Starwind vSAN FREE edition for Hyper-V cluster?



  • I was under the impression from multiple threads that I can use starwind vSAN FREE edition with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (Core). However, after reaching out to Starwind for their Free edition license they said that it cannot be sue with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. "The free license cannot be installed inside a VM or on a server with Hyper-V role".

    From this post: http://www.vladan.fr/install-free-starwind-san-free-hyper-v/

    0_1448484460586_upload-bbb1d92c-73bb-42fc-9e35-474619e89400

    What did I missed?

    My intention is to create a Hyper-V server 2012 R2 on Dell R430 (with dual/mirrored 32GB SD card). Then spin up a VM with Windows server 2012 R2 on it for file server. Using starwind vSAN to mirror both server storage partition.



  • I just got a reply from starwind rep stating that starwind FREE edition can only be install on Physical machine. Can anyone confirm this?


  • Service Provider

    That's conflicting info. The machine with HyperV role is what MS calls a Physical Machine.



  • @scottalanmiller I agree. Here's the quote from starwind rep via email.
    "The free license cannot be installed inside a VM or on a server with the Hyper-V role. But you can attach a hypervisor cluster with the Hyper-V role to the storage cluster with STarWind."

    My understanding right now is to create a Windows machine (say windows 10 or 2008/12) can install Starwind on it. Then create mirrored storage with Starwind. Afterward create another Windows 2012 R2 for Hyper-V and point to Starwind as storage.


  • Service Provider

    That's not hyperconverged and not the goal at all. That's not what needs to be done. Someone IS providing bad information.



  • @scottalanmiller Here's another quote from a different email
    "The free license does not support convergence. It works only in compute and storage separated scenario. You can cluster two nodes for storage and attach a hypervisor cluster to it.
    If you will be looking into making a PoC of StarWind may I suggest using the trial license instead, because it is fully functional and supports a wider range of use cases. It is as well supported by our engineers.
    You can download it if you follow the link: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/registration-starwind-virtual-san
    If you will have any other questions, just let me know."


  • Service Provider

    We'll need @KOOLER @StarWind_Software to verify.



  • @scottalanmiller
    My guess is they are out of the holiday already. I tried to call to verify the information but couldn't reach anyone, except voice mail. This is before I post a question here.


  • Service Provider

    No Thanksgiving holiday in the Ukraine.



  • @scottalanmiller
    I guess they are still in business.. or some other office not US.
    "The free version will be installed on a physical server that will have the storage for a virtual machine that will be located on a dedicated hyper-V server.
    The node that will have starwind on, should not have any hypervisor on it. The virtual machines must be located on a hyper-V cluster which can be attached to the storage cluster which was created using the free version of our V-SAN.
    Is the free version going to be used as a PoC of our V-SAN?"


  • Service Provider

    Yeah, something is ALL wrong here. That's not a VSAN in any way, they are describing a NORMAL SAN.



  • @scottalanmiller This is from FREE vs PAID on Starwind website.
    0_1448492421730_upload-99e2e6d9-9859-490d-91bf-09b6ec1ed4ae

    What does Compute and Storage Seperated means?

    EDIT: I LOVE the ability to copy and paste screenshot!


  • Service Provider

    It means SAN, not VSAN.



  • @scottalanmiller I'll probably wait for Starwind or Kooler to reply to clarify this.


  • Service Provider

    They were posting on here seconds ago. But any "deploy without hypervisor" means, by definition, it is SAN, not VSAN. That's not something they determine, it just is what it is.


  • Vendor

    @LAH3385 said:

    I was under the impression from multiple threads that I can use starwind vSAN FREE edition with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (Core). However, after reaching out to Starwind for their Free edition license they said that it cannot be sue with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. "The free license cannot be installed inside a VM or on a server with Hyper-V role".

    From this post: http://www.vladan.fr/install-free-starwind-san-free-hyper-v/

    0_1448484460586_upload-bbb1d92c-73bb-42fc-9e35-474619e89400

    What did I missed?

    My intention is to create a Hyper-V server 2012 R2 on Dell R430 (with dual/mirrored 32GB SD card). Then spin up a VM with Windows server 2012 R2 on it for file server. Using starwind vSAN to mirror both server storage partition.

    1. There's no point to spawn any VMs inside Hyper-V to run StarWind as StarWind is native Windows application (OK, a combination of a user-land service and set of kernel-mode drivers) and it installs itself into so-called "parent partition" where actual OS runs.

    If you ABSOLUTELY want to run inside a VM you CAN do that but it's going to be SLOWER. MUCH slower because you'll route all iSCSI/TCP traffic over vSwitch and thru VMBus (hardware emulation layer done by Hyper-V). Running in a loopback inside "parent partition" StarWind does not do much of TCP and takes care of data locality for RAM (and flash) cache. But if you want VM - you'll get a VM! BTW, we do even ship pre-built VM-based appliance with StarWind inside so you don't even need to manually do any installations. <-- Pre-built Windows VM appliance is something VERY few companies can actually do! We've been one of the few to jump on this program bandwagon and MSFT does not accept any new members so far! Very rare and special opportunity :)

    1. There are multiple different versions of a free StarWind version. There's one EVERYBODY can get and what it does: spawns some Windows-based OS on a pair of physical x86 / x64 with any Windows OS (desktop will not work but free Hyper-V Server WILL work - you pay nothing for OS here!), install StarWind here and we'll build a dual-controller SAN. This SAN will lock iSCSI inside (we don't want it outside for management simplicity here) for synchronization and now depending on a requested version (Hyper-V Vs VMware) you'll get either failover NFS or failover SMB3 file server here (you can request both just sales will ask you WTF are you doing). NFS and SMB3 are very easy to manage from hypervisor point of view so it's very error-free way to go. <-- This is version EVERYBODY can get and it comes w/out any restrictions. Commercial use is OK, capacity is unlimited, time is unlimited, amount of consumers is unlimited. So this dual-controller failover NAS will serve N nodes for hypervisor, your file server clients etc.

    2. There's a HYPERCONVERGED version of StarWind. It installs into parent partition again or inside a VM (for Hyper-V and ESXi / vSphere accordingly) and you build with it a N-node cluster with storage being fault-tolerant and sitting on a 2 nodes. So 2 nodes keep storage for N. Not "just two node StarWind is free"! It's N. This version is iSCSI (kind of iSCSI for Hyper-V actually same way SMB Direct start as TCP and then goes RDMA we start as iSCSI and go DMA) but you can do SMB3 from a VM on Hyper-V and NFS from a VM on VMware (not recommended). This version is restricted and you have to be vExpert, MVP, MCT, MCP, blogger or whatever to get either time-unlimited or limited versions. You can also be Spiceworks user with level of Serrano and up and Mangolassi user with some points (we did not decide yet). Or... You just come and ask :)

    So before we've been doing "two node hyper converged" version for free and not we can do "2 for N hyper converged", "2 for N node converged" but you specify your scenario and hypervisor. We're trying to be very flexible here so if you think we do something wrong and miss something obvious you just come and ask. We'll fix that.

    Technically we're shifting focus to appliances so I'm pretty sure we'll end with completely unrestricted versions for N nodes in terms of storage but selling just hardware (ready nodes).

    So what you did - got wrong license :)

    I've dropped you PM asking for e-mail so Icould bring you in touch with StarWind PM who'll help with a key. The only thing you need is to describe what you do actually (hyper converged still will not allow to install itself into VM by default on Hyper-V as we don't like this in terms of mgmt and support, need a special key for that for EVERY kind of version).

    Hope this makes sense :)

    P.S. And SAM is 200% correct on naming. It's just difficult to have different names for everything so have to pick up how to confuse people.


  • Vendor

    @scottalanmiller said:

    They were posting on here seconds ago. But any "deploy without hypervisor" means, by definition, it is SAN, not VSAN. That's not something they determine, it just is what it is.

    200% correct !!


  • Vendor

    @scottalanmiller said:

    No Thanksgiving holiday in the Ukraine.

    We tend to celebrate everything including Voodoo holidays!



  • I love how awesome our vendors are around here.



  • Didn't saw any PM so just PMed KOOLER. Very detail explanation. I don't think I understand the whole thing either. :(
    Thanks MangoLassi and Kooler. Will await for a reply.


  • Vendor

    @LAH3385 said:

    Didn't saw any PM so just PMed KOOLER. Very detail explanation. I don't think I understand the whole thing either. :(
    Thanks MangoLassi and Kooler. Will await for a reply.

    Got. Responded. Please give Tolya a couple of hours for turnaround :)


  • Vendor

    @Minion-Queen said:

    I love how awesome our vendors are around here.

    Doing our best to keep you guys and gals happy :)


  • Service Provider

    @KOOLER said:

    @Minion-Queen said:

    I love how awesome our vendors are around here.

    Doing our best to keep you guys and gals happy :)

    thanks!!



  • @KOOLER said:

    @Minion-Queen said:

    I love how awesome our vendors are around here.

    Doing our best to keep you guys and gals happy :)

    Thank you!!!



  • huh, cool to know there are several versions.

    Sounds like another vendor I can think of ;)


  • Service Provider

    They used to focus quite a lot of being an iSCSI replacement for Windows so that Windows could be turned into a very viable enterprise class SAN device. They still make the software but people think of SANs so differently today that they often automatically associate this with virtualization. But Starwind used to just make enterprise SAN server software for Windows. So that approach is a remnant of that. It's not actually associated with virtualization at all. If you want to just build a SAN on Windows, this is how you do it.



  • After Kooler post.. I feel like what I know about vSAN is just a tip of an iceberg.


  • Vendor

    @LAH3385 said:

    After Kooler post.. I feel like what I know about vSAN is just a tip of an iceberg.

    I have a strong feeling if you have to know a lot to make complex things work - user interface is actually broken. You don't know exactly (most people don't...) how internal combustion engine works but you drive you car every day. Storage should be no different. IMHO.


  • Vendor

    @Dashrender said:

    huh, cool to know there are several versions.

    Sounds like another vendor I can think of ;)

    you're welcomed to join the party :)



  • I'm definitely interested in trying out StarWinds vSAN, but I don't currently have anything to use it on.


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