StarWind® Software Corporate Profile
|StarWind Software is a pioneer of storage virtualization. It keeps innovating and putting into production solutions built with a revolutionary vision years before these ideas get adopted by the rest of the IT world. Many companies claim doing this but few actually do.
StarWind was one of the first to push Software Defined Storage out from the “Test & Development” niche right to the mainstream “Hardcore Production” dominated by hardware storage appliances. Being a visionary in Software-Defined Storage StarWind was among the first to bring in HyperConverged solution to the market in early 2008.
StarWind Software Inc:
StarWind Software started its life after Round A of investments from ABRT Fund in the late 2008 as a spin-off from Rocket Division Software founded in the early 2003. In 2014, StarWind closed Round B from Almaz Capital, ABRT Fund, and AVentures. In 2015 StarWind from software-only company executed a successful “pivot shift” to become a hardware vendor and brought Hyper-Convergence of Enterprise level to SMB and ROBO. StarWind continues to disrupt targeted market niche and in 2016 released Backup Appliance and Storage Appliance also focused entirely on SMB needs.The facts:
- StarWind eliminated the requirement of a physical shared storage like either SAN/NAS or shared DAS to unlock all the virtualization potential: VM-level high availability, guest VM clusters, migration of a running VM to another hypervisor host, etc. We achieved this by creating virtual shared storage using hard disks, flash memory, and networking already attached to hypervisor hosts. StarWind embedded storage virtualization stack right into hypervisor or host operating system as a native component. Instead of spawning a virtual machine, native approach provides a huge performance boost because virtualization overhead is eliminated. It also dramatically simplifies management because the system administrator now only has one hypervisor or operating system to control. StarWind Software released its product called Native SAN (later rebranded to Virtual SAN) in 2011, and VMware followed with their own Virtual SAN solving the same issue and using pretty much the same architecture only in 2014.
- StarWind eliminated the need to have whole bunches of SAS hardware, like SAS JBODs, SAS disks, HBAs, and cabling, to build shared storage for Microsoft hypervisor of choice – Hyper-V, Microsoft Scale-Out File Server. StarWind Software made it possible for customers to use high capacity SATA, fast PCIe flash and 40 Gigabit Ethernet in production to build a virtual shared storage for Scale-Out File Server right in 2012. Microsoft followed with Storage Spaces Shared Nothing solving the same issue in the very similar way only in 2015.
- StarWind Software created flash and parity RAID friendly file system designed “from scratch” to run on all-flash and hybrid configurations rather than “port” old code initially written to support spinning hard disk, something that the majority of vendors do. StarWind Log-Structured File System (LSFS) combines in-line deduplication, logging, transactions, Redirect-on-Write snapshots for performance and space savings, and b hashes to protect from silent data corruption. Only NetApp with WAFL has somewhat similar solution but there is no possibility to run it on commodity hardware.