What is our primary use case?
We have the r6000 series as the physical appliance. We also have the Rubrik Edge, which is a virtual appliance, depending where it is deployed. So, we have three strategic data centers where we are placing physical appliances. For test purposes and some branch offices, we are using the virtual appliance.
Most of our workloads (98 or 99 percent) are virtual on-prem, then half a percent are physical and half a percent are in the cloud. In the cloud, we have both AWS and GCP, but it is still very light. We are in the process of migrating a percentage of our on-prem workloads into the cloud.
We are in a telecom environment, so we have a lot of homegrown applications based on the Linux operating system. We have MSSQL and MySQL as well on the Linux environment. We are also protecting Windows Active Directory. We don't have a lot of proprietary applications, like SAP, but we have Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, Active Directory, a couple of file servers, and the rest are mostly home-developed applications.
How has it helped my organization?
The main benefit is that we are secured in terms of workloads. We know that if we need to restore any VMs, or even any files inside a VM, that we will succeed 100 percent. This means that we don't need to spend much time administering the backup environment because we know it is self-healing and efficient. So, we are spending that time on something else, which is always a plus.
We use Polaris. Polaris is the front-end, which provides us a centralized view of all our Rubrik deployments in the company. It is a way to see each event's alert reporting and have a map of the world where you have Rubrik deployments.
A backup solution can help you with downtime. When you have something to correct, then it means that you need an immediate activity/action to restore the service. With Rubrik, we can immediately restore the corrupt data or VM. You don't need to worry about finding, loading, and indexing the date, then finding the relevant information to initiate a restore. With Rubrik, we don't need all those activities. We just need to do the search, click for the right VM, and push the restore button. That is it. We can probably reduce the downtime by a factor of 10 without any depth.
What is most valuable?
Rubrik's web interface is an eight out of 10. It is very easy to use, clear, and responsive. You don't need to click into many different places to get the information that you are looking for; it is intuitive. I like it a lot.
The SLA-based policy automation that Rubrik brought to market five years ago was really a game changer. In the previous backup product, you always managed your backups on a job basis, so what you needed to do is, to say, "Okay, I'd like to backup that specific workload, but I need to stop at this time." With Rubrik, it is completely different. You just need to configure an SLA, saying, "Okay, I would like to have a daily backup," or "I would like to do a backup every six hours. However, Rubrik, start when you think it's the most appropriate time." Then, you don't need to manage maintenance or backup windows anymore. In our environment, where we have based our data centers in the US, Europe, and Asia, it is not a headache anymore to configure our backup jobs, since Rubrik deals with it. When you configure the Rubrik environment, it is a few clicks. Then, you are good to go, and it's already doing backups by itself.
The solution’s archival functionality is very interesting because you have a lot of options. You can either archive on-prem or in the cloud. On-prem, you have the choice between object storage and block storage, which is nice, as it fits any environment. Archiving in the cloud is very easy as well. There is no support in GCP and AWS history in Glacier, so it is a very good option.
It is easy to offload your local storage. If your brick is becoming full, you have two options:
- You buy an extra brick, expanding the cluster, but it has a cost.
- You can decide to archive your data. This means that the snapshots that you have on the Rubrik cluster can be migrated to another place. Another place can be either in the same data center or in the cloud. This is a great option, and we are using it.
We are scripting a lot using the Rubrik API to gather some information about usage, monitor what is going on, or do some very specific actions, like initiating a backup from the command line within a scripted environment. So, it is very handy.
There is a search feature inside the cluster. So, if you want to restore a specific file from a snapshot, you can then do a search inside the snapshot. The time that it takes to find and recover applications/files is almost instant. In the previous backup software that we were using, we didn't have the ability to dig inside and browse the snapshot, or even search inside the snapshot to find the required file. We can find instantly what we were looking for by searching inside a snapshot because Rubrik is maintaining a metadata DB where we can find anything that we want. Whether it is on-prem or archived already in the cloud, we can find anything using this search mechanism.
What needs improvement?
There is always room for improvement with some shortcuts for the web interface. They could make it even more beautiful. While there is always room for improvement, it is already a great product from a UI point of view.
It would be nice if we could do a live mount of the Nutanix AHV VMs, but this is not really an issue on the Rubrik side. This is more an issue on the Nutanix side because they need to share the relevant API to allow Rubrik to do that. I know Rubrik is intensively discussing with Nutanix to solve this problem, or at least to open this functionality to the rest of its customers. That would be nice to have the Nutanix AHV live mount, but this is probably for the future. I know it is on the roadmap, but it is not easy because there are some politics between the two vendors.
Today, there is no way to migrate archives from one location to another. This is being evaluated by Rubrik at this time. I know because I am pretty much involved with the Rubrik engineering team as a customer advocate.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using it for about four years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have been a customer for the last four years without any hardware failure. That is one aspect of its reliability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Like many other modern solutions, Rubrik is architected as a web-scale solution. This means that if you are running out of space, just stack another brick on top of the existing ones. You can stack bricks until a couple of racks are full. It is very easy.
Scalability-wise, when we expand the cluster, it is non-destructive and non-disruptive. So, we can stack, and while it is stacking, we can still have backups running. Nobody notices that you are actually expanding.
We have active administrators of the Rubrik platform at this time.
How are customer service and technical support?
If you have any issues with the software, then the Rubrik support is trained and responsive enough to get you covered. I would rate the technical support as a nine (out of 10).
Rubrik selected a bunch of customers who are active with the product, trying to make it evolve. From time to time, we do meetings saying, "Okay, what could be nice to have in the future?" They are taking advice from the real users, and I am a part of that.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were looking at a way to standardize our data security platform, because we were using a lot of different software, like Veeam, Aranda, HPE Data Protector, etc. In total, it was something like six or seven different backup solutions. It was completely scary to manage on a day-to-day basis. Depending where in the world that we needed to do backups, it was a different software.
It was completely crazy to manage, not only because you needed specific knowledge of the product, but also because every product didn't have the same behavior and capabilities. This was one of the many issues that we had. Then, we decided to standardize into a common platform everywhere, and that was why we switched to Rubrik.
The main driver was to find a way to back up over where Nutanix stressed us, because we are a Nutanix customer. At that time, not many vendors were able to protect Nutanix AHV workloads, but Rubrik was one of them, and we decided to do a trial with them. It was absolutely successful in each aspect. It was easy to use and efficient. You didn't need to worry about our restore tests, which were very easy. So, the use case that we have was to protect our Nutanix workloads and SQL DBs. Also, the flexibility that Rubrik has given us is absolutely crazy.
How was the initial setup?
15 minutes is the time that you need to deploy a Rubrik cluster from unboxing to the first backup. In other words, the initial setup is very easy and straightforward. As soon as you have the network ready to accept the hardware, the right credentials to configure the different vCenters in the Nutanix cluster, and all the backup elements, 15 minutes is the time that you need to be up and running.
What about the implementation team?
I deployed it myself. It is too easy to involve a third-party, which would be a waste of time and money.
What was our ROI?
Rubrik has reduced the time that we spend on recovery testing. Previously, when somebody was requesting to restore a file, everybody was trying to escape that task. Now, it is the opposite. Everybody wants to do it, because it is so simple.
We don't need to manage our backups anymore. We just need to configure them, and from time to time, check if everything is okay. If something is wrong, then we will get an email from Rubrik anyway. It is almost a product that you can configure once, then forget it. The time that I am spending on Rubrik daily is less than half an hour. This time allocation is for anything that is data protection-related.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
You need to understand what you're getting for the price. You are getting a backup solution, which is state of the art and works absolutely flawlessly. You are getting the storage needed to store your backups. You have all the sexy features that a modern backup solution can provide you, like deduplication, erasure coding, compression, fast execution time, secured data, and top-notch customer support. So, it might be expensive on paper. It's not free, but when you analyze what you are getting and the time you can spend on other stuff, then Rubrik is very cost-efficient.
We started to use Rubrik Go about a year ago. It is a bit of pity that we discovered that only two years ago, because Rubrik Go is the best solution for us because we are an OpEx company. This means that we are using leasing a lot. All our previous appliances have been leased with a third-party. If we knew that Rubric Go existed, we probably would have used it a long time ago because you are dealing with only one vendor, which is Rubrik. This brings two very important advantages:
- As soon as there is a hardware refresh, you can benefit from that hardware refresh at no cost. It's already included. So, if I know that in a couple of months, there will be a new hardware released by Rubrik. What will happen next, they will provide us with the new hardware and send an engineer to migrate all the data from the old version. Then, they will take the old version back with them. This is great. I don't know another vendor who does this.
- We have access to the Polaris framework because it is included. We have started to use Polaris because of the Rubrik Go initiative.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at the next version of Veeam. Back then, it was not satisfying. We identified three issues:
- Veeam is only a software. With Veeam, you still need to find storage in the company to deploy the tool and store the backups. This is not the case with Rubrik, which is a turnkey solution. You have everything: the storage, compute, and software.
- Veeam was still using the old way of managing backup jobs, meaning that you need to say, "Okay, at that time, I need to start that job. At that time, I need to start that other job, etc." It was very complicated. Since then, Veeam also moved to an SLA-based policy. So, they actually copied Rubrik.
- The lack of Nutanix AHV support, though Veeam now supports this.
I'm still convinced that Rubrik was the best choice for the company because it is so easy and efficient.
What other advice do I have?
The best thing to do at first is to start a PoC. Usually, you can get the physical hardware onsite for a month, then you can play around with it and be involved with the product from day one because you will see it works. You will enjoy it a lot and won't want to give the PoC hardware back to Rubrik because it's so impressive. That is what happened to us. We kept the hardware for two months. I was actually negotiating with Rubrik to keep it longer. I was battling internally to convince the management to get the first brick, knowing we have 15 bricks all over the world. If you start and test it, then you will love it.
We are not using Polaris Radar to get more insights about ransomware.
I would rate this solution as a nine (out of 10) because perfection doesn't exist.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?