StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance

Introduction

When building the IT infrastructure, the company usually comes across a few server OS solutions to choose from. There are many considerations when selecting the right one that will fit into your environment perfectly such as the performance, technology maturity, how smoothly it integrates with the existing systems, the commercial implications as well as the functionality support.

Microsoft-developed solutions seem to get the headlines as many IT professionals and a huge number of companies passionately adhere to this type of servers. One of the reasons for that is that commercial server operating systems from Microsoft are widespread, versatile and supported. Being a proprietary and licensed software, Microsoft offers a package that includes many advanced features for management and administration. However, as it had to be expected, Microsoft products feature more vendor lock-in curbing the freedom when trying to mix and match your infrastructure. Therefore, after taking a good look, sifting through the market, and looking at what shakes out, one can see that Linux-based products still hold a large part of the market.

And there also certain reasons for that: Linux is an open-source solution allowing to configure and customize the system best for the needs of your business. Moreover, Linux is a cost-effective solution removing the need to pay the annual Windows license. With this in view, many software developers maintain Linux-based versions of their products to seize this part of the market. Keeping pace with the current market demands and seeking to satisfy the interests of our customers, StarWind works over greater integration with Linux-oriented IT infrastructure and launches the Linux-based StarWind VSA.

Problem

As of today, the overall Linux flavors are growing and the trend is gaining pace on the everyday basis as Linux offers much flexibility allowing to get your system set up as you need it, optimize the performance and save big on the traditional annual license you are to pay for when dealing with the software from other vendors. However, that part of the market that uses Linux to build the virtualized infrastructure can run into difficulty when willing to test or get the most out of the capabilities of the StarWind Virtual SAN. The truth of the matter is that StarWind is a Windows native solution and needs a Windows Server “launchpad” to be deployed in ESXi and Xen environments. Taking into consideration the price of each Windows license, the idea can seem simply unwise and cost a pretty penny especially for small IT environments and startups.

Solution

Considering the above factors, StarWind comes up with the new solution that is StarWind VSA - the most simple and straightforward way to deploy StarWind Virtual SAN in literally any infrastructure, regardless of hypervisor and OS. With customers in mind, StarWind took care to make the deployment process extremely simple and fast. StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) is a Linux-based Virtual Machine that comes with StarWind Virtual SAN installed and configured. Such an approach helps you save time and money as well as avoid possible misconfiguration issues although the deployment process requires no special skills from the IT staff to be managed. StarWind VSA supports all industry-standard hypervisors like Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer and KVM. Such flexibility allows you to inject the solution in any infrastructure without a need to redeploy your current system that once again saves time and money. Further still, no longer bound to Windows launchpad StarWind Virtual SAN inside a Linux virtual machine allows users to avoid licensing Windows when it is unnecessary and saves cost for Linux-oriented infrastructures.

We have paid special attention to the management issue seeking to simplify to the uttermost the integration between the StarWind VSA and the platforms it runs on. The Linux-based VSA includes Web Management Console, so you can use any convenient HTML5-capable browser to check and configure your infrastructure. Moreover, the Virtual Storage Appliance includes StarWind vSphere plugin thereby adding the other way to control and monitor the StarWind-based storage infrastructure with VMware management resources. With plug-in implemented, you can monitor your storage directly within vCenter.

StarWind Virtual SAN deploys from a pre-configured VM appliance
Conclusion

Pull it all together, the StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance is an easy-to use solution for those unwilling to change their current infrastructure, but rather test or get the most out of the StarWind Virtual SAN and its features. StarWind Virtual VSA allows you to create a virtual shared storage infrastructure saving your time and money. The solution goes hand-in-hand with any virtualization infrastructure like Hyper-V, VMware, Xen or KVM thereby eliminating the need to pay anything for SDS or Windows licenses. Additionally, the Linux-based StarWind VSA comes as a turnkey solution being a pre-built and pre-configured virtual machine, basically ready for deployment and use.

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