Data Infrastructure

Panasas becomes VDURA as it Rewrites the Rules for AI, HPC Data Storage

Story Highlights:

  • Panasas becomes VDURA as it transitions to a software company
  • VDURA announces plans for a major public cloud partnership later this year
  • VDURA’s new model builds on its pioneering parallel NAS technology
  • VDURA is now uniquely positioned to offer an AI and HPC data platform that, unlike other vendors, harnesses multiple types of storage media within one seamless architecture platform
  • This unique integrated data platform approach will provide customers with unparalleled simplicity, choice and cost-savings for all environments from on-premises to public and hybrid cloud

VDURA, the AI and HPC data infrastructure software company, today announced its official launch as the new brand identity of Panasas, longtime HPC and parallel file system pioneer. The rebranding signifies the company’s shift to a software company operating under a software subscription-based business model. This software focus will enable the company to extend its proven and foundational parallel NAS technology to create a new high-performance data platform that serves the needs of both AI and HPC applications, in on-premises, hybrid and native cloud environments, by uniquely harnessing multiple types of storage media within one seamless architecture platform.

“The PANFS software created by Panasas has always been best in class for combining high performance with enterprise class reliability, durability and ease of use. VDURA maintains these attributes yet abandons the previous need to be tied to proprietary hardware platforms that can’t offer the range of performance and cost that customers need today,” said Ken Claffey, CEO, VDURA. “Today’s announcement marks phase one of this transition as an Avnet Direct Connect partner, and phase two will come later this year with plans for a major public cloud partnership. Ultimately, VDURA’s transition to a software (SaaS) model enables a broader ecosystem of hardware systems where performance meets the diverse demands of HPC and AI on any type of environment.”

VDURA will provide organizations with a new level of flexibility to optimize their data infrastructure, empowering them to meet ever-evolving AI and HPC application requirements. Through its ongoing collaboration with Avnet Integrated, VDURA offers managed software across a diverse range of supported hardware. Customers can now acquire this hardware at cost and receive it pre-configured with the VDURA software as an integrated appliance. This approach combines the benefits of software-defined storage with the deployment and management simplicity of an integrated solution. This transition, combined with plans for a public cloud partnership later this year, underscores VDURA’s strategic shift towards software and its focus on enhancing the capabilities of its Data Platform.

Recognized for being the first to develop both a Linux-based parallel file system and to offer file-level erasure coding, along with its defining work on pNFS, the company has become a trusted partner to notable organizations like NASA, Procter & Gamble, Intel and more. As an Avnet Direct Connect partner, VDURA now unlocks a host of additional benefits for its global customer base:

  • Choice: VDURA customers have the freedom to leverage managed software on the broad range of hardware platforms. Whether it’s flash optimized servers, capacity optimized enclosures or cloud infrastructure, the choice is theirs.
  • Customization: The ability to select preferred hardware introduces a rare level of configurability. Customers can tailor their storage solutions to match specific workloads, optimizing performance, efficiency and economics.
  • Cost-Savings: By purchasing directly from the hardware manufacturer (Avnet), VDURA customers save significantly on hardware costs. This newfound control over budgets and capacity empowers IT organizations to accomplish greater goals without increasing costs.

VDURA represents the ideal fusion of Panasas’ existing customer-favored features with new advantages achievable as a software company. By applying new ways of thinking to AI and HPC infrastructures, VDURA simplifies how customers store and access vast reserves of data in real time, unlocking insights that were not possible before.

The new VDURA data platform stands out from competitors because it’s a truly parallel architecture that can seamlessly integrate multiple classes of storage technology, from SSDs to HDDs, to enable the highest performance flash tier together with the lowest cost HDD tier, all within a single data platform, with advanced data protection, automated data placement and a single management plane. This model offers best-in-class performance, availability, durability and ease of use with superior economics.

“Other storage software vendors are placing all their bets on an isolated type of commodity storage media, such as flash, and then they task their customers with managing discrete capacity tiers of storage. VDURA’s approach recognizes that the price and pace of innovation in storage device commodities change over time. This means that, in order to optimize value and simplicity for the customer, data infrastructure architectures need to be adaptable and mix and match multiple storage media types,” said Claffey. “This unique level of adaptability is exactly what VDURA is offering customers, all within a single, easy-to-manage data platform that will be available for on-premises, hybrid and cloud native environments.”

VDURA simplifies customer data access, storage, and management while maintaining peak performance. With the new name, expanding team, innovative business model and enhanced capabilities, VDURA is ready to support the next wave of opportunities for our customers.

VDURA will be at ISC High Performance; The HPC Event in Hamburg, Germany on May 12-16, 2024, Booth G22. For more information on the vision and technology behind VDURA please visit www.vdura.com.

Supporting Quotes

Industry Analysts

“Being tied into one type of storage technology is not a great strategy for any business, and with the prices for flash memory going up this year there is pressure in the market to provide economical yet flexible storage,” said Tom Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates. “VDURA is making a smart move given these conditions. Having more types of storage media in a format that mimics a hyperscaler’s hybrid architecture should be a popular option.”

“With spending for on-premises HPC and AI advanced computing storage solutions projected to exceed $9B in 2028, users are looking for flexibility, performance, durability, and choice for their data platform storage needs,” observes Mark Nossokoff, Research Director for Hyperion Research. “Building upon the heritage established by Panasas, an early innovator in high-performance parallel file systems, VDURA is aiming to satisfy these requirements with their new software subscription model for its PanFS-based solutions, supporting a full appliance experience with a broad range of options available through their partner Avnet.”

Customers

“The work we do requires highly complex parallel workflows, and Panasas has exceeded our expectations in delivering the high-performance storage and networking we need to manage the incredible volume of data generated we process on a daily basis,” said Dr. Zhaobo Meng, the founder and CEO of In-Depth Geo. “The VDURA launch and this rare new option to mix and match different storage types in one platform comes at the perfect time for us. Our on-the-ground data needs continue to get more and more demanding. At the same time, the broader computing industry transitions to cloud systems, so this new ‘operating-like-a-Hyperscaler’ model allows us to get the best of both worlds in terms of our stringent hardware needs and our clients’ evolving systems.”

“Panasas has been well-known for its reliability and ease of use. We’ve experienced this value firsthand as a customer for over 12 years,” said Jeffrey McDonald, PhD, Director or Research Computing and IT with Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota. “Especially as we grow our infrastructure, we look forward to how VDURA’s integrated approach will elevate these qualities by giving us more flexibility with our budgets and also allowing us to reach the speed, scale and durability required to not just meet but exceed our goals.”

“CryoEm is a huge data producer. VDURA is the only storage partner willing to work closely with our scientists to develop efficient workflows and spectacular outcomes. CryoEM at the University of Wollongong in Greater Sydney is extremely excited to continue our partnership with this great company,” said James Bouwer, Ph.D., Director of Cryo Electron Microscopy at the University of Wollongong.

“We are looking forward to working with VDURA going forward. The ability to buy hardware ‘at cost’ is a big plus to our business. The change allows us better economy of scale and will enable VDURA to focus their development efforts on new software features,” said Jessica Wang, Product Manager, Advanced Solution Group, Ingram Micro China.

Avnet

“We look forward to expanding our relationship with VDURA as a new customer of Avnet’s Direct Connect,” said Erik West, Head of Marketing, Avnet Integrated Solutions. “The capital and transaction efficiency that VDURA realizes with our financial services and digital B2B storefront empowers their customers to cost effectively and effortlessly configure, quote and purchase VDURA’s new, revolutionary integrated data platform offerings. By utilizing Avnet to manage all aspects of solution integration and direct trade with their end-users, VDURA is able to devote their full attention todeveloping superior HPC and AI storage solutions.”

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