Rubrik recently announced their GPS module for Polaris. The product name gives me shivers because it’s the name of a data centre I spent a lot of weekends in years ago. In any case, Polaris is a new platform being built in parallel with Rubrik’s core offering. Chris Wahl very kindly took us through what some of the platform capabilities are.
Polaris is the SaaS platform itself, and Rubrik are going to build modules for it (as well as allowing 3rd parties to contribute). So let’s not focus too much on Polaris, and more on those modules. The idea is to provide a unified control plane with a single point of control. According to Rubrik, there is a going to be significant focus on a Great User Experience ™.
“Rubrik Polaris is a consumable resource that you tap into, rather than a pile of infrastructure that you setup and manage”
I’m A Polaris
The first available module is “Rubrik Polaris GPS”. The idea is that you can:
- Command and control of all Rubrik CDM instances, globally;
- Monitor for compliance and leverage alerts to dig into trouble spots;
- Work with open and documented RESTful APIs with visibility into a global data footprint. Automate and orchestrate all of Rubrik from a single entry point.
The creation and enforcement of business SLA policies is based on flexible criteria: geography, installation, compliance needs, planned growth, data migrations, etc. You can start to apply various policies to data – some you might want to keep in a particular geographical zone, some you might need replicated, etc.
Another cool thing is that the APIs are open and documented, making third-party integration (or roll your own stuff) a real possibility.
From a security perspective, there’s no currently available on-premises version but that’s a possibility in the future (for dark sites). You also need to add clusters manually (i.e. securely) – clusters won’t just automatically join the platform. The idea is, according to Rubrik, to “show you enough data to make actionable decisions, but don’t show too much”. This seems like a solid approach.
Is my backup source data available to Polaris?
– No. The backup source data is available only to the respective Clusters. Polaris has access only to activities and reports on Clusters that have been granted access to Polaris.
Is Polaris a separate CDM version?
– No. Polaris is a SaaS service.
What is the maximum number of Clusters that can be managed by Polaris?
– There is no hard limit to the number of Clusters that can be managed by Polaris.
How secure is Polaris GPS?
– Polaris uses multiple levels of security to protect customer data and service: authentication, secure connection, data security, data isolation, data residency, etc.
So what problem are they trying to solve? Well, what if you wanted to apply global protection policies to multiple appliances? GPS could be leveraged here. This first module isn’t going to be very useful for folks who are running a single deployment of Briks, but it’s going to be very interesting for folks who’ve got a large deployment that may or may not be geographically dispersed. The GPS module is going to be very handy, and shows the potential of the platform. I’m keen to see what else they come up with to leverage the offering. I’m also interested to see whether there’s much uptake from third-parties. These extensible platforms always seem like a great idea, but I often see limited support from third-parties with the vendor doing the bulk of the heavy lifting. That said, I’m more than happy to see that Rubrik have taken this open approach with the API, as it does allow for some potentially interesting integrations to happen.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the secondary storage market, you’ll see that the companies offering solutions are well beyond simply delivering data protection storage with backup and recovery capabilities. There’s a whole lot more that can be done with this data, and Rubrik are focused on delivering more out of the platform than just basic copy data management. The idea of Polaris delivering a consolidated, SaaS-based view of infrastructure is likely the first step in a bigger play for them. I think this is a good way to get people using their infrastructure differently, and I like that these companies are working to make things simpler to use in order to deliver value back to the business. Read more about Polaris GPS here.