Rubrik: Change in the Backup world
Apr21

Rubrik: Change in the Backup world

Schermafbeelding 2015-04-18 om 12.18.50

Last week I had a great conversation with Bipul Sinha, Mike Tornincasa and Julia Lee about their new adventure: Rubrik. The conversation focussed on the new technology that Rubrik brings in an old fashioned site of the IT infrastructure, the backup (and recovery) site.

As not all of you might know, Bipul is a very well known gentleman in the startup world. In his former/present life (sorry, I meant career) he was a well known VC with a lot of great companies he helped to set up. Companies like Nutanix, PernixData and others are started in the last couple of years and really changed the IT landscape. This looks like a strange move, going from VC to CEO of a Startup in a segment that’s not that well known for it’s capability to change…

But as with most of the startups, changing perspective and making sure a customer gets, what a customer needs, is not easy and in need of a person like Bipul to guide one in the right direction. Providing a game changing solution that will help the business move to a better performing, easy to scale and easy to manage environment is key here. Companies are challenged with so many changes these days and so many marketing shit like Software Defined everything, cloud, webscale IT and so on, while struggling maintaining their environments, most of them just want a way to make things better. Bipul and his team have seen (and provided) the change needed for better scale, easier management and moving to the next level of infrastructure.

Making sure your data is save, whereever it resides, is a important to every company. And most backup vendors have some kind of backup tool, but most of the time it is a solution for one silo in the backup environment. Focussed on virtualization, some on tape, some on cloud, and so on. But it always seems to be one of these and they always seem to need resources (CPU/Mem/Storage) from your excisting environment to backup your environment. Off course, there are backup solutions that brings their own hardware, but it’s always for a certain use case, and to make sure your data is save in the changing IT world of today requires something new.

An administrator is a human (really ;P) just like you. And as a human being they like simplicity and efficiency just like us. When the first mobile phones came to market, most people were amazed by the possibilities that came with this. When the Iphone came and changed the way mobile apps were being used, making it that easy to install and use the applications, people were even more amazed. Now almost a decade later we’re all used to that kind of simplicity. Even the most sceptic people are slowly moving towards Ipad’s, Microsoft Surface or other tablets because of their ease of use. An administrator wants the same thing. Spin it up, and making sure he’ll only needs to add more capacity (that’s with performance included) if the system tells him so. He wants to concentrate on giving the user the experience they want, and not firefighting the environment all day long just to start over again the next day.

bilde

In IT things are going quick. 10 years ago you probably had a mobile for one (maybe two) reasons. Reaching out to other people, by call or text, and using it as an agenda. That was it, for most of us. Fast forward ten years and were using our phones in a complete other way. Calling is almost gone, and if we do call we like to use things like Skype because it’s free… But these days we use our phones for surfing the web, social media, watching television/movies, watching the weather forecast and so on. Things change fast, not only with your phone but even more in the datacenters around the world.

10 years ago your average datacenter would look something like this:

Datacenters

Server hardware for compute (and some local storage) and a SAN or NAS for your shared storage, making a couple of racks for typical datacenter not uncommon.

Fast forward again 10 years, and a lot of companies are building their datacenter like this:

Server room

Converged, Hyperconverged, WebscaleIT, give it a name, but what companies are looking for is high performance, easy to scale and simplistic infrastructure. Making this change is not going to happen over a year, more like a decade. But with companies like Nutanix, Simplicity and big companies like VMware (EVO) things will change quicker. The common use cases for Hyperconverged (VDI/Test/DEV) are relatively easy to convince where the strength of hyperconverged is, and now that hyperconverged has proven his reliability for a couple of years, more and more companies move their production workloads to hyperconverged too.

With Hyperconverged and cloud the way to backup is changing too. Traditional backup vendors are able to provide you with some solutions in this change of compute usage, but that’s not always the case. That’s where Rubrik comes in.

If Apple is the company that made the mobile world change, Rubrik will probably do the the same for the backup market. And although the two are completely different the first (Apple) can not operate without the second (Rubrik). What would you think if a something goes wrong at apple and they just tell you, all pictures you moved (saved) to iCloud are gone and we can’t retrieve them because we don’t have a backup? Hell breaks loose on earth, Apple will be gone in a couple of days, and people will look for solutions where their data is save. As said the first can not live without the other. Which backup Apple uses is not relevant, replication is great, but if a virus would affect data, it might just impact all systems, not only the data in the primary datacenter (if that would be what Apple uses ;P). No data needs to backup.

But with traditional backup, a lot calculation comes into account to make sure resources aren’t over utilized. Because a lot of the traditional backup solutions use those resources during the quiet hours within a company, this might be no problem. But a lot of companies are using their infrastructure 24/7 these days. With the Internet of Things closing your company during night time is killing. Reaching people across the globe is easy, and most companies are trying to do this or are moving to this. And so it’s getting more important to be able to make sure your environment won’t stall during backup hours, as well as making sure you’ll have your backup to fall back to in case of an emergency.

Rubrik will change the way we are thinking of backup. The software will be intuitive, easy to use and to the point, like IOS, Android and Windows Phone. But Rubrik will be based on commodity hardware, which will leverage Flash to meet the performance needs of these days. Making this change in backup with software and hardware is something I really look forward to. There is so much more to say about Rubrik, but it will just have to wait a bit, as I’m sure I’ll write about them more often. But I just wanted to give you a feel of what I thought of when I first had contact with this company. In the next posts I’ll dive into their technology more and figure try to figure out what’s really under the hood, in hardware as well as in software.

I’m not the first to have been writing about Rubrik, and I recommend you to read the following post too:

Chris Mellor:

Stealthy upstart Rubrik: We’ll make enterprise data “beautiful”

Duncan Epping:

Startup intro: Rubrik. Backup and Recovery redefined

Cormac Hogan:

A quick introduction to Rubrik

And don’t forget to visit Rubriks own website HERE

Read More