Rubrik Announces Cloud Data Management 4.0 – Expands Ecosystem Support

Rubrik recently announced version 4.0 (“Alta”) of their CDM platform (the 9th release overall). I’ve covered some of their previous releases here and here, and you can read my very brief overview of the technology here. Rubrik expects this release to be generally available (GA) 30-60 days post announcement (after a “directed availability” period). I had the good fortune to sit in on a briefing prior to the announcement, and thought I’d share some of the highlights here.



Rubrik have been working hard to expand their ecosystem support, including:

  • Oracle;
  • Hyper-V;
  • Nutanix AHV; and
  • Cloud Instantiation.


Oracle Support

In this release, the Rubrik Cluster is a NAS Target for Oracle RMAN using an agent-less approach. RMAN manages backup and restore activities for the DB and Redo logs. There’s also support for Incremental Merge (an advanced RMAN feature providing the ability to take an initial full backup, subsequent incremental backups, and then on a rolling basis update the full backup with a previously taken incremental).

There’s also multi-channel support and ingest to flash for fast backup.


Hyper-V Support

Hyper-V? It’s “[t]oo big to ignore”, according to Rubrik. Hyper-V 2016 is where you’ll find all the good stuff in terms of support.

For Hyper-V 2016

For Hyper-V versions < 2016


Native API (WMI) based support

Connectors based support

Auto Protect



Failover Cluster Support



Agentless backups



Incremental Forever



Live Mount



Instant Recovery







Nutanix AHV Support


You get the good stuff like automated protection and restore workflow, including:

  • Support for policy driven protection and retention operations;
  • VM-granular backup and restore;
  • Auto-protection of newly discovered VMs;
  • The ability to export and recover VMs; and
  • File browse and download

You can also securely replicate or archive to other sites, and you get access to Rubrik’s “Core Capabilities” (global search, erasure coding, reporting, and more). You can also scale as you need. Note, however, that file-level restore and live mount is not currently supported.


So how do you do a backup?

  1. Create a snapshot on Nutanix. Identify the changed regions between the newly created snapshot and the base snapshot;
  2. Rubrik authenticates with the volume group;
  3. Data is ingested; and
  4. A cleanup of the volume group and base snapshot is run. The snapshot created in step 1 becomes the new base.

To restore?

  1. Create an empty temporary volume group;
  2. Copy data from Rubrik to empty the disks in the volume group;
  3. Create an export VM with disks cloned from the volume disks;
  4. Power on the VM; and
  5. Cleanup the temporary volume group.


Cloud Instantiation

What is that?

  • You can power-on a snapshot of a VM in the cloud (specifically AWS);
  • The instance type recommendation is based on the VM configuration file;
  • You get 2-click deployment and end-to-end orchestration; and
  • UI integration to launch, power off or de-provision an instance.

Why would you?

  • You might want to spin up a cloud “sandbox” for dev / test;
  • You can spin up machines as needed (at potentially lower cost);
  • Refresh machines with the latest copy of production data;
  • You could use this as a form of disaster recovery; or
  • As a means to perform a migration of an on-premises VM to the cloud.


  1. Create a VMDK (from snapshots in S3 using Rubrik-in-Cloud or on-premises)
  2. Upload to S3
  3. Create an AMI (using AWS APIs)
  4. Launch the EC2 instance from AMI

[image courtesy of Rubrik]

Note that there is no requirement to have a Rubrik Cloud Cluster running in the target Amazon region.


New Core Features

SQL Live Mount


  • Power on read/write clones instantaneously;
  • Provision a clone to any desired Point in Time;
  • Mount the same database across multiple hosts (e.g. dev/test machines);
  • RestAPIs allow the automation of workflows;
  • Self service capability using RBAC.


  • Ad hoc Restores – you might want to perform granular restores without restoring entire database (e.g. restore table of large database by copying from Live Mounted database);
  • Database backup health checks; or
  • Dev/Test workloads: Spin up copies of your production database (carefully obfuscating identifying data, no doubt).


Archive to, erm, Tape

Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who want / need /can’t let go of tape as a backup option. Rubrik have recognised this, and have partnered with QStar to deliver tape out functionality. QStar exposes the tape library as NFS/SMB shares. Note that Rubrik cannot speak directly to tape libraries. There are a number of reasons why they’ve (sensibly) decided to let QStar do the heavy lifting in this scenario:

  • Each tape vendor has their own proprietary interface;
  • QStar presents a common interface irrespective of the tape vendor; and
  • QStar supports the industry standard LTFS format.


Other Neat Stuff

NFS Archive Encryption

  • Provides both in-flight and at-rest encryption
  • AES256-bit encryption at-rest


Custom TLS Certificate

You can now provide a custom TLS Certificate signed by a trusted CA (hooray!). It’s a fairly simple process too.

  1. Generate the Certificate Signing Request (CSR);
  2. Get the CSR signed by a trusted CA; and
  3. Provide the signed certificate in the Rubrik UI.

No more browser alerts, and your security team will sleep better at night too.



It may be surprising that Rubrik have taken this long to introduce Oracle support, given the Oracle heritage within the company but the simple answer is that customers have been asking for SQL support as a focus. I think that Rubrik are on the money with their position that Hyper-V is “too big to ignore”, and the added support for Nutanix AVH is also a really smart move. Whilst anecdotally it seems the majority of Nutanix customers are still leveraging vSphere, Nutanix are keenly pushing Acropolis as their flagship offering. While the tape-out option may leave some scratching their heads, I think there’s still an appetite in the marketplace for this kind of technology. Bear in mind that regulators are oftentimes not at the cutting edge of data protection tech either. So while you mightn’t see the need, some auditor in the finance sector absolutely does.

The fun thing about watching startups evolve is that you get to see them grow in terms of technology capability and market presence. Rubrik have introduced some neat features and broadened their ecosystem support in this release. They’ve also hired some very smart people (in addition to the smart ones they had working their already) and they seem responsive to the needs of their customers. It will be interesting to watch this evolution in terms of technology and company, and I’m wondering how they will cope with the constant demands of the marketplace to support and protect every damn combination of technology you can imagine without losing their ability to execute on their core capabilities. Time will tell but I have high hopes that Rubrik is on the right track with what they’ve delivered to date.