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Rubrik launches 'cloud time machine,' backup appliance

Rubrik takes a shot at managing and protecting data locally and in the cloud with integrated appliance and Amazon Web Services replication.

Rubrik is the latest startup to come along aiming to change the way backups are performed.

The company based in Palo Alto, Calif., has launched its data management product through an early access program. It sells a 2U appliance with built in software that does backup, deduplication, compression and version management.

"We want to build a time machine for the cloud infrastructure," said Arvind Nithrakashyap , Rubrik co-founder and CTO. "The focus is on the virtual data center protecting virtual machines. Today, backup and recovery is complex. You need backup software. You need storage. What you have is a complex ecosystem."

Nithrakashyap said Rubrik's appliance uses commodity hardware with hard disk drives and solid-state drives (SSDs). Each system holds up to 15 TB of data. It supports VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors.

Customers can recover data through Rubrik's Web-based user interface. All data is stored locally and can be replicated to the public cloud. Rubrik supports Amazon Web Services now, and Nithrakashyap said he expects to add support for other clouds.

Nithrakashyap said he considers Veeam Software as Rubrik's main competitor because of the success Veeam has had protecting virtual machines. But Rubrik will also compete with other traditional backup vendors such as EMC, Symantec, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and CommVault, as well as copy-data specialist Actifio.

Australian firm uses Rubrik for VM backup, tape replacement

Langs Building Supplies in Australia is an early Rubrik customer. It backs up 80 VMs on five physical hosts with about 13 TB of storage on infrastructure that spans two buildings, according to IT manager Matthew Day.

We want to spend time on the business. The drive for us as a business is that IT has to stop being a liability and a drag.
Matthew DayIT manager, Langs Building Supplies

Day said his company's previous backups consisted of using CommVault Simpana software to back up data on his SAN to disk, and then move a copy to tape. He said Langs uses four Rubrik nodes, and he plans to get rid of tape.

"We don't want to spend time backing up to tape," Day said. "We want to spend time on the business. The drive for us as a business is that IT has to stop being a liability and a drag. Lots of IT organizations do mundane tasks and don't provide any value to the business. We eventually plan to use Rubrik for the production data management."

Founders from Oracle, Google, Riverbed

Rubrik has $10 million in funding and 30 employees.

Nithrakashyap was a co-founder of Oracle Exadata and an Oracle Cluster principal engineer. The other Rubrik founders are CEO Bipul Sinha, architect Soham Mazumdar and VP of engineering Arvind Jain. Sinha was a founding investor in Nutanix and scale-out storage software vendor PernixData, Mazumdar was a founder of Tagtile and a software engineer at Google, and Jain was a founding engineer of Riverbed.

Rubrik's investors include Microsoft chairman, former Symantec CEO and current Virtual Instruments CEO John Thompson, ServiceNow CEO and former Data Domain CEO Frank Slootman, and Mark Leslie, former Veritas CEO and current CEO at Leslie Ventures.

Next Steps

Copy data management is a possible, but limited, backup replacement

A hybrid approach is the best data protection option

Data protection challenges with Docker architecture

Dig Deeper on Data reduction and deduplication

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