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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 PCIe SSDs. The protocol for presenting this type of flash effectively over the network, NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF), has already been created. NVMe-oF software targets have already been designed. However, there is no native NVMe-oF initiator for Windows yet. StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator is the first free all-software solution that brings NVMe-oF to Windows.

Problem

Common protocols – iSCSI, iSER, NFS, and SMB3 – are proven to be inefficient for presenting flash over the network. Having a single short command queue, they were designed to connect HDDs, not flash. Due to such design, these protocols cut off most of PCIe SSD performance (up to 50%). Moneywise, such a severe performance loss means that you may need more PCIe SSDs at some point, which is overkill for SMEs and ROBOs!

To date, means for presenting PCIe SSDs to the entire Hyper-V cluster are under development. NVMe-oF, the protocol tailored for enabling VMs to talk effectively to PCIe drives, is a perfect alternative to the traditional protocols, but there’s no NVMe-oF software initiator for Windows yet, meaning that clients cannot effectively use the hardware. Yes, there are NVMe-oF-ready network interface cards (NICs) allowing Hyper-V VMs to talk to PCIe SSDs. But buying expensive NICs right after purchasing a couple of flash drives is quite a big investment.

Solution

NVMe-oF keeps the latency of NVMe drives connected via the network lower than 10ms. Applications basically feel no difference between drives presented over the network and ones connected locally. The single short command queue is replaced with multiple independent queues, up to 64K commands each. Such design allows getting all the performance a PCIe SSD can provide.

StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator is the only free software solution for Windows, allowing you to enjoy all PCIe SSD benefits. It is a software module that connects a host (i.e., a client) to a block storage target (i.e., remote server). The solution allows the client to talk to the target over RDMA, meaning that all I/O can bypass the CPU. As a result, there’s more spare compute resources for VMs.
Bring the full NVMe-oF support to your environment at no cost!

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

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Benefits

100% Software Solution

There is no need to buy new hardware after you add PCIe SSDs to your setup. Just install the StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator driver and enjoy all the NVMe benefits straight away.

Works on Windows

It’s time to bring this protocol to Windows! StarWind NVMe-oF Initiator is the first ever software initiator for Windows. You can now enjoy all the promised PCIe SSD performance over network too.

Free

StarWind NVMe-oF initiator is free of charge. No proprietary hardware or software is needed. We just want our users to try out NVMe in all of its power and potential.

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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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