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Comparing Rubrik and Cohesity data backup and recovery tools

Although Rubrik and Cohesity offer similar features and functionality in their data protection and backup platforms, learn what differentiates these products from one another.

Over the last few years, Rubrik and Cohesity have both received a significant amount of press coverage. Although both data backup and recovery vendors are relatively new to the market, they're rapidly gaining market share and neither shows any signs of slowing down.

Interestingly, Rubrik and Cohesity are often compared to one another -- even sometimes being mentioned together in the same breath. But is this comparison justified? Let's examine some of the similarities and differences between the two platforms.

Backup feature set

Rubrik has specifically designed its data backup and recovery product for use in hybrid cloud environments, with the goal of eliminating the complexities of legacy backup systems. Rubrik uses hardware appliances to provide continuous data protection, and claims to achieve a near-zero recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). Its primary backup-oriented features include instant recovery, point-in-time recovery and recovery to bare metal. Rubrik also provides immutability for ransomware, end-to-end encryption and scale-out deduplication.

Cohesity provides continuous data protection for hybrid cloud environments, and offers a comprehensive feature set that includes encryption, cloud archiving, cloud replication, global deduplication and compression. The data backup and recovery software allows for 15-minute RPOs and instant recovery with a zero RTO.

Features beyond backup

Rubrik's main feature beyond its backup capabilities is a global, real-time search engine that can help IT professionals instantly find data, regardless of whether it's located on premises or in the cloud.

Additionally, Rubrik provides cloud DR orchestration that's designed to make it easier to fail over to the cloud. Rubrik also enables failover and fallback testing.

Cohesity also provides a real-time search engine that's similar to Rubrik's and can convert on-premises VMs to cloud-native formats for performing cloud-based DR. This means that Cohesity can, for example, convert a VMware VM into a virtual hard disk that can run on Microsoft Azure.

Ease of use

Rubrik claims its data backup and recovery product can be deployed in less than an hour, and that there's no learning curve associated with using it. While the argument could be made that there's always some degree of learning required when a new platform is adopted, the Rubrik interface is unquestionably easy to use.

Like Rubrik, Cohesity is designed to be easy to use. Cohesity users can configure backup and restore jobs and access other features through an intuitive web interface.

Scalability

Rubrik's architecture is built around a series of appliances designed for organizations of various sizes. The Rubrik r6304s, for example, is designed for small organizations. It contains three 10-core CPUs, 192 GB of RAM, 36 TB of HDD storage and 1200 GB of SSD storage. At the other end of the spectrum is the Rubrik r6412s appliance, which has four 10-core CPUs, 384 GB of RAM, 144 TB of HDD storage and 1600 GB of SSD storage. The Rubrik architecture is designed for infinite linear scalability, meaning that an organization can add appliances to the fabric whenever it wants to increase capacity.

Although both data backup and recovery vendors Rubrik and Cohesity are relatively new to the market, they're rapidly gaining market share and neither shows any signs of slowing down.

Like Rubrik, Cohesity's data backup and recovery product is hardware-focused. Cohesity offers three different versions of its hyper-converged appliances for organizations of various sizes. One of Cohesity's higher-end appliances, the C3000, includes two eight-core CPUs, 128 GB of RAM, 176 TB of hard disk space and 7.68 TB of flash storage. Cohesity also offers lower-end appliances, such as the C4300, which offers two eight-core CPUs, 12 TB of hard disk space, 1.6 TB of flash storage and 64 GB of RAM.

Cohesity's platform supports linear scalability. The company provides performance benchmarks from deployments of up to 256 nodes.

Target customer

Rubrik appears to be primarily targeting enterprise customers. As previously mentioned, however, Rubrik does offer appliances designed for smaller environments. Even so, the smallest appliance will likely be overkill for the SMB market, especially considering the architecture is based around the idea that multiple appliances will be clustered together.

Like Rubrik, Cohesity seems to have its sights set primarily on enterprise customers. However, the previously mentioned C4300 appliance does seem well-matched to the needs of SMBs.

As for pricing, neither Rubrik nor Cohesity publicly disclose this information.

Summary

For the most part, Rubrik and Cohesity appear to be evenly matched. Both vendors provide highly scalable, easy-to-use hardware-focused appliances. It's possible that pricing could be a differentiating factor, but since neither company provides this information, it's impossible to say for sure.

One area in which the two companies differ is with regard to customer size. Both are well-positioned for the enterprise, but Cohesity also offers an appliance that, depending on pricing, seems suitable for smaller organizations.

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