StarWind and DataCore comparison

Published: 04th January 2010
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The market of software iSCSI SAN solutions is growing day by day. But which vendor is more consistent, have reasonable price and good performance? The offer for small and medium business is essential. Let's take a view at short test results of comparing two of the best in this branch - StarWind software and Datacore. We will compare each of these product - SANMelody and StarWind Enterprise HA Unlimited.



Installation



First step is installation. To install StarWind you need to spend about 3-4 minutes, the installation is intuitive. Datacore, unlike StarWind, takes extra time for the installation itself, plus time for reading manual, that is required in this case.



Functionality



Both products have all the backup functions, such as Continuous Data Protection, Snapshots, VSS (volume Snapshot Service) Mirroring, Replication, true active-active High Availability with automated failover and failback, but when I tried to setup High Availability with Datacore, it appeared that I need to do the additional purchase - MPIO (Multipath Input/Output), that HA cannot work without.



Security



Security is offered in such features as IPSec, which will protect data transfer while remote control, for example, or CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol) provides guard against playback attack by the peer during the use of an incrementally changing identifier and of a variable challenge-value.



Performance boost features and User experience



Here we can observe High Speed Caching, MPIO, that will augment performance. And now about some differences between products. Both of them have several features, that competitor lack in. StarWind support such features as.

o SPTI - SCSI Pass through Interface. You will be able to use any data carrier or media as iSCSI intend. It is useful in tape uses.

o Virtual Optical Drive will let you forget about using optical disc drives on the clients side;

o RAM Discs will increase your network performance.

o VTA (Virtual Tape Array) will support you to avoid probable network overhead while writing data to tapes or yet taking the tapes place;



Datacore:



o Microsoft Management Console - just a GUI, that is a little bit improved.

o PerfMon Support - will aid you in monitoring of your network performance;

o Datacore events can be seen in the event system.

As you can see Datacore is trying to mix inside the Microsoft OS, but it may originate some troubles with third-party programs.

Starwind is more usable as it is simplified.

Usability of both products could not be compared - they are too different. StarWind GUI is easy-to-use, so you don't need any manuals or help to find something, somewhere. The another deal is Datacore. It is similar to installation.

There was one more problem while working with Datacore - to create target you need unformatted volume without seted letter.



Price policy.



Comparing the prices we can see next.

Purchasing DataCore you can pay more up to 800%, comparing to StarWind. There is a wide variation in the price of Starwind and Datacore.





For more info on StarWind and Datacore SANMelody comparison and san failover,check out starwindsoftware.com


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