VAST Data gets faster and safer

VAST Data, the storage startup that wants to kill hard drives has released a software update for its Universal Storage platform that increases performance and system resiliency.

The company launched Universal Storage in February 2019 and it features the use of QLC flash, Optane media and NVMe over Fabrics. It is available running on VAST or third-party hardware or in software-only form. 

New features in Universal Storage v2.0 include continuous snapshots, faster NFS serving and asymmetric cluster support.

Snapshots do not involve copying data or metadata. The claim is users can take snapshots with a very fine degree of granularity without compromising performance, storage capacity or SSD wear.

According to VAST product management VP Jeff Denworth the faster NFS server provides the performance of a parallel file system, the IOPS and consistency of an all-flash array with a NAS appliance’s deployment simplicity. This suits high bandwidth machine learning and deep learning applications. 

In a recent blog Denworth said NFS with RDMA can deliver up to 20.5GB/sec:

VAST NFS server speed table

The asymmetric expansion means VAST system clusters can feature independent expansion of stateless storage servers and NVMe storage enclosures. According to VAST, classic storage systems manage data and failures at the drive level. VAST’s architecture manages data at a flash erase block level, which is a smaller unit of data than a full drive. Data and data protection stripes are virtualized and written across a global pool of flash drives and can be moved to other drives without concern for physical locality. 

That means different NVMe storage enclosures can co-exist in a cluster. Servers in a cluster run VAST’s microservices, and these stateless containers access and operate on any flash device. A load scheduler operates across the cluster and is server resource-aware. This enables differently-powered and sized servers to co-exist in a VAST cluster. 

Business momentum

VAST said today it has delivered more than 50PB of capacity to its customers, which number in the dozens, with several – VAST’s term – making multi-petabyte orders. We take that to mean 36 or more customers.

The company said outselling other storage startups from the recent past and has issued a series of unverifiable claims.

  • VAST sold more in its first three months of GA than Pure Storage sold in its first year
  • VAST has sold more after its first full two quarters than Isilon’s first two years combined
  • VAST has sold more after its first full two quarters than DataDomain’s first two years combined