StarWind iSER

StarWind iSER


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

Problem of iSCSI Technology for Shared Storage

Modern high-performing storage technologies such as 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 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.

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.

As the result, 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 and 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.

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.

Keep the Advantages of the iSCSI Protocol with StarWind iSER

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

Please fill out the form below to download the product. An installer link together with the license key will be sent to the e-mail address that you’ve specified. You may check the Free vs. Paid document if you are unsure about which StarWind Virtual SAN version you would like to try. Aside from this, there is a totally unrestricted NFS (Not For Sale) version of StarWind VSAN available for certain use cases. StarWind Virtual SAN for Hyper-V release notes are available here.