March 9,
StarWind Is No.1 at IT Central Station’s Peer Awards for SDS 2021
Value Proposition

StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator

Seeing that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) readily adopt flash, it is important to develop all the means for working with NVMe SSDs. The protocol for efficiently working with NVMe Flash over the network, NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF), has already been created. NVMe-oF storage solutions are becoming widely available. Yet, there is no native NVMe-oF initiator for Windows. StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator is the first 100% software solution that brings NVMe-oF to Windows Server and Windows platforms.

StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator is also available as an OEM component for your own solution.
Speed up your time to market, deliver better customer lifetime value, and gain competitive edge. We're here to help!
Our dedicated OEM team will help you design a solution that exceeds your expectations.

StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator driver
is certified with Windows Server 2019/2016
Validation information coming soon

Existing storage protocols — iSCSI, iSER, FC, NFS, and SMB3 — proved to be inefficient in working with network-attached flash. These protocols were designed to work with spinning disks and, consequently, inherited various resulting limitations, like single short command queue. When used with NVMe SSDs, said protocol cuts off up to 50% of performance along with increasing the CPU toll on client systems. From the financial perspective, this is a significant waste of costs as 30-40% of NVMe SSDs, CPU cores, and associated licenses need to be purchased only to compensate for the legacy protocol's inefficiency. For ROBOs and Edge deployments, this waste gets multiplied by hundreds and thousands of times simply due to the sheer number of locations.

To date, there are no built-in tools in Windows for working with network-attached NVMe SSDs. NVMe-oF, the protocol that enables SQL, M&E applications, and VMs to get all the performance from NVMe Flash, isn't available on Windows. As a result, Microsoft clients cannot get the best performance and latency for their applications. There are some NVMe-oF-ready network cards (NICs) for Windows and Windows Server applications to work with NVMe Flash over the network. Yet, upgrading the whole interconnect with NVMe-oF capable NICs and switches for all existing systems will remain a very costly project in the foreseeable future.


NVMe-oF keeps the latency of NVMe drives connected via the network as low as 20-30 microseconds. Applications "feel" no difference between flash connected over the network or one attached directly. The single 64-command queue is replaced with 64 thousand queues, 64 thousand commands each. This design allows getting all the performance NVMe SSDs have to offer. The flash-centric design of NVMe-oF also results in a lower CPU toll on the IOPS delivered to your applications. You can benefit from this either by provisioning more CPU resources to the applications or VMs or by shrinking the system size and thereby also cutting costs on OS and backup per-core licenses as well as become more efficient with power and cooling.

StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator is the only software solution for Windows, allowing you to get all the benefits of network-connected NVMe storage. It is a software module that connects any Windows or Windows Server host to the NVMe-oF ( NVMe/TCP and NVMe/RoCE ) storage target. Using TCP enables organizations to leverage their existing networking for working with shared storage. The RoCE solution does require RoCE-capable Mellanox, Intel, or Broadcom cards but it also allows your applications and VMs to talk to the storage over RDMA, resulting in all I/O bypassing the CPU. As a result, there are more CPU resources to directly support your workloads.

Get StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator to unlock superior performance and efficiency for your Hyper-V VMs, SQL, and M&E workflow applications!

You can check out the latest updates for StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator in the Release Notes.


100% Software Solution

No need to buy special NICs and interconnect as StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator works on TCP and RoCE. Just install it on your Windows hosts and get all the NVMe-oF benefits straight away.

Works on Windows

It’s time to bring NVMe-oF to Windows! StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator is the first-ever software initiator certified for Windows Server and Windows 10.


We really want our users to try out NVMe-oF in all of its power and potential. That's why we don't charge anything for StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator that you want to use in your lab or PoC.

What The World Says About Us

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

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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