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Technical Bulletin #538: VAST File System

Published on: 
July 14, 2020

Update Text below in bold green font was updated on 7/20/20.

Livermore Computing will soon be deploying a new file system, called VAST, on LC CZ systems.  VAST is a fundamentally new file system architecture that incorporates many innovative technologies and features, which are detailed below.  

VAST uses flash storage exclusively in place of more traditional file systems which use spinning disks.  It’s initial capacity will be 5.2 PB, however usable capacity is expected to actually INCREASE over time due to VAST’s novel similarity compression algorithms.  All users with accounts on CZ systems will have a directory under /p/vast1.  VAST uses the NFS protocol and should behave like any other NFS file system e.g. your home directory or /usr/workspace.  VAST can also be used in place of Lustre for parallel I/O. 

Once LC has determined and implemented quotas on the VAST file system, it will be mounted on all CZ production clusters.  VAST has demonstrated very good performance and stability in limited testing on Corona. Once VAST is mounted on the CZ production clusters we will encourage users to try out VAST for various use cases and send your feedback to lc-hotline@llnl.gov.  We would be very interested in performance comparisons between VAST and Lustre.    VAST also provides an S3 object storage interface.  If you have use cases for an object store and want to try out VAST, please let us know!

More information about VAST file systems can be found on their whitepaper here:  https://vastdata.com/whitepaper/