“All we did was download StarWind, installed it on a Dell server and we had a SAN for VMware in less than half an hour. I did not even read a manual. It was really that easy.”
Vladimir Varfolomeev, IT Manager
Columbus, Ohio-based Veeam Software, Inc. is a premier-level VMware Technology Alliance Partner and member of the VMware Ready Management program. It provides software for managing VMware infrastructures, and is best known for its Veeam Backup & Replication software which is generally considered as the most innovative disaster recovery solution for VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) and VMware vSphere 4 environments.
Bradley Barnes, Manager of Technology Resources, manages the IT needs of these organizations with six full time staff and three part-time administrators. The group is tasked with data protection for application servers, web servers and the hospital’s back office. The facilities’ servers are comprised of VMware ESX and ESXi servers and some Microsoft Virtual Servers on Dell platforms. Over time they’ve reduced their physical server count from 40 to 20 as the virtual server count has reached 60.
Veeam was spending more time than it wanted to build and manage the shared storage for VMware in the U.S. and Europe. In each location, applications and applications running on Dell® servers were tied to direct attached storage (DAS), giving little flexibility in configuring high availability server clusters and little prospects for easily and quickly recovering stored data in the event of a storage failure. In addition, the existing storage setup lacked the scalability, cost efficiency and ease of use the company required in its daily operations.
StarWind, among four other vendors, was asked to bid on a shared storage solution that combined high performance, scalability and centralized management. It also needed to be easy to use. Final constraints required the shared storage solution to be affordable without requiring extensive training to manage which was a typical issue that Veeam saw with procuring Fibre Channel SANs.
StarWind was an easy choice. It allowed Veeam to convert several new and several existing, repurposed Dell PowerEdge servers into SANs that were asynchronously mirrored in the same server room as well as configured for remote replication across a WAN to match the disaster recovery and business continuity requirements. Veeam’s IT manager, Vladimir Varfolomeev chose the StarWind solution because it offered true Enterprise level features but at an SMB price.
StarWind system software was quickly loaded on Dell servers and took advantage of the IP network and CAT5 Ethernet cabling already in place. Asked to list the benefits of the decision, Vladimir Varfolomeev pointed to the ease of use and Veeam’s ability to avoid spending on a far more costly Fibre Channel solution and the fact that the all-inclusive cost for an enterprise-level SAN priced out at 50% of the cost of the next closest rival solution.
As Vladimir Varfolomeev puts it, “All we did was download StarWind, installed it on a Dell server and we had a SAN for VMware in less than half an hour. I did not even read a manual. It was really that easy.”
Dell servers, Ethernet network
Existing storage for VMware was not conducive to high availability configuration and difficult to scale. Additionally it was hard to set it up for disaster recovery and business continuity. There was a need for affordable, scalable and enterprise-level storage that was easy to manage.
StarWind Virtual SAN
Achieved business continuity, rapid installation, ease of use and centralized management, all at a low cost.