StarWind Virtual SAN introduced new offer which is interesting and it is a subject of today's article. In this post, we will explore the possibilities, advantages (and disadvantages) of the free product which has very little limits compared to their previous Free offer. It can be a perfect fit for a hyper-v 2016 dual node cluster. It installs on hyper-v server (free) which is awesome. We will also talk about their free trial which has also some interesting approach. StarWind Virtual SAN Free vs Paid is today's post.
I don't think that I do have to introduce StarWind to our readers. They have been around for a long time and they know their stuff. Every time I came back to get some news from their side, they always give me the latest insights from their development and some new technology they have in beta.
You may be not aware, but StarWind does not have a single product only. For example, you can check my article where I report on their storage appliance with storage which has ‘shared nothing’ architecture without shared backplane and which can tolerate 4 disk failures in the group without losing the uptime. It uses distributed RAID61 where other vendors use only RAID6 (2 disk failures). It can expand and scale up or scale out. You can scale up adding individual disks and flash modules, or JBODs, while adding ready controller nodes allows scaling out.
Or you may want to check the latest new release, StarWind Virtual SAN v8 build 10547, which brings a lot of enhancements and optimizations. New support for NUMA architecture, VMware Virtual Volumes (Experimental), optimization of LSFS and cache with detailed statistics, or reworked synchronization channel options.
But let's get back to the new offer they just released to the public. Basically, their free version comes with 30 days trial during which you have the traditional StarWind management console. After that period you can only use a command line or PowerShell.
Overview of the standard StarWind Management console
StarWind Virtual SAN FREE Version Features:
StarWind Virtual SAN Free is completely unrestricted: it is allowed for production use, supports all usage scenarios of the commercial version, has a perpetual license, and is not feature- or functionality-limited version of StarWind VSAN.
- No Capacity Restrictions – you can use as many capacities for your mirrors, as you like (previously restricted)
- No Scalability Restrictions – as many nodes as you like. (previously limited to 2-nodes only)
- No Time Limit on License – The Free license if for life. After 30 days, the only management option you'll have is PowerShell or CLI.
- Production use – can be used in production, but if anything goes wrong, you will only find support through community forums.
- PowerShell Scripts – StarWind Virtual SAN Free is shipped with a set of ready to use PowerShell scripts allowing users to quickly deploy the Virtual SAN infrastructure.
- No StarWind Support – only community-based support.
- StarWind HA – The shared Logical Unit is basically “mirrored” between the hosts, maintaining data integrity and continuous operation even if one or more nodes fail. Every active host acts as a storage controller and every Logical Unit has duplicated or triplicated data back-end.
- No virtual tape library VTL as on the paid version.
StarWind Virtual SAN Free use cases:
- Shared storage for Microsoft Hyper-V VMs and SQL Server DBs
- Shared storage for Microsoft Failover Clusters, Exchange, Oracle and SAP DBs
- Shared storage for KVM, Citrix XenServer and Xen Project VMs
- HA file server
StarWind Virtual SAN Paid Version Features
- Management Console – this is the traditional StarWind Management console, which allows the creation and management of storage devices, storage mirrors, etc… There are also other management possibilities and integration, such as StarWind thin clients, VMware vCenter through VASA-provider, and Microsoft SCVMM with SMI-S.
- Virtual tape library VTL
- Starwind Support – Full support wich helps you to chose the accurate hardware, set things up and get you started without pain. In case something goes wrong, the guys know their stuff. They do it all days long… Support is something important IMHO. Look at VMware. Every paid license has at least 1 year of support. This is to prevent problems as new folks usually do things which they're not suppose to, and things can go wrong. Without a support, you're basically on your own, just community forums.
Here is a video from the presentation
Quote from StarWind about the Free VSAN edition:
Unlike the previous free version, new VSAN Free delivers unlimited node count, features, and capacity served. It can now be used in any deployment scenario, be it Hyper-Converged, “Compute and Storage Separated”, or even a combination of both. Thanks to multiprotocol support, featuring iSCSI, SMB3, and NFS, including RDMA-capable iSER, NVMf, and SMB Direct, StarWind VSAN easily integrates into any infrastructure, be it virtualized or not. In addition, support for VVOLs, SCVMM, and ready-to-use PowerShell scripts help users to speed up and simplify automated deployment, management, and monitoring of their Virtual SAN infrastructure.
Check Detailed post from StarWind Free vs Paid here.
It's an honest offer. Think of it. This offer gives you really a choice. If you think that you'll be fine with a Free license, then you can build the system and maintain it through the CLI or PowerShell, by yourself.
If you think that you want to try a trial, where you will have during 30 days access to the Full version, you can do so. After 30 days you can choose what you do. Buying a license or staying on the Free edition only.
More posts about StarWind on ESX Virtualization:
- StarWind Web Management Console and vSphere Plugin
- StarWind Virtual SAN New Release with NUMA Support and Flash Cache Optimization
- StarWind Storage Appliance Protects up to 4 disk failures
- VMware VSAN Ready Nodes in StarWind HyperConverged Appliance
- 2 Nodes 10GbE Switch-Less Configs from StarWind