A Game-Changing SAN
February 28, 2020

A Game-Changing SAN

Norman Allen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with StarWind Virtual SAN

We started using StarWind Virtual SAN in 2016 after evaluating it. It is used as the backbone of our Hyper-V cluster that runs all of our business-critical virtual machines. Our entire infrastructure is run on our StarWind Virtual SAN, including domain controllers, database servers, file/print servers, application servers, and all of our supporting virtual machines. StarWind has greatly reduced our CAPEX and OPEX costs; prior to adopting StarWind Virtual SAN, we had a physical SAN and all of the fiber-channel and networking infrastructure to support it. Now, we simply have 2 nodes that do everything!
  • Reliability - The StarWind nodes are Active/Active, so we can operate without any downtime if a node is down for any reason. The built-in data sync capability also assures us that our data is safe.
  • Management and Maintenance - Although I hardly have to open the management console, management and maintenance are very simplified.
  • Dependability - It just works! The Cluster Shared Volumes created in StarWind are always there for our Hyper-V cluster. Even if a node goes down, the other node does all the work. Downtime is simply a thing of the past.
  • Value - CAPEX and OPEX costs are significantly lower vs buying and maintaining a traditional SAN.
  • Ease of upgrades - Upgrading requires no downtime! Just update one node at a time and wait for it to reboot and you're done.
  • Performance - I worked with StarWind's engineers before I purchased my hardware. A mixture of SSDs, HDDs, 10GB Ethernet cards, and 1GB Ethernet cards was all I needed to achieve high IOPs and excellent performance in this hyper-converged solution.
  • Data sync after an unplanned hardware failure - Although this doesn't affect the production environment or the end-user experience, from a peace of mind perspective, I like to see when my data is synchronized between both nodes. I wish the sync was faster.
  • We have saved a lot of money. The CAPEX was much lower than replacing our previous SAN. The OPEX is significantly lower as well.
  • Being able to use commodity hardware has taken us away from SAN vendors' proprietary devices and parts that were astronomically expensive.
  • The lack of downtime since adopting StarWind Virtual SAN has made a major impact on our business.
StarWind Virtual SAN gave us all of the features we wanted at a price we couldn't walk away from. Other vendors offered some bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, they are effectively presenting the same thing: compute, storage, and networking in a hardware package called HyperConverged Infrastructure, or an "appliance" or something similar. No vendor differentiated themselves enough to justify the cost.

My biggest differentiators:
  • Cost/value
  • Support
  • Reliability
My biggest differentiator is StarWind's support. During the evaluation and again after implementation, a support engineer connected to our VSAN
and tweaked the environment so that it was set up optimally. He did a
knowledge exchange exercise with me so that I could run everything on my own. The few times I needed support, a StarWind engineer connected with me to look at my VSAN within minutes. With my previous vendor,
communicating with support required long phone calls or lengthy waits for email. With StarWind, my support has been there when needed! Big vendors just can't do that, in my experience.

Do you think StarWind Virtual SAN delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with StarWind Virtual SAN's feature set?


Did StarWind Virtual SAN live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of StarWind Virtual SAN go as expected?


Would you buy StarWind Virtual SAN again?


StarWind Virtual SAN is well suited in any scenario where a SAN would have been deployed. StarWind's engineers and/or whitepapers can help you calculate what hardware is needed to perform at a certain threshold to support whatever scenario you are trying to accomplish. It is well-integrated and proven with Hyper-V, vSphere, and other solutions.

Using StarWind Virtual SAN

100 - 
  • Executives
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Auditors
  • Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Information Technology
  • Corporate
2 - Our IT administrators are all certified with various Microsoft-related technologies, particularly Windows Server and Hyper-V. In our infrastructure, StarWind Virtual SAN is mainly used as the backbone for our Hyper-V cluster, so those skills are the main ones required.
  • Storage for production environment.
  • Data replication between 2 nodes for redundancy.
StarWind Virtual SAN has been a game-changer for us. It's far less headache than our previous SAN. It just works. It's cost-effective. When it's time to replace our hardware, we will continue to use StarWind Virtual SAN to support our entire organization.