UPDATED 13:14 EDT / FEBRUARY 26 2019

network INFRA

Armed with $80M, Vast Data exits stealth to reimagine storage infrastructure

After quietly raising $80 million from investors over the past three years, Vast Data Inc. today exited stealth mode with a platform that promises to simplify enterprise storage infrastructure dramatically.

Today, companies rely on a mix of storage technologies to support their operations. A typical enterprise might use flash systems to power its most important applications, slower disk arrays to run lower priority workloads and an archiving appliance to hold infrequently-accessed records. Administrators usually have to manage each component separately.

Vast Data has combined these different pieces into a single, centrally managed platform that it claims can replace practically all of a company’s existing storage infrastructure. This is facilitated by a system design that essentially splits up the responsibilities of a traditional storage system into two separate elements.

The backbone of Vast Data’s platform is an appliance called the DBOX3. It combines 600 terabytes of QLC flash, the most economic of the solid-state memory variants on the market today, with 18 terabytes’ worth of Intel Corp.’s ultrafast Optane storage drives.

Unlike traditional arrays, the DBOX3 doesn’t handle data operations such as compression internally. Vast Data has instead opted to relegate these tasks to standalone servers that connect to the DBOX3 units in a deployment over the network. The fact that the compute and storage components are decoupled makes it possible to scale them separately, a boon for large enterprises.

Vast Data claims that a single deployment can comprise of up to 1,000 DBOX3 units and 10,000 servers. The startup’s management software turns the 618 terabytes of storage in each DBOX3 into around two petabytes of usable capacity. The end result, according to Vast Data, is that its platform is theoretically capable of holding upwards an exabyte of information.

Another major selling point of is efficiency. The startup has developed a homegrown data protection technology that it boasts can ensure the integrity of records using less a tenth of the hardware resources required for the industry-standard RAID scheme. Furthermore, the platform has a feature that reduces the number of storage operations involved in a given task when possible to extend the longevity of DBOX3 units.

According to Vast Data, these capabilities enable its platform to not only replace traditional storage infrastructure but also do so at a competitive price point. The startup is targeting a wide range of workloads spanning from archiving to deep learning.

Vast Data is backed by a number of prominent investors including Dell Technologies Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and private equity giant TPG Capital LLC. The startup is also starting to build a sizable use baser thanks to what it describes as strong early demand. Vast Data claims that its initial bookings have “significantly outpaced the fastest growing enterprise technology companies in history” but didn’t share specific numbers. 

Photo: Unsplash

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