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StarWind HyperConverged Appliance

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance product video

Value Proposition


For SMB, ROBO and Enterprises, who look to bring in quick deployment and operation simplicity to virtualization workloads and reduce related expenses, our solution is StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA). It unifies commodity servers, disks and flash, hypervisor of choice, StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN and associated software into a single manageable layer. The HCA supports scale-up by adding disks and flash, and scale-out by adding extra nodes.
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance consists of StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN “Ready Nodes”, targeting those, who are building their virtualization infrastructure from scratch. In case there is an existing set of servers, we offer a “software only version”, which is essentially our years proven StarWind Virtual SAN. Basically, it’s the fuel powering StarWind HCA.

Differentiation

Unlike typical hyperconverged solutions, StarWind HCA has a minimalistic hardware footprint, with initial Highly-Available setup of 2 servers. Switches are not required, flash is optional, as well as 10-100 GbE. As a matter of fact, the appliance will easily go with 1 GbE, if required. With less hardware to purchase and maintain, StarWind HCA is easier to manage, and expenses are dramatically reduced. Besides, there are no “hidden costs”, typically present in other hyperconverged solutions in the form of additional hardware or software requirements. Employing all the technologies of StarWind VSAN, StarWind HyperConverged Appliance achieves Enterprise-class performance and features at SMB and ROBO cost.

Unlike “classic” approach, where compute and storage layers are separated: hypervisor running on commodity servers and storage on traditional hardware SAN or NAS, StarWind HCA is hyperconverged. It merges both layers together in a single appliance, requiring less effort from the on-site IT team and using less hardware for the same task. Therefore, hyperconverged appliance is easier to manage and definitely less expensive to buy and maintain. To make things even more convenient, the whole appliance is covered by a single “support umbrella” from StarWind, so there is no finger-pointing from vendor to vendor in a support case. It also delivers better performance and more features than “compute and storage separated” architecture.

Unlike Software Defined Storage solutions, where hardware and software are both chosen and assembled on Do-It-Yourself basis, StarWind HCA is a turnkey solution. It is, basically, a single purchase for the entire virtualization infrastructure, without any time wasted by on-site IT team on DIY tinkering with hardware and software. All the components from several vendors are already pre-built into StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct or VMware Virtual SAN “Ready Nodes”, pre-configured and covered by a single “support umbrella” with StarWind as your “one throat to choke” in terms of support. Besides, even all-flash models of StarWind HCA are still within SMB and ROBO budget, thanks to hardware discount that StarWind shares with the customers.

Benefits

Exceptional Simplicity
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is a turnkey solution, pre-built from best of breed components. It is exceptionally easy to manage and requires minimum effort from on-site IT team. Besides, even though the components come from different vendors, they are all covered by a single “support umbrella”, so StarWind is your “one throat to choke” in terms of support.
Low Cost
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance aims at SMB and ROBO, being the most affordable turnkey virtualization solution in the market, even with the all-flash model. It cuts down expenses because there is less hardware for the customer to purchase and maintain. All the best of breed components come in a bundle that costs less than buying them all separately without “hidden costs”.
Performance and Features
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance unifies top-of-the-line hardware and software from world-known vendors: servers from Dell, Flash from Intel, virtual shared storage from StarWind, Microsoft or VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere hypervisor, industry-leading VM backup from Veeam. It brings Enterprise-class performance and features to SMB and ROBO space.

Features

HyperConverged

As the name implies, StarWind HCA adopts hyperconverged architecture, combining compute and storage resources into one scalable layer. It is easy to manage and very cost-efficient, reducing all virtualization expenses, including energy consumption. For these reasons, Hyperconvergence is “the way to go” for SMB and ROBO with their limited budgets and understaffed IT teams. Learn more
StarWind Virtual SAN Hyper-Converged Architecture
Hyperсonverged architecture

Converged (“Compute and Storage separated”)

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance is, obviously, hyperconverged. However, it can become a part of Converged architecture, serving storage outside the appliance. It uses industry-standard uplink protocols: SMB3, NFS and iSCSI, so it easily integrates into any virtualization infrastructure. Learn more
StarWind Virtual SAN Compute and Storage Separated Scenario
Compute and storage separated architecture

Unified Storage (Multiprotocol)

StarWind HCA is versatile, because it is built with the help of multiprotocol StarWind Virtual SAN. It exposes industry-standard uplink protocols, allowing to create virtually any architecture around it. StarWind HCA supports: SMB3 with dialect features, including RDMA-supporting SMB Direct and MPIO-utilizing SMB Multichannel, NFSv4.1and iSCSI, VVOLs on iSCSI, NVMe over Fabrics and iSER. Initially designed to create virtualization infrastructure from scratch, StarWind HCA can still become a part of existing architecture, easily merging with any virtualized environment. Learn more

VM-Centric Storage and StarWind Log-Structured File System (LSFS)

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance employs StarWind VSAN Log-structuring feature to handle virtualization workload. It battles the common virtualization-associated issues that cause performance degradation, like “I/O blender”. Thus, Log-structuring makes the minimalistic resources sufficient for even Enterprise routine, not to mention everyday SMB and ROBO tasks. Learn more

Server-Side Cache

StarWind HCA uses multi-tiered RAM and flash caching for exceptional performance, reducing I/O latency to an absolute minimum. Utilizing StarWind VSAN, it achieves high performance with conventional SATA SSD, RAM and MLC flash. Caches are distributed between the nodes, achieving fast and reliable write-back policy without employing uber-expensive proprietary hardware. Learn more

Fault Tolerance and High Availability

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance achieves fault-tolerance and high availability with a minimalistic two-node setup. It utilizes StarWind VSAN to “mirror” storage and caches between the nodes. As a result, the appliance can withstand failures of individual disks, memory modules or even an entire node without compromising uptime. Learn more

Scale-Up and Scale-Out

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance scales according to the business needs, adopting both scale-out and scale-up architectures. Ready HCA nodes or individual flash and disks can be added to handle the growing workload without “overkill” overprovisioning and spending more money than is actually required. Learn more

Hardware Agnostic and Commodity Hardware

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance uses commercial off-the-shelf hardware, which is part of the reason for its cost-efficiency. There is no overpriced proprietary stuff, typically associated with turnkey solutions that make the customer pay extra for custom rails, etc. StarWind HCA is built on affordable commodity hardware that comes in a discount bundle less expensive than buying all the components separately, dramatically reducing the price of purchase and maintenance. Learn more

Asynchronous Replication

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance comes with an industry-leading backup solution – Veeam Backup and Replication. It will ensure the safety of mission-critical data and minimize the risk of data corruption even in case of disasters. There is also the option to use public or private cloud as the DR site, for example – Azure. Learn more

Snapshots and Automated Storage Tiering

StarWind HCA employs StarWind VSAN inter-node tiering technology, which is essentially a performance-preserving and flash-saving mechanism. It offloads the rarely-used “cold” data from expensive primary storage to inexpensive secondary tier, stopping performance degradation and prolonging flash life. Learn more

Deduplication and Compression

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance uses space reduction technologies for better performance and capacity utilization. Deduplication and compression reduce the actual amount of data to be transferred, written, read or processed, thus removing the unnecessary workload from HDD, flash and wire. Learn more

Virtual Storage Appliance

There is a version of StarWind Virtual SAN, designed for fast deployment from a pre-configured VMware or Hyper-V compatible VM appliance. In case one can find a suitable application for this version in StarWind HCA, it is not prohibited. However, the Virtual Storage Appliance is meant to install on existing hardware set for testing purposes, rather than full-fledged production platform, mainly because it needs some tinkering by StarWind engineers to achieve maximum possible performance. Learn more

Virtual Tape Library (VTL)

StarWind HCA comes with a disabled VTL option for obvious reasons. However, in case the customer decides to use the appliance in his tape backup infrastructure, he can always enable it back. There are absolutely no restrictions on this matter. Learn more

HCA Models

When “one size first all”, it really never fits anyone. Therefore, StarWind HyperConverged Appliance comes in three models:

HCA Model S
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Model S
HCA Model S is the entry level system designed for SMB and ROBO. Tower form factor simplifies the deployment for customers who don’t have a rack available in the office. Rack mount kit can be optionally added to the 2-node starter set. Learn more
HCA Model L
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Model L
HCA Model L is the mid-level system for SMB virtualized environments. 1U form factor provides maximum compute power density in smallest possible rack space. Learn more
HCA Model XL
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance Model XL
HCA Model XL is a high-end virtualization platform, which provides maximum compute and storage density and uncompromised performance for high load virtual server and VDI workloads. Learn more



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