A rock-solid and affordable alternative to VMWare native vSAN
December 27, 2021

A rock-solid and affordable alternative to VMWare native vSAN

Charles Marcus | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA)

We settled on StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) as a less expensive alternative to VMWare's more expensive license for vSAN shared storage between our two VMWare hosts, providing full hardware redundancy of everything. The peace of mind knowing that all of our data and VMs are running on two fully redundant hosts is amazing.
  • Fully redundant shared storage (vSAN)
  • Proactive monitoring of all of the hardware
  • 24/7 support
  • Substantial cost savings over VMWare's vSAN license
  • Massive increase in performance/IOPS compared to our previous hosts
We have had a few times where I was informed they had lost connection, but in all of those cases, it was due to a local network issue. The hosts and StarWinds vSAN have been rock solid.
We have experienced zero downtime hardware-wise since implementing the new hosts with StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) vSAN technology.
We ordered the new Dell hosts through StarWind, and they preconfigured everything, then shipped them to us. Implementation was as simple as racking them, connecting the cables as directed, and turning everything on. Once this was done, I added the new hosts to my existing vCenter server/environment, migrated all of the VMs over to the new hosts, then decommissioned the old hosts. It was extremely painless, and while I didn't need much help with that part, StarWind was right there with me in case anything went wrong.
In our simple two-host environment, StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) won out hands down in cost, and while I had no prior experience with the technology, I have been extremely pleased with the result. I wouldn't hesitate to go with them again in the future, although our current hosts will likely still be going strong for at least another 5-7 years.

Do you think StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA)'s feature set?

Yes

Did StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) again?

Yes

Having an admittedly limited personal experience with only this one implementation, I can't compare any other scenarios to mine. What I can say is their support has been amazing and very proactive, and even though they do not formally provide VMWare support, their expertise and willingness to do what they can when a need arises has been excellent and extremely appreciated, to the point that I haven't had to go to VMWare directly for support since purchasing and migrating everything to the new hosts. One negative aspect with the initial setup was, at the time of our order/deployment, they didn't have a Linux version of their management VMs for VMWare (only for Hyper-V), so I had to use two of my Windows Server licenses for their Windows-Server-based management VMs for the first year, which did put me in a bit of a bind, but, they finally released the Linux versions, and remoted in and quickly and expertly switched them over with very little downtime (we did it over the weekend), and it was completely uneventful.

Using StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA)

1 - I'm the IT director and one-man IT support for the company.
1 - Knowledge of networks/networking and VMWare vCenter server and host management. It is really quite simple for anyone with a decent general skillset.
  • Full hardware redundancy for both VMWare hosts and all of our data
  • There are none, but our needs are extremely limited, and StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) is doing exactly what we need.
  • Possibly integrating with one of the clouds for backups and/or VM migrations
Because we are extremely satisfied with StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) in all aspects of our experience

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) Support

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes, for the peace of mind, and I don't regret it.
One weekend we had a fiber module fail in our ISPs internet router. StarWind support notified me they'd lost connectivity, so I came in and figured out what the problem was and was able to get Cogent out in time to fix it before everyone came in for work on Monday, so there was no downtime that affected business operations.