StarWind.
We found StarWind when trying to look for a hybrid storage space that could handle various physical hardware as well as virtual operating systems. Upon first contacting the company, the sales and technical demo were superb compared to other products and they clearly explained and showed us a live demo of our potential environment. The whole purchase process was swift and followed up by calls and emails from their team. Compared to other products that we looked at, the cost-saving was so great that choosing StarWind was a no-brainer. When I need something urgently and very technical, I get the answer back that I want - I don't have to battle through with a first liner that tells me to "turn it off and on again".....
The customer service and support were great from first contact, planning, purchase, and post-purchase support. The performance of the system is also quite good and daily maintenance is basically non-existent. I'd advise new users to not hesitate and just go ahead with it. The overall feel, support, planning and after care from StarWind is really great and others can learn from these guys. You can speak to a human being who knows the product, which helps a lot !
Adam Charlton | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
After deploying a HA SQL Failover Cluster, we started to notice performance issues due to our storage, which was an off-the-shelf NAS. I had already heard about StarWind and its VSAN software so I decided to run a little test environment. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance gains even on spinning disks and the overall setup being fairly painless. I decided to go ahead with this solution, got the cost signed off, and implemented it in production. We had some initial issues but their support was extremely helpful in resolving these and was very patient as we deployed this to a secure environment with no internet access. Yet they still offered support and worked closely with a single point of contact. I then later moved to a different company and implement a similar solution in the Oracle Cloud using their free offering, again this was simple to set up using their collection of PowerShell scripts.
  • Their support contact was fantastic.
  • The documentation and whitepapers were a great starting point.
  • The performance gains were far greater than a SAN.
  • The forums had lots of dead threads with no resolutions.
It's well suited if you've already got the hardware and just require disks. Plus with their free offering, you can get a test environment up within hours.
Their support was fantastic even in an environment that had no internet access. They spent several hours with me over the phone and by email trying to resolve any and all issues.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I use StarWind Virtual SAN to provide a cost-effective shared data volume for a simple two-node Windows cluster that provides services to the whole school community via Hyper-V roles. The software was selected on price and performance criteria - at the time of implementation the school did not have the budget for a hardware SAN and StarWind vSAN was a perfect fit for our use case.
  • Great user Interface
  • HIgh performance even on slow networks
  • clear and helpful knowledge base articles
  • Great command line support
  • C# and VC++ APIs
  • Post installation support call very useful
  • Occasionally the documentation/knowledge base isn't explicit about the implications of particular configuration choices.
  • unsynchronized volumes, it is a manual process to trawl event logs looking for information; as this information is available and the process to determine the last written copy of the data is deterministic/repeatable I would have thought a tool to search the available node event logs would be handy to have.
  • It could be clearer that if you use the GUI (Trial license) AT ALL, you cannot then configure the system to use the Free Tier license.
StarWind vSAN is an excellent fit for my cluster use case:- A two-node cluster in which the host nodes have four off 1Gbps directly connected NIC interface ports across three physical cards for exclusive StarWind use. The hosts provide 4.8Tb of DAS, represented by StarWind as a highly available iSCSI target, used as the CSV, and accessed by the host cluster across the dedicated interfaces. Even on old servers (Dell R620s) with traditional 800Gb SAS disks and 144Gb RAM, the performance is adequate for the network here (15 Hyper-V roles use the CSV). Cluster shutdown is a problem that we still have to address; be aware that the StarWind document that talks about a PowerChute script are not entirely clear that you MUST shut down your guests before setting the StarWind Device into maintenance mode (if you don't, they all get a hard stop with potential consequences for your virtual estate). Despite generally high-quality documentation and useful user forums, occasionally, StarWind does not state the 'obvious' in their documentation where that would be helpful and perhaps eliminate some support calls/messages.
StarWind is exceptionally responsive to help requests, even when one asks questions in the support forum (which is meant for use by free tier users in general). In my case, StarWind has always helped sort out my mistakes (which, inevitably, the problems are) with patience and good humor. Post-installation, they provide a 2-hour consultation to ensure that everything is configured by their best practices - during which they accept any decisions you may have made/constraints imposed by hardware without issue.
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