StarWind Resource Library

StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance

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Published: October 10, 2017

INTRODUCTION

When building an IT environment, companies usually chose their server OS among several existing offers. Commonly, IT professionals choose Microsoft-developed solutions. On the one hand, server operating systems from Microsoft are common, versatile, and supported. Also, the vendor offerspackages that include advanced features for management and administration. However, these solutions bring vendor lock-in, curbing the freedom of mixing and matching various components of the infrastructure. Regarding this fact, Linux becomes increasingly popular as a server OS. Linux is an opensource solution that can be configured and customized to perfectly fit the needs of a particular environment. Regarding these benefits, Linux-based products hold a remarkable part of the market. Willing to satisfy needs of our customers, StarWind came up with StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance, the solution allowing to deploy StarWind Virtual SAN on Linux-based infrastructures.

PROBLEM

Linux becomes increasingly prevalent as a server OS. Especially, this trend is remarkable for small IT environments and startups, which cannot afford costly Microsoft licensing. Unfortunately, Linux users face difficulties when willing to fully use StarWind Virtual SAN capabilities because the solution has been initially designed for Windows-powered servers. Thus, it required a Windows Server “launchpad” in order to be deployed on ESXi or KVM. However, taking into account the cost of each Windows license, it becomes simply too expensive for small IT environments and startups.

SOLUTION

To solve this problem, we have designed StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA). It is a Linux-based virtual machine that is supplied with pre-installed and pre-configured StarWind Virtual SAN, our Software-Defined Storage solution. As a result, it can be deployed in any infrastructure regardless of hypervisor and OS. This approach enables to save both time and money since the deployment process is extra simple and there is no need for costly Windows licensing.

In addition to integration between StarWind VSA and the platforms it runs on, we have paid special attention to simplifying its management. VSA supports Web Management Console, which enables to use any HTML-5-compatible browser for monitoring and configuring the environment. The solution also includes StarWind vSphere plugin, thereby providing another opportunity to monitor StarWind-based storage infrastructure with vCenter.

StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance
StarWind Virtual SAN deploys from a pre-configured VM appliance

CONCLUSION

StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance provides an opportunity to deploy StarWind Virtual SAN in Linuxbased environments. Thereby, the solution is cost-efficient because it enables to avoid Windows and SDS licensing. Apart from that, it saves the time needed for its configuration due to being supplied with a pre-built and pre-configured virtual machine.