Tuesday, 5 April 2016

StarWind Virtual SAN review - Part 7 - Final Thoughts

I spent a quite interesting couple of weeks with StarWind product. Once you know it better you can definitely see how flexible this product is and how many scenarios it perfectly fits in. Given the fact that it has very low system requirements, e.g. you can run it without RAID array and you can use second-hand servers, StarWind Virtual SAN becomes a really tempting choice. 

Even though StarWind aims its product at SMB/ROBO segment of the market it still delivers great performance and high availability for your storage. Moreover, StarWind R&D constantly brings in new features and are pretty open to Virtual SAN community suggestions.

There are some new features and improvements that will be brought in future builds according to the roadmap:
  • Node majority for StarWind HA. Using node majority instead of heartbeat channels to solve potential split-brain issues in storage cluster. Additional data-less voting node for the case of even number of replication partners.
* hopefully, there will be a choice between both options.
  • VTL: integration with system deduplication for tape images.
  • Caching: cache statistics information in UI and cache management functionality for changing cache size and cache mode for existing device.
* that is one of the feature I lacked while running performance tests.
  • Global deduplication: shared deduplication base for multiple LSFS devices.
* I assume it will increase deduplication ratio and at the same time will decrease RAM allocation for hash tables
  • LSFS extend device functionality. Change size of existing LSFS device.
  • LSFS device maximum size is to be increased to 64TB

On top of that I would really like to see the following functionality:
  • be able to change cache size on the fly and some kind of built-in health checks.
  • It would be also great to get some kind of dashboard that will show current alerts - e.g. failed Sync link; potential issues - e.g. low disk space; performance stats - e.g. disk latency, IO size. 
  • Shorter LSFS mounting time
  • Simultaneous resync for multiple devices. Currently only one device can be re-synced at a time after partner node’s reboot. 

And my biggest wish is that StarWind get all their documentation updated to the latest builds. It would be also  great to have a cookbook which deep-dives into technical explanation of all great features the product and describes the most common deployment scenarios. 

StarWind Virtual SAN is a permanent tenant in my home lab now and I will definitely be tracking the progress of this product in future versions.


  1. Do you have similar for VMWare VSAN?

  2. Thanks. I didn't bothered to write about VMware vSAN as there is so much information about it so it is hard to write something new. Whereas Starwind VSAN has many reviews, but none of the was comprehensive enough