A very reliable and cost-effective solution for a Hyperconverged Environment
November 30, 2022

A very reliable and cost-effective solution for a Hyperconverged Environment

Eren Cakmak | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with StarWind Virtual SAN

We switched from a standalone Windows Server to a more reliable and redundant cluster. The challenge we had was to find a server solution that is scalable but cost-effective at the same time, so we decided to implement a Hyperconverged Solution.
  • Reliable sync in a 2-node cluster, e.g., avoid split brain
  • Low latency and lightweight solution for storage
  • Support as well as community size and up-to-date documentation

The scope is to synchronize a 70TB storage with an additional SSD partition, which runs several critical VM instances, such as HA-Databases, Network Authentication, and ADFS. Additionally, we run a Fileserver on Hyper-V. Considering all those requirements, the storage needs to be reliably fast on broadband of workloads (small to big files)


  • StarWind Virtual SAN helps in reliably synchronizing in a 2-node cluster via a reliable heartbeat (384 days uptime so far)
  • Ample boost is provided through L1 (RAM) and L2 (SSD) Cache Partition with industry leading bandwidth
  • Fantastic Forum Support and even better mail support, as well as up-to-date documentation helped us in setting up StarWind Virtual SAN within 48 hours and bringing it online within 3 days after setup and initial full syncronization
  • Avoiding a full sync through its fast sync technology: When running maintenance on the cluster, StarWind Virtual SAN reliably synchronizes data in the background when e.g. restarting the service
  • Full utilization of our bandwidth: We use 2x 25GBit for Sync Interface and 2x 10GBit for end user interface and reach a file transfer performance of over 750MB/s through a Windows Fileserver VM


  • While StarWinds Documentation is well maintained and up to date, we wished that it was clearer in providing a clearer guideline in setting StarWind Virtual SAN up with a free license of the Management Console, resulting in a setup with the provided PowerShell templates.
  • StarWind Virtual SAN in combination with the Hyperconverged Environment has saved us approx. 50% in hardware costs, as well as additional maintenance and licensing costs
  • The resulting less complex environment helps in better managing the infrastructure and avoiding many working hours
  • StarWind Virtual SAN is a "set up and forget" solution
  • Up to date documentation as well as support from the StarWind technician via the official forum saved major costs for a setup via an on-premise technician
The best experience in using StarWind Virtual SAN so far was from the technical support we received. We had several questions regarding RAID setup and block size up to setting up L2 cache on a striped volume, which the StarWind technician was willing to help us with in the course of several weeks with regular checkups. We are extremely satisfied with the support that was provided, which is absolutely not the norm in the industrial-level software solution market.

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 especially effective in a Hyperconverged environment where you want to have the best possible scalability while keeping an eye out on your budget. We utilize all hard drive slots for our cluster as redundant iSCSI storage and have the option to expand it anytime, for example, via storage enclosures.

Another factor in our cost-driven decision was the maximum utilization of hardware, such as network interface and performance-boosting caches, such as RAM and SSD. Those requirements were met as well.

The third and, in my opinion, most important factor was the support, which was fantastic. Even though we did not have a support license, a technician offered us help in correctly setting up StarWind Virtual SAN and checked our configuration. This positive experience is the reason we will be staying with StarWind Virtual SAN for a while.

Using StarWind Virtual SAN

55 - Several departments, ranging from Accounting to Art Direction and file-heavy users, such as Film Department.
1 - Setting up StarWind Virtual SAN should be done by a senior-grade IT Administrator when done in-house. While many would think that StarWind Virtual SAN is a simple software installation, it comes with prerequisites in hardware and network topology configuration. When those requirements are met, though, StarWind Virtual SAN is very reliable and easy to maintain.
  • High availability / redundancy
  • Fast syncronization between nodes
  • Performance, ranging from small to big files, additionally with cache support
  • No unexpected features, every feature we use was well researched beforehand to meet company needs
  • Expanded filesharing or a second highly available storage
This review is my baseline experience with StarWind Virtual SAN, should something significantly change in my experience over a longer period, then I will update this review but since the feature-set of StarWind Virtual SAN has been researched to meet our on-premise needs (and StarWind fulfills them), it should be relatively steady.

Evaluating StarWind Virtual SAN and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
Price: We wanted to maximize the hardware that we bought in an HC environment, and StarWind Virtual SAN successfully assisted us in that task.

Reputation: Using a well-renowned and widely used Software is an important base to create a long-term reliable infrastructure for critical workloads. StarWind Virtual SAN is well-known in the storage industry.

Experience: StarWind Virtual SAN was initially recommended to us by another IT Administrator who works for another company and was ultimately the reason we started researching StarWind Virtual SAN as a VSAN solution.
If I had to do it again, I would start with researching the documentation as well as having a wide and active community. The reason we were successful in setting up StarWind Virtual SAN in such a short time was thanks to the easily available and easy-to-understand manual from StarWind as well as the community/technician support we received.

StarWind Virtual SAN Implementation

Following the manual to the letter was extremely important and helpful. Having a solid base to work on also ensured that we did not have any issues down the road. Another big help, as mentioned before, was the support of the StarWind technician, who helped in the setup of the L2 storage.
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled - Since the implementation was mainly on the backend, it did not show any major impact on the workflow of the company itself, though changing from a simple NAS solution to a full fledged Active Directory in a cluster caused changes in our IT department. The changes were well received and trained by an external professional.
  • Provisioning of the storage during the initial setup took a very long time, and we had to redo it because it froze and we thought it crashed.
  • Setting up the infrastructure (redundant switch and connection) to have a solid base took time but paid out in the end.

StarWind Virtual SAN Training

StarWind Virtual SAN Support

Quick Resolution
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
Poor followup
I did not purchase premium support. The reason for that was that StarWind provides a good community as well as good documentation, which was my basis to start configuring StarWind Virtual SAN. Though if that would not work out, then Plan B was to purchase a premium support plan. Fortunately, that was not needed in our case, since the community was a great help.
Yes, we had 2 issues which needed to be cleared up; we posted them on the official StarWind forum:

1. What are the recommended configuration parameters in setting up the RAID array for StarWind Virtual SAN
2. How do we efficiently set up L1 and L2 cache without buying the StarWind Management Console

Our post was answered within 2 hours by a StarWind technician, which not only excellently addressed the issue but offered remote support from a certified StarWind technician the same week.

Using StarWind Virtual SAN

Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Feel confident using
  • Putting device in maintenance mode
  • Software updates on a cluster
  • Editing storage options through the paid StarWind Management Console
  • Managing StarWind Virtual SAN on the free StarWind Management Console through PowerShell
Overall I like the usability of StarWind Virtual SAN because it is a "Set-up and forget" software. Once you correctly have set up the parameters, StarWind Virtual SAN pretty much rolls by itself. The biggest fact that one needs to keep in mind, though, is that the licensing for StarWind Management Console needs to be purchased separately, and while managing StarWind Virtual SAN through the paid Management Console is really easy and is well documented, going the free or - in other words - PowerShell Template route can be taxing if you are not that deep into the topic. You need to be especially careful with it if you switch from paid to free because using the templates incorrectly can cause issues.


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