Rubrik 4.1 what’s new?

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On the 28th of September Rubrik announced their latest version of code named 4.1, this follows 4.0 named Alta release earlier in the summer.

If you have never heard of Rubrik before then head over to this link

It staggers me to see a company developing at such a rapid pace, 10 releases in 2 years and the releases are packed full of major features. For example the notable features in this release are:

  • Azure Cloud On
  • Azure stack support
  • AWS Glacier Out
  • Google Cloud Out
  • AWS C2S defense cloud
  • Hyper-V SCVMM
  • Multi-tenancy
  • SQL server AAOG support
  • VLAN tagging
  • Core improvements / enhancements

To give you an idea of the development rate only at  the end of June 2017 did they release Alta with the following features:

  • Hyper-V support
  • Nutanix Acropolis support
  • SQL server live mount – check this out!
  • Oracle RMAN support
  • Cloud On for AWS
  • Archive to tape
  • NFS archival encryption
  • Cloud out for Azure

These are big steps in development and hitting what customers frequently request / talk about, lets look at some of the 4.1 features in some detail to give you an idea of how they work:

Azure Cloud On microsoft-azure-

Cloud On is Rubrik speak for taking a virtual machine from your on premise and spinning this up in the cloud of your choice of which you now have 2 choices of AWS & Azure.

Andrew Miller does a great walk through of this at tech field day

So from 3.2 in Rubrik you have been able to leverage archive to cloud allowing you to age out snapshots after a certain time, cloud on is allowing you to essentially convert a VMware vSphere snapshot to a VHD in Azure which can then be used to power on a virtual machine in Azure, this is done automatically for you and also gives you the ability to select the network (VNET and Subnet), NSG, and size of the VM to be created.

So from a snapshot Rubrik can spin up an Azure virtual machine and you can use this for test & dev, Disaster Recovery, migrations, regression tests etc. The fact it is doing this automatically gives you a lot of choice to not only consume storage in the cloud but also use this to do some real world workload.

Azure Stack

azurestack

Okay I am sticking with the Microsoft stuff first! Azure Stack is doing a lot of which Stratosphere is doing for AWS, essentially bringing the benefits of a public cloud to your private cloud on premise so that you can consume this just like you would Azure itself. I was once speaking with a customer who said “I have 20,000 virtual machines therefore I have 20,000 problems at least” the whole reason this customer wanted to go to cloud was the automation and scale.

So how does Rubrik support this given the fact that Microsoft has locked down the hypervisor, doesn’t support incremental snapshots or allow any agents on underlying servers? (All by the way Microsoft is bringing support of in future releases, remember Azure stack is very new).

For 4.1 Rubrik will be bringing support of file-set backups of Windows and Linux machines through RBS, and SQL backup/recovery using the same method. Now with Rubrik bringing out support of Azure stack so quickly shows the level of intention, this is a first release expect it to get better as Microsoft work with Rubrik.

Google Cloud for Archive 

Google_Cloud_Platform_Logo

Google cloud is a new technology for me, but I can see the thought train here with Rubrik wanting to give customers the choice of the big 3 cloud providers, in fact I have worked with a very large global org who stated that exact same point. They will consume all 3 for what best suits their needs at that time. So the cloud out functionality allows you to archive your data from the Rubrik on premise to Google cloud for a low cost effective way to replace aging data out to tape.

Multi-Tenancy 

With Rubrik now being used in large environments and in a large number of MSP’s. Multi-tenancy simply allows an MSP to logically divide the Rubrik clusters in to multiple management units with an independent management of logical objects such as SLA domains, Archival targets, protected objects, users etc.

Rubrik has always had RBAC and AD integration but this allows further granularity and is following a true multi-tenancy path. Good news!

AWS Glacier for Archive

amazon-glacier-logo

Since version 3.2 Rubrik has given users the ability to archive to S3 storage in AWS which obviously brings a lot of benefits over archiving to tapes. Glacier is a lower / cheaper tier of storage in AWS which is 5 X cheaper than S3. Its use case is very low access, extremely cold data you do not need to retrieve, maybe just need to store for compliance / audit reasons. If that is the case, you can also apply “Vault Lock” which allows you to apply a WORM capability on the archived data but never delete this so you will always be in compliance (reminds me of the old Centerra fingerprint days!). So now in Rubrik under archival locations you can move data directly to Glacier to further reduce costs, this will be a big win for data over a certain age as it can drastically drive down cost.

SQL server always on availability group support 

Note: If you have not seen Rubrik do a SQL live mount to recover a DB directly to a SQL server and SQL instance regardless of size in a matter of around 30 seconds Go LOOK now as its very cool, here is a link to this: Tech Filed Day SQL Live Mount

Since version 3.0 of Rubrik features have been coming along nicely for SQL AOAG was always supported but with limited features in 4.1 you can expect the following:

  • Automatic SQL detection
    • Collects info of SQL server replica’s
    • Always on settings (fail over replica order)
  • Intelligent backup, Rubrik will protect / backup the AG node based on the AG’s backup preferences
  • The AG’s and always on settings are displayed in the Rubrik UI
  • Fail over transitions, Rubrik will support always on fail over transitions whether manual or automatic, which removes the need to manually switch DB protection and Rubrik continues to backup DB’s after a failover.

Archive Cascading

Replication in Rubrik has been around since the early releases which is surprising as it is a complex aspect to get working and most vendor’s chose to add this at a later time. In 4.1 you can now “Cascade” replication meaning that you can replicate from a Rubrik cluster at site A to a Rubrik cluster at site B and then archive from Site B (or vice versa if you wanted).

Capture

Conclusion 

A tonne of features in an already great product, I did not even touch on the general enhancements I just wanted to highlight the major points which were released.

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