StarWind Virtual SAN Getting Started

Published: August 2015

This document describes different options for StarWind Virtual SAN installation and highlights the specific of each implementation, its pros and cons.

StarWind Virtual SAN is entirely software-based, hypervisor-centric virtual machine storage. It creates a fully fault-tolerant and high-performing storage pool that is built for the virtualization workload “from scratch” by basically “mirroring” inexpensive internal storage between hosts. StarWind VSAN completely eliminates any need for an expensive SAN or NAS or other physical shared storage. It seamlessly integrates into the hypervisor for outstanding performance and exceptional simplicity of use.

StarWind comes with the different set of options and deployment scenarios. It allows implementation of:
  • Hyper-Converged architecture – StarWind on the same physical host where the client is running
  • Compute and Storage Separated architecture – running on the dedicated physical box

Hyper-Converged architecture

With this scenario, StarWind VSAN is a natural part of the hypervisor. The result is both outstanding performance and unified administration using hypervisor-specific management tools. StarWind Virtual SAN leverages all benefits of the local storage like high performance and minimal latency. Benefits compared to a dedicated hardware solution:
  • Hypervisor reads from local storage only. High speed synchronization network links are used to replicate writes to the partner hypervisor nodes cache.
  • Cache is local, so the performance gain is much better compared to cache sitting behind slow network.
  • Hypervisor nodes do not fight for LUN ownership, which increases performance and eliminates unnecessary iSCSI lock overhead.

Deployment options of the StarWind Virtual SAN in the Hyper-Converged scenario:
  • Manual installation on the guest VM
  • Manual installation directly on the hypervisor

Compute and Storage Separated architecture

StarWind Virtual SAN runs on a dedicated set of hosts creating a separated storage layer being used by consumers. The differentiation of compute and storage layers makes sense if there is need to grow by capacity only. Typical use cases are shared storage for huge clustered SQL Server and Oracle deployments and an inexpensive block back-end for Scale-Out File Servers.

While running StarWind in Compute and Storage architecture, it is possible to scale compute and storage resources independently, with different leverages regardless from each other. The resulting system fits the task better while CapEx and OpEx drop significantly.

Related content:

To download the software products, please, make your choice below. An installer link and a license key will be sent to the e-mail address you’ve specified. If you consider StarWind Virtual SAN but are uncertain of the version, please check the following document Free vs. Paid. The recent build of Release Notes. A totally unrestricted NFR (Not For Resale) version of StarWind Virtual SAN is available for certain use cases. Learn more details here.

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