StarWind Storage Appliance

Storage Appliance Value Proposition

StarWind SA helps organizations with fixed compute platforms meet storage performance and capacity growth requirements by providing them with high-performance and simply scalable storage fully covered by 24/7 support. StarWind Storage Appliance easily handles high-performance or unpredictable data growth. It serves storage as a single namespace to different environments via multiple uplink protocols: iSCSI, SMB3, NFS, including RDMA-capable iSER and SMB Direct.

Additionally, the appliance features an optional built-in gateway to public cloud to implement an effective Disaster Recovery plan by moving extra copies of backup data into the safety of a public cloud, like AWS or Azure. It is a cost-effective way to follow the "3-2-1 backup rule", which says there must be three copies of data in two forms, and one must be stored on a remote location. StarWind SA scales up by adding individual disks and flash modules or JBODs, while adding ready controller nodes provides simple scale-out growth as required.

Storage Appliance from StarWind - Data Storage Hardware - pic 1

Why Storage Appliance from StarWind

Unlike storage vendors that ensure application vendors handle the workload, StarWind implements an open, software-modular design at storage controller level, taking care of data locality and offloading I/O from network and application servers. StarWind Storage Appliance is fully customizable and expandable and accepts third-party application modules as Windows services, containers or VMs on top of storage. Data mining, analytics or raw data processing applications run directly in the controller, skipping network switched fabric layer completely and dramatically improving performance.

Moreover, StarWind SA needs neither external backup nor antivirus software. They both come pre-installed on top of the storage platform, this also is an example of the storage appliance customization. Customers are free from purchasing, installing and managing some of the business critical applications through stack simplification. Less software to purchase, fewer components to manage, better overall performance all combine to reduce cost, simplify deployment and drive efficiency.

Unlike storage vendors who merely utilize one or two uplink protocols, StarWind’s solution inherits the multi-protocol unified storage feature of StarWind VSAN. StarWind Storage Appliance supports all industry-standard Ethernet fabrics including: 1, 10, 25/50/100 GbE as well as InfiniBand. StarWind supports the latest VVols, SMB Direct, iSER, and cutting edge NVMe over Fabrics as well as standard protocols like iSCSI, NFS, and SMB3. The appliance ensures optimum delivery of all the IOPS and TBPS the underlying storage and network hardware is capable of.

Unlike typical storage platforms, StarWind Storage Appliance can benefit from hyper-converged architectures by being a capacity extension for StarWind HCA. It offers much freedom in configuration and customization of the IT infrastructure to meet the business requirements precisely without overprovisioning and overpaying. For the highest performance requirements, StarWind SA comes in a cost-efficient all-flash model, which literally adds to overall infrastructure performance rather than dwelling on it.

Storage Appliance Benefits

Exceptional Simplicity

StarWind Storage Appliance is designed to serve storage to multiple platforms, including different virtualization environments. It achieves this due to flexible connectivity and support of industry-standard uplink protocols. Little effort is required to install StarWind SA to any existing infrastructure.


StarWind Storage Appliance is a ready storage solution with optimized pricing. Additionally, Storage Appliance inherits StarWind VSAN feature that allows it to utilize less hardware for the same workload.

Performance and Features

StarWind Storage Appliance is built with “best-of-breed” components – industry-leading software to squeeze maximum out of top-of-the-line hardware. It can run various applications, including antivirus, backup and management on top of the storage, offloading much of the I/O from the compute cluster. In addition, StarWind SA takes advantage and leverages the performance-related features of StarWind Virtual SAN.

Storage Appliance Features

Starwind Virtual San
Hybrid CloudNEW

StarWind Virtual SAN extends existing workloads to Azure public cloud, transforming the existing infrastructure into Hybrid Cloud. StarWind distributes highly available shared storage between the clouds, providing Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for optimal RTPO. The Hyper-V ecosystem is managed by such familiar and convenient orchestrators as StarWind Manager, Hyper-V, and SCVMM.

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Grid Architecture

The “grid architecture” allows building a highly fault-tolerant cluster by connecting a number of nodes together into a single grid. Such cluster topology provides a high rate of resiliency, allowing the cluster to stay operational even after multiple nodes failure while maintaining the principle of “data locality” for ultimate performance.

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and Compression

StarWind SA is efficient in conserving disk space, thanks to space reduction technologies of StarWind Virtual SAN, especially when it comes to petabytes of data and all-flash appliances, where capacity is extremely expensive. They ensure better performance and capacity utilization, reducing the actual amount of data to transfer and process. As a result, StarWind SA can cope with significantly more data than its raw capacity.

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StarWind Web-based Management

StarWind Web-based Management provides system administrators with the ability to access and manage their StarWind infrastructure via HTML5 web console from any remote location. This functionality delivers the full control over the storage-related operations from a PC or Android, iOS or Windows mobile device.

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Scale-Up and

StarWind SA can scale-up and scale-out to meet business requirements without expensive overprovisioning. Adding individual disks and flash modules to the storage node will increase storage capacity, adding CPU-less JBOD shelves. Adding ready controller nodes will increase capacity and performance, adding usable space, more I/O paths, more cache memory, increased bandwidth, higher controller and storage redundancy levels.

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Unified Storage

StarWind SA can serve storage to wide variety of environments due to exposing industry-standard uplink protocols and physical connectivity. As for fabrics, StarWind SA supports standard 1 and 10 GbE in addition to newer 25/40/50/100 GbE and InfiniBand. The protocols available are: SMB3 with dialect features, including RDMA-supporting SMB Direct and MPIO-utilizing SMB Multichannel, NFS and iSCSI, VVols on iSCSI, innovative NVMf and iSER.

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Fault Tolerance
and High Availability

StarWind SA minimizes downtime by utilizing synchronous 2-way or 3-way replication, achieving 99.99% and 99.9999% uptime respectively. It “mirrors” data and caches between the nodes, achieving fault-tolerance of the entire storage pool, eliminating any single point of failure and minimizing downtime. With StarWind SA, the virtual environment will withstand failure of disks and even cluster nodes without compromising uptime.

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Converged ("Compute and Storage separated")

StarWind SA is designed for “classic” converged scenarios, segregating storage from the primary platform. It interacts with consumer infrastructure with ease, using industry-standard uplink protocols – iSCSI, SMB3, NFS, VVols on iSCSI, NVMf, iSER, and fabrics – Ethernet, InfiniBand, SAS and SATA. This architecture makes it easy to scale compute and storage resources independently from each other, enabling cost-efficient scalability.

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StarWind Stretched Clustering

StarWind Stretched Clustering provides organizations with constant applications uptime and uninterrupted business continuity. The Stretched Clustering support allows avoiding the production downtime due to Live Migration between the geographical locations. Moreover, the IT infrastructure resources are utilized by 100% thanks to active-active shared storage replication.

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StarWind VVols

The integration of VMware VVols support in StarWind products makes vSphere storage management highly efficient, simple and automated. StarWind VVols allows providing VMs with fine-tuned storage policies based on pre-defined storage configurations with required performance and resiliency characteristics.

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Optimized Cache Engine

StarWind Storage Appliance keeps performance optimized with the help of cost-efficient and reliable distributed multi-tiered RAM and flash caching. StarWind SA holds storage cache, provided by the built-in StarWind Virtual SAN. StarWind SA uses flash for level 2 caching, rerouting all write-intensive I/O to level 1, where RAM is utilized.

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Commodity Hardware Economics

StarWind SA is based on commodity hardware. There is no highly-priced proprietary componentry utilized for primary functionality: no deduplication FPGAs, no ASICs, no modified MIPS firmware 64-bit CPUs, overpriced write-back cache NVRAM etc. Scaling is also performed with Commercial Off-The-Shelf components without any vendor lock-in or additional restrictions.

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Asynchronous Replication

StarWind SA supports asynchronous replication and utilizes an industry-leading backup solution from Veeam which is included in the appliance. It can replicate entire storage pools or individual objects such as virtual machines and files. As a result, it ensures the safety of stored data and minimizes the risk of data corruption in case of critical failures and disasters.

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Automated Storage Tiering

StarWind Automated Storage Tiering eliminates the need in manual intervention when assigning storage to applications since the data flow between tiers is fully automated. Moreover, companies don’t have to go all-flash as Automated Storage Tiering effectively matches workload-intensive applications with a high performing storage, so that no overprovisioning occurs.

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StarWind Log-Structured File System (LSFS)

StarWind Storage Appliance was created to handle database, big data and virtualization workloads and avoid any performance degradation. For that purpose, Log-Structured File System is utilized. LSFS minimizes the impact of random I/O, ensuring optimum disk performance and avoiding other typical virtualization issues like the performance-killing “I/O Blender”.

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Starwind Swordfish Provider

StarWind Swordfish Plugin allows to easily manage, allocate and scale infrastructures based on StarWind Virtual SAN as well as setups with StarWind VSAN being part of a bigger storage infrastructure. Swordfish API comes as a part of VSAN installation, making StarWind deployment extra simple and eliminating the need to install additional software to manage the infrastructure.

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StarWind iSER

StarWind iSER completely eliminates the problem of network bottleneck by supplying higher bandwidth for block storage transfers. Further, it ensures the highest performance in the clustered systems by avoiding latency issues. Therefore, with StarWind iSER, VM migration, data and VM replication become faster and easier to perform.

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Storage Array Models

StarWind Storage Appliance comes in the following models, each designed for a particular task: Learn more

SA-1H Model

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SA-1H – a hybrid storage array fit for small and medium volumes of secondary data, from 4 TB up to 44 TB. This single-chassis array provides good performance staying within the typical HDD-based solutions budget. Dual storage controllers provide fast failover and guarantee High Availability. The typical use cases include secondary data and virtualization storage, medical records, primary backup storage with low RPO/RTO requirements.

SA-2H Model

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SA-2H – a hybrid storage array with flexible configurations for small to large volumes of primary data, from 4 TB to 500 TB and even more. This dual-chassis array provides high performance, low latency data processing for applications with a defined data set. Redundant disk sets may be distanced up to 650 feet from each other, providing high extent of Fault Tolerance. The typical use cases include primary virtualization and media storage, medical records, small database storage.

SA-2AF Model

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SA-2AF – an all-flash storage array with flexible configurations for small to large volumes of primary hot data, from 4 TB to 500 TB and even more. This dual-chassis array delivers uncompromised high performance across entire storage capacity for most demanding applications. Redundant disk sets may be distanced up to 650 feet from each other, providing high extent of Fault Tolerance. The typical use cases include Databases, Big Data and primary virtualization 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.

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