Finally, StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance is available on Linux allowing you to save costs on Windows licensing. Being hypervisor-agnostic, StarWind VSA easily integrates into any IT infrastructure as a fully pre-configured virtual machine ready for deployment and operation. It simply installs in any existing environment requiring no specialized SAN skills and is managed using StarWind Web console or thick client allowing to control the entire storage infrastructure from a centralized console.
Join our Tap Room Meeting on April 27 11 am PT / 2 pm ET to see all benefits of the StarWind Linux-based VSA.
Register now: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/dedicated-live-demo-session
Best posts made by Oksana
Meet StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance on Linux
Deploying a 2-node StarWind VSAN Free for VMware ESXi 6.5
StarWind Virtual SAN Free allows deploying a 2-node cluster providing a highly available storage for your virtual machines to Hyper-V or ESXi hypervisor for free. When deploying multi VSAN Free nodes, the data is synchronized across the network between the nodes. StarWind VSAN Free can be deployed in a hyperconverged model where VSAN Free is installed on hypervisor nodes or in a disaggregated model with separated compute and storage resources. StarWind VSAN Free management capabilities include PowerShell, with StarWind Management console available as a 30-day trial.
Read the full article by Romain Serre, a Senior Consultant at Lyon to learn how to deploy a 2-node StarWind VSAN Free for VMware ESXi 6.5 on Windows Server 2016 Core Edition.
StarWind brings its software defined storage to Linux
StarWind gets closer to Linux users by providing them with special Linux-based Virtual Storage Appliance version combining the underlying OS and preinstalled StarWind Virtual SAN, allowing to save money on Windows Licensing when it’s unnecessary.
StarWind VSA is compatible with any hypervisor, be it Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, Xen or KVM and can be managed via a Web Management Console while additionally containing a StarWind vCenter plugin allowing to manage the product directly from vCenter Server.
Read the full article by Vladan Seget, IT and Virtualization consultant to learn more about StarWind Virtual SAN on Linux
Comparing SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AGs) and Basic Availability Groups (BAGs): Cost and Features
AlwaysOn Basic Availability Groups (BAG) supported in SQL Server Standard Edition and AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AG) introduced in SQL Server Enterprise Edition were designed to create a replicated environment with improved failover capabilities. However, the two types provide different capabilities while also requiring different licensing costs.
Read the full article by Shashank Singh, Microsoft MVP, and SQL Server Architect to learn more about BAG and AG cost and functionality differences.
Migrating VMs becomes a piece of cake with a proper Virtual Machine Converter
Migrating your VMs from one hypervisor to another may be quite a complicated task if there’s no decent virtual machine converter at hand. Fortunately, there are various V2V tools allowing to turn this process into a simple thing. But, when choosing a V2V converter, there are several factors you should take into consideration.
Read the full article to learn how to choose a V2V converter that will become a perfect fit for your needs.
Build a highly fault-tolerant IT infrastructure with StarWind HyperConverged Appliance
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance utilizes Local Reconstruction Codes, Replication, and Grid Architecture to provide an ultimate fault tolerance rate while delivering sustained high performance. With StarWind HCA, the whole infrastructure remains operational even after multiple disk or node failures. In case a failure occurs, applications are automatically recovered to working cluster disks or nodes, allowing to easily withstand a failure of more than 50% of the cluster nodes.
Watch our video to learn how to get uncompromised resiliency with StarWind HCA
RE: Managing Hyper-V
StarWind is currently working on the new product - a flexible and customizable web-based platform which will allow users get the full control over their IT infrastructures from a single HTML5 graphical interface including S2D, Failover Clustering and Hyper-V. More information to be found in a nearby thread: https://mangolassi.it/topic/14114/help-starwind-to-pick-the-name-for-the-upcoming-product
Using Powershell for Hyper-V VMs Automatic Deployment in Windows Server 2016
With PowerShell, automatic deployment of Hyper-V VMs in Windows Server 2016 becomes a piece of cake
No doubts, commercial software for automatic VM deployment is great, but it may be too expensive comparing to the goals that need to be achieved. That’s where PowerShell kicks in. With PowerShell commands, the creation and configuration of Hyper-V virtual machines in Windows Server 2016 become a fairly simple thing. But, what is more important, you can create a script which deploys VMs of the same configuration automatically.
Read the full article by Boris Yurchenko, a Support Engineer at StarWind, to learn how to automate your VMs deployment with PowerShell in Windows Server 2016.
S stands for security. Find out which certificate ensures the connection safety.
Installing an HTTPS certificate is just a tip of the iceberg. This certificate has a huge number of options that usually are hidden deep inside config files. Actually, these tiny details allow distinguishing a site that can be rendered vulnerable via HTTPS downgrade attack and the one that is really secure.
Read the full article by Gary Williams, a virtualization, storage, and Windows systems administrator, to achieve the highest security.
Accelerate your backups with StarWind Virtual Tape Library and Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager
StarWind Virtual Tape Library converts existing hardware into virtual tapes becoming a perfect backup repository solution for Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager. Integrating StarWind VTL with SCDPM 2016 allows to replace slow physical tapes with a virtual tape library and improve the performance of your backup infrastructure while achieving the 3-2-1 backup rule.
Watch our webinar to learn how StarWind VTL and SCDPM combine to increase your backup infrastructure performance.
Proper IT environment virtualization planning with Dell DPACK
Dell Performance Analysis Collection Kit helps to eliminate overspending, speed-up decision-making and analyze opportunities for IT infrastructure virtualization and expansion by providing users with full information on their current environment. Dell DPACK analyzes such core characteristics as IOPS, latency and server workload delivering comprehensive and detailed reports with aggregated information on the entire system and on individual servers.
Learn how to use Dell DPACK to properly plan your IT environment virtualization.
Benchmarking StarWind Highly Available shared storage and local storage performance
During this webinar, StarWind will be benchmarking and comparing the performance of local storage and Highly Available shared storage created with StarWind Virtual SAN. Also, it will discuss the best practices for testing storage performance. StarWind Storage Test tool will be used to perform the benchmark as it delivers a detailed picture of the storage performance and compares the amount of compute power utilized in both cases.
StarWind reveals new backup storage technology at Storage Field Day 15
StarWind team will take the floor at Storage Field Day 15 to reveal new awesome backup storage technologies: Virtual Tape Library with Cloud and Object storage and backed by ProActive Support! Our speaking slot is the first in line: March 9, 8-10 am PT, don’t miss it!
NVMe over Fabrics is an awesome technology that is going to lead the future of the network storage
NVMe...Hey, wait, what about these SATA & SAS SSD drives? Well, NVMe drives will ditch them at some point, you know! Originally, SATA & SAS were designed to connect slower “spinning” hard drive media. Such a hardware interface entails significant overhead in I/O processing and it was never designed for parallelism with all the sockets and cores we get from Intel & AMD these days. NVMe drives are much faster compared SATA & SAS SSDs, they provide the performance you need for your latency dependent applications like databases, on-line stock trading and transactional processing. NVMe solves many of the performance problems associated with legacy storage because it significantly reduces and optimizes the data transfer path as a protocol and adds parallel I/O handling as well. Improved hardware interface and simplified software package specific to NVMe will help to “boost” your HPC workloads and get the first fruits in a short time. Oh, cool, but how (…and why?!?) to bring all those NVMe “bells & whistles” to SMBs & ROBOs? Well, StarWind knows the trick!
Find out more about StarWind NVMe over Fabrics (NVMf) in the StarWind experts’ talk at the Storage Field Day 17.
StarWind V2V Converter: Now with Physical to Virtual (P2V) conversion option!
One, two, three ... Let's roll! StarWind presents an updated functionality of V2V Converter. The utility enables conversion of a physical machine into a virtual one (P2V) and other way around. For example, you have a server with Windows Server 2012R2 installed running some critical application. With physical-to-virtual (P2V) entire host or specific physical drive (or volume) can be migrated. What else? The pressure is on! Now your VMs can be migrated directly between Hyper-V and ESXi (and backwards). Moreover, StarWind V2V Converter offers bi-directional conversion between all the major VM formats: VMDK, VHD/VHDX (Windows Repair Mode aware), QCOW2, and StarWind native IMG.
Read the article by Alex Bykovskyi, StarWind Solutions Architect, to find out how to speed the process of hypervisor switch with StarWind V2V Converter and learn more about the P2V option.
Building a virtualization IT infrastructure with Cisco 3850, HP DL 360 G9, vSphere 6.5 and StarWind
In this project, you can find a step-by-step guide on how to build a virtualization IT infrastructure using 2 stackable Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches, 3 HP ProLiant DL 360 G9 servers with VMware ESX hypervisors and StarWind Virtual SAN for storage virtualization. The first two parts show the process from the very beginning – from opening the boxes to configuring Cisco 3850 stack and building the HP DL 360 Generation 9 server.
Watch full videos by itikabc, to see how to build a virtualization infrastructure from scratch:
Tape is Dead. Long live Virtual Tape!
Tape is becoming a legacy backup technology in a modern world of automation and cloud storage. Tape-based backup infrastructures face significant pitfalls as well as considerable hidden costs. Additional staff is needed to maintain tape-based infrastructures while moving tapes to off-site vaults creates additional expenses. StarWind Cloud VTL for AWS and Veeam delivers completely automated backup process, flexible scaling options together with replication and tiering to cost-efficient Amazon S3 and Glacier cloud storage.
Learn how to build fast, flexible and automated backup infrastructure with StartWind Cloud VTL for AWS and Veeam
Watch on-demand webinar: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-cloud-vtl-for-aws-and-veeam-redefining-tape-backup-for-the-cloud-era
Help StarWind to pick the name for the upcoming product!
We are glad to announce that we are releasing our new free software product very soon.
The new product is developed as a flexible and customizable web-based platform which will allow users get the full control over their IT infrastructures from a single HTML5 graphical interface.
The upcoming release will come as a preview version that covers essential monitoring features:
This feature allows monitoring stand-alone Windows Servers. The software collects and displays the performance and health data from the local infrastructure, simplifying the daily work of System Administrators.
Monitoring for Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct
The software allows monitoring the S2D infrastructure within a single web-based interface. It provides all the necessary information and metrics in a very convenient way. System Administrators would no longer need switching between the PowerShell, Server Manager, and Failover Cluster Manager to get the required information or check the S2D cluster health.
The future product roadmap includes:
Management for StarWind Virtual SAN, Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, and Ceph.
Choose what’s under the hood. Depending on the architecture requirements, available hardware, and other factors, one solution may be better than others. System Administrators will be able to select between StarWind Virtual SAN, Storage Spaces Direct, and Ceph to easily deploy, configure and maintain the best-fitting HA solution for their IT infrastructure.
Monitoring and management for Microsoft Hyper-V and Failover Cluster.
The product will not only allow users to monitor and manage the storage stack but also get the full control over the hypervisor and clustering from the web interface. For example, Administrators will be able to create new clusters, add nodes to the existing ones, deploy virtual machines, and configure networks.
Monitoring and management for 3rd party storage providers.
The product will support most popular and up-to-date management protocols ( Swordfish, WMI, VASA), that will allow a seamless integration into the existing IT infrastructure regardless of hardware or software utilized by a storage provider.
With that said, we are asking you, our Spiceworks friends, for a little favor. Please, find a minute of your time to participate in this tiny poll helping us to pick the better name for our product.
Currently, we are deciding among three names:
"StarWind Cloud Manager" - this name stands for our product's ability to manage the private cloud.
"StarWind Datacenter Manager" - well, obviously, large-sized deployments could be also managed by our new product
"StarWind FreeMan" - this was the internal name of the product used by our Development and Engineering teams, which stands for: "Free Manager".
The actual Poll is here @ SW https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2010251-help-starwind-to-pick-the-name-for-the-upcoming-product
Also, feel free to post your product name ideas.
Your feedback is very important to us and much appreciated!
P.S. Just a little insight to nourish your curiosity
Configuring Windows Server 2016 Core. Part1: Installation
This series of posts is intended to show you the full process of configuring Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Core version – from its installation and the deployment of Hyper-V role to the Failover Cluster setup. In this part, you will find a step-by-step guide on installing and configuring Windows Server Core.
Read the full article by Alex Khorolets, a technical support engineer at StarWind, to learn how to properly install Windows Server 2016 Core.
Creating a free SMB 3.0 file server on Hyper-V 2016. Part 1: Installation and configuration
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016 is a free, GUI-less version of Microsoft Windows Server, designed specifically for virtual machines. Since all Windows servers require SMB 1/2/3 to work, we can create SMB file share on Hyper-V 2016 as well. This part will guide you through the process of creating an SMB share on an absolutely free Microsoft Hyper-V 2016.
Read the full article by Ivan Ischenko, a technical support engineer at StarWind, to learn how to create a free SMB 3.0 file server on Microsoft Hyper-V 2016: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/blog/free-smb3-file-server-on-hyper-v-2016
Discover the endless possibilities of your storage expansion through Ceph
Ceph is a unified, distributed storage system delivering the ability to scale up to exabyte level while maintaining high reliability. This makes Ceph attractive for workloads’ distribution, storing and replication of data. Thus, StarWind has utilized Ceph in its new Enterprise Storage Appliance to provide it with infinite scalability.
Learn how your storage can be scaled simply and run smoothly with Ceph.
Watch now: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/discovering-ceph-easily-scalable-and-highly-reliable-storage-platform?utm_source=mangolassi&utm_medium=mangolassi&utm_campaign=tap_room_ceph_17_08
What is Veeam Powered Network (VeeamPN) and why you need it?
Veeam Powered Network (VeeamPN) is a free Veeam solution that supplements the Veeam functionality of restore to Microsoft Azure and allows you creating a VPN connection between remote sites over the public network.
Veeam PN network infrastructure may have any configuration. For example, it may be an environment with a Veeam PN Server virtual machine in Azure, Veeam PN Gateway client’s software in three geographically separated datacenters, or even external private network users connecting via OpenVPN Client.
Read the full article by Alex Samoylenko, a virtualization technology professional, to learn how Veeam PN allows you connecting various physical networks into one private company network and prepare for disaster recovery in Azure.
Accelerating your IT environment to new speeds with StarWind iSER
iSER (the iSCSI Extensions for RDMA) delivers a number of benefits that are extremely useful for building a high-performing virtualized environment. Being supported in StarWind Virtual SAN, iSER technology makes the system faster in terms of IOPS, unloads the system’s CPU utilization, and decreases the latency between the servers.
Read the full article by Alex Khorolets, a technical support engineer at StarWind, to learn more about StarWind iSER advantages.
Learn how to avert IT system-monitoring pain with StarWind ProActive Support
There are many various solutions you can use to get a decent monitoring functionality. The problem is that you still have to constantly sit in front of your screen and check the environment health to make sure that everything runs smoothly. That is where StarWind ProActive Support kicks in.
The service delivers a true peace of mind by completely eliminating customer’s effort involved in troubleshooting issues. With StarWind ProActive Support, administrators can leave the time- and effort-demanding part of their work for AI and focus on other tasks.
Learn how to escape the constant IT-environment monitoring with StarWind ProActive Support!
Watch now: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-proactive-support-is-a-remedy-to-it-infrastructure-support-pain
How to upgrade your Windows Server with zero downtime
During its lifetime, any system reaches a point when it needs to be upgraded, either in terms of hardware or software. So, if you want to take your Windows Failover Cluster functionality to a next level, Cluster Rolling Upgrade will come in handy. The procedure allows upgrading Windows Failover Cluster nodes from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 with no production interruption.
Read the full article by Boris Yurchenko, a Support Engineer at StarWind, to learn how to upgrade your Windows Failover Cluster with no downtime.
Get Close to All-Flash-Array I/O Performance at Spinning Disk’s Cost
Create a continuous namespace combining flash (SSD, NVMe etc) and spinning disk, instead of manually copying your data from disk to flash and back. Get close to all-flash-array I/O performance with your workload and without breaking the bank. Leave tiering and data management to smart algorithms and AI and focus on something else.
Read the full article by Dmytro Khomenko, a Pre-Sales Engineer at StarWind, to learn more about the benefits of storage tiering.
Use NFS v3 & v4 shares on Windows Server 2016 as vSphere & ESXi VM datastores
For generations, NFS has been viewed either as a corporate file server (Surprise! Credit goes to NetApp for sure!) or just as an easy way to land users’ files from any Windows, MacOS X or UNIX / Linux box right on a remote server using Ethernet connectivity. However, starting with NFS v3 the protocol itself can do much more than that!
Thanks to its more than recent performance, elegant access management and individual file locking abilities, now we can use NFS as a shared storage for whatever hypervisor we want (Well, except Microsoft Hyper-V of course, but that’s another story to tell…), be it Linux-based KVM or proprietary ESXi at all. Since 2003 or so Microsoft was kind enough to include NFS server into standard Windows Server distribution free of charge.
While it’s definitely not the best NFS server implementation on Earth, sometimes it comes handy when you already have Windows Server up & running and don’t want (or don’t have time…) to provide any new FreeBSD or Linux installation “from scratch”: within your existing Windows enabling NFS server is as easy as just ticking the checkbox!
Read the full article written by Ivan Ischenko a Technical Support Engineer here at StarWind to learn how to run VMware vSphere & ESXi VMs right from the Windows provided NFS share.
Enlarge VMware VMs density just by ditching iSCSI in favor of iSER
Sometimes, small changes in your IT environment may turn out to be fruitful for your production. For instance, a proper network protocol allows you to squeeze extra CPU for your production VMware VMs so that you can run more of them. Under a “proper protocol” we mean here iSER, the protocol that allows offloading I/O to RDMA hardware and may be viewed as an alternative to iSCSI.
Learn from this video how to streamline CPU utilization with iSER.
How to implement DevOps with Azure?
Not that long time ago, Microsoft launched DevOps Projects, a new service intended for deployment and monitoring your applications in Azure. Thanks to this service, implementing DevOps with Azure becomes a matter of 5 minutes, even if you lack VSTS and TFS skills.
Read the full article by Nicolas Prigent, a Microsoft MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management, to learn more how new Azure service can come in handy.
Microsoft Certificate Server, the relief from the self-signed certificates
Almost every application run in our datacenters can be orchestrated via some sort of web-based interface. It allows you to access things wherever you are from whatever browser. Everything looks wonderful, but there’s one thing – self-signed certificates. Sometimes, they become really annoying due to making your browser whine about accepting numerous self-signed certs. Fortunately, there’s Microsoft Certificate Server, the role within Active Directory environment that stops all that nightmare.
Read the full article by Mike Preston, Toronto VMUG Co-Leader and vExpert, to find out how to avoid all those annoying self-signed certificates with Microsoft Certificate Server.