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Introduction

iSER

Storage technologies are developing extremely fast. Just a few years ago, SSD and NVMe drives where considered as something outstanding. Now, they've become a common component of the IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, iSCSI technology cannot provide sufficient levels of performance for shared storage anymore when used with fast SSD or NVMe drives. That’s the reason why iSER, or iSCSI Extensions for RDMA, has been developed.

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Problem

Problem of iSCSI Technology for Shared Storage

Modern high-performing storage technologies such as fast flash and NVMe require protocols that can match their performance. When it comes to iSCSI, TCP, and UDP protocols, all applications that use them are processed by CPU. Therefore, data paths must stand in the queue with other applications and system processes waiting for their turn. This leads to several significant problems. First of all, the bottleneck occurs on the network layer. Consequently, data-copy-overhead occurs in the system, causing latency issues and, as a result, poor performance.

Also, iSCSI consumes a lot of CPU resources. This is critical for hyperconverged platforms where all the compute resources are shared between the applications and the infrastructure. If opting for a Per Core Licensing model, building such system may cost a top dollar. Finally, it leads to low ROI and high operational expenses.

High compute resources consumption with iSCSI serving SSD and NVMe storage
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Solution

StarWind iSER Solution

To deliver higher performance and minimum latency, StarWind has added the support of iSER to StarWind Virtual SAN. The protocol has been specially designed to improve iSCSI by playing on the RDMA protocol suite advantages. It eliminates the TCP/IP processing overhead and bypasses the CPU of the target system. What is more, iSER maintains the iSCSI management and architecture, so the existing storage allocation and consumption methods remain the same.

Consequently, StarWind iSER completely eliminates the problem of network bottleneck by supplying higher bandwidth for block storage transfers. Furthermore, it ensures the highest performance in the clustered systems by avoiding latency issues. Therefore, with StarWind iSER, VM migration as well as data and VM replication become faster and easier to perform. Moreover, iSER keeps the existing iSCSI management instruments and maintains such advantages of the protocol as chap, access lists, multipathing, and high availability. All this allows configuring a high-performing and redundant system.

Direct memory access with iSER utilizes minimum compute resources

Finally, StarWind iSER significantly reduces the CPU workload. This means that your applications have more CPU power at their disposal and less CPU cores are required for building a high-performing compute platform. In hyperconverged infrastructures, where applications, storage, and data services share the CPU power, this is a significant benefit.

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Conclusion

Keep the Advantages of the iSCSI Protocol with StarWind iSER

By bringing in iSER support, StarWind ensures the highest possible performance that your applications can handle. Furthermore, it allows building hyperconverged infrastructures (HCI) without overspending budgets by utilizing system resources with maximum efficiency. Ultimately, StarWind iSER enables the true power of a high-performing SSD and NVMe storage.

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What The World Says About Us

StarWind included as Niche Player for the third consecutive time in 2020 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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