Vast Data Adds Zero Data Loss Guarantee for Storage

After coming out of stealth mode, Vast Data is offering more incentives to try its all-flash storage systems.

Todd R. Weiss

June 7, 2019

5 Min Read

Vast Data has a new performance guarantee against data loss and an uptime guarantee for customers of the company’s all-flash universal data storage systems.

In making its new zero compromise guarantee to users, Vast Data said it’s able to provide such assurances because of the resilience and technologies built into its universal storage architecture.


Vast Data’s Jeff Denworth

“For our uptime guarantee, we ensure that even when a majority of your Vast servers fail, the system remains online thanks to our shared-everything concept,” Jeff Denworth, the vice president of Vast told Channel Futures. “In other shared-nothing or controller-based systems, a few server failures can take down a storage system; in our case, so long as just one server is running even in a cluster of 100 machines, our customers will enjoy complete data availability.”

The most common cause of data loss in enterprise architectures usually involves the volatile DRAM-based write cache that is used to accelerate storage write performance, said Denworth. “Complications arise when these systems need to de-stage data from a volatile cache down to persistent storage during a power outage or system failure — this is often where things can go very wrong.”

But by using 3D XPoint NVM (non-volatile memory), the Vast DASE (disaggregated shared-everything architecture) architecture persists every write to storage-class memory and never suffers from media volatility, explained Denworth.

“Customer data will never be stored to volatile media ever,” he said, which eliminates the risk of data loss.

The company has been writing these terms into customer agreements since it started selling the products last year, he said.

“This is the formalization of the commitments we’re already making,” said Denworth. “Our new Universal Storage offering and DASE architecture make it possible to push the boundaries of vendor responsibility without creating unnecessary risk for Vast. We’ve changed everything to make storage simpler, more resilient and more efficient, and now we’re backing this by throwing down the gauntlet and providing what we believe to be the industry’s strongest customer satisfaction guarantee.”

Also included are guarantees for best-in-class data reduction, all-inclusive access to all new universal storage cluster software features without additional licensing or capacity charges, and a 60-day unconditional right to return their systems if they are not completely satisfied with their purchases.

If customers have an uptime problem under the zero-compromise guarantee, the company will provide a free year of support. If a customer has problems under the Flash Endurance guarantee, it will replace or add to any system that wears out its flash drives for up to 10 years. If customers have data reduction issues, the guarantee promises to cover the difference between Vast and any other system in the form of additional storage, at no cost.

Vast Data came out of stealth mode in February with its all-flash, exabyte-scale universal storage system technology, which provides faster flash storage for the price of mechanical disk storage.

Joe Corbett, the chief operating officer for Atlanta-based Cumberland Group, an advisory and services firm, told Channel Futures that Vast’s new guarantee enables his company to offer an advanced technology agenda while providing its clients with iron-clad protection that is useful when switching technology platforms.


Cumberland Group’s Joe Corbett

“This new program helps customers transition to new technologies without risk,” he said. “There’s a lot of ‘firsts’ here around data reduction, uptime and a decade of no-surprises protection for commodity flash. Vast is taking all of the counter-arguments off the table so that the Cumberland Group’s customers can start innovating without risk. As a technology solutions provider, our reputation means everything.”

While Vast’s guarantees provide a robust set of investment protections, the new guarantees will help his company crystalize Vast’s architecture differences and educate customers on what happens when …

… storage is reinvented, he said.

Henry Balthazar, an IT analyst with 451 Research, said that guarantee programs like this are common for flash storage vendors, so Vast needed to have a similar program to stay competitive.

“For a new player like Vast, it is not surprising that potential customers would have concerns regarding their architecture and the use of new technologies such as QLC flash, which is inexpensive but has lower write endurance than other enterprise flash formats,” said Balthazar. “For that reason, the 10-year guarantee for QLC is a key part of the program.”

Vast’s promise to provide storage capacity at no additional charge if customers experience problems will allow customers to purchase the platform without worrying that they would save more money using a different product, he said.

Another analyst, Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group, said the value of the Vast warranty is significantly less than the value of the customer data contained in its systems. Meanwhile, the 10-year price guarantee is a decent deal but it is also very affordable for Vast to offer, he explained.

“It appears to be a well thought-out program, which is important, because if it were too aggressive Vast would fail and no one wants to be left with orphan hardware,” said Enderle.

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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