‘We Are Getting Into The Big Leagues Now’: Rubrik Makes Big Leaps In Protecting Database, Cloud Data

‘Andes 5.3 has a lot of self-service. Before, an enterprise might need a systems administrator to do everything. Now users can do updates and changes themselves. Rubrik has made an easy path for that in a nice GUI (graphical user interface) fashion,’ says Mike Morgan, lead architect with Insight.


Data protection and cloud data management technology developer Rubrik Thursday unveiled a major upgrade to its Andes cloud data management platform the company said will result in significant data protection performance increases with much lower cloud archiving costs.

The new release, Andes 5.3, reflects the expansion of Rubrik to meet the needs of the largest enterprises, said Vasu Murthy, vice president of product for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company.

“It includes expansion of scale, expansion of performance, expansion of protection, expansion of automation, expansion of orchestration, and expansion of risk mitigation,” Murthy told CRN. “We are getting into the big leagues now.”

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Rubrik is at the forefront of helping clients modernize their data protection and data management environments, said Mike Morgan, lead architect with Insight, a Tempe, Ariz.-based nationwide solution provider and Rubrik channel partner.

Rubrik is showing how its platform is not just focused on data protection, but instead has full governance and resiliency capabilities in a package that simplifies operations for clients, Morgan told CRN.

“Andes 5.3 has a lot of self-service,” he said. “Before, an enterprise might need a systems administrator to do everything. Now users can do updates and changes themselves. Rubrik has made an easy path for that in a nice GUI (graphical user interface) fashion.”

Enhancements to Andes 5.3 reflect the fact that customers are looking for both data security and data management, Murthy said.

New to Andes 5.3 is application-specific data protection, particularly for databases.

Compared to prior versions of Rubrik Andes, the new version 5.3 triples the backup performance for file-based data on NetApp NAS appliances and allows up to 35 million files to be scanned in less than 15 minutes, Murthy said.

Also new is a ten-fold increase in backup performance for SQL Server environments, with support for up to 10,000 SQL data bases on a single Rubrik four-node cluster, and a doubling of Oracle backup speed to nearly 1 Gbyte per second, he said.

That kind of backup performance is very significant given that enterprise customers can easily have thousands of data bases, each with their own transaction logs that also need to be protected, Morgan said.

“We’re seeing a four to five times increase in database backup performance,” he said. “[Database] backups can bog down an infrastructure.”

The huge increase in performance in NetApp environments stem from a technology partnership NetApp and Rubrik unveiled in October of 2019 under which NetApp opened its SnapDiff API to Rubrik, Morgan said.

Before that API became available, Rubrik’s technology had to query each file, one after the other, to see if any had changed in order to back up the changes, he said. That can really drag down performance, especially as the number of files, most of which are small, approaches the billion mark, he said.

“The storage infrastructure knows what changed,” he said. “Now Rubrik can ask the NetApp SnapDiff API for a list of change, and not ask each individual file. That’s a significant increase in speed. Rubrik now says to NetApp, ‘Just tell me what changed.’”

Rubrik Andes 5.3 also includes expanding orchestration of data with the cloud. Murthy said it now includes integration for Amazon Glacier and Amazon Glacier Deep Archive, which are the lowest-cost storage tiers in the Amazon cloud on per-terabyte basis.

“Now if data is move to the cloud, it can be moved to cheaper tiers,” he said. “Glacier Deep Archive is 23-times cheaper than Amazon S3.”

The ability to tier to Amazon Glacier, where data can be stored for $0.004 per gigabyte per month, or Amazon Glacier Deep Archive, were it costs $0.00099 per gigabyte, is significant Morgan said.

“Customers will be able to keep their data on local storage or in the cloud for 30 days, and then tier it to Glacier or Glacier Deep Archive,” he said. “Yes, it takes extra time to retrieve the data. But it’s a low-cost way to meet compliance requirements.”

Rubrik has also expanded the types of workloads whose data can be protected by Rubrik Andes 5.3 to include Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Cloud Instances backups, SAP HANA in the cloud, VMware Cloud on AWS, Microsoft 365, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft SharePoint, and Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service), Murthy said.

“Our goal is to keep expanding, especially in the cloud area,” he said.

A lot of clients do not realize that cloud applications may not have reasonable data protection build in, Morgan said. Microsoft, for instance, recommends users use third-party storage to ensure data availability.

“Microsoft is providing resiliency, not protection,” he said. “Recognizing the need for that is important. All data protection vendors are working this. But Rubrik has been a leader in this space.”

Rubrik Andes 5.3 now also provides for fully automated management of clusters for SaaS interfaces.

It also includes new risk mitigation capabilities through the latest release of Rubrik’s Polaris Sonar technology for high visibility into such high risk areas as sensitive files that may not be locked down or data which has not been accessed for some time. Murthy said Polaris Sonar scans data as it is being backed up to understand who has accessed files and when.

“This adds a governance layer to the data,” he said.

Looking forward, Murthy said Rubrik will continue development of its cloud data management platform in 2021 around a couple of themes.

The first is making sure it has the best performance and scale possible, particularly for databases. “We will double-down on databases, especially on Oracle databases,” he said.

The second is to ensure disaster recovery is orchestrated very well. “We want to make sure we know more about applications to ensure easier recovery of data and application migrations,” he said.

The third is to expand the platform’s risk mitigation capabilities, Murthy said. “It won’t just be aware of what data users are accessing, but aware of all users’ data,” he said.