Vast Data has updated its storage OS to include more enterprise features, potentially broadening its customer base.
Vast last week released Universal Storage version 4.6, which adds metadata cataloging as well as several other features around security, containers and data movement to its OS. The vendor also included updates to extend Universal Storage's quality of service (QoS) to set minimum and maximum performance levels. The vendor said v4.7 is coming this spring.
Julia PalmerResearch vice president, Gartner
Vast Data Universal Storage is a relatively young file and object storage product compared with NetApp OnTap or Dell PowerScale, according to Julia Palmer, a research vice president at Gartner. With this update, Vast is expanding its data services capabilities as opposed to focusing on storage and hardware alone.
"There are a large number of enhancements that cover multiple areas of focus: security, multitenancy, container-native application, AIOps and more, which will make Vast more appealing to a broad range of enterprise customers," she said.
No tiering, better-refined QoS
Vast Data offers only one type of storage -- all-flash quad-level cell (QLC). However, customers still request storage tiering, moving in-demand data to a faster media and less essential data to a slower tier. In its newest OS, Vast has extended its QoS to include service plans with upper and lower limits on bandwidth and IOPS per user or bucket, where customers can distinguish between high-performance versus lower-performance workloads.
An advantage to a system like Vast Data is consolidation of the storage infrastructure, according to Scott Sinclair, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group. But consolidation also introduces a concern that each application gets the storage resources it needs. Extending the QoS policy around performance relieves some of that concern, he said.
"Users can better utilize the consolidation of the platform at scale, while at the same time understanding that their priority apps are going to get the performance that they need," he said.
Storage tiering can minimize problems with noisy neighbors, or poor distribution of resources, Sinclair said.
The vendor also introduced Vast Catalog, an extension of its Universal Storage namespace Element Store. This allows user-defined context tagging of data in a tabular format, providing greater insight into what is being stored without the integration of third-party tools. Vast Catalog also gives users the ability to replace POSIX functions with SQL statements for potential performance increases.
Vast Catalog strengthens the system's capabilities for finding specific data, but it may not be broadly adopted, Sinclair said. While some customers may require this, others may not want to spend time adding tags or managing the complexity of shifting to new tools.
"Vast is saying, 'If you leverage our tools, you can be more efficient,'" Sinclair said. "The issue is that I've already established my processes based on the old tools."
Palmer sees Catalog as a promising new feature with the potential to create data services beyond storage. Storage administrators will have a better understanding of what is stored due to the tags but application developers and analytics professionals can also use that data for their operations, she said.
"This will enable the Vast path to be relevant beyond traditional data storage to data services," Palmer said.
Checking off security boxes
Vast now supports the Key Vault interface API Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) 1.2, which allows users to bring and manage their own encryption keys. The vendor now also supports the Thales CipherTrust and IBM Key Protect cloud-based key management services.
Vast expanded its zero-trust work with support for TLS-based access for NFS for in-flight encryption; pseudo filesystem to limit access to certain subsets of directories; Rocky Linux for STIG and FIPS compliance; and S3 auditing onto the NFS and SMB auditing that already existed.
The zero-trust security and key management is a customer need and adds value, Sinclair said. This broadens the potential customers and use cases for Vast.
Vast added more support to its container storage interface for ease of use and machine learning to its cloud-based fleet management console, Uplink, for capacity predictions. Sinclair said the added features and support are useful but not revolutionary.
Vast clusters can now share snapshots to multiple remote clusters. At the remote clusters, users can mount and clone the snapshots. This feature improves the granularity in which users can move data, Sinclair said.
"This means more flexibility in terms of what you access and move, simplifying the data movement process," he said.
Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware and private clouds. He previously worked at StorageReview.com.