Feb 6, 2024

The AI Revolution: How VAST Data is Accelerating Discovery

The AI Revolution: How VAST Data is Accelerating Discovery

Posted by

Rupert Menezes, Field CTO for AI & Emerging Technologies

Artificial intelligence has exploded into the mainstream, but most enterprises still struggle to build effective AI pipelines. Data silos, complex infrastructure, and skills gaps create barriers to operationalizing AI. Such obstacles restrict access to the massive unstructured data sets that AI algorithms need to derive insights.

In this post we’ll explore how the VAST Data Platform overcomes these obstacles to accelerate discovery and innovation.

The Problem: Data Silos and Legacy Infrastructure

Legacy infrastructure severely restricts AI innovation in enterprises today. Most companies have spent decades locking away data in isolated silos and complex hierarchies. These antiquated systems were built for structured data and transactional workloads.

They were not designed for the massive volumes of unstructured data and random access patterns that AI algorithms need to find insights. According to an IDC survey, 82% of organizations cite siloed data as a key obstacle to more effective AI development*.

Tiering data across flash, disk, and even tape introduces substantial latency penalties. In my experience a legacy tiered architecture sees 80-90% cache miss rates when running machine learning workloads, slowing down data pipelines by up to 100X.

Most enterprises have 10+ years of legacy infrastructure accrued over time. Migrating all this onto new platforms is cost-prohibitive and extremely risky in terms of business disruption. This accumulated technical debt makes scaling AI a monumental challenge.

In addition, it’s estimated that 50-75% of time in AI pipelines is spent on data preparation versus model training, severely restricting innovation. We need a new approach to data aggregation and access to unleash AI’s potential.

Introducing the VAST Data Platform

VAST Data overcomes these challenges with a unified data platform purpose-built for AI. Our software-defined architecture converges all enterprise data, both structured and unstructured, onto a single globally accessible namespace.


This eliminates silos and allows data access via unified protocols like NFS, S3, and SQL. VAST leverages the low latency of all-flash data access to deliver microsecond performance, matching local SSDs.

By modernizing infrastructure, VAST breaks down the #1 barrier to AI. The platform provisions at petabyte-per-hour speeds while maintaining microsecond latency. This means data scientists can access far-reaching datasets without bottlenecks.

On VAST, AlphaFold for protein analysis runs exceptionally well, sometimes up to 5-7X faster than on legacy HPC storage. By leveraging large language models like GPT-3, customers can further accelerate AlphaFold 6X. Think about how much faster customers can get to the end science they are trying to achieve.

VAST delivers the data platform enterprises need to operationalize AI.

Built to Scale

VAST achieves exabyte-scale capacity and 99.999% availability without complex tiering. Our software provisions data rapidly while maintaining microsecond latency no matter how large datasets scale. This empowers data scientists to store and access diverse datasets for unconstrained experimentation.

The solution scales seamlessly across on-prem and multi-cloud environments. Enterprise data services like encryption, snapshots, and redundancy provide an enterprise-grade foundation.

Accelerating Time-to-Insight

VAST accelerates the full pipeline beyond just data access. Tight integration with platforms like NVIDIA DGX reduces data movement. VAST speeds up data preparation, model development, training, and inferencing.

By removing infrastructure constraints, VAST allows organizations to focus resources on developing better AI models, versus just moving data around.

By accelerating AI innovation on a limitless infrastructure foundation, VAST helps drive insights that advance science, business, and humanity. We are proud to partner with leading organizations across industries to unlock the promise of AI.

The Future is Here

With unified data access, metadata catalog, and AI-driven data orchestration, VAST overcomes key barriers to building effective AI pipelines. With VAST, enterprises can finally operationalize AI and focus on innovation versus infrastructure. The future is here – together, let’s build it.

To learn more about how VAST Data is powering the AI revolution, contact me at I’m always happy to discuss how we can help your organization achieve its most ambitious AI goals.

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