StarWind Software: Pioneer of Hyper-convergence and Storage Virtualisation
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Kolomyeytsev, CEO and Chief Architect
The Enterprise storage, as we know it today, has evolved based on the limitations and challenges of existing physical storage technologies such as SAN and NAS. As data storage issues become more complex, implementing an efficient data storage technology in place is critical for both an organisation's existing operations and future growth.
Furthermore, physical storage is expensive to maintain; organisations will need to purchase more storage every time they seek to grow their business. Additionally, with vendor lock-in coming into play, this cost can be crippling and detrimental to businesses, especially during scale downs.
To curb the current costs of acquisition and expenses associated with managing enterprise storage, organisations are breaking away from legacy systems and shifting to Software-Defined Storage (SDS).
”We focus on increasing a customer's ROI and lowering their TCO. Our solutions are catered with transparent licensing, proactive support on all stages and without any rigid HCLs.”
According to a recent study by MarketandMarkets, the SDS market is growing increasingly competitive and estimated to reach $ 22.56 billion by 2021. However, classifying the colossal amount of legacy data and establishing a reasonable return on investment for more intelligent data management (SDS) can be a daunting task. Most of these offerings are expensive and require multiple licensing to build a complete solution. Also, from a business perspective, it may not be long before the risks of not managing data could far exceed the cost of fixing the problem. The GDPR legislation alone has penalties of up to € 20m or 4 per cent of a company's annual revenue. As a result, organisations are seeking to invest in reliable and cost-effective SDS solutions that will boost operations and ensure compliance.
Enter StarWind Software, a virtualisation pioneer, focused on delivering SDS and HyperConverged Infrastructure solutions designed to build high-performing, flexible, and resilient IT infrastructures for SMB and ROBO. StarWind Software creates products that simplify IT resources utilisation. The company's focus is to embody the real aim of information technologies, which is to enhance and streamline routine societal activities, especially in the area of business.
One-stop Data Virtualisation Solution Provider
Headed by Anton Kolomyeytsev, CEO and Chief Architect, StarWind Software is a one-stop data virtualisation solution provider that offers organisations with the "building blocks" required to construct a full-stack data centre infrastructure. The company focuses on combining scalability with simplicity to allow customers to build and scale their business environments according to their needs. With this approach, StarWind Software aims to promote hyper-convergence without condemning the traditional compute and storage architecture, while providing the customers with turnkey solutions fitted for their specific cases.
At present, most SDS solutions come with a painfully high price tag and complex licensing that are out of reach for businesses on the modest side. Therefore, our products are specifically designed for the price- and performance-sensitive companies.
To help Enterprise ROBO, SMB and Edge eliminate the need for piling up shared physical storage; the company offers—StarWind Virtual SAN (VSAN), a cost-effective SDS solution that 'mirrors' internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers. Unlike similar SDS solutions, StarWind VSAN offers server-side flash and memory caches, log-structuring and a minimalistic I/O path. The software runs as a native hypervisor component or in VM and does not require any deep storage and network administration or UNIX management skills. A typical system administrator with minimal experience in Hyper-V, VMware or Windows will be able to configure and maintain VSAN operations. The StarWind VSAN extends On-Premises workloads to Azure public cloud. It distributes highly available shared storage between private and public clouds, providing business continuity and disaster recovery for optimal RTPO. For a mere fraction of the cost of SQL deployment, the software allows customers to achieve Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise functionality utilising SQL Server Standard license by mirroring storage inside VMs. Also, StarWind Virtual SAN for Hyper-V installs as a Windows-native application directly in the Hyper-V parent partition. It also integrates with Windows Server management and security tools. Apart from being accessible in terms of pricing, StarWind VSAN also possesses a set of enterprise-level features, like NVMe-oF, de-duplication and compression, Log-structured Write-Back Cache, Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) and more.
For organisations seeking to minimise application downtime but are limited on IT team resources and budgets, StarWind Software offers a 100 per cent software-defined hyper-converged platform called, "StarWind HyperConverged Appliance" (HCA). Built using Dell OEM, the StarWind HCA is a turnkey solution with industry-first performance level, created for small deployment scenarios (1 on-site node + 1 in the cloud). StarWind HCA grants customers with HA, fault tolerance, flexible scalability, and maximum performance. To further ensure, minimum downtime and reduce maintenance woes—the company offers a ProActive Premium Support team that will pre-configure, deploy and monitor the environment 24/7/365 for any issues. Also, owing to the StarWind HCA's Hybrid Cloud support, businesses are provided with non-stop application availability and robust data security. This helps companies to migrate virtualised workloads seamlessly between their on-premises environment and AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud with zero downtime.
Non-complex Licensing and Cost-effective Products
"At present, most SDS solutions come with a painfully high price tag and complex licensing that are out of reach for businesses on the modest side. Therefore, our products are specifically designed for the price- and performance-sensitive companies," explains Kolomyeytsev. Virtual SAN from StarWind is designed to reduce operational expenditure and is free from hidden licensing expenses.
The software is hardware agnostic and utilises inexpensive commodity hardware, making the most out of general-purpose x64 servers, MLC flash, spinning disks and Ethernet.
"With this in mind, all StarWind Software products come without complex licensing. The only diversification we have focuses on capacity volumes that are tailored to company size," elaborates Kolomyeytsev. StarWind Software firmly stands by non-complex licensing and avoids feature-focused licensing tiers to enable customers to access all of the features upon purchase. Furthermore, as customers purchase the company's product licenses per node, it provides them with endless scalability options.
In terms of pricing, StarWind Software strives to be a leader in low-entry HyperConverged appliances. The company also offers software-only or storage appliance variants of its products to adapt to any organisations data centre be that entry-level or large enterprise. "We focus on increasing a customer's ROI and lowering their TCO. Our solutions are catered with transparent licensing, proactive support on all stages and without any rigid HCLs," emphasises Kolomyeytsev.
Re-imagining Primary Storage
In 2010, StarWind Software was the first company to offer a true SDS solution, Native SAN, (later rebranded to Virtual SAN (VSAN). Five years later, the company brought down enterprise-level HyperConvergence to the SMB sector with its cost-effective HyperConverged Appliance. StarWind Software is continually striving to provide customers with a high-performance platform that can act as primary storage and suits the workload of small and medium businesses. "In the near future, we are going to be abandoning spindle disk configuration to deliver more performance and ensure infrastructure longevity for the moderate cost of previous hybrid variations," elucidates Kolomyeytsev.
To illustrate, StarWind Software's prowess, their engagement with Bosch Security Systems serves as a great example. The client was at the crossroads since its security software (BVMS & BIS) were certified on Hyper-V Failover Clusters and needed shared storage for HA. StarWind Software's VSAN resolved the issue by providing Bosch security software with a lightweight, hypervisor- and hardware-agnostic virtual shared storage. The VSAN offered endless scalability and true fault tolerance at minimum hardware requirements.
"StarWind Software continually works on improving its products to allow its existing customers to follow the "tide" of technology," says Kolomyeytsev. StarWind Software incorporates the latest technologies into its appliances, to keep pace with trending technological advancements. The company was the first to integrate a high-end HDD-sized cloud gateway into its hardware products. Such integrations also allow users to utilise public cloud, like Microsoft Azure or AWS, as an extra storage tier. "We plan to expand our vast partnerships by licensing StarWind HCA to Genetec and Milestone to bring affordable HyperConvergence to the video surveillance industry," concludes Kolomyeytsev.