VAST Data Emerges from Stealth to Unveil Universal Storage Architecture

VAST Data has emerged from stealth with a new storage architecture intended to eliminate infrastructure complexity and application bottlenecks. VAST says its exabyte-scale Universal Storage system is built from high-performance flash media and features several innovations that result in a total cost of acquisition that is equivalent to hard drive-based archive systems.

This, the company says, will enable organizations to consolidate applications onto a single tier of storage that meets the performance needs of the most demanding workloads, is scalable enough to manage all of a customer’s data and is affordable enough that it eliminates the need for storage tiering and archiving.

As part of the launch, VAST Data announced it has raised $80 million in two rounds, backed by Norwest Venture Partners, Dell Technologies Capital, 83 North, Goldman Sachs and a TPG Growth-sponsored investment platform.

VAST which released the product for general availability in November of 2018, has just completed its first quarter of operation.

“Storage has always been complicated. Organizations for decades have been dealing with a complex pyramid of technologies that force some tradeoff between performance and capacity,” said Renen Hallak, founder & CEO of VAST Data. “VAST Data was founded to break this and many other long-standing tradeoffs. By applying new thinking to many of the toughest problems, we are working to simplify how customers store and access vast reserves of data in real time, leading to insights that were not possible before.”

According to VAST, it has designed a new type of storage architecture to exploit technologies such as NVMe over fabrics, storage class memory (SCM), also known as persistent memory, and low-cost QLC flash, that only became available in 2018. The result, it says, is an exabyte-scale, all-NVMe flash, disaggregated shared-everything (DASE) architecture that breaks from the idea that scalable storage needs to be built as shared-nothing clusters. This architecture enables global algorithms that deliver game-changing levels of storage efficiency and system resilience.

According to VAST, its Universal Storage platform offers four significant breakthroughs:

  1. Exabyte-Scale, 100 Percent Persistent Global Namespace:Each server has access to all of the media in the cluster, eliminating the need for expensive DRAM-based acceleration or HDD tiering, ensuring that every read and write is serviced by fast NVMe media. Servers are loosely coupled in the VAST architecture and can scale to near-infinite numbers because they don’t need to coordinate I/O with each other.
  2. Global QLC Flash Translation: The VAST DASE architecture is optimized for the way that new low-cost, low-endurance QLC media must be written to. By employing application-aware data placement methods in conjunction with a large SCM write buffer, VAST’s Universal Storage can extract high levels of longevity from low-endurance QLC flash and enable low-cost flash systems to be deployed for over 10 years.
  3. Global Data Protection: VAST’s Global Erasure Codes break the tradeoff between the cost of data protection and a system’s resilience. With VAST’s work on data protection algorithms, storage gets more resilient as clusters grow while data protection overhead is as low as just 2%.
  4. Similarity-Based Data Reduction: The system discovers and exploits patterns of data similarity across a global namespace at a level of granularity that is 4,000 to 128,000 times smaller than today’s deduplication approaches. The net result is a system that realizes efficiency advantages on unstructured data, structured data and backup data without compromising the access speeds that customers expect from all-NVMe flash technology.

For more information on VAST, visit