Starwind offers free iSCSI SAN software

Untill recently there was no free iSCSI software available offering unlimited storage which could be used for production purposes. A couple of weeks ago  Microsoft released the free iSCSI target for Windows Server 2008. Starwind had a free solution available but it’s storage capacity was limited.

In May 2011 Starwind offered it’s iSCSI SAN software for free. This software has much more features than Microsoft iSCSI. This posting by Starwind explains the differences between the Microsoft and Starwind iSCSI free software. Starwind is for example ideal for home labs. A cheap computer with local harddisks can be used for shared storage to study for example VMware vMotion of Microsoft Live Migration.

StarWind Free iSCSI SAN offers a unique set of features, including:

  • Host operating systems: any modern Microsoft Windows OS is supported.
  • Works with all the leading Hypervisor vendors: VMware, Microsoft, VMware.
  • Data De-duplication (fully supported, variable block size). Data Deduplication is a specialized mechanism of data-reduction, reducing storage capacity requirements by eliminating duplicated data within and between files.
  • Unlimited storage capacity & Unlimited number of supported concurrent iSCSI connections.
  • Full Production use is allowed.
  • Support. Free version is covered with a basic support plan (an open public community forum). Support upgrades are available for paid per-incident plans or switching to any commercial version with extended functionality where an annual support plan is included.
  • Caching. StarWind has a multi-level cache mechanism implemented. The cache can use gigabytes of RAM and converts it into to extremely fast level 1 write-back or write-through cache, providing superior storage performance over many conventional SANs.
  • CDP (Continuous Data Protection) and Snapshots that are completely compatible with VSS (Volume Snapshot Services).
  • VTL (Virtual Tape Library) and WAN replication are offered as paid upgrade options.
  • iSCSI boot is fully supported with iSCSI boot capable NIC.

Starwind Free is part of a range of iSCSI products offered by Starwind. The image below shows the features. More information on the Starwind website.

About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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