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Dec 19, 2023

VAST Plants the Flag in Italy: University of Pisa Standardizes on VAST Data Platform to Drive Scientific Progress

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Posted by

Roberto Dognini, Regional Sales Director, Italy

Today we’re proud to announce VAST’s debut in Italy by way of a great customer in the University of Pisa as we expand our presence in Europe and worldwide.

The Italian market is no stranger to the rapid and transformative data management and analysis shift we’ve seen globally. Driven by the convergence of traditional analytics and AI methods, businesses and public administrations here are working to harness the massive potential of data and create value for their operations. 

But as increasing workloads of machine learning and Generative AI model training exceed the scale capabilities of traditional enterprise infrastructures, there is a need for a modern data infrastructure platform built for modern data demands.

That’s why VAST has brought to market the VAST Data Platform, a groundbreaking AI data platform built for AI and deep learning workloads. VAST software enriches and applies a structure to unstructured data to provide AI applications with the tools they need to extract greater insights and value from data.

Which brings us to the University of Pisa.

Over the past several years, the University of Pisa’s data footprint has grown significantly, with around 25,000 CPU cores, dozens of latest-generation GPUs, and GPU cores and 12 petabytes of data that had been stored and managed by multiple vendors.

The university decided to build a new centralized data center facility to consolidate all of its IT services and high-performance computing capabilities, and needed a solution that could provide high throughput and parallel access for data-intensive workloads.

The university selected the VAST Data Platform for these high performance data management requirements, including AI workloads for drug design simulations running on NVIDIA DGX H100 servers.

With VAST, the University of Pisa now has a unified data platform that can scale seamlessly to hundreds of petabytes and keep pace with its growing computational power, and can be adapted quickly to new application requirements as needs evolve. The results thus far have been game-changing.

The VAST Data Platform is performant, flexible and much easier to use than other solutions – plus, the Gemini licensing model allows us to only pay for what we need,” says Maurizio Davini, CTO, University of Pisa. “VAST has already delivered significant performance improvements for researchers in areas like life sciences and materials science who rely on fast parallel file access to feed data-hungry algorithms.

Maurizio continues: “We are doubling our infrastructure and we are very interested in exploring the evolving multi-tenancy, data catalog, and database features of the VAST Data Platform. VAST’s ability to connect easily to the DGX nodes over InfiniBand or Ethernet was another distinct advantage. With VAST and NVIDIA, we’re transforming our research capabilities to achieve new breakthroughs and advance our scientific progress.”

Read more about the University of Pisa in this VAST case study.

VAST’s presence in Italy reflects our strong commitment to investing in our market to build a partnership and alliance ecosystem that will best support innovation, competitiveness, and our clients’ businesses. The global reach of VAST is extending, and I’m thrilled about our prospects in Italy, a nation deeply invested in reshaping its economy with digital advancements, eco-friendly innovations, and sophisticated manufacturing that infuses AI and machine learning into various industries.

With the VAST Data Platform, we’re tapping into a rich vein of innovative potential across key sectors such as the automotive and aerospace industries, the agricultural sphere, the healthcare and life sciences fields, academia, and the financial services sector. Please contact me if we can help you unlock the full potential of your data.

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