I recently had the opportunity to hear from Chris Wahl about Rubrik CDM 5.0 (codename Andes) and thought it worthwhile covering here.
- Instant recovery for Oracle databases;
- NAS Direct Archive to protect massive unstructured data sets;
- Microsoft Office 365 support via Polaris SaaS Platform;
- SAP-certified protection for SAP HANA;
- Policy-driven protection for Epic EHR; and
- Rubrik works with Rubrik Datos IO to protect NoSQL databases.
New Features and Enhancements
As you can see from the list above, there’s a bunch of new features and enhancements. I’ll try and break down a few of these in the section below.
Rubrik have had some level of capability with Oracle protection for a little while now, but things are starting to hot up with 5.0.
- Simplified configuration (Oracle Auto Protection and Live Mount, Oracle Granular SLA Policy Assignments, and Oracle Automated Instance and Database Discovery)
- Orchestration of operational and PiT recoveries
- Increased control for DBAs
NAS Direct Archive
People have lots of data now. Like, a real lot. I don’t know how many Libraries of Congress exactly, but it can be a lot. Previously, you’d have to buy a bunch of Briks to store this data. Rubrik have recognised that this can be a bit of a problem in terms of footprint. With NAS Direct Archive, you can send the data to an “archive” target of your choice. So now you can protect a big chunk of data that goes through the Rubrik environment to end target such as object storage, public cloud, or NFS. The idea is to reduce the amount of Rubrik devices you need to buy. Which seems a bit weird, but their customers will be pretty happy to spend their money elsewhere.
[image courtesy of Rubrik]
It’s simple to get going, requiring a tick of a box to be configured. The metadata remains protected with the Rubrik cluster, and the good news is that nothing changes from the end user recovery experience.
Elastic App Service (EAS)
Rubrik now provides the ability to ingest DBs across a wider spectrum, allowing you to protect more of the DB-based applications you want, not just SQL and Oracle workloads.
SAP HANA Protection
I’m not really into SAP HANA, but plenty of organisations are. Rubrik now offer a SAP Certified Solution which, if you’ve had the misfortune of trying to protect SAP workloads before, is kind of a neat feature.
[image courtesy of Rubrik]
SQL Server Enhancements
There have been some nice enhancements with SQL Server protection, including:
- A Change Block Tracking (CBT) filter driver to decrease backup windows; and
- Support for group Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) snapshots.
So what about Group Backups? The nice thing about these is that you can protect many databases on the same SQL Server. Rather than process each VSS Snapshot individually, Rubrik will group the databases that belong to the same SLA Domain and process the snapshots as a batch group. There are a few benefits to this approach:
- It reduces SQL Server overhead, as well as decreases the amount of time a backup requires to be completed; and
- In turn, allowing customers to take more frequent backups of their databases delivering a lower RPO to the business.
Rubrik have done vSphere things since forever, and this release includes a few nice enhancements, including:
- Live Mount VMDKs from a Snapshot – providing the option to choose to mount specific VMDKs instead of an entire VM; and
- After selecting the VMDKs, the user can select a specific compatible VM to attach the mounted VMDKs.
The Rubrik Andes 5.0 integration with RSA SecurID will include RSA Authentication Manager 8.2 SP1+ and RSA SecurID Cloud Authentication Service. Note that CDM will not be supporting the older RADIUS protocol. Enabling this is a two-step process:
- Add the RSA Authentication Manager or RSA Cloud Authentication Service in the Rubrik Dashboard; and
- Enable RSA and associate a new or existing local Rubrik user or a new or existing LDAP server with the RSA Authentication Manager or RSA Cloud Authentication Service.
You also get the ability to generate API tokens. Note that if you want to interact with the Rubrik CDM CLI (and have MFA enabled) you’ll need these.
Other Bits and Bobs
There are a few other enhancements included, including:
- Windows Bare Metal Recovery;
- SLA Policy Advanced Configuration;
- Additional Reporting and Metrics; and
- Snapshot Retention Enhancements.
Thoughts and Further Reading
Wahl introduced the 5.0 briefing by talking about digital transformation as being, at its core, an automation play. The availability of a bunch of SaaS services can lead to fragmentation in your environment, and legacy technology doesn’t deal with with makes transformation. Rubrik are positioning themselves as a modern company, well-placed to help you with the challenges of protecting what can quickly become a complex and hard to contain infrastructure. It’s easy to sit back and tell people how transformation can change their business for the better, but these kinds of conversations often eschew the high levels of technical debt in the enterprise that the business is doing its best to ignore. I don’t really think that transformation is as simple as some vendors would have us believe, but I do support the idea that Rubrik are working hard to make complex concepts and tasks as simple as possible. They’ve dropped a shedload of features and enhancements in this release, and have managed to do so in a way that you won’t need to install a bunch of new applications to support these features, and you won’t need to do a lot to get up and running either. For me, this is the key advantage that the “next generation” data protection companies have over their more mature competitors. If you haven’t been around for decades, you very likely don’t offer support for every platform and application under the sun. You also likely don’t have customers that have been with you for 20 years that you need to support regardless of the official support status of their applications. This gives the likes of Rubrik the flexibility to deliver features as and when customers require them, while still focussing on keeping the user experience simple.
I particularly like the NAS Direct Archive feature, as it shows that Rubrik aren’t simply in this to push a bunch of tin onto their customers. A big part of transformation is about doing things smarter, not just faster. the folks at Rubrik understand that there are other solutions out there that can deliver large capacity solutions for protecting big chunks of data (i.e. NAS workloads), so they’ve focussed on leveraging other capabilities, rather than trying to force their customers to fill their data centres with Rubrik gear. This is the kind of thinking that potential customers should find comforting. I think it’s also the kind of approach that a few other vendors would do well to adopt.
Here’re some links to other articles on Andes from other folks I read that you may find useful: