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Visibility Across Space and Time is now Tenzir

· 2 min read
Matthias Vallentin

After 5 years of developing two identities, the VAST project and Tenzir the company, we decided to streamline our efforts and rename VAST to Tenzir.

VAST is the open-source software project Tenzir's Founder and CEO, Matthias Vallentin, created originally during his Master's at Technical University Munich in 2006, and then continued to work on throughout his PhD from 2008 to 2016 at the University of California, Berkeley. The name is an acronym for Visibility Across Space and Time and originates from the HotSec'08 paper about Principles for Developing Comprehensive Network Visibility by Mark Allman, Christian Kreibich, Vern Paxson, Robin Sommer, and Nicholas Weaver.

The following reasons ultimately drove our decision to rename VAST:

  • Building two brands is double the effort: we found that building two brands—one for the VAST project and one for Tenzir as a company—is a challenge for an early-stage startup like ourselves.
  • Taking a broader view when it comes to open source: we also don't see our enterprise and open-source users as separate and isolated groupings. Instead we see a continuum. So we want to put all of our energy into a single, unified community.
  • Avoiding confusion and conflicts: over the past years the term VAST has become very popular and widely used for a number of different projects and in adjacent industries (VAST Data,, anyone?) to avoid existing or future confusion we decided that it was better to retire the name but keep it part of our legacy and our story.

Our next release will be Tenzir v4.0, continuing from the VAST v3.x series. In other respects as well, the transition is an evolution, not a revolution. All project-related infrastructure, including the SemVer versioning, Git history, GitHub repository, and so forth will remain the same. Stay tuned for a follow-up blog post where we discuss the technical changes in depth and provide migration instructions.

Oh, and if you have any nostalgic anecdotes or stories to share, we'd love to hear them! Chime in on our Discord chat if you have any questions or feedback.