Don’t backup. Go forward with Rubrik

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Rubrik has set out to build a time machine for cloud infrastructures. I like the message as it shows that they are focused on bringing simplicity to the enterprise backup world. Last week I had the opportunity to catch up with them and they had some great news to share as they were planning to come out of stealth this week. And that day is today.

Rubrik platform
This time machine is delivered on a 2U commodity appliance that runs the Rubrik software. By installing this appliance you greatly reduce the number of machines that are necessary to provide backup and restore services today. Reducing the number of machines simplifies the infrastructure for architects and support, while the UI of Rubrik simplifies the day-to-day operations of the administrators.

User Interface
No agents are needed in the virtual datacenters to discover the workload and the user interface is centered on policy driven SLAs. Unfortunately I can’t show the user-interface, but trust me this is something you longed for a long time. Due to the pedigree of the co-founders it comes as no surprise that the Rubrik platform is fully programmable with REST API’s.

Typically moving to a new backup system introduces risk and cost. Learning curves are high, misconfigured backup configurations possibly risking data loss. Policy driven and the ability to use REST APIs ensure that the platform easily integrates in every environment. The policies are so easy to use that no training is necessary; this reduces the impact of transition to a new backup system. The low learning curve means that no countless hours are lost by figuring out how to safely backup your data, while the REST APIs allow advanced tech crews to integrate Rubrik in their highly automated service offerings.

Architecture
One thing that made me very happy to see is the Rubriks’ ability to “cloud-out” your data. Rubrik provides a gateway to AWS allowing you to send “aged data” to the cloud in a very secure way. This feature benefits the complexity reduction of local architecture. Instead of having to incorporate a tape library, you now only need an Internet connection. Having worked with a big tape libraries myself for years I know this will not only bring a lot of datacenter space back and reduce your energy bill, you WILL have way less heat to cool.

As the team understand the concept of distributed architectures thoroughly (more about that in the next paragraph) it doesn’t come as a surprise that it scales very well. The architecture can scale to 1000s of nodes. What’s interesting is that it can mount the snapshots directly on the Rubrik platform allowing virtual machines to run directly on the appliance. Think about the possibilities for development. Snapshot your current production workload and test your new code instantly without any impact on active services.

Rubrik starts off by supporting VMware vSphere and it makes sense to focus on the biggest market out there as a startup. But support for other hypervisors and cloud infrastructures (to cloud-out data) will follow.

I expect Rubrik to become a success, the product aligns with the todays enterprise datacenter requirements and the pedigree of the team is amazing. As mentioned before the co-founders have a very rich background in distributed systems, Arvind Jain was the founding Engineer of Riverbed and was a Distinguished Engineer at Google before co-founding the other three members. Interesting enough (for me at least) there are stong ties with PernixData. Prior to Rubrik, Bipul Sinha was a partner at LightSpeed before founding Rubrik. I had the great pleasure of talking to Bipul often, as he is the initial investor of PernixData. Funny enough I can recall a conversation where Bipul asked me on my view of the backup world. I believe boring and totally not sexy was my initial reply. Guess he is setting out to change that fast! The CTO of Rubrik, Arvind Nithrakashyap, worked at Oracle where he co-founded Oracle Exadata. The other Co-founder of Exadata is PernixData CEO Poojan Kumar. Last but certainly not least Soham Mazumdar, who worked at Google on the search engine and founded Tagtile.

As of today you can sign-up for the early access program. Go visit the website to read more and follow them on twitter.

Exciting times ahead for Rubrik! Don’t Backup. Go Forward!

Frank Denneman

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