VAST Data, a leading technology company specializing in all-flash enterprise data storage, has recently unveiled the VAST Data Platform, an innovative and integrated data computing solution designed for the era of AI.
The VAST Data Platform brings together storage, database, and virtualized compute engine services in a scalable system, allowing enterprises to move beyond traditional reporting and business intelligence. It empowers them to explore new frontiers in deep learning applications, offering potential solutions to some of the most critical challenges facing humanity.
According to Renen Hallak, CEO, and co-founder of VAST Data, the platform encapsulates the ability to create and analyze vast amounts of data on a global scale. By consolidating various IT infrastructure categories, it enables the next phase of large-scale data computation. The VAST Data Platform aims to democratize AI capabilities, empowering organizations to unlock the true value of their data.
The platform is set to drive AI initiatives forward, as large language models (LLMs) have sparked interest and exploration of AI potential in recent months. Deployments of LLMs like ChatGPT and related services have grown substantially, indicating the beginning of an AI-assisted discovery era. With advancements in these models, machines are expected to recreate the process of discovery, accelerating the pace of solving significant global challenges, including life-saving treatments, and achieving specialization in a matter of days instead of decades.
To support such AI applications, a robust data platform is essential, streamlining data management and processing into a unified stack. This is precisely what the VAST Data Platform offers.
Jeff Denworth, co-founder of VAST Data, explains that the platform combines the VAST DataStore, which serves as the existing file and object layer, with the next-generation DataBase and the DataEngine. This continuous computing engine, known as VAST DataSpace, operates seamlessly from edge to cloud.
The DataStore, an exabyte-scale storage architecture, captures and serves unstructured natural data while eliminating storage tiering. The VAST DataBase’s semantic, natively-integrated database layer structures the data, enabling rapid querying at scale. This unique database management system combines the characteristics of a database, data warehouse, and data lake, addressing the trade-offs between capturing and cataloging natural data and performing real-time analytics.
Moreover, the platform provides intelligence through the VAST DataEngine, a global function execution engine. It consolidates data centers and cloud regions into a single computational framework, supporting programming languages like SQL and Python. Additionally, it offers an event notification system and materialized and reproducible model training, simplifying the management of AI pipelines.
Industry experts recognize the VAST Data Platform’s transformative impact. Merv Adrian, principal analyst at IT Market Strategy, applauds its ability to integrate structured and unstructured data in a high-performance, globally distributed namespace with real-time analysis. This disruptive data infrastructure provides a foundation for AI-driven organizations to tackle previously unexplored challenges.
Prominent companies like Zoom, Allen Institute, and Pixar Animation Studios have already leveraged the VAST Data Platform to their advantage. Eric Bermender, head of data center and IT Infrastructure at Pixar, praises the platform’s tierless cluster of storage that allows them to use petabytes of data for future AI applications, including denoising data, ‘finals,’ and ‘takes’ datasets.
While the VAST Data Platform is already making waves in the industry, it’s essential to note that it’s not yet fully capable at this stage. The current general availability includes access to DataStore, DataBase, and DataSpace. However, the DataEngine will be incorporated into the package in 2024, as per company executives.