Rubrik has made significant enhancements to their platform since they came out of stealth just over two years ago, and their platform has grown from an innovative way to bring together software and hardware to solve virtualization backup challenges to a robust data protection platform due to their extremely aggressive release schedule.
Yesterday, Rubrik is announcing version 4.1. The latest version builds on the already strong offerings in the Alta release that came out just a few months ago. This release, in particular, is heavily focused on the Microsoft stacks, and there is also a heavy focus on cloud.
So what’s new in Rubrik 4.1?
The major enhancement is multi-tenancy support. Rubrik 4.1 will now support dividing up a single physical Rubrik cluster into multiple Organizations. Organizations are logical management units inside a physical Rubrik cluster, and each organization can manage their own logical objects such as users, protected objects, SLA domains, and replication targets. This new multi-tenancy model is designed to meet the needs of service provider organizations, where multiple customers may use Rubrik as a backup target, as well as large enterprises that have multiple IT organizations.
In order to support the new multi-tenancy feature, Rubrik is adding role-based access control with multiple levels of access. This will allow application owners and administrators to get limited access to Rubrik to manage their particular resources.
Azure, Azure Stack, and Hyper-V
One of the big foci of the Rubrik 4.1 release is Microsoft, and Rubrik has enhanced their Microsoft platform support.
The first major enhancement to Rubrik’s Microsoft platform offering is Azure Stack support. Rubrik will be able to integrate with Azure Stack and provide protection to customer workloads running on this platform.
The second major enhancement is to the CloudOn App Instantiation feature. CloudOn was released in Alta, and it enables customers to power-on VM snapshots in the public cloud. The initial release supported AWS, and Rubrik is now adding support for Azure.
SQL Server Always-On Support
Rubrik is expanding it’s agent-based SQL Server backup support to Always-On Availability Groups. In the current release, Rubrik will detect if a SQL Server is part of an availability group, but it requires an administrator to manually apply an SLA policy to databases. If there is a failover in the availability group, a manual intervention would be required to change the replica that was being protected. This could be an issue with 2-node availability groups as a node failure, or server reboot, would cause a failover that could impact SLAs on the protected databases.
Rubrik 4.1 will now detect the configuration of a SQL Server, including availability groups. Based on the configuration, Rubrik will dynamically select the replica to back up. If a failover occurs, Rubrik will select a different replica in the availability group to use as a backup source. This feature is only supported on synchronous commit availability groups.
Google Cloud Storage Support
Google Cloud is now supported as a cloud archive target, and all Google Cloud storage tiers are supported.
AWS Glacier and GovCloud Support
One feature that has been requested multiple times since Rubrik was released was support for AWS Glacier for long-term storage retention. Rubrik 4.1 now adds support for Glacier as an archive location.
Also in the 4.1 release is support for AWS GovCloud. This will allow government entities with Rubrik to utilize AWS as a cloud archive.
Rubrik has had an aggressive release schedule since Day 1. And they don’t seem to be letting up on quickly adding features. The 4.1 release does not disappoint in this category.
The feature I’m most excited about is the enhanced support for SQL Always-On Availability Groups. While Rubrik can detect if a database is part of an AG today, the ability to dynamically select the instance to back up is key for organizations that have smaller AGs or utilize the basic 2-node AG feature in SQL Server 2016.