Vast Data, the provider of multi-function Universal Storage arrays — which combine high-speed, low-capacity memory with high-capacity but low-cost QLC SSDs — is modernizing its software features everywhere. There is now a centralized online management console, Uplink, and a new version of its system, 4.4, which significantly improves data reduction with new algorithms.
“Traditionally, storage vendors compress or deduplicate data based on similarities between fixed-size blocks. Our system no longer has a fixed block size. On the other hand, we can treat numerical information as integer or floating point and choose in which case we can best summarize it in a short expression. In the end, you’ll save about $100,000 in storage space per petabyte,” Jeff Denworth, co-founder of Vast Data (pictured at the top of this article) told reporters at an IT Press Tour event.
According to him, Fixed customers buy on average configurations with a raw capacity of 12 PB. With the previous reduction system, they got up to 36 PB of usable capacity. With the new system, the usable capacity would still increase by about 25%, or eventually 45 PB. However, the perceived usable capacity would vary widely depending on the content. “For example, when backing up SQL databases, we are up to 70% more efficient than PowerProtect [ex- Data Domain, NDR]Dell’s archiving solution that deduplicates content,” he adds.
Vast Data envisions being able to offer usable capacities by the end of the year that will multiply the raw capacity of its solutions by 4 or 5. “Unlike other NFS-based NAS solutions that ultimately focus on optimizing the network portion, we focus our research efforts on the file system,” defends Jeff Denworth.
More consistent on AI, faster on disaster recovery
Vast Data provides high-quality solutions at a discounted price to banks, research labs and media broadcasters, and believes its market will explode with the rise of artificial intelligence.
“You usually optimize your storage costs by dividing it into three: the most accessible data on the fastest bay based on high-performance SSDs, the bulk of production on drives with the best performance-to-capacity ratio, the cold data on cheap hard drives. Only this organization does not work with artificial intelligence algorithms at all: all your data must be on the same level. We offer unified storage, 100% Flash,” says the co-founder.
Another argument put forward is that of the speed of Universal Storage arrays for data recovery; And for good reason: data is extracted from SSDs much faster than the usual hard drives used for backups.
“With the rise of cyber-attacks, backup has evolved from a need for long-term storage of data kept only for security, to a need to reboot it as soon as possible to work around the risk. Now high due to a production block In this context, it is common to back up to arrays in S3 object mode. Well, we are the only ones doing S3 on Flash storage,” argues our interlocutor.
The speed of SSDs for the price of HDDs
In detail, Vast Data essentially designs the system and integrators assemble the final solution on white-label servers. However, the material part must obey certain prerogatives. The latest design from Vast Data is the Ceres platform. This corresponds to storage nodes in a minimalist 1U Rack format, each condensing a maximum of technologies.
There are first two controller cards based on NVidia’s DPU Bluefield, a chip that speeds up data transfer. Next up are eight Kioxia SCM persistent memory modules, equivalent to Intel’s Optane Persistent Memory modules and whose function is to make access almost as fast as if the storage were in RAM. These modules transfer their data to 22 QLC SSDs of 30 TB each.
“If you fill 14 rack shelves with these modules, you get a usable capacity of 600 PB at the speed of flash but at the price of hard drives. This handy capability is what we’ve provided to some customers so far. With our latest optimizations, it becomes even more important,” assures Jeff Denworth.
Until then, Vast Data’s unified solution, with no third-party storage to manage, functioned, as it were, on its own, with a concise management console. This is now advantageously supported by the SaaS Uplink console, the graphical dashboard where all operational statistics are displayed.
One of the points of interest about Uplink is its easy visualization of alarms, which range from hardware power failures to imminent quotas being allocated to users or applications. You can also track performance and access history using curves. But a defining point is the system’s integration with Zendesk, the support ticket management system.