Rubrik brought Apple simplicity and Google scale together, you’ll never guess what happens next…

logo-large-gray-wpcf_100x48Finally I have figured out a way to incorporate techniques from the vast amounts of click-bait on my Facebook into this blog!  Did it work?

In all seriousness though Rubrik, who recently presented at Virtualization Field Day 5 in Boston have brought together both the simplicity of Apple and the scale of Google and what happened next was a scalable, converged backup and recovery solution containing both hardware and software.

Disclaimer: As a Virtualization Field Day 5 delegate all of my flight, travel, accommodations, eats, and drinks are paid for. However I do not receive any compensation nor am I required to write anything in regards to the event or the sponsors. This is done at my own discretion.

Now, all the time I hear people moan about backup solutions, shrug them off and say they are boring – I for one am not one of those people – I find the backup and recovery space very interesting and honestly there has been a ton of innovation in this space over the last 10 years that has made backup solutions more than just a simply copy of your data – it’s been quite fun to watch…but backup and recovery has a lot of players in the game right now so what really can Rubrik bring to the plate?

Rubrik – Time machine for Cloud Infrastructure

The biggest and most prominent difference that sets Rubrik apart is that they are one of really only a few vendors that ship their backup solution as a physical appliance.  While most backup vendors ship a software solution and leave it up to the customer to decide what to use for their backup storage, Rubrik is scale-out solution that comes with both the software and hardware.  There first shipping product is the R300, supporting roughly 200 VMs with around 100TB of storage available.


With control of the storage as well as the software Rubrik is able to leverage it’s various storage tiers in order to make both the backup and recovery process more efficient.  Take Instant VM Recovery for example – although this is not a new feature, we’ve seen a lot of backup solutions integrate the ability to simply power-on their VMs directly from a backup file, Rubirk can go once step further by granting flash resources to the instantly restored VM as they seem fit – essentially turning your backup appliance into a tier 2 storage array, instantly restoring a new copy of your VM – allowing you to run the VM on the Rubrik appliance with full storage resources until you see a fitting time to migrate it back to your production array.  During the backup process Rubrik is also able to ingest the initial bits into their flash tier, allowing a much quicker response back to vCenter and keeping the amount of time snapshots are open very minimal.  From there data is deduplicated and compressed inline before being written down to another tier of disks or even into the cloud

Wait did you say cloud?

Another nice feature that Rubrik has built-in is Amazon S3 integration.  Essentially when you set policies on a per VM basis you not only specify the number of restore points you want on disk, but you can also state that data which is x number of years old be maintained inside of Amazon.  Thus providing customers with somewhat of an archiving solution, and saving money on needing to purchase additional local storage for these purposes.  When it comes time to restoring data from Amazon, Rubrik has technology built-in to simply pull individual files down from Amazon, without having to pull down the entire VM or vmdk– certainly saving an organization a bit of money in transport costs if you only need to get at individual files.

If you are looking for more delegate and community opinions in regards to Rubrik and the technology they are creating I’d recommend the following…

Rubrik definitely has some awesome technology built into their 1.0 product which is heavily focused around their metadata foundation.  Having control over both the hardware and software has certainly gave them many advantages; fast search, quick recovery and more control over how the backup data gets laid out on their tiered storage platform.  They do have some areas where they are behind, things like object level recovery such as emails, active directory objects, databases, etc.  but to me the real key on the success of Rubrik will hinge around pricing – they told us it’s not going to break the bank – but honestly, a lot of the time backup solutions get thrown down to a second tier budget line and are not in the forefront of strategic IT decisions – so having to drop a large sum of money on insurance policy may not be in the cards for some IT shops.  That said, it’s 1.0 and they have done a lot in the last year and a bit they have been in existence – including adding some really smart and well known people to their staff.  Rubrik is certainly a company to keep an eye on in the coming year as they have built a solid, efficient foundation on which they layered their backup solution – So far they have “taken the backup out of recovery” and I can’t wait to see what they do next…

You can see more of my Virtualization Field Day 5 coverage here, as well as all of the recorded streams here.