Storage has always been tough. As I have mentioned before, I bare many scars of storage platforms gone bad. To be fair, I exited out of the infrastructure game in terms of being hands on managing production storage since joining Veeam and with that, I feel like I missed out on having better experiences with the more recent wave of storage vendors that brought more simplicity, stability and performance to the market as SSDs became more viable. The one constant that I found with storage is that traditional architectures and design still sits just under the surface of newer system hardware and try scale vs performance vs cost is still challenging.

When a single storage platform promises scale from the outset without compromising on performance or reliability but still keeping the economics of storing data in check.. that is when that platform needs to be taken seriously. VAST Data was born from engineering talent at XtremIO and burst onto the scene in 2019. However, as I found out in talking to Jeff Denworth, who is co-founder and CMO at VAST Data, the company was active in research and development while testing out their new architecture.

They have a great story and a great vision and had done very well over the course of their short existence… Watch and listen (episode segments listed below):

  • Introductions (0:00​) History and Founding (1:20​​)
  • Coming out of Stealth already ahead of the game (3:50​​)
  • “Legacy” All #Flash Arrays and the VAST Data value proposition (6:30​​)
  • Addressing the cost vs performance problem of Tier 0 (11:00​​)
  • Funding round and valuation (14:10​​)
  • Disaggregated, Shared Everything Architecture (17:33​​)
  • Using Laptop SSDs in original deployments (20:10)
  • Using Intel Optane and QLC and engineering efficiency (23:20)
  • Controllers built on Docker and Shared Everything (28:20)
  • Resolving East-West Traffic and Optane Persistency (30:10)
  • Getting out of hardware and focusing on software to drive penetration (32:02)
  • Use cases, Analytics, Object Storage, Backup, Archive and #AI (38:50)
  • Wrap Up and call outs (42:50​​)

In this episode I talk with Jeff Denworth, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder at VAST Data. VAST Data is a software company bringing an end to complex storage tiering and unlocking the ability to use flash across the enterprise. Jeff and I talk about how VAST Data is a radically different architecture built upon disaggregation and shared everything compute and storage leveraging containers, Optane 3D Xpoint-based memory, NVMe-OF and QLC based SSDs for fast storage no matter what the workload…with vast amount of usable space that scales and is highly resilient.

VAST Data was founded in 2016 and is head quartered out of New York.

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