The Microsoft Cloud Platform is being rapidly adopted by datacenters worldwide, providing the benefits of centralized management, business flexibility, and endless scalability by extending it to the public cloud. However there is much more to configuring a private cloud than just acquiring the different pieces of hardware and software – most importantly they have to work together flawlessly, and for this they need to be developed and tested collectively. This is where most home-grown solution fail – the different components do not always work as expected and it is extremely difficult to troubleshoot, because there are so many different parts and variables in the stack. The industry is realizing that SMBs need their compute, storage and networking hardware in an all-in-one solution, or a “cloud in a box”, which has led to the explosion of hyper-converged systems.
StarWind Software is known as one of the industry’s leading storage management solutions with its innovative StarWind Virtual SAN technology, and has recently released the StarWind Hyper-Converged Platform (H-CP). This integrated solution contains all the hardware, software and management tools needed to run a private cloud, but more importantly the different components were designed and tested for compatibility. Let’s take a look at the different pieces of the solution and why the StarWind Hyper-V Converged Platform (H-CP) should be considered by every SMB that is building on the Microsoft Cloud Platform.
- Servers – The hardware for StarWind H-CP uses Dell PowerEdge series servers, which is amongst of the most reliable on the market. StarWind is able to provide these at a low cost through xByte Technologies, a specialist in reselling servers.
- Hypervisor – Every cloud environment depends on virtualization to provide rapid deployment and scalability, workload mobility, and high-availability by running the virtual machine on a cluster. StarWind’s H-CP leverages Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor running on Windows Server 2012 R2, and made highly-available using Failover Clustering.
- Storage – Traditionally is has been very cost-prohibitive for SMBs to have clustered virtual machines since they require some type of shared storage, such as a SAN or SMB file share. This is because the data for the application must be consistent and so usually it is stored in one authoritative location that all cluster nodes can access. SANs can be very expensive, sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, making them unobtainable for many SMBs or customers with numerous branch offices. StarWind’s H-CP leverages its own StarWind Virtual SAN software-defined storage technology which eliminates the need for a SAN entirely by replicating the data between direct-attached storage (DAS) disks, keeping the cost of shared storage low enough for anyone to take advantage of.
- Networking – Networks have evolved in hyper-converged systems as they now carry storage data, in addition to providing access for user, services and applications. The StarWind H-CP solution comes with all the networking components already built-in for fast throughput and redundancy.
- Backup – Even though the StarWind H-CP provides high-availability, it is important that the solution still backs up the data to a different location, so that it can be recovered in the event of a data loss. Veeam Software offers world-class backup and replication for virtual machines with Veeam Backup and Replication, and best of all it is fully integrated into the StarWind HP-C stack to ensure that workloads are protected from the very first day of deployment.
- Security – Virtualized environment have to be secured differently than traditional datacenters that install agents on every static server. In a cloud-based environment, the virtual machines, disks, networks and switches are dynamic, so it becomes impractical to try to install and update security software inside every VM. The StarWind H-CP solution is integrated with 5nine Software’s agentless antivirus and antimalware solution, 5nine Manager with Antivirus. This technology installs the agent only on the Hyper-V host and scans networking traffic and disks for different types of threats that match signatures provided by Kaspersky Lab or ThreatTrack VIPRE.
- Management – While Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization solution has all the features that any organization needs, it lacks an affordable set of management tools. To manage a Hyper-V cluster, an administrator has to use several different consoles, or use System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), which is too expensive for most SMBs. 5nine Manager with Antivirus offers a centralized management platform for hosts, clusters and virtual machines, providing many of the features of System Center at a fraction of the cost. The StarWind H-CP now has simplified and integrated management for all the virtualized resources for this “cloud in a box”.
The StarWind Hyper-Converged Platform is a great solution for any organization that wants to simplify Hyper-V deployment, configuration and management. By offering servers, a hypervisor, storage, networking, backup, security and management, the StarWind H-CP is enabling customers worldwide to quickly move to the Microsoft Cloud Platform. StarWind makes this offer even more compelling through deep-discounting and providing a single point of contact for support, reducing any type of servicing complexity by doing what is right for the customer – making it easy!
For more information about the StarWind Hyper-V Converged Platform, check out https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-hyper-converged-platform.
VP – Business Development
5nine Software, Inc.