Every so often I take a break from rambling on about PowerShell and automation to share some fun Rubrik news. In my last Rubrik post, I showcased a combination of funding announcements and technical enhancements slated for the Firefly (3.0) release. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of working with customers that have taken the journey from early access to general availability while building user stories around their feedback. It’s a real blast to see what our engineers can do with the next big product release, and I’m stoked to finally be able to share details around Rubrik’s upcoming release of Cloud Data Management version 3.1.
Taking a brief step back, pretty much everyone is shooting for some sort of combination of on-premises resources for several legacy and modern workloads in addition to cloud, co-located, or SaaS-y deployments for distributed applications, cloud compute, and turn-key functionality. Much like peanut butter and jelly, these two go quite well together (unless you can’t eat peanuts) but can sometimes be messy if you’re working with them for the first time.
At Rubrik, I feel we help out with this equation by providing an extremely simple software fabric that can be deployed either physically or virtually to protect, secure, and manage workloads. This translates into providing data protection (backup and recovery), disaster recovery features, and long-term archive for any size enterprise with nothing more than a few, light-weight policies called SLA Domains. Wrap all of this software goodness in a crisp set of RESTful APIs and you have the ingredients for some darn tasty hybrid cloud. I’d suppose that’s why I’m humbled and jazzed up to see a 6x increase in customers over the past 12 months! 🙂
Native Windows, WSFC, and SQL Upgrades
First on the list are new ecosystem integrations and enhancements. The 3.1 release of Cloud Data Management brings in the ability to protect bare-metal or “native” Windows Server system state and filesets by leveraging either existing or new policies (SLA Domains). These policies dictate the RPO, RTO, retention, and replication requirements for an object, which could be a virtual machine, fileset, database, instance, and so forth. This is a fairly slick feature that is accomplished with an extremely small connector service to translate our APIs into Windows specific commands that is secured, self-upgrading, and easily managed via the user interface. Backups are incremental-forever, allow for pre- and post-script commands, and fully integrated with our native compliance reports.
Somewhat adjacent to this news is the complete support for Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) of Microsoft SQL Server. If you’re using this method to provide multiple nodes for your databases, Rubrik will represent the cluster as a logical object within the user interface and allow for policies to be set on clustered objects (the entire logical server, individual instances, or even individual databases). If the passive node becomes the active node, this will be tracked as well.
On top of all this, the 3.1 release also brings the power of cross-version restore support for Microsoft SQL Server. If you have a snapshot containing databases from an older release of SQL Server, the system will allow you to restore or export those databases to an equal or newer version of SQL Server. I think this will be handy for two major scenarios: the restoration of an older database backup when the original version of SQL is not available, and for migration of databases to a new version of SQL (in both test and production workflows).
Another snazzy feature is the release of an entirely new product! Say hello to Rubrik Envision, the brand new reporting platform that takes version 3.1 to an entirely new level. This allows you to build your own customized HTML5-flavored reports via the user interface with a simple wizard. Choose from numerous starter templates, pick the attributes and features you want, provide limits on which objects are included, and go forth from there! Reports are updated in real-time and available as objects within the Envision dashboard. You can even schedule on-demand downloads or scheduled e-mails of the HTML5 reports. Select whatever visuals you like most – from gas gauges and bar charts to donut and line graphs.
While reporting doesn’t always offer a jazz-hands level of excitement, the ability to build your own reports and scope them to a set of workloads is a great way to build application- or tenant-specific views of the environment without much fuss. I can also see folks scripting this activity to go along with Day 1 Operations (provisioning) to support the efforts of Day 2 Operations (on-going support and maintenance).
While there are many other enhancements and additions, the final piece that I’ll bring up is around security. All versions of Rubrik provide encryption of data in flight and data sent to an archive target (using your keys, of course!). For folks looking for data at rest encryption within the on-premises appliance, we began offering the r500 series hardware model that includes self-encrypting drives (SEDs) with the 2.2 release. This beast is FIPS 140-2 certified down to the little tamper stickers on the back to reveal any physical abuse.
With the 3.1 release, we’re also adding support for software encryption across the entire cluster. This is a system setup requirement, meaning it must be done when the logical cluster is instantiated, but requires nothing more than checking one box during setup. The entire line of r300 models supports this feature. Huzzah!
It’s been amazing to zip around the globe visiting customers and partners who are very excited to get their hands on Rubrik and build some extremely impressive next-gen data centers. Over the past 12 months, we’re super humbled to have increased our customer base by 6x and are approaching a $100MM run rate after only a few short quarters in the market. I’ve learned a ton from every encounter and am incredibly pleased at how positive our community is towards Cloud Data Management and solving tricky, yet fun, challenges. 🙂
OK, I’m taking my Rubrik hat off … phew! If you’d like to see a bit more about RESTful APIs in general, I think you might enjoy my mini-series of webinars. The first one, Using Automation to Validate Applications and Services in Rubrik Backups, was published back in January and is available on-demand. If you enjoy that one, my next one – Leveraging the Power of RESTful APIs for Data Center Operations – is coming up on the 23rd of Feburary and is focused on being educational and nerdy around APIs for those starting in this world. Register now for great justice and I hope to see you there!