My Fave-5 Rubrik Features of 2017

It’s snowing here on New Year’s Eve 2017 as I sit here in Northern Virginia, reflecting on the multitude of things that crammed themselves into the past 364 days. Turning the lens to Rubrik, I thought about all the features, enhancements and team members we added this year, and I wanted to take a moment to highlight my favorites. I think they’re pretty spectacular, while also being merely a few peaks that crested this year’s clouds.

#1: Cloud Cluster for AWS and Azure (BrikOS 3.2)

Rubrik Cloud Cluster was the culmination of a dream. It is the feature that truly transformed vision into reality. Rubrik’s tagline is “Cloud Data Management”, but to me, it felt shallow…nominal when that was limited to cloud archive (“CloudOut”) for long-term retention. Cloud Cluster changed everything.

It brought the same beautiful software stack to a highly flexible cloud platform (two, in fact: AWS and Azure), made protection of cloud-native applications possible, cloud mobility real, and terrestrial-free ascendance tangible.

Like the AWS and Azure clouds in which it runs, Rubrik Cloud Cluster is a subscription-based model with a low entry threshold, granular scale-out expansion (1TB at a time), and lean resource design. Contrary to industry collateral, “cloud” isn’t free, so the architecture choices we make should be conservative in their approach. We can’t afford to just lift-and-shift our resource demands and expect customers to pay the price for that laziness. That’s just one of the reasons I like Rubrik Cloud Cluster.

#2: The Ranger Team (January ’17)

2017 was an year of immense growth across all teams in Rubrik, but one team in particular was born near the beginning. The Rangers. At least one New Hire Bootcamp misunderstood the name to mean Park Rangers which brought more than a few laughs and groans on our part (especially in light of the mountains, river, and font, Smokey the Bear-style, in the PowerPoint slide). The true alignment and tribute is to the Army Rangers .

The Ranger team members are the blasting caps to the dynamite of Rubrik’s API-first architecture. They unlock the incredible potential of a platform entirely exposed via RESTful APIs.

Customers and partners are all over the spectrum on their DevOps journeys, but most have initiatives at some level of the organization to eliminate repetitive processes, introduce self-service capabilities, and enable cloud mobility. Rangers leverage languages like Python, Ruby, and PowerShell* to streamline workflows, aggregate analytics, and tie Rubrik into other ecosystem products.

Here are just a few examples of Ranger projects in 2017:

(*with some internal debate as to whether this is actually a language:)

#3: SQL Live Mount (BrikOS 4.0)

Live Mount for VMware has long been my favorite features of Rubrik–who doesn’t like having instant access to servers of ANY size? But when we brought support for Microsoft SQL Server databases, I vastly underestimated the impact that Live Mount for SQL would have.

I’ll admit that it took me a month or so before the stories from my fellow SEs sunk in. Then I had one of those meetings–one where the customer and I spent more than an hour talking just about SQL Live Mount and how they could use it for test/dev, for migrations, for backup & DR, etc. If it wasn’t clear already, that day proved we were no longer just a VMware solution.

#4: CloudOn (BrikOS 4.0-AWS, 4.1-Azure)

If Cloud Cluster for AWS and Azure established a colony for Rubrik in the clouds, CloudOn (instantiation) for AWS and Azure became the teleportation that took our citizens there. The S3 and blob store buckets that customers have been seeding for more than two years now are now unlocked.

Short-term projects can avoid capital expenditures by bursting test/dev to AWS or Azure. Business continuity can establish presences around the world without ever setting foot on a plane or in a cage. Fear of change (cloud aversion) can be overcome by low-cost experimentation made simple by Rubrik’s fully automated cloud conversion. And entire populations can be relocated and then protected on the other side.

Pretty cool.

#5: Supportability (enhanced in every version)

While Rubrik is one of the simplest platforms in existence, it also has immense complexity powering all of the awesomeness. And since we’re all humans, from time to time, bugs will slip through, errors will appear, and weirdness will happen. To that end, we’ve added several capabilities to the product which my customer-minded hat is quite happy about:

  • Customer-driven upgrades: to squash bugs and bring new features faster! (3.1)
  • Enhanced logging & support bundles: improved UI details and plenty of exportable nitty-gritty logs in all their glory (3.2-4.1)
  • Admin/diagnostic CLI: SSH to test networking, check hardware stats, restart services, and tail logs (4.1)

One of my passions is to ensure we continue having the best user experience possible for our customers, and 2018 has even more coming in this area and a host of others.

To prospects, customers, partners, and colleagues who have taken the time to engage with us in 2017, thank you. We’re thrilled to be serving the community and executing on what we set out to do from the start:

Make IT Beautiful

Happy New Year,

Chris

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