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Value Proposition

StarWind iSCSI Accelerator/Load Balancer

Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) based storage systems that work through Ethernet network are still more than useful for SMBs. Free StarWind iSCSI Accelerator/Load Balancer allows leveraging virtualized workloads to increase VM performance. This tool improves CPU resource utilization by balancing iSCSI sessions between all the available server CPU cores.

Problem

However powerful iSCSI SANs may be, the default Microsoft iSCSI Initiator itself carries specific problems along the way. Increasing the network bandwidth is associated with more sessions, which results in two issues: first, iSCSI protocol lowers performance due to higher latency, and second, Microsoft iSCSI Initiator that would have solved any other problem fails to distribute workload effectively because it treats any CPU as if it had just 2 cores.

Nevertheless, performance of modern servers is aimed to infinity and beyond, which goes for the numbers of both cores. They usually have 2 CPU sockets, a lot more than 2 physical cores each. Double the overall number of physical cores and you get the number of logical ones that are available for cluster VMs.

Hence, the main problem with the Initiator is that it works with only 2 cores out of many, overwhelming them with sessions. So, the traditional use of iSCSI in Hyper-V environments won't deliver the desired performance.

Solution

The whole point of StarWind iSCSI Accelerator/Load Balancer - it requires neither extra hardware nor tiresome Microsoft iSCSI Initiator fine-tuning. Think of the Accelerator as a “middleperson”. The solution is implemented as a filter driver between the Initiator and the hardware. Every time an iSCSI session is created, StarWind iSCSI Accelerator assigns it to a free CPU core, thereby correcting the function of Microsoft iSCSI Initiator. StarWind iSCSI Accelerator solves the overload problem, increases Ethernet bandwidth, doesn't require any specialized adapters, available on any version of Windows server, and, last but not least, is simple in use and completely free.

Conclusion

StarWind iSCSI Accelerator/Load Balancer is a free solution from StarWind, designed to balance iSCSI among multiple CPU cores that works right after deployment in conjunction with Microsoft iSCSI Initiator and iSCSI SAN, and provides your VMs with as many IOPS as necessary.

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Benefits

Speed

StarWind iSCSI Accelerator takes Hyper-V VMs and Windows Server applications performance to an entirely new level by properly distributing iSCSI workloads among all the available CPU cores. No more “single CPU core bottleneck” — benefit from maximized IOPS and CPU utilization.

Simplicity

Save the time used for trying to fine-tune Microsoft iSCSI Initiator performance. StarWind iSCSI Accelerator is deployed into any Windows system in less than a minute.

Free

StarWind iSCSI Accelerator is free of charge. No hidden costs or payments. No additional hardware or software required. Just because VMs and applications running on the Windows Server platform deserve proper performance.

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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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