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Accelerating Our Automation Focus

If you follow Rubrik, it’s hard to miss that we’re focused on enabling automation in the datacenter. We built an API into Rubrik from the very beginning and frequently talk about automation — whether in blog posts, customer discussions, or presentations.

As 2017 begins, we plan to expand this focus. Our goal is to give back and help the IT community by showing users what can be done with the Rubrik API and automation. We’ll even have some product announcements around API support!

Automation Is the Future of the Modern Datacenter

Simply put, we believe that the IT world is heading towards automation. If you’d like an intro on this topic, this post entitled “Over $500M invested in API companies in 2016, with 16 acquisitions” is a great primer.

Today’s IT environments are becoming increasingly more complex. In some cases, companies such as Rubrik do a lot of hard work under the covers to abstract that complexity underneath policy-driven architectures.

Policy-driven architecture.

A lot of work and decision-making goes into turning a large amount of architecture + development, as pictured above, into simple policies.

SLA policies and snapshots.

However, customers will always need additional capabilities and the ability to link multiple products together. These needs may be satisfied via lightweight scripts or full automation initiatives that cross a whole datacenter, such as with VMware vRealize Automation.

Getting Started Can Be Hard

For many people with a general IT background, it’s hard getting started with scripting or larger automation goals. Oftentimes, they do not know where to begin or don’t have time to determine the value of automation.

In the past, IT teams often focused on Windows batch scripts or *nix shell scripts. For me personally, the focus was on long Bash scripts to automate complex BIND DNS zone additions or inheriting and adapting a Visual Basic program to create thousands of student logins each semester. For others, it was on scripts to change static routes en masse or populate Active Directory or SQL databases for testing.

While lightweight scripts (aka “virtual duct tape”) have always been used, the IT world is moving to languages like PowerShell and Python. In addition, REST APIs have become a critical part of calling services in a relatively product-agnostic way.

From a career perspective, investing in the right mindset and enough baseline tool knowledge to know what is easily possible can be a true force multiplier.

How Rubrik Is Helping

Looking into 2017, our automation focus will consist of continuing improvements with our APIs and creating content to help people get started and go deeper.

API development is key — having a well-developed, consistent API is what actually allows scripts to be lightweight. As discussed in this blog post on Crystal, all capabilities in the Rubrik GUI can be called via the API. We’ll also be releasing further API enhancements this year.

On the content front, we have a lot planned, starting with a webinar on January 26 with Chris Wahl – Automatically Ensure your Applications, Services, and Servers can be Restored (registration link). He’ll show how to use Rubrik’s RESTful APIs to provide backup validation, a powerful example of what’s possible. Follow up content will includes a mix of “101 Getting Started” tutorials and more advanced scenarios across multiple formats, such as:

  • monthly webinars
  • blog posts
  • white papers
  • tutorial videos
  • case studies highlighting “Champions of the API”
  • VMUG presentations

So Who’s Doing This Already?

If you’d like a real-life example of using the Rubrik API, Scott Vintinner has created an impressive SysAdminBoard dashboard system (pictured below). Scott is a Rubrik customer working at a North Carolina law firm. He’s leveraged Rubrik capabilities that are available to all of our customers.

SysAdmin dashboard using Rubrik API.
Here’s to 2017 and automating “all the things”!



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