First, in this Rubrik review, let’s start by explaining exactly what the tool is…
Rubrik Cloud Data Management is a single software fabric that manages all application data in the cloud, at the edge, or on-premises for many use cases, including backup, recovery, archival, analytics, development, and cloud. Rubrik takes the complexity of maintaining and managing your data and enables you to focus on other aspects of the business.
The bottom line is if you have Rubrik, you have peace of mind.
It’s hard to pick out a few features to list, but I will start with these:
- Instant recovery: This has dramatically reduced our time to restore from over 20-30 minutes for a server to be recovered and up and running again, to less than 60 seconds. It’s a beautiful thing.
- The search functionality is second to none as the speed of the search is fast across the whole system and predictive.
- I also love the fact that I can apply an SLA domain to various areas (direct to VM, folder, cluster, etc.). I currently apply most SLA domains directly to a cluster so that we have a set-it-and-forget-it approach. When a new VM is added to that cluster, we KNOW that it is going to inherit the SLA domain and be backed up.
- Lastly, Rubrik’s support team is phenomenal. Any time that we have had questions, issues or feature requests, the team responds rapidly and keeps you apprised of the progress without you having to follow-up all the time.
Improvements to my organization
During my Rubrik review, I found that there have been many changes to how our organization has been able to approach backup and recovery thanks to Rubrik.
We have been able to reduce the time for recovery, which is invaluable because it not only frees up our time to move on to other things, but it lets our customers know how important their time is to us.
Typically, with the previous solutions we were using, it was owned fully by our engineering team, but we were able to train our admin team to take over all operational aspects of the product in less than two hours via a web conference thanks to the no-nonsense and easy-to-use product.
This has also become our go-to solution for disaster recovery requirements for many of our applications. The great part is that we don’t have to build out DR VMs to sit there and do nothing. Instead, we can deploy a snapshot from production at the time-of-need instead. This not only saves the customer money, but it saves on bloat in our virtual environment.
Room for improvement
In order to properly conduct this Rubrik review, constructive criticism is always important. To that end, we have put in a feature request against their physical agent. Currently, the physical server agent will only back up folder structures and not truly give you the ability to restore to a bare-metal box.
Well, we would love to see the physical agent have the ability to essentially P2V machines from the backup. This would be huge!
It would assist in so many areas of our virtualization projects and especially during a DR scenario. If I could take a snapshot from a physical and be able to stand it up as a virtual immediately without the need to rebuild an entire system and restoring files, that would be HUGE. It would also give us the ability to get away from physical hardware, in general, when we go through to clean up older physical boxes that are no longer under service contract or need to be segregated for any reason.
For instance, we have an initiative to get all 2003 physical servers left in our environment to a segregated cluster and we do use P2V to get them, so bypassing the P2V and just restoring a backup would speed that process up tremendously.
I have been using Rubrik since our initial PoC with them in November of 2015. Luckily the folks at Rubrik know exactly what needs to be done to get these deployments up and running in a quck and efficient manner. We did have to get make a few simple network changes to allow discovery, but overall we were up and running in about an hour in each location.
I have not encountered any instabilities with the product outside of limitations on the back end with our AD user object size. We have so many users that Rubrik has an issue handling so many objects, so it makes it difficult to use the RBAC features that were just released in the Firefly/3.0 code release. That being said, Rubrik support has been phenomenal working on this issue with the engineering team and we look forward to their solution very soon.
Scalability has been a great process, as we have gone through a few at this point. Rubrik handles everything. They will come onsite, upgrade the units, ensure all is working properly and it typically only takes a couple of hours. That being said, we have deployments in multiple locations and we found during our Rubrik review that they do not currently have a management hub that allows you to manage multiple clusters from a single place. You have to go cluster-to-cluster to make changes.
Rubrik’s technical support has been phenomenal! I would be remiss if I didn’t give them a shout-out as part of this Rubrik review. They are extremely quick to respond and 99% of the time, they are able to take care of everything behind-the-scenes via the Support Tunnel. They not only respond to emails almost instantaneously, they will contact us about potential issues before they happen.
They have been extremely easy to understand on the phone and encourage you to write in, even with simple questions and feature requests. That has been huge, too: feature requests. We have put in numerous feature requests that were coded in amazing time, not that every feature request has come to fruition, but most have been at least put on the roadmap if they made sense globally.
We used many different products before going to Rubrik, including Tivoli and SnapManager, Nutanix Protection Domains, NetBackup, etc. They were all cumbersome and typically a pain to not only set up, but to recover from as well.
By switching to Rubrik, we have been able to simplify many aspects of our backup and recovery procedures.
On top of that, we were able to gain back valuable space on our Nutanix clusters, as we were finding in some instances that snapshots were taking up 50% of the available datastores, which we all know, with Nutanix, is NOT cheap. By switching, we were able to gain that space back for VM deployments instead of having to buy additional blocks as the constraint with Nutanix has typically always been the space, not the CPU and memory.
The initial setup was extremely straightforward as Rubrik sends a field engineer out to handle everything. This goes for expansions as well. We had our initial two sites from the PoC stood up in less than two hours per site. The only reason it wasn’t faster was due to how locked down our network is. Other products we stood up at the same time took far longer to set up, and I mean one was two weeks before we could use it.
Pricing, setup cost and licensing
I would say that the biggest thing to keep in mind about the pricing (as it may be more expensive than other products you are looking at) is to keep the operational ease in mind. Most of the other products we looked at would take far more time to manage, train and just in general use! So when we compared the overall costs, Rubrik was cheaper because the engineering and operational side required FAR LESS dedication. So, all in all, they actually were cheaper than the competition.
Other solutions considered
We looked at many other products prior to this Rubrik review, including our existing solutions and products like Veeam and Cohesity. First off, Rubrik had the upper hand for the initial interest based on this… We have all gone through meetings to vet a new product of interest. During these meetings, you ask questions and get a lot of, “Oh, no one has ever asked that before” or “Let me get back to you on that,” whereas the Rubrik team had an answer for EVERY one of our questions, right then and there. That is a pretty rare thing in and of itself. That was a huge factor but obviously, the simplicity during the demo was a huge eye-catcher.
I would highly recommend this product to ANY company who is concerned about their backup and recovery processes as well as DR scenarios. This product will simplify your life beyond belief. Not only that, you will be able to give the recovery process over to anyone, even if they don’t have a background in backup and recovery solutions.
The fact that the product is so well thought out in its simplicity for end users makes it easy to worry less about whether or not it’s doing its job. You will have much higher confidence that you will actually be able to recover the system you are working with, instead of, “I hope it’s been backed up properly.” It will change the way you view your data, especially if you are looking for an effective and simple way to handle disaster recovery.
I have given this product a perfect rating for multiple reasons…
The simplicity and ease of use are hands-down better than any product we compared during the same PoC period. We have never had an issue with our system on the software or hardware side, other than an issue with the amount of objects their back end will handle for AD user authentication.