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  • StarWind Virtual SAN System Requirements

System Requirements

CPU: Intel Xeon E5620 (or higher), or equivalent AMD Opteron

With 75% of server workloads being virtualized, virtualization is just getting started. VDI and SMB clouds have just started to emerge and will grow rapidly in the next few years. As IT is moving forward at an ever increasing pace, datacenters are becoming hyper-converged.

The minimum recommended CPU is Intel Xeon E5620 or equivalent. Intel Xeon X5660 or equivalent can be used in order to maximize performance.

Important notice: A multi-core CPU with low frequency cores is preferred compared to one with higher core frequency but fewer cores/sockets. E.g. having a six core Intel Xeon 5660 with 2.8 GHz per core is better than having a four core Intel Xeon 5667 with 3.02 GHz per core.

RAM: 4GB Minimum

4GB is the minimum RAM amount that should be installed on a server that is running StarWind Virtual SAN. If implementing StarWind High-Speed caching, an appropriate RAM amount should be installed additionally. The cache-dedicated RAM amount should be equal or higher than one reserved for iSCSI targets caching.

In-line deduplication with LSFS requires 3.5 GB of RAM per 1 TB of deduplicated storage.

Important notice: Always reserve at least 4 GB RAM for Windows internal processes and the StarWind Virtual SAN engine.


  • Hardware RAID controller is highly recommended
  • StarWind Virtual SAN supports Microsoft Storage Spaces
  • Software RAID implementations are NOT supported

Depending on the storage requirements, the most appropriate RAID configuration could be selected. Our recommendations for the proper HA storage design are:

  • RAID 10 for SAS or SATA hard drives
  • RAID 1, 5, 6, 10 for SAS or SATA SSDs

RAID 5, 6, 50, 60 can be considered for a backup/VTL environment with mostly sequential workloads, where the best write performance is not a critical requirement and the main goal is to achieve the maximum storage efficiency. We would like to suggest you to contact StarWind Engineers in order to receive an additional information regarding the particular storage design.

A minimum requirement for StarWind installation and logging would be at least 3 GB of disk space. The StarWind virtual disks must reside on the separate partition from StarWind installation.


Minimum of 2 x 1GbE physical NICs

While the minimum supported bandwidth is 1 GbE. In case of an intensive workload consider scaling to a 10 GbE or 40 GbE infrastructure. It is highly recommended to use 9K Jumbo frame capable network equipment in order to maximize the SAN environment performance.

StarWind Synchronization network has a prerequisite of both NIC and switch (if used) fault tolerance measures. Use of STP (Shielded twisted pair) CAT6 (or higher) cable is a requirement for the Synchronization Network for both crossover and server-switch connections.

Network latency requirements

Maximum synchronization network latency should not exceed 5 ms.

Network latency higher than 5 ms may lead to HA performance degradation.

Long distance cross-datacenter deployments should be discussed with StarWind Technical Engineers per case basis.

Supported Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016

Supported Microsoft Windows Server editions

  • Windows Server Core 2008 R2
  • Windows Server Core 2012
  • Windows Server Core 2012 R2
  • Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
  • Hyper-V Server 2012
  • Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
  • Hyper-V Server 2016

Please note: if you are planning to use Windows Server Core or Microsoft Hyper-V Server as a base OS you will not be able to install StarWind Management Console locally. In this case, the StarWind Management console can be installed on any other computer. Please note that for remote management, port 3261 has to be open in both machine’s firewalls.

Supported Microsoft Windows Desktop editions for Management Console

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10

System requirements if StarWind is deployed as the virtual machine:

Number of virtual processors

It is required to have at least 4 virtual processors with 2 GHz reserved to ensure the proper functioning of VSA. Network Settings It is required to have at least 2 NIC ports dedicated as separate vSwitches for StarWind synchronization and backup iSCSI traffic. Minimal recommended bandwidth is 1 GbE. In case of an intensive workload consider scaling to a 10 GbE or 40 GbE infrastructure. Supported vSphere version: 5.x

For specific recommendations please contact us

Asynchronous replication

RAM. Primary storage system must have 128 MB of RAM additionally to what is used or planned to be used for primary storage workload handling. Disaster recovery location must be equipped with additional 1GB of RAM. Please note that this requirement mentions only StarWind-related RAM expenses. OS, hypervisor, and other application memory should be sized separately.

Bandwidth. The minimal required throughput is 1 Mbps. It is recommended to use the data link that is physically capable of transmitting the replicated amount of data within the desired backup window time.

Physical Storage Consideration. The performance of the disk which stores the replication journal on the primary node, benchmarked/measured using 8MB block size 100% sequential write must be greater or equal than the maximum write throughput of the production storage array. Journal disk free space reserve must be greater than the amount of data written to the production storage array within the time frame between the snapshots, plus additional 25%.

To download the software products please make your choice below. An installer link and the license key will be sent to the e-mail address you specify. Please check the Free vs. Paid document if you are uncertain of the StarWind Virtual SAN version. A totally unrestricted NFR (Not For Resale) version of StarWind Virtual SAN is available for certain use cases. Learn more here. The Release Notes can be found here.

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