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StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance

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Published: May 29, 2018

Introduction

When virtualizing an IT infrastructure, companies usually choose among a few hypervisor vendors and VMware seems to get the headlines. However, several challenges arise when VMware users start picking up a proper Software-Defined Solution that would meet their requirements. Therefore, to satisfy the needs of our customers running VMware vSphere environments in a shared storage solution and break the barriers on the way to storage virtualization, we have designed the Linux-based StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance.

Problem

Although VMware vSphere is one of the most popular virtualization platforms, its users typically face several difficulties when deploying shared storage. First of all, users have limited hardware choice as they have to conform with a strict HCL to set up a software-defined storage solution. Furthermore, typical SDS solutions require a long and complicated deployment process, taking significant time and efforts of the on-site IT team. Typical virtual san solutions present at the market require an external Witness node just to build a 2-node vSphere cluster, creating a high hardware footprint. Also, when willing to deploy StarWind Virtual SAN, a Windows license is required as it is a Windows-native solution.

Solution

To meet the needs of VMware vSphere users in a hardware-agnostic, easy-to-deploy Software-Defined Storage solution with a minimalistic node configuration, StarWind offers Linux-based Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA).

vSphere users are no longer bound to strict HCLs and can choose hardware that perfectly fits their needs as StarWind VSA is completely hardware-agnostic. The on-site IT team spends minimum time and effort to deploy StarWind VSA as it comes as a Linux-based virtual machine with StarWind Virtual SAN configured and installed. Minimum hardware required to build a 2-node cluster – no external witness node is needed. Finally, being Linux-based, StarWind VSA allows deploying StarWind Virtual SAN without having to pay for a Windows license.

StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance

StarWind Virtual SAN is deployed from a pre-configured VM appliance

Сonclusion

StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance is a hardware-agnostic, easy-to-use solution designed for VMware vSphere users looking to get the most out of the StarWind Virtual SAN and its features. StarWind VSA allows you creating a high-performing shared storage for VMware vSphere infrastructures while saving expenses on Windows licensing.