Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rubrik Drops 3.2 - Cloud Clusters and More!

Today the fine folks over at Rubrik dropped their 3.2 release and it is packed with quite a few nifty little features, especially for a .2 release. Quick aside here, if you dont follow the below folks on social media you're missing out. They have at least a quorum between them of VCDXs and each and every one of them are accomplished technologists with strong social media presence. Quite a stout tech marketing group for a small company if you ask me.


In their 3.1 release, Rubrik enhanced their support for Microsoft SQL Server, added bare metal Windows/WSFC support, rolled out a custom reporting interface, and added Software encryption. Now that we are done with that brief recap, lets dig into what 3.2 brings to the table.


Cloud Clusters

Rubrik has a fairly pragmatic view of what most customers experience during their cloud adoption journey, and it looks something like this.


One could argue these as the prescriptive steps for all organizations but I think its a fair argument that a lot of organizations start out tiering off archive data, then move towards test/dev on IaaS and SaaS based application delivery models where it makes sense, and finally (..eventually? ...hopefully?) arrive at an automated IT service delivery model based on a cloud first strategy and heavily backed by tools like Automation, SDx, CM, etc. as well as the appropriate org structure and processes to support such a consumption model.

With this model in mind it's pretty clear to see why cloud clusters make sense and where Rubrik is heading with this release. Here's what the architecture might look like in a customer scenario.


Essentially, we now have the ability to stand up a 4 node cluster as either EC2 or Azure VMs and with that cluster we can do a few different things.
  • Act as an in region backup target
  • Replicate down to a physical cluster somewhere
  • Act as a replication target for a physical cluster somewhere
  • Archive off to cloud targets
Very cool if you ask me. As of 3.2 you have cloud workloads such as SQL Server, Windows, and Linux filesets, you can now back them up, in region, via Rubrik without having to worry about paying for egress bandwidth. Additionally, that data could be replicated to an on-prem, or multi-cloud cluster for the sake of resiliency. Lastly if you only have one site and you need a DR target, this architecture has you covered as well, although the recovery workflow currently leaves much to be desired. I wonder how Rubrik might get around that one day... hmmm :) Lastly, you can take advantage of the same cloud archive you have come to know and love, potentially even in region!

Other Enhancements

Native NAS Support


Native NAS backups are now supported. As of 3.0 NAS was officially supported via a proxy VM that you mounted the NAS on to in order to back it up. Rubrik has done away with that model and will now mount NAS shares directly to the cluster for backing up. Both NFS and SMB are supported and you simply add the share by IP/FQDN, supply credentials, and configure the fileset definition as you would in a Windows/Linux environment.

Policy-Based On-Demand Snaps


On-demand snaps now offer up the following retention options:
  • Assign an existing policy
  • Create and assign a new policy
  • Retain forever (manual deletion)
All SLA based snaps are visible through managed objects and adhere to SLA domain compliance rules. Retain forever snaps are unmanaged and will persist until deletion. Handy for stuff like legal or other data holds.


Replication Enhancements


Rubrik has introduced an enhancement to their replication capabilities known as Distinct Retention. In the past, your retention settings applied to all copies of that data. Including replication and archival targets. This could was problematic for stuff like edge use cases where you might want to retain the replica longer than the original. Now with Distinct Retention you can selectively determine how long the replica is retained.


Key Management


3.1 brought Software D@RE into the mix leveraging Rubrik's internal key manager enabled by an embedded TPM chip. 3.2 extends the D@RE capabilities of Rubrik by offering support for external key managers. r300/r500's are supported and key rotation is done via a one-time UI operation allowing movement to the external key manager. From there on out you can us the API to automatically rotate keys as necessary.


Misc

There are quite a few other enhancements worth digging into whenever you get some time to cozy up next to the fire with a glass chardonnay and your favorite medium for reading release notes. Here are a few bullet points to whet your appetite.

  • API Enhancements
  • Pure Storage Snapshot/Proxy based VM Backups
  • Time Zones!
  • Configurable Support Tunnel Timeouts
  • Custom Edge Builds for MSPs

That's It!

As always, thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read my blog. Feel free to follow me @vDingus and lets learn something new together! Have a great day.

Warm Regards,

Gill