Tag: Rubrik

Four years ago today, an amazing company was born at the hands of four incredible co-founders who still lead our rocketship today. I am pleased and honored to have worked with this incredible team for 34 of its 48 months, beginning as a customer on the day of its emergence from stealth, March 24, 2015, and transitioning to a team member ten months later in January of 2016.

The nostalgia is manifest in so many ways…

  • Going into production with 0.4 code (it was already revolutionary pre-1.0/GA)
  • Working with Engineering directly because “Rubrik Support” was yet to exist (now it spans the globe and is a deal-maker for many customers)
  • Remembering my original account team is now the VP of Sales for North America and Global Field CTO
  • Dipping my own toe in the cloud for the first time in 2015 thanks to Rubrik (archiving to AWS S3)
  • And now watching the past two years fly by as the company has grown from less than 100 to now more than 800…
  • Oh, and let’s not forget some of the most amazing customers & their IT/cloud/automation teams!

Looking forward, the vision and plans for 2018 alone make me want to re-join the customer side just so I can deploy and use the capabilities we already and soon will have. Seeing the data stream in, replicate out, and instantly mount never gets old.

Happy birthday, Rubrik. Here’s to a cloud-bursting year ahead!

Technology

It’s snowing here on New Year’s Eve 2017 as I sit here in Northern Virginia, reflecting on the multitude of things that crammed themselves into the past 364 days. Turning the lens to Rubrik, I thought about all the features, enhancements and team members we added this year, and I wanted to take a moment to highlight my favorites. I think they’re pretty spectacular, while also being merely a few peaks that crested this year’s clouds.

#1: Cloud Cluster for AWS and Azure (BrikOS 3.2)

Rubrik Cloud Cluster was the culmination of a dream. It is the feature that truly transformed vision into reality. Rubrik’s tagline is “Cloud Data Management”, but to me, it felt shallow…nominal when that was limited to cloud archive (“CloudOut”) for long-term retention. Cloud Cluster changed everything.

It brought the same beautiful software stack to a highly flexible cloud platform (two, in fact: AWS and Azure), made protection of cloud-native applications possible, cloud mobility real, and terrestrial-free ascendance tangible.

Like the AWS and Azure clouds in which it runs, Rubrik Cloud Cluster is a subscription-based model with a low entry threshold, granular scale-out expansion (1TB at a time), and lean resource design. Contrary to industry collateral, “cloud” isn’t free, so the architecture choices we make should be conservative in their approach. We can’t afford to just lift-and-shift our resource demands and expect customers to pay the price for that laziness. That’s just one of the reasons I like Rubrik Cloud Cluster.

#2: The Ranger Team (January ’17)

2017 was an year of immense growth across all teams in Rubrik, but one team in particular was born near the beginning. The Rangers. At least one New Hire Bootcamp misunderstood the name to mean Park Rangers which brought more than a few laughs and groans on our part (especially in light of the mountains, river, and font, Smokey the Bear-style, in the PowerPoint slide). The true alignment and tribute is to the Army Rangers.

The Ranger team members are the blasting caps to the dynamite of Rubrik’s API-first architecture. They unlock the incredible potential of a platform entirely exposed via RESTful APIs.

Customers and partners are all over the spectrum on their DevOps journeys, but most have initiatives at some level of the organization to eliminate repetitive processes, introduce self-service capabilities, and enable cloud mobility. Rangers leverage languages like Python, Ruby, and PowerShell* to streamline workflows, aggregate analytics, and tie Rubrik into other ecosystem products.

Here are just a few examples of Ranger projects in 2017:

(*with some internal debate as to whether this is actually a language… :)

Technology

Two weeks ago I transitioned from a “Field Engineer” role at Rubrik to that of a “Sales Engineer” (sometimes called “Systems Engineer”). I had been double-dipping in the positions for a while, but finally made the cut once we hired two dedicated sales professionals here in the Dallas area. It’s been pleasantly delightful devoting my time now to this sales-centric realm, for two reasons.

Technology

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted content of significant substance, but it isn’t for lack of experiences. At a week out from 6 months on the vendor side and start-up life, in particular, I’ve discovered that there’s much more behind the veil than the email correspondence and meetings I saw from the customer side.

Before I started at Rubrik, I naively thought to myself, “How will a bunch of emails and customer meetings & installs fill up 40 hours each week?” Ha! Those are the easy parts, the toppings of a cake that requires a flurry of internal baking and development of all sorts.

rubrikPart of what I enjoyed as a customer was being able to influence products and hopefully encourage them to deepen in value and utility. Since customers are “unbiased” and control the revenue flow of vendors, their voice tends to carry farther than industry, competition or internals. I joined Rubrik because I believed in and had proven out the product, and I truly hoped I wouldn’t lose my impact by taking a paycheck.

Six months in, I think a few of my colleagues might secretly wish I was back on the “outside”, at a distance with my customer voice again :). We have a very open communication culture at Rubrik and I’ve had fun poking my fingers in a lot of pies, speaking into more areas of the product than I knew existed pre-January, and doing everything I can to fan the fire of excellence that first drew me in.

sw_logo198x67Every couple weeks I get an opportunity to put on my User Experience (UX) hat that I first wore as a SolarWinds customer, which is great. Everything makes sense to creators, but a second, third, and fourth set of eyes help reveal assumed mental leaps that result in customer frustration if not caught. This is a big indication to me of a quality company–humble invitations of customer (and staff) input to tell them what is and isn’t intuitive in a planned (or existing) design. It’s why I keep mentioning SolarWinds–Kellie Meachem and team model it to a ‘T’.

Personal Technology

As Pure//Accelerate approaches, one of my favorite aspects of winning solutions comes to mind. It’s a virtue that transforms products into MVPs, rather than the drama generators so common on the court and in the field. What is it?

Simplicity

Businesses have enough knobs and pain points with tier-1 Oracle/SAP deployments and SQL, SharePoint and Exchange farms. The last thing they need is for storage and data protection to jump on the pile. That’s why enterprises need Pure Storage and Rubrik.

From the ground up, Pure and Rubrik have simplicity in their DNA. If you have a FlashArray on the floor, then you already know the freedom and ease it brings to storage infrastructure. Gone are the days of tweaking with RAID sets or tuning LUNs to squeeze out a few performance points. With a few cables and a vSphere plugin, Pure serves up datastores and gets out of the way.

Rubrik brings the same unobtrusive value to data protection and is the perfect pairing to Pure. From rack & go to policy-driven automation to instant recovery, Rubrik drives straight to the point and with beautiful simplicity.

Rack & Go

The first thing that stands out with Rubrik is its lean footprint–it doesn’t eat up precious data center space. When we deployed Rubrik at ExponentHR, we shrunk our backup layout from 14RU at each data center to just 4RU, with an even greater reduction in power consumption and cabling complexity.

With the previous product, the physical installation wasn’t easy, but it paled in comparison to the configuration and learning curve challenges. In contrast, the entire Rubrik deployment took 90 minutes to install and configure at both sites, including drive time. Starting the engine was as easy as a set of vCenter credentials.

Storage Technology Virtualization

After nearly 10 years of pushing the bleeding edge of infrastructure at ExponentHR, I am turning a new page in the career playbook. On January 18th, I begin my new journey through the vendor landscape as a Field Engineer at Rubrik.

ExponentHR_logo_paddedrubrikIt’s a bittersweet change, as I transition from a decade of great memories and an amazing team at Exponent. Misha Vyazmensky, CTO, manager, and friend, led our group through an incredible era of technological changes, always open to new ideas and ready to push the limits of “why not?” Over the years, we explored so many products and ideas “for sports interest,” and through his leadership, created the sleek platform that runs ExponentHR today.

Personal Technology

Rubrik makes instant recovery easy everywhere. As I wrote four months ago, it only takes a few clicks to bring a previous version of any protected VM into production. In 2.0, the great folks at Rubrik enhanced this capability with replication.

Replication is a word that means many things to many people and could quickly get abused in comparisons. In our previous data protection solution, replication of backups was limited to scheduled jobs and practically meant our off-site backups were anywhere from 3 hours (best case) to 48 hours (worst case) old, with no guarantees.

Rubrik takes a refreshingly different tactic. In its policy-based world, backups are driven by SLAs (gold, silver, bronze, etc), which are defined by frequency and retention of snapshots. Replication is married to these policies and is triggered upon the completion of VM backups.

For example, this morning one of our mission-critical SQL servers in our Gold Repl SLA domain started a backup job at 6:35am and completed that job one minute later at 6:36am. Gold Repl takes snapshots every 4 hours, keeps those hourlies for 3 days, and then keeps dailies for a month. As the “Repl” denotes, it also replicates and retains 3 days of those backups at another site. Oh, and as the cherry on top, it additionally archives the oldest backups to Amazon S3. Pretty comprehensive, eh?

repl_source_snap

Storage Technology Virtualization

Earlier today I was beating my head, trying to get Java Runtime Environment working with both Cisco ASDM and EMC XtremIO. The ASDM was working great, but every time I’d try to launch XtremIO’s client (XMS), Java wouldn’t run it. So I tweaked it. And broke Java.

My wise colleague had suggested a vSphere snapshot before I changed too much, so I rolled back to it. I’d already jacked Java too much and it was broken then, too.

Next up: Rubrik!

rubrik_ir_snap

Technology Virtualization

With Virtualization Field Day 5 (VFD5) coming up this week, it seems appropriate timing for an update on Rubrik in action. For a refresh on what Rubrik is, check out Mike Preston’s #VFD5 Preview – Rubrik. I’ll be using some of what he shared as launching points for elaboration and on-the-ground validation.

Share Nothing – Do Everything

rubrik_systemI believe that this is both the most important and likely the most overlooked characteristic of Rubrik and its architecture. It is crucial because it defines how users manage the solution, build redundancy in and around it, and assess performance needs. I also believe it is overlooked because it is like the foundation of a great building–most of it is under the surface and behind the scenes, enabling prominent edifices like Time Machine-like simplicity.

One way that I can describe it is “multi-master management and operations”, though it falls short because Rubrik has no slaves. Every node is the master. Some data protection solutions have redundant storage nodes which all depend on a single control node. If issues arise with control, the plethora of storage behind it is helpless except to sit and maintain integrity. With Rubrik, all nodes have command authority to manage, support, and execute across the infrastructure.

Storage Technology Virtualization

On March 24th, Duncan Epping posted a new blog entitled “Startup intro: Rubrik. Backup and recovery redefined” and subsequently tweeted said post. On that same day in another part of the world (my office), we had paperwork in hand, waiting to be inked, to refresh aging EMC Avamar Gen4 nodes with an Avamar/DataDomain combo. We had looked at several other options from HP, Dell, and Veeam, but it was all just more of the same with a minor pro or con, but nothing worth writing about (including Avamar/DD). No one had really advanced what VCB (VMware Consolidated Backup) brought to the market in 2007.

rubrik_logo

Then I saw Duncan’s tweet, and I thought to myself, “Hey! This sounds like what we were trying to get when we bought Avamar in 2011!” So I hopped over to rubrik.com, which pretty much consisted of the Aurora Borealis and a button to click for “Early Access”–simplicity from the start! :) The next day, Mike and the guys at Rubrik walked through a demo that confirmed the revolutionary impression I’d started to gather from Duncan. Sign me up!

rubrik_calendarOn April 29th, it hit the floor in two data centers with Eric and Ray shepherding the process (we’re talking beta here, so it’s only prudent to have some authorities on hand to ensure success). Lunch and driving the 15 minutes between sites took the longest part of the install. Seriously. The installs were complete and protecting VMs before the clock struck noon.

Storage Technology Virtualization