Rubrik Exits Stealth With $10M And Plans To Simplify Data Protection

Rubrik's Arvind Nithrakashyap

Startup data protection software developer Rubrik exited stealth mode this week with the unveiling of its initial funding and the introduction of its Rubrik Converged Data Management Platform, and in doing so did not escape the notice of one of its potential rivals.

The company also unveiled a $10 million Series A round of funding from several industry luminaries, including John Thompson, Microsoft chairman and former CEO of Symantec; Frank Slootman, CEO of ServiceNow and former Data Domain CEO; and Mark Leslie, former CEO of Veritas.

Rubrik is developing what it claims is the first converged solution for data backups that brings all the necessary pieces together into a single appliance, said Arvind Nithrakashyap, co-founder and CTO of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup and co-founder of the Oracle Exadata solution.

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Data protection solutions for any vendor today -- including Symantec, EMC and CommVault -- all have backup software, Nithrakashyap told CRN.

"But you need to buy backup hardware," he said. "You also need access to a database, and to media servers to ingest the data. We combine it all into a single appliance that plugs into a customer's existing infrastructure. Just connect it to the network and enter the credentials."

With the Rubrik Converged Data Management Platform, configuration is quick, Nithrakashyap said. "We wanted a solution that is simple," he said. "Within 15 minutes, customers can be up and running. They can create backup policies, drag in virtual machines, and auto start off those virtual machines for recovery."

One of Rubrik's potential competitors took issue with some of the claims made by Rubrik.

Ratmir Timashev, CEO of Switzerland-based data protection software developer Veeam, told CRN in an emailed statement that there have been tremendous innovations in the data protection space over the past decade.

"Things being touted now are features we’ve long offered," Timashev said in the statement. "Backup and recovery software with de-duplicated storage was done seven years ago with Veeam Backup & Replication v1. Instant recovery and item restore, on-demand sandbox; those were introduced by Veeam. The technical advancements and innovation have been so significant that our customers and partners provided feedback to us that the terms ’backup and recovery’ are no longer appropriate for Veeam’s offering, as it provides benefits and functions that go way beyond that category."

Tim Coats, head of the research group focusing on working with innovative startups for Trace3, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider, said his first reaction on learning about Rubrik was that the industry is full of data protection technology developers.

Coats told CRN that his company has identified more than 50 data protection technology vendors, and said so at an early meeting with Rubrik CEO Bipul Sinha, who is also a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, an investor in Rubrik.

"I told him I was skeptical," Coats said. "But as I talked to him, saw the team he built, we saw how focused the company was on a specific market. Rubrik was looking to solve one problem. It was also focused on ease of use. It's great technology. But it's also easy to use."

Rubrik solves a lot of problems with traditional backups, including making them suitable for restoring data, moving data to application development and archiving data, Coats said.

"Rubrik gives far better recovery points than other solutions," he said. "It's very granular. Customers can recover data without having a recovery location. And Rubrik makes it easy for end users to manage their own backups and recovery."

Julia Lee, Rubrik director of marketing, told CRN that Rubrik is building a 100 percent channel business. The company has been working with about a dozen early-access customers, all of whom engaged Rubrik with partners, Lee said.

The Rubrik Converged Data Management Platform is slated to be released sometime this summer with a starting list price of less than $100,000.