Rubrik upgrades Polaris, extends Google support in Andes 5.3 release

This Rubrik release, like its predecessor, is focused more on incremental changes to better facilitate large enterprise workloads, but 2021 is likely to see a return to some eye-catching new applications.

Today, data management vendor Rubrik is announcing the  Andes 5.3 release of its cloud data management platform. The winter update of the platform provides updates organized along three general themes: upping the scale and performance, improving cloud migration capabilities, and expanding intelligent risk mitigation with new capabilities for their Polaris Sonar SaaS data governance application.

“The Andes 5.3 release is designed for three major business priorities we solve for customers to address the needs of customers,” said Vasu Murthy, Rubrik VP of Product, “They are modernization and automation as part of digital transformation, turnkey cloud migration, and further mitigating data risk proactively, to secure data so it cannot be lost.”

The modernization and automation component – basically feeds and speeds – is intended to provide improved performance benchmarks for large enterprise infrastructure and applications.

“We are the first and only company to manage backups across all kinds of workloads and all stages of the data cycle,” Murthy said. “What is new on this specific topic is more performance and more capability.”

That starts by providing 10x faster backups of SQL Server environments that support hundreds of databases per host, making it possible to reduce overnight backups to a single hour.

“You can now support 10,000 SQL servers running on a single server,” Murthy said.

“We have also doubled down on our Oracle database backup, so they can now be done in under 20 minutes,” he noted.  Doubling the backup speed here means that it now comes in at almost one gigabyte per second.

“Oracle backups can also now be validated automatically with a new Recovery Validation feature, that allow tests to ensure an Oracle database is recoverable,” Murthy added.

A new SLA-based Rubrik Elastic App Service has also been added, which enables full backup automation.

“NAS performance is a critical area for us and we are integrated tightly with NetApp,” Murthy noted. “We have improved the NAS restore performance 3x over the previous release.” NetApp scanning performance has also doubled, so that 35 million files can be scanned in under 15 minutes.

While Rubrik has always had a strong cloud focus, that has been intensified with the Andes 5.3 release.

“COVID accelerated this move, in two different ways,” Murthy said. “First, data protection now needs to be better in the cloud, and secondly, everywhere else cloud is now a destination to back up. So we have to help customers orchestrate to the cloud in a more cost-effective manner.”

A major improvement here is a significant increase to Rubrik’s native support of Google Cloud, to add support for VMs and file sets, and to facilitate automated discovery and backup of SAP HANA on Google Cloud using Rubrik SLA-based policies.

Vasu Murthy, Rubrik VP of Product

“We already supported archiving in Google, but this major increase in functionality has been requested by customers,” Murthy said. “A lot of our retail customers don’t want AWS, since they compete with Amazon. They prefer Google. We have a plan to make more investment in Google, as we are seeing a big uplift in customers adopting Google it. It has become a more important channel for us to sell. It is still definitely our third cloud, but it is important to have all of them covered so that we don’t lose customers.

“Next year, we are likely to leverage the Google marketplace partnership as well as channel integration,” Murthy added.

VMware support has been increased, and now provides comprehensive hybrid-cloud VMware protection, with VMware Cloud on AWS protection being added to on-prem, AWS, Azure and Google.

Complete cloud-native Polaris for Amazon RDS has also been added, to provide unified protection of RDS across multiple AWS accounts and regions, and recovery to different AWS regions. Oracle database are now protected on AWS and Azure as well.

“We have also been working on our smart tiering technology,” Murthy said. Rubrik now archives data to cool storage when storage savings are greater than the compute costs of having to reconstruct the data for recovery.

Mitigating data risks further was a priority, because of the great increase in threats, particularly ransomware attacks. Accordingly, Rubrik is enhancing Polaris Sonar to offer visibility into high risk locations, including sensitive files open to everyone and those that contain data that has not been accessed for some time.

“This new feature lets us track user changes – what data has been touched and by who,” Murthy said. “If for example sensitive information credit card numbers are being accessed, should that person have permission to do so. That’s a new capability within Sonar.”

While Polaris Sonar was introduced in Andes 5.1, the last two Andes releases have been somewhat short on the sizzle of new applications, certainly compared to the Alta generation releases which preceded it. Murthy said that’s in part a reflection of the platform’s growth and the need to devote resources to improving the basics.

“As we expand to more and more customers, increasingly workload areas are a higher priority for engineering investment,” Murthy said. “There’s a lot more pull in terms of expanding workloads, and we have just a specific amount for groundbreaking investments.”

While Murthy said the new extension of Sonar is significant, customers and partners can expect to see what he termed more revolutionary applications in 2021.

“Much of our machinery in the last year has made us more predictable and stabilized our largest workloads,” he said. “We have been focusing more on incremental changes, but next year we expect more innovative applications to come up.”