Home Enterprise VAST Federal And Mercury Systems Collaborate To Build Ruggedized Storage Platform

VAST Federal And Mercury Systems Collaborate To Build Ruggedized Storage Platform

by Harold Fritts

VAST Federal, a subsidiary of VAST Data, has announced a collaboration with Mercury Systems to deliver ruggedized, high-performance storage solutions for edge-based data capture and AI computing. Mercury’s upcoming rugged data storage systems will be based on Ceres, VAST Data’s next-generation storage platform concept.

VAST Federal, a subsidiary of VAST Data, has announced a collaboration with Mercury Systems to deliver ruggedized, high-performance storage solutions for edge-based data capture and AI computing. Mercury’s upcoming rugged data storage systems will be based on Ceres, VAST Data’s next-generation storage platform concept.

This new system will be purpose-built to meet special characteristics such as unique size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements in a space-constrained platform typically deployed in land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace deployments where every inch and every ounce makes a massive difference.

VAST Data Ceres

VAST Federal, and parent VAST Data, continue to make inroads with their technology. VAST Data was founded in 2016, launching its first product in 2019. Since then, VAST Data has forged some impressive relationships with the likes of NVIDIA, Solidigm, Lenovo, and now Mercury, among others.

We recently published a review on the VAST Data Ceres storage platform concept. Enabled by VAST’s Universal Storage data platform, Ceres is built leveraging the latest hardware technologies like NVIDIA BlueField DPUs (data processing units). On the storage side, Ceres takes advantage of cost-optimized and highly dense Solidigm E1.L ruler-flash drives and storage-class memory (SCM) SSDs. The combination of hardware nets an all-new VAST data node (DNode) that improves performance, simplifies serviceability and reduces data center costs. A lot goes into the VAST Data Ceres platform, making it a perfect fit for military and defense operations. Read the complete review of VAST Data Ceres platform concept.

The addition of a ruggedized hardware enclosure from Mercury allows VAST and its industry team members to satisfy the data flow demands of C5ISR (Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) to achieve ultimate situational awareness from Edge Environments to Ground Station to Centralized Command and Control. Universal Storage protects data throughout the entire C5ISR system so that commanders and their personnel can have reliable and secure access to the data that informs their mission.

Founded over 20 years ago, Mercury Systems has focused on delivering secure, hardened systems, partnering with defense and commercial customers to design and integrate system-level solutions that minimize program risk, maximize application portability, and accelerate customers’ time to market.

Additional details on the benefits of the rugged data solutions with Universal Storage will include:

  • High Performance for Mission-Critical Edge Workloads. With Universal Storage as the software foundation, systems deliver data center-class, exabyte-scale network-attached storage (NAS) for edge workloads, empowering military and security personnel to quickly capture and analyze data for a real-time response when faced with national security situations. The Universal Storage data platform is a PCIe Gen4 storage system that maximizes GPU utilization for inference at the edge, accelerating AI applications that run directly on field devices for faster decision making. Additionally, having data processed locally reduces the risk of intercepting data while in transit to the cloud.
  • Ease of Serviceability While Maintaining System Uptime. Mercury is designing the system so that everything is front serviceable – ruler SSDs, NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, and SCM drives – and can easily be accessed when deployed in a plane, helicopter, submarine, or other space-constrained environments. Universal Storage software lays the foundation for a more resilient architecture where failures and maintenance are non-disruptive to system operation.
  • Meets Defense Industry’s SWaP Requirements. Whether on land, at sea, in the air, or space, the system hardware architecture will combine with VAST’s efficiency codes to meet the SWaP requirements of edge computing — packing petabytes of data into SWaP-constrained environments. The solution will also support DC power and will perform in extreme conditions, such as high altitude and humidity levels or environments with heavy vibrations.
  • Enhanced Data Protection for Fast Backup and Restore. Universal Storage delivers accelerated edge dataset backups with rapid recovery for mission-critical data and applications. The Indestructible Snapshots feature in VAST’s Universal Storage prevents critical backup copies and snapshots from being altered or destroyed when in a hostile environment.

Randy Hayes, Vice President, Public Sector of VAST Data Federal, said:

“Our software-based approach allows us to team with best-of-breed technology providers like Mercury to reimagine the storage footprint for a variety of workloads at the edge, including sensor processing, AI, and data analytics. This collaboration strengthens VAST’s commitment to place software at the heart of modern data infrastructure. It enables actionable insights from multiple field locations that can be sent back to Centralized Command and Control for deeper analysis and long-term data preservation.”

Dusty Kramer, Vice President and General Manager, Mercury Systems Edge business unit, added:

“Teaming with VAST Federal aligns well with our approach of rapidly integrating the latest-generation commercial technologies in order to future-proof A&D solutions and push server-class processing to the tactical edge. Mercury-VAST rugged data Universal Storage solutions combined with our ruggedized Intel® and GPU-based servers enable deployments in distributed, space-constrained locations with SWaP-enhanced efficiency while facilitating AI and data analytics compute power at the edge to ensure crew safety and provide advanced threat assessment.”

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