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I'm considering setting up a software-based iSCSI environment for some development/test VMs. Some of the research that I've done has lead me to StarWind's Free iSCSI product.

I was all happy since it seemed to fit my needs nicely (remember, this isn't a production setup) and was starting to install it last night.

However, I've read more than a few posts today talking about StarWind that seemed to be frank, quite spammy. This is leading me to question some of my initial research.

Is anyone actually using the StarWind Free or enterprise products? What have your experiences been, and would you recommend a similar solution for a test or development environment? (ie, probably at most two servers consuming the iSCSI targets..)

(I can provide more info about my intended usage scenarios, but I just wanted to get some high-level opinions of StarWind before I got much further...also, note that a hardware-based solution isn't an option due to budget..)

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I too am interested in Starwind. We're in the market for a SAN but as I'm from Yorkshire, I'm baulking at the £25k price tag for ~4TB of admittedly high performance & reliable disk storage. One can get a Dell PowerEdge with 8 x 600GB 10k SAS with Windows 2008, 8GB RAM and dual CPU for ~£6k. Throw in the most expensive Starwind license and I doubt you'd be over £10k. But concerned about reliability & speed compared to something like the EqualLogic or Xiotech –  Rob Nicholson Apr 14 '11 at 15:04
    
You may want to take a look at the recently released Microsoft iSCSI Target software.. blogs.technet.com/b/virtualization/archive/2011/04/04/… –  Peter Bernier Apr 27 '11 at 13:12

2 Answers 2

Actually I'm little confused by you're saying about "spammy". My experience will say nothing, I suppose, but thousands of users are continue to work with our production, but it seems like there are any of them on SF, unfortunatelly. All I can suggest you is to try trial version, and our support will help you in any case.

Regars.

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We have been using the Starwind Enterprise target for a couple of months now. It's quite robust and speed on 1Gbps non jumbo is faster than local SATA 2 hard drive for small (<4GB) file copies (it seems that the target does a lot of caching - target drives are also SATA 2). So, we're impressed and I would definitely recommend the free or Starwind Standard version.

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We're equally impressed and have taken the plunge and bought the StarWind Enterprise Mirroring & Replication Edition which works out at £7k for a ~4TB usable SAN based upon a PowerEdge R515. Set-up and features of the software are second to none. We also get two server licenses so can install in our USA office as well as part of our disaster recovery plan. Reliability is basically around the PowerEdge itself but, touch wood, we've had very little problems with Dell servers over the years. For that price we could have three SW SANS compared to one EqualLogic. Ohh, and it's unlimited capacity –  Rob Nicholson Apr 27 '11 at 14:35

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