In my first post about Rubrik I called the system a data protection platform. Whilst this is still somewhat accurate their continued and rapid evolution has made me reconsider my position and consider if Rubik’s offering is a true data management platform? In this post we will look at why we need data management and what’s new in Rubrik 4.2
Technology brings challenges
Each new technology wave brings its own set of advantages that drive user adoption but also bring a new set of challenges. If you rewind a few years to when virtualisation was the new kid on the block I have a short tale of new technology and new challenges. At the time I was working as a server administrator for a large local hospital. In the role we faced major challenges as an underfunded government organisation including a large, ageing, and distributed server estate. I strode confidently into our IT director’s office at the time with a proposal to virtualise everything and told him with a mixture of enthusiasm and naivety this would be the solution to all our problems, no more old hardware, everything in one place and easy management.
We did go ahead and virtualise our environment making a massive positive impact to our daily operations but it did of course bring a whole new set of challenges which I had not foreseen such as reskilling staff, VM sprawl, poorly planned VM’s popping up with little missing AV monitoring etc.
Increasing Data Challenges
One of the key challenges companies face today with the evolution of technology is data management. Whilst good data management is not a new requirement, several factors are combining to make it an increasing priority. Previously companies were less reliant on their data, there was a lot less of it and crucially it was most likely in one place and in a limited number of formats. Like in the virtulisation example hybrid-cloud has allowed significant benefits such as flexibility and choice but has also brought challenges including managing and protecting data across multiple locations and formats.
I am sure there is a definition somewhere of good data management but to me it is having the right data in the right place at the right time. You of course want this data to be highly available, portable and be able to do all this from one place where you can get a global view.
Rubrik offers a one stop shop with their cloud data platform which aims to deliver backup, instant recovery, replication, search, analytics, archival, compliance, and copy data management.
If we look at the release history of Rubrik in recent times we will start to see the picture forming of a complete ecosystem for data management, each release has allowed data to be pulled in from more sources to combat the complexity of data management in hybrid-cloud.
Rubrik Alta 4.0
- Oracle RMAN
- Microsoft Hyper-V
- Nutanix Acropolis
- Cloud Instantiation:
Rubrik Alta 4.1
- Azure CloudOn
- AWS GlacierCloudOut
- Google CloudOut
- AWS C2S (Defense Cloud)
- Hyper-V SCVMM
- Azure Stack Support
Rubrik Alta 4.2
- AWS Native Protection (EC2 Instances)
- VMware vCloud Director Integration
- Windows Full Volume Protection
- AIX & Solaris Support
4.2 A Deeper look
AWS Native Protection (EC2 Instances) – Snapshots used for protection in AWS have until now been a manual process driven via scripts. Rubrik leverages AWS API’s to orchestrate and manage snapshots. This is a key value proposition since it allows your AWS backups to be managed from a central console like the rest of your infrastructure, plus can be managed in an automated and policy driven fashion. Other neat features include the ability to restore into another region.
The screenshot below shows an example of policy driven backup, retention period and backup window for EC2 instances are being set.
VMware vCloud Director Integration – Rubrik extends support not only in the public cloud but private by offering VMware vCloud Director support. Rubrik allows policy based management of VM’s organised via vApp like the VM’s themselves in vCloud. Instant recovery, file restore and recovery of network settings are available functions.
Windows Full Volume Protection – Users can now protect entire volumes that sit on physical Windows servers. The crash consistent snapshots capture not only the data on the volume but also permissions and volume size information. Potential use cases for this feature include cloud to cloud migrations e.g. AWS to Azure, P2V and backup up RDM’s in physical mode.
AIX & Solaris Support – Rubrik continue their march to be the one data platform to rule them all by not only enhancing cloud and VM support but adding further operating systems to the supported list. AIX and Solaris are now supported offering the same feature set as other systems including policy based management,compliance reporting and cloud archive. As well as backup / restore this offers the opportunity for migrations via Rubrik.
Data management is going to become an increased focus in coming years driven by the perceived increase in value of data,the challenges of a distributed environment and data regulation laws. Rubrik looks well placed to ride this wave and I look forward to seeing how they develop and the product evolves.
Rubrik Cloud Data Management 4.2 Announced – “Purpose Built for the Hybrid Cloud”