Starwind Enterprise Software: Doing more with less!
Just found time and the opportunity to play around with the new member of StarWind software, namely StarWind iSCSI SAN Software version 5.6. This version is on the market for some weeks now. StarWind Server is advanced, reliable and powerful as an ISCSI target which convert Windows servers in a couple of minutes to a storage environment. The marriage of iSCSI SANs and VMware server virtualization was made when VMware, with the introduction of ESX 3, added native iSCSI support to its hypervisor. Hyper-V and XenServer now do the same.
StarWind’s approach is to offer a software-only solution that doesn’t force IT managers to buy proprietary hardware, but instead uses existing Windows servers. My goal was to minimize resources to do the job. I installed and configured a VMware ESX4i host. Besides that, I installed and configured a Windows server 2008. My storage consists of a Synology NAS device with 6TB of storage. I would say, more than enough for this playground.
First I installed the StarWind software together with the VMware vCenter software on the Windows 2008 server. Certainly not ideal, but in this test allowed. Installing the StarWind software was next, next finished. Yes that easy! Second, I added two ISCSI LUNs from my Synology NAS storage to the StarWind Server. CHAP authentication for convenience not configured. The next step was configuring the ESX/ESXi ISCSI software adapter followed with adding a VMFS3 LUN. If you have any problems, there are lots of documents to find http://www.starwindsoftware.com/technical-papers
The software is pretty straight forward and easy to manage. No nonsense. It's typically design for small and midsize companies who are in the process of deploying VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix Xenserver and other server applications that need to be configured as Windows server clusters. With Active-Active High Availability architecture (“Heartbeat”), the StarWind helps you build a high availability storage server that keeps your data continuously available and accessible for a relative low price. I think this is very welcome in a small and midsize company.
To download a fully functional trial or free edition of StarWind or for more information from StarWind Software about the solution outlined in this article visit: www.starwindsoftware.com