Rubrik Review

Easy to use with minimal training required, innovative, good support

What is our primary use case?

We predominantly use Rubrik to back up VMware, VMs, SQL databases, Windows files, NAS data, and EC2 instances in Azure VMs.

We have two data centers with Rubrik installed on the bricks in those locations. Then, we have virtual nodes installed that are at customer sites. We are using it for AWS and a little bit of Azure, as well.

Rubrik covers my need for backup and disaster recovery for customers. We back up in our primary data center, replicate data to a secondary data center, and provide hot mount capabilities for customer VMs in the event of a disaster. We also use it for long-term archiving of on-premises customer workloads.

How has it helped my organization?

The SLA-based automation is a lot easier than worrying about what time we schedule jobs and what job needs to run at what time. Having the system determine the priority and scheduling jobs to meet compliance has made it a lot easier.

We have used the Ransomware Recovery feature and it is good. However, I think that it lacks a management-type reporting dashboard. It could be used to show the value in the product because generally, until something happens, it's seen as something that sits in the back end and you wonder if it's ever providing value. 

It has reduced the time we spent recovery testing. We can now automate using a script rather than a human. To do this, we utilize the APIs in PowerShell for generating those automation test restores.

We have a self-service portal for our customers, so our customers can log in and restore files themselves. Previously, that wasn't a capability that was available. In terms of time-saving, it's massive because if we can provide that functionality down to a customer and the customer can restore themselves, it's taken a hundred percent of the workload off of us and empowered the customer to do what they want to do.

What is most valuable?

The ease of use and innovation are the features that stand out for us. It provides the capability to drive down to the end-user, service desk level one, and use the system with minimal training.

The web interface is excellent, and we really like it. The Google search, capability for file restore, and the ability to integrate the API into third-party products are really good.

The archival functionality is excellent, supporting all the major cloud vendors. For our situation, it supports pretty much all of the archival methods that we would want to use for long-term retention. We archive data for up to seven years.

We have used the API support for integration with vCloud director to create a tenant self-service portal. Our next project will be looking into automation with ServiceNow.

We have used the predictive search feature and it drastically reduces the time it takes to find and restore data for people. It used to take perhaps hours to hot mount an image and then search it for a file. Now, we use the Google-like search to look not only across an individual VM but across the whole environment, with all of the VMs. We can find any file across terabytes of data in under 30 seconds and have a restore done, depending on the size of the file, in generally under five minutes.

What needs improvement?

The Office 365 protection could be improved. Specifically, the design of deploying a Kubernetes cluster to Azure for protecting Office 365, and only being able to protect in Azure Blob storage, is something that should be improved. Our preference would be to protect external to Azure. We could backup using the local bricks or appliances that we already have from Rubrik or alternatively, have the capability to protect out to AWS using alternative storage that's not visual-based.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Rubrik for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, it is really good. We've only ever had one node that needed to be rebooted, which didn't affect the uptime of the system. Excluding upgrades, we've had 100% uptime on the system for the past three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent. We've regularly increased the capacity of Rubrik as we onboard new customers.

Between 30 and 40 people in the company probably use Rubrik, but that's obviously not every day because we have different staff on different rosters, and, being an MSP, we support multiple customers. From our side, we probably have a higher touchpoint of Rubrik given that we are supporting customers that are using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our experience with technical support has been really good. Feature requests are predominantly what we're asking for, and every single time that we've ever asked, the engineering team's been really good at incorporating those features into future product releases. Being able to meet with the engineering teams on the future design of the UI and the actual functionality of the product has been really good.

Having that direct contact with engineering and being able to drive what we want the product to do has been really helpful, and we see that come out in a frequent cadence.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we had an Avamar data domain backup environment. It meant that anytime we had capacity constraints, what would happen was that Dell would come in and say that it was just as cheap to buy a new unit as it was to upgrade the existing one. It was always a big sell to supply the customer the newest and greatest thing, which sort of capped out at a certain capacity and couldn't really be expanded past that point.

Being an MSP, having expansion capabilities was really key for us. Having the ability to just add nodes, and have that capacity online inside 30 minutes was really fantastic. We know that the investment being made into the existing equipment isn't dead in the water, having to be thrown away later.

Implementing Rubrik has saved us time and money in managing backups, and I estimate that we've saved approximately 80% in terms of time compared to previously. This was in maintaining the system and doing upgrades. In terms of cost, we have had to hire a very expensive backup administrator that was really well versed in the Avamar product, and we constantly had problems with the upgrades once they were done. So, to move down to a lower-skilled and lower-cost resource, and have the task be completed in less time, was a significant dollar saving.

In the past, when we did upgrades, we could be offline for a week troubleshooting. Now, once we do an upgrade, we're back to doing backups within half an hour to an hour. 

We switched for ease of use, the total cost of ownership, and the cost to maintain. It came down to the financial benefits and the time benefits and in terms of ease of use and customer self-service. There were a significant number of reasons why we switched to Rubrik from the other platforms.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. The longest time it took to deploy was getting the network team to configure network ports for us, and the IP addressing. Once that was done, we were up and running within 30 to 40 minutes of the initial deployment.

Starting with the racking and stacking in the data center, the entire deployment probably took half a day for half a petabyte of data protection.

To develop our implementation strategy, we had an initial meeting with Rubrik on the design and requirements from their side, in terms of network connectivity requirements and IP addresses. We had done a little bit of pre-work with the network team to get that up and running, and ready for plugin once the equipment was delivered.

What about the implementation team?

Two of our staff were all that was required. You just need enough to lift and stack the equipment in the data center. We had assistance from a systems engineer at Rubrik.

We don't have anyone dedicated to day-to-day maintenance. I utilize my cloud staff to do the upgrades when required, but once the SLAs are configured, it almost runs itself. My service desk staff does the day-to-day backup checks and restores if needed.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI against the other products was within the first six to twelve months.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When we originally started using Rubrik, it was under an MSP program, where we were paying a subscription fee for the consumption of the appliance. We've since switched over to outright purchase and buy as we need.

The pricing has been quite good from our perspective, in terms of being able to negotiate with the Rubrik team to get the product that we want and be able to sell that out to our end customers.

I can't complain, but nonetheless, I'll always say it could be cheaper.

There are no additional costs in addition to the standard licensing fees that we're aware of.  We haven't implemented the Sonar feature at this stage because it cannot be licensed on a per-customer basis. Rubrik has a multi-tenant functionality, and given that we're an MSP, we provide that capability to our customers. However, Sonar is an all-or-nothing addition, so given the cost of that, we wouldn't be able to sell that to all of our customers. In fact, that is one of our pain points at this time. We would like to be able to enable it on a per-customer tenant basis.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Prior to selecting Rubrik, we looked at Cohesity, and we looked at maintaining our investment in our current platforms, which were Veeam and Avamar. We also had a brief look at Commvault, but the cost of ownership appeared too high.

Cohesity and Rubrik were the two front runners, given the next-generation platforms that we are developing. At the time we selected, there was no local support in Australia for Cohesity, which was one of the key reasons why we went with Rubrik. Rubrik did have local support and we felt that not having it would be a major problem.

Being a relatively new company, we also had concerns about whether Cohesity would be in business in two or three years. We had initially looked at Rubrik five years ago, and at that time we did not select them. It was not from a capability standpoint, but rather from financial viability. We wanted to make sure that Rubrik were financially viable before we selected them as a partner. After a two-year gap, we ended up implementing Rubrik.

What other advice do I have?

The lesson that we learned from using Rubrik is that it is really good to have a vision of what we want and actually see it come to pass. We have the support of Rubrik to develop a product that we're really happy to use and we're happy to present and sell to our customers. Having Rubrik in the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leaders and visionaries quadrant in the past twelve months has proven out our product selection for data protection.

My advice for anybody who is considering Rubrik is to test drive it or get a temporary environment set up. You won't regret it.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

5.2.2, 5.3
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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