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Introduction

Unified Storage (Multiprotocol)

People speak all kinds of languages and, most of the time, need some translating intermediate to communicate freely. Software works in the same way “speaking different languages”, called protocols. Dozens of solutions have been developed to the point of “industry-standard”, dividing the market. While some products are mutually compatible, most of them are not, undermining user convenience and requiring some special addition to make them work together.

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Problem

Problems of Protocol Intercompatibility

Every piece of software has a limited set of supported communication protocols. Even if an application supports multiple protocols, it “prefers” one of them to others in the list, typically having performance issues with using the least preferred. Getting a few different applications to work together may prove a real challenge. When it comes to virtualization, this happens a lot with storage and consumers. They use different, often mutually incompatible uplink protocols. For example, Microsoft Hyper-V "prefers" SMB3, also working with iSCSI with certain issues and not working with NFS at all, while VMware vSphere works with NFS and iSCSI, but not SMB3, so finding a storage for both environments simultaneously can be tricky.

Some software, like VMware vSAN, has its own proprietary protocol, making it even more of a challenge to achieve compatibility. Specialized solutions that allow multiprotocol communication, such as additional "gateway" layers, require skills and money, also being a bottleneck in performance, because all the data has to go through them.

Products from different vendors support incompatible protocols

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Solution

Unified Storage (Multiprotocol) Solution

StarWind Virtual SAN exposes industry-standard uplink protocols. It uses SMB3 with all fuzzy dialect features, including RDMA-supporting SMB Direct and MPIO-utilizing SMB Multichannel. NFSv4.1and iSCSI (VVols on iSCSI, NVMe over Fabrics and iSER. Basically, it can stick any consumers, such as virtualization environments, together with the storage into a working setup. The typical usage scenarios are virtually unlimited: bare-metal, converged ("compute and storage separated"), hyperconverged, Clustered Shared Volumes for SOFS, VVols on top of iSCSI, SMB3 file server and many others. StarWind Virtual SAN can expose industry-standard protocols outside and feed the storage to any other deployment based on Hyper-V, vSphere, Xen, etc.

StarWind Virtual SAN support all industry-standard protocols

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Conclusion

Use All Industry-Standard Uplink Protocols with Unified Storage from StarWind

StarWind Virtual SAN becomes the universal “gateway” for all industry-standard uplink protocols: iSCSI, NFS, SMB3, etc. In a way, it works like a polyglot who doesn’t need any third party to communicate with people in many different languages. It allows multiple virtualization environments to interact with storage and form a working setup, providing virtually unlimited deployment scenarios.

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What The World Says About Us

StarWind gets praise for its solution's high level of customization in the 2019 Magic Quadrant for HCI


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Success Stories

We were able to build 2-node storage clusters based on virtualization in 19 hypermarkets without any problems and with high cost-efficiency.

Vass Sandor, IT Infrastructure Leader

By being able to virtualize our environment with StarWind, we were able to retire some old hardware, get our services highly available, reduce power consumption and heat in our server closet.

David Gardner, Information Systems Manager

We are satisfied with StarWind. The support is really fantastic. Whenever any issue arises, the response is very prompt, and solution is immediate.

Srinivas Kouda, Company’s Representative

StarWind got us off the clustered environment, which was a big help. So, I could regain control of my storage and reclaim and redistribute the space we desperately needed.

Ryan Fulton, Company’s Representative

Price + Simplicity. StarWind VSAN offers great pricing and allows us to get work done without expensive custom hardware. It also makes getting back online quick and easy after an outage or hardware failure.

Aaron Hayes, IT Manager

We chose StarWind Mainly because of the cost compared to other vendors. Simplicity of setup was also a major factor and I like the fact that you don’t need a vendor certified engineer to perform the installation.

John Harris, Windows System Administrator,
Department of Physics, University of Oxford

Because of recommendations of older colleagues, with StarWind, we got a reliable storage with no additional hardware. There was a need to increase IT infrastructure performance and we saw StarWind as the most cost-effective solution.

Željko Medić, Director of IT Department

StarWind is the best storage product I have ever used! It satisfies and exceeds requirements.

Joe Gursky, Director of IT
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