Hardware-less VM Storage

StarWind Virtual SAN System Requirements

System Requirements

StarWind Software solutions consist of two components: StarWind Service and StarWind Management Console (GUI). Complete installations will install both components. Custom installations will install either component. Minimum and recommended hardware requirements and supported operating systems for StarWind storage virtualization solutions are listed below.

StarWind Virtual SAN System Requirements

CPU: Intel Xeon E5620 (or higher), or equivalent AMD Opteron

It is recommended to use Intel Xeon E5620 or equivalent as the minimal CPU for StarWind SAN servers. To achieve maximum performance from the storage solution, we recommend for you to use Intel Xeon X5650 or equivalent AMD Opteron CPU.

The minimum recommended CPU is Intel Xeon E5620 or equivalent. Intel Xeon X5660 or equivalent can be used in order to maximize performance.

*Important notice: A multi-core CPU with low frequency cores is preferred compared to one with higher core frequency but fewer cores/sockets. E.g. having a six core Intel Xeon 5660 with 2.8 GHz per core is better than having a four core Intel Xeon 5667 with 3.02 GHz per core.

RAM: 4GB Minimum

4GB is the minimum RAM amount that should be installed on a server that is running StarWind SAN. If implementing StarWind High-Speed caching, an appropriate RAM amount should be installed additionally. The cache-dedicated RAM amount should be equal or higher than one reserved for iSCSI targets caching.

In-line deduplication with LSFS requires 3.5 GB of RAM per 1 TB of deduplicated storage.

*Important notice: Always reserve at least 4 GB RAM for Windows internal processes and the StarWind SAN engine.

What Hyper-V and vSphere versions are supported?

- Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with Hyper-V
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1 (free hypervisor)
- Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 (free hypervisor)
- vSphere 5.x
- vSphere 4.x

HDD: SATA, SAS or SSD drive-based RAID array

The RAID array type depends on your required storage performance. An SAS/SSD based RAID10 should be used in order to get the maximum storage performance with minimal Seek Time. RAID 50/RAID60 can be used for linear access purposes. Use of SAS/SATA based RAID 5/RAID 6 and their generics for Tier 1 storage is recommended only with StarWind LSFS. Please consult your hardware vendor for more detailed information on available RAID arrays and their performance.
Advanced format support: Both AF and non-AF disks are supported.

*Important notice: Please note that the use of software based RAID arrays in the iSCSI SAN environment is not supported.

Recommended Operating Systems: Windows Server 2012 R2

StarWind Software recommends using the latest Server-class Windows Operating Systems. StarWind supports all Windows Operating Systems from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012 R2, including Server Core editions and free Microsoft Hyper-V Server.
It is not recommended to install StarWind on Windows Storage server or Web server editions.

Please note that if you are planning to use Windows Server Core or Microsoft Hyper-V Server as a base OS you will not be able to install StarWind Management Console locally. In this case, the StarWind Management console can be installed on any other computer. The StarWind management console runs on any OS from Windows XP to Windows 8. Please note that for remote management, port 3261 has to be open in both machine's firewalls.

*Important notice: StarWind Virtual SAN itself does not provide Hyper-V VM live migration and High Availability features. These features are delivered with selected Microsoft Windows Editions. Please refer to the Microsoft Windows Server licensing guide for more information.

Network: 1 GbE minimum

Minimal recommended bandwidth is 1 GbE. In case of an intensive workload consider scaling to a 10 GbE or 40 GbE infrastructure. It is highly recommended to use 9K Jumbo frame capable network equipment in order to maximize the SAN environment performance.

The HA synchronization channel has a prerequisite of both NIC and switch (if used) fault tolerance measures.

Use of STP (Shielded twisted pair) CAT6 (or higher) cable is a prerequisite for the synchronization channel for both crossover and server-switch connections.

Use of STP cables is recommended for all 1 GbE links within the Storage Area Network in order to avoid any possible electronic interference from power lines or wireless connections; Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) is also supported.

Maximum synchronization channel latency should not exceed:
HA SANs are located in different buildings/datacenters – 5 ms
HA SANs are located in one building/datacenter – 2 ms

Link latency higher than 5 ms may lead to HA performance degradation.