Rubrik is like Apple Time Machine, but for the datacenter


timemachine-iconOne of the best features of Mac OS X is Time Machine. Isn’t it? Well, it is for me at least.

Time machine is the simplest possible backup tool and it is totally transparent. You just set it up (by choosing a backup location) and that’s it. It starts in the background, it backups your data continuously and, when you need to retrieve something, you have a finder-like interface that grabs what you want. Rubrik does the same, but it does it for your Vmware infrastructure.

Transparent backup

The spirit of the company is very user-friendly; seamless, fast and simplicity are the priorities.

First of all, we are talking about a scale-out appliance, and installation takes a few minutes (including hardware). Once it’s up and running the only real operation you have to do is to point it towards a Vcenter. Done!
Screenshot 2016-01-07 15.39.02It finds all the VMs and, If I recall well, a very-first backup policy is already in place.
Minimum hardware is one 2 rack unit “brick” (3/4 nodes), which means that this solution is not the right choice if you have only few VMs. In fact, we are talking about nearly 100TB raw before data protection and data foot print reduction.

Now the real magic begins! For example, the product doesn’t have the concept of backup jobs. You define a policy (SLA Domain in Rubrik’s nomenclature) and any VM that fits in that policy will be backed up with that rule! You won’t miss a single backup even if you try!

And simplicity doesn’t mean lack of options. On the contrary, the product is really focused on enterprise and it already has remote replication, cloud tiering/archiving and many other fancy features you expect in an enterprise backup software. Well, not quite everything, we are still talking about a very young company/product… but the roadmap is impressive. (more on this later).

Powerful restore

Screenshot 2016-01-07 15.39.55The only reason you do backups is to restore data when you need it. And this is where Rubrik really excels. It’s like Time Machine, and if you can picture Time Machine, you have a clear idea of how easy it is to find and restore data.
The search capability is really powerful too (within file systems and VMs) and, once you have found what you need, data transfers are very rapid too.

You should watch a demo to realize just how easy and powerful it really is.

Waiting for more

The real limit of Rubrik today is the list of supported environments… only Vmware!
But it’s is going to change soon. Next versions of the product will support more operating systems and Applications (like Oracle DB for example)… with the promise of keeping ease of use in tact while maintaining the same features.

Closing the circle

TECHunplugged-image-AUSI met Rubrik last December for the ITPT and I also published a podcast recorded with Chris Wahl (Tech evangelist) about the product and its architecture. I was really impressed by the company in many aspects (smart people, humble and with a great vision). I also think they have more to say than what is shown today… but this is material for another story. 😉

The product is still at the beginning and I’ve only mentioned the cool stuff here… but if you want to know more about it, there are some interesting options. Rubrik will be at the next Tech Field Day in Austin, just after the TECH unplugged conference being held on the 2nd of February in the same city. You can attend TECH unplugged, Rubrik is not sponsoring but there will be a reception after the conference with our TFD friends and they’ll be there for sure… just another reason to join TECHunplugged and have the chance to talk about the future of IT with a lot of interesting people.

Independent Analyst, trusted advisor and Blogger (not necessarily in that order. Having been immersed into IT environments for over 20 years, Enrico's career began with Assembler in the second half of the 80's before moving on to UNIX platforms (but always with the Mac at heart) until now when he joined the "Cloudland". He is constantly keeping an eye on how the market evolves for new ideas and continuously looking for new ideas and innovative solutions. He's a fond sailor and unsuccessful fisherman. You can find Enrico's social profiles here: