Nov 8, 2023

23 Things to Know About VAST at SC23

23 Things to Know About VAST at SC23

Posted by

Jim Crook

We're a few days away from SC23, the most eagerly anticipated event in the world of high performance computing (HPC) and AI.

In the spirit of the event, we today compile 23 things you should know about VAST at SC23:

1. This is the first look for SC attendees at the VAST Data Platform we introduced on August 1. The VAST Data Platform is a revolutionary system concept that makes AI computing radically easier, more scalable and more efficient than ever before. We invite SC attendees to join us at the VAST booth throughout the week to understand how VAST can deliver a unified environment to ingest, store, catalog, process, and query vast amounts of structured and unstructured data.

2. The VAST booth (#1343) is the hub of VAST activity at SC23. At 40’ x 40’ in the center of the exhibit floor, you won’t be able to miss it.


3. You won’t be able to miss Vinny, the 8-foot tall VASTronaut, at our booth either. Come by for a selfie. 

4. 100: as in, the number of VASTronauts at SC23 meeting with customers and partners, chatting with booth visitors, running demos, etc.

5. Demos - we’ve got demos. Here's a small taste of what you'll see at our 10 booth demo stations:

  • User-level QOS: Large-scale shared and multi-tenant environments are hard to manage when you have lots of users running lots of jobs. Don't you wish you could make sure they get their fair share? User QOS and export-and-bucket QOS offer fine grained, dynamic control over IOPS and bandwidth.

  • Top actors and now... Top files and directories : The VAST DataBase ups the monitoring game with SQL queries and dashboards showing you the top users, hosts, files, and directories.

  • Stop using parallel file systems when a parallel database is what you need: Storing large amounts of semi-structured data, like JSON, NetCDF, HDF5, and more? Want to do lightning-fast analysis using SQL? Watch as we use Spark to ingest these formats directly into the VAST DataBase. Ingest millions of records per second, all while performing ad-hoc and deep analytical query.

6. As you can see, the new VAST DataBase will be a focal point in our demo booths. The DataBase is a first-of-its-kind system that combines the characteristics of a database, a data warehouse, and a data lake into a distributed and unified DBMS. (Get a pre-show primer from VAST CTO Andy Pernsteiner on the “database for ML/DL.”) 

7. Before we go too much further, it’s important to remember VAST’s raison d'être in HPC/AI: an NFS-based multi-protocol architecture that delivers agility, performance, and scalability for HPC/AI environments without the complexity of a parallel file system. 

8. NFS for HPC? Absolutely. Talk to our customers about it. And check out the IDC report that’s helping further unwind NFS misconceptions. Read our whitepaper too. And of course, chew our ear at the booth next week.

9. It’s the VAST architecture that convinced GPU cloud provider CoreWeave to partner with us to build a next-generation public AI cloud. We’re delighted to have CoreWeave VP Engineering Peter Salanki join us in the VAST booth Monday night to discuss the VAST-CoreWeave partnership during the SC23 Grand Opening Gala Reception. 

10. We’ll return the favor with VAST co-founder Jeff Denworth and CTO Andy Pernsteiner speaking in the CoreWeave booth on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. These are great opportunities for attendees to understand how massive next-generation GPU/AI clouds are being built.

11. Speaking of customer speaking sessions, the Annual VAST SC Breakfast on Wednesday is, in my humble opinion, the one VAST SC23 event you should not miss. Moderated by VASTronauts Denworth and Pernsteiner, the event will be headlined by three guest speakers from world-class organizations to talk HPC and VAST:

  • David Hall, Head of High Performance Computing at Lambda, which selected VAST to power its on-demand GPU Cloud

  • Tommy Minyard, Director of Advanced Computing Systems at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), which selected VAST as the data platform for Stampede3

  • Mike Solari, HPC Systems Administrator at National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), which selected VAST as the high-performance infrastructure required for its renewable energy research

12. Last year the breakfast was phenomenal and the content was better! See SC22 VAST breakfast highlights here and here

  • 12a. I recommend registering early. We were jam-packed last year:


13. While we’re on the breakfast theme, there’s another great chance for you to network and learn from guest speakers at the Tuesday morning R1 Roundtable breakfast co-hosted by VAST and our friends at Cambridge Computer. Moderated by Gregg Machon, VAST VP Channels, the session will feature:

  • Josiah Erikson, Associate Director of Research & High Performance Computing, University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • Tony Kew, Storage Area Network Administrator for the Center of Computational Research, University at Buffalo

  • Becky Ligon, Sr HPC Research Developer & Storage Architect, Clemson University

14. Speaking of Cambridge, we’re a Premier sponsor of their annual PetaFlop party on Tuesday night. Grab a drink, play some cards, and enjoy a fun evening out.

15. And keeping with the higher education theme, VAST is a gold sponsor at the Pier Group Higher Ed Happy Hour. Register here.

16. VAST is also a gold sponsor at the annual Y Event, perhaps better known as the Beowulf Bash on Monday night. We’ll see you there too. 

17. We’ll also get in on the fun at the VAST booth with a couple of raffles during the event. Booth raffle prize #1 is a LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon building set.

18. Booth raffle prize #2 is a LEGO Star Wars Chewbacca. 

19. Be sure to follow VAST social handles on LinkedIn and Twitter to know when raffles, speakers, and other great stuff at the booth is happening. It’s also a great way to keep up with all things VAST.

20. Back by popular demand - VAST cowboy hats! At SC22 in Dallas, VAST cowboy hats were seen far and wide across the show floor. Visit the booth to get yours this year.


21. VAST customers attending SC23 include DUG, the U.S. Department of Energy, CoreWeave, Lambda, Cerebras, The University of Utah and many more. We’re proud to work with these organizations and honored that they choose VAST to fuel their innovative HPC/AI teams.

22. If you stop by the VAST booth you’ll likely see our Marketing team shooting live customer videos that show their innovation stories. Stories we’ll unpack include those from PacBio, the University of Pisa, NREL, and others soon to be announced. We’re excited to unveil these in the coming weeks.

23. Executive VASTronauts not yet mentioned but on site at SC23 include CEO Renen Hallak; President Michael Wing; VP of Systems Engineering Subramanian Kartik; VP of Public Sector Randy Hayes; VP of Systems Engineering, West Region Vaughn Stewart; and many, many others. 

There you have it: 23 for SC23. See you in Denver!


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