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VAST and Tenzir

This page answers frequently asked questions about the relationship of VAST and Tenzir.

What is VAST?

VAST, an acronym for Visibility Across Space and Time, is an open-source software project created by Matthias Vallentin originally during his Master's at Technical University Munich in 2006, and materialized throughout his PhD from 2008 to 2016 at the University of California, Berkeley.

Inception at UC Berkeley

VAST was initially focused on providing a fast search experience using structured and typed log data coming from Zeek, the network security monitor written by Vern Paxon, Matthias' PhD advisor.

The NSDI'16 publication details the system design, architecture and the implementation. VAST pioneered the idea of applying the actor model to the native domain, with a type-safe message-passing runtime called C++ Actor Framework (CAF). This architecture enabled a programming model with a single abstraction for concurrency and distribution, yielding a highly scalable system capable of first exploiting all available resources (CPU cores, RAM, disk) within a single machine before scaling out horizontally.

Continuation to Tenzir

After VAST's academic inception, Matthias founded Tenzir to propel the open-source project into a commercial offering. VAST has found a new home at Tenzir, and is the foundation for our vision of becoming the preferred open-source security data plane for threat detection, investigation, and response.

What is Tenzir?

Tenzir is a security startup that builds commercial solutions powered by the open-source project VAST.

Tenzir makes VAST easy to deploy, use, and integrate into enterprise environments. In particular, Tenzir provides a web interface for managing a fleet of VAST nodes and pipelines spanned across them. Tenzir also provides commercial support and customer success services related to VAST.

What is the relationship between VAST and Tenzir?

VAST is an open-source software and growing community; Tenzir is a security startup building out VAST in a commercial context. To date, Tenzir is the biggest contributor to VAST, but the goal is to nurture a diverse and active ecosystem of contributors from numerous organizations.

Tenzir also has the role of protecting and maintaining the self-sufficient viability of VAST by fostering a vibrant and diverse community around both the open-source and commercial offerings. In particular, Tenzir is dedicated to ensuring independent governance of VAST by putting trust and transparency at the forefront. Examples of this commitment from Tenzir include maintaining a public roadmap, providing detailed contribution guidelines, actively engaging in the community forums, and promoting VAST across social media, blog posts, conference talks, and more.

Who is the audience of VAST and Tenzir?

As an open-source project, the audience of VAST is a community of passionate users and developers that cultivate an active exchange, contribute enhancements, and spread the word. The mission of the VAST community is to offer a diverse exchange point at the intersection of security and data.

As a commercial entity, the audience of Tenzir concerns customers. There exist mutiple product editions, geared towards different personas. The community edition is a free edition for consultants, small business, and researchers with a small budget. The enterprise edition focuses on security professionals for larger enterprise deployments, OEM/SI embeddings, and the provider edition is for redistribution by MSSP and MDR vendors.

Early Access

Tenzir is working towards the launch of the community edition with a select group of early adopters. If you are interested join the waitlist below.