What Is
VMware vSphere?

VMware vSphere is a virtualization and cloud management platform, consisting of VMware ESXi hypervisor and VMware vSAN software-defined storage, that is designed to make IT infrastructure utilization cost-effective and secure. Thanks to a shrewd combination of features, after you install VMware vSphere, your environment will be able to run, connect, manage, and secure your applications and data in a unified hybrid-cloud environment. But is VMware vSAN the only possible companion to VMware ESXi? Of course not! Other vendors offer solutions that are often way more suitable in a series of particular use cases.

With this in mind, StarWind, being one such vendor, offers not an alternative to VMware vSAN but a solution that is better suited for certain scenarios, like ROBO & Edge, for example. Unlike VMware vSphere's SDS option, StarWind has a transparent licensing policy meant for its solution, grants access to all of its features upon purchase, and it has no restrictions in terms of functionality, scalability, or flexibility of us

VMware vSphere and
StarWind VSAN for vSphere

vSphere Cost

  • Every licensing package has different feature sets and tools
  • More expensive licenses grant access to better functions and support
  • Strict hardware compatibility lists (HCLs) that demand specific firmware for VMware software
  • Licensing is provided per 1 CPU (which has hosts, CPUs per host, RAM, HCL, and VM limitations)
  • Fault tolerance is either 2 or 8 vCPUs that is purchased for different pricing
  • Scalability is restricted depending on the licensing and HCLs

StarWind Virtual SAN
for vSphere

  • Comes in the form of a lightweight VM based on Linux
  • Created to grant SMB, ROBO and Edge infrastructure’s constant uptime from the get-go
  • SDS that offers a full set of features in every license
  • Licenses differ only in shared storage capacity volumes
  • Deploys on whatever hardware you already got
  • Does not force the customer to abide by strict HCLs
  • Flexible scalability up and out at no additional cost
  • Cooperative and rapidly responsive support from deployment to troubleshooting

What Is StarWind VSAN?

Simple to use and

StarWind VSAN is a lightweight VM that ties your entire vSphere environment into a robust highly available, fault-tolerant storage pool with just 2 nodes (a physical and a cloud one). You can orchestrate, monitor, and manage your virtualized cluster via a unified console that is included in every editions. There are no hidden license terms or tricks: you buy a single solution that doesn’t care for your infrastructure’s compilation and you’re good to go.


StarWind VSAN provides you with unlimited scaling possibilities with the node quantity of your choice. In-line deduplication and compression ensure storage optimization and maximum speed It assures data resiliency with the required Hardware or Software RAID, as well as it reduces physically written data and increases VM IOPs. Thanks to "mirroring" of internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers, you won't experience any downtime or lose any data.


StarWind VSAN is laser-focused on particular scenarios where VMware vSAN is not the best fit for the customer from the price tag, flexibility, and licencing perspectives. It ensures maximum band- width and constant uptime. Your existing virtuali- zation admin will quickly get the hang of the product and receive all the necessary support from StarWind engineers as you deploy, configure, and use it. It also gets rid of the need to buy new phy- sical shared storage. As a result, StarWind Virtual SAN lowers your TCO, CapEx and OpEx, and increases ROI.

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.