Back in the day, I used StarWind iSCSI Target a lot in as an instructor in training sessions. I let students configure a simple iSCSI Target to get some storage up-and-running for them to attach to the vSphere cluster they were building, so they could do all the funky VMware-stuff, like vMotion, HA and DRS. StarWind was an ideal solution, because, well, it was free and Windows-based. The effort it took to get the product in working order was minimal enough not to distract the students from focussing on what’s important.
So I was bummed out to see the free version of StarWind disappear. With an equally strong positive reaction, I noticed that the free version has somehow made it back into the wild. As of May 16th, StarWind Free iSCSI SAN has been made available again. It still installs on top of Windows, provides full snapshot and backup capabilities, it even does some dedup and caching magic. Best of all, no license is restricting you from using all this in a production environment.
Download it right here.