Press Release
Mar 22, 2022

VAST Data Collaborates With NVIDIA to Build the Data Foundation for AI Superclusters

— New Ceres storage platform concept pioneers the use of NVIDIA® BlueField® DPUs and ruler-based hyperscale flash drives to serve as the disaggregated building blocks of scalable data clusters — VAST’s Universal Storage now supports Ceres for its next-gen, high-performance NVMe enclosure — Enabled by VAST Data’s disaggregated, shared-everything architecture (DASE), Ceres is being qualified as a data platform foundation for a turnkey AI data center with NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD™

VAST Data Collaborates With NVIDIA to Build the Data Foundation for AI Superclusters

Remote-First-Company/New York, NY – GTC – March 22, 2022 – VAST Data, the data platform company for the AI-powered world, today announced support for a next-generation storage platform concept called Ceres. Enabled by VAST’s Universal Storage data platform, Ceres is built leveraging new hardware technologies including NVIDIA BlueField DPUs (data processing units) and ruler-based hyperscale flash drives that improve performance, simplify serviceability and reduce data center costs.

Designed by VAST and industry partners to advance storage into the modern AI era, Ceres brings new levels of speed, resilience, modularity and data center efficiency. Ceres furthers VAST’s mission to equip enterprises and service providers with new capabilities that have otherwise been the exclusive domain of the world’s largest hyperscale cloud providers. These new hardware platforms, powered by VAST Universal Storage software, enables customers to adopt cutting-edge technologies, providing the following benefits:

  • Increased Performance, Better Power and Space Efficiencies. Leveraging new NVIDIA BlueField technology, which combines network and NVMe device management services into a low-power Arm-based SoC, DPUs make it possible to build NVMe enclosures without the need for large and power-hungry x86 processors. Transitioning NVMe-over-Fabric (NVMeoF) services from x86 servers to NVIDIA BlueField DPUs makes it possible to achieve a 1U form factor capable of delivering over 60GB/s of performance per enclosure for data-intensive applications, all while consuming significantly less power. VAST’s DASE architecture is uniquely positioned to leverage DPU-based systems by decoupling storage processing from the flash layer.

  • Ultra-Dense Flash Capacity Configurations. Ceres evolves beyond the classic SSD form-factor and instead features new ruler-based, high-density SSDs. Ruler-based flash drives will, over time, pack more flash capacity compared to traditional NVMe drives because of their much larger surface area and airflow-friendly design. At launch, VAST has partnered with Solidigm to certify its 15TB and 30TB E1.L SSDs (long ruler format), packing up to 675TB of raw flash in only 1U of rack space. With VAST Data’s Similarity-based data reduction algorithms, Ceres can manage nearly 2PB of effective capacity per enclosure at an average 3:1 data reduction ratio. Additionally, VAST’s innovative write shaping techniques extend quad level cell (QLC) and penta level cell (PLC) flash endurance, while advanced erasure coding also dramatically shortens the time to rebuild ultra-high-capacity storage devices.

  • Simplified Serviceability for Disaggregated Storage Clusters. Ceres was engineered to solve a number of problems that customers have faced when dealing with high-density storage systems, including:

    • Eliminating the need to slide systems in and out of racks, and the need for cable management, by making the system fully front and rear serviceable

    • Reducing the upfront hardware costs with a minimum capacity entry point of 338TB, while supporting seamless cluster scaling to hundreds of petabytes

    • Improving rack-scale resilience with less hardware required for customers that choose to enable full-enclosure failover in Universal Storage clusters

    • Allowing customers to mix and match Ceres with previous generations of VAST-supported hardware to enable the infinite cluster lifecycle

In addition to storage-side DPUs, VAST is collaborating with NVIDIA on new storage services to enable zero-trust security and offload functionality with client-side DPUs, such as those introduced in the recently announced NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD configurations. This new platform design will initially be manufactured by VAST design partners such as AIC (for commercial applications) and Mercury Systems (for rugged/defense applications) and will serve as the data capacity building blocks of VAST’s Universal Storage clusters. Read this blog to learn more about the new Ceres storage platform concept.

NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD Architecture Featuring VAST Data Universal Storage

VAST is also announcing today that it is in the process of certifying Ceres for NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD. SuperPOD is engineered for large-scale AI workloads, bringing together high-performance storage and networking to provide customers with a turnkey AI data center solution for enterprises.

With Ceres, NVIDIA customers can now enjoy the simplicity of a NAS solution with virtually limitless levels of scale and performance via a system architecture that radically improves storage resiliency, proven by VAST’s 99.9999% availability track record across exabytes of production data. With all-flash performance and archive storage economics, VAST will make it easy for NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD customers to scale their AI training infrastructure to support exabytes of data, without the burden of performance and capacity tradeoffs imposed by legacy tiered storage architectures. To learn more about how VAST supports simplicity in scaling AI development on DGX SuperPOD, read here.

VAST Data Universal Storage certification for NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD is slated for availability in Q3 2022.

Early Ceres Adoption

Ceres has already been chosen by organizations with some of the world’s largest computing environments. To date, VAST has received software orders to support over 170PBs of data capacity to be deployed on Ceres platforms.


A year ago, we shared our vision for hyperscale data infrastructure to the industry, and we’ve been amazed by the collaboration and support for this vision that has come back from industry partners. While explosive data growth continues to overwhelm organizations that are increasingly challenged to find value in vast reserves of data, Ceres enables customers to realize a future of at-scale AI and analytics on all of their data as they build to NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD scale and beyond.

Jeff Denworth, co-founder and CMO of VAST Data.

Enterprises around the world are using AI to transform their data into insights and services that boost customer satisfaction, increase operational efficiency and bring new products to market,” said Charlie Boyle, vice president and general manager of DGX systems at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD and NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, paired with the VAST Ceres platform, offer customers the option to integrate the world’s leading AI infrastructure with high-performance NAS storage certified to meet the demands of advanced AI workloads.


For additional information on Ceres, visit our launch press room, which includes a podcast recording with Storage Review, VAST’s introduction during Storage Field Day 23, system images and other assets.