The Myth of Boring Backup
Am I crazy for thinking backup is exciting? Prior to joining Rubrik, I was a Gartner analyst for 20+ years and spent the majority of my time there covering primary storage and backup and recovery. As a storage analyst, I saw the consistently high client inquiry volumes on backup and recovery and decided to switch my coverage to this area. Some of my colleagues shook their heads and couldn’t understand why I wanted to cover a technology area that was so “boring.”
To me, backup is not boring; it’s the biggest pain point in the entire data center infrastructure! It has often become a huge burden that slows down an organization’s quest for agility. As I studied the market and technologies, I realized that the pain was caused by too little innovation. All the major enterprise backup solutions only had incremental improvements in the past 20 years and couldn’t meet the new backup and recovery performance requirements. As a result of relentless data growth, backup windows have become longer and longer, while recovery is too slow to meet the requirement of new digital initiatives and changing expectations.
Today, backup has become one of the most exciting fields because it’s experiencing a new technology transformation that can drastically reduce or even eliminate these pains. Rubrik is at the very forefront of the tidal wave, forcing the entire industry to react and change. I’m fortunate enough to not only witness this transformation unfolding but also participate in it by joining the company that has drastically simplified and automated backup.
Another widely held perception is that backup is easy. In reality, enterprise backup solutions are difficult to build because backup tends to be an afterthought when engineers design their exciting next-generation applications. The native backup and recovery functions are often limited within an application, and on top of that, enterprises don’t want to deal with a dozen backup solutions. They need a centralized solution, which leads to the complexity of building a product that can cater to all the non-standardized eccentric behaviors across different operating systems, file systems, applications, workloads and the production infrastructure. Now that public cloud has been widely adopted as a way to lighten up data center workloads and eliminate refresh cycles, backup must deal with different cloud infrastructures—each with its own quirks. That’s why I have high respect for engineers who design and deploy enterprise backup solutions. They are truly the silent heroes making sure our exciting apps and critical data are safe and recoverable.
Backup administration is no small feat, either. Traditional backup software tends to expose all different options and choices, making it a steep learning curve to understand and make the right decision. Often backup requires days of costly professional services to set up and configure. And job-based scheduling is simply too time consuming to scale. Just as storage arrays have become more automated to hide the underlining complexity of LUN or volume management, shouldn’t backup software automate the cumbersome chores of backup operation as well?
What is truly remarkable about Rubrik, in my mind, is that it’s not just shrinking the complex backup infrastructure into one simple-to-deploy, easy-to-scale, and self-healing appliance or software-defined solution. It also automates the entire backup and recovery process, making it is simple, fast, and reliable. Rubrik’s automation story goes beyond backup with its API-based architecture, which enables customers to integrate our solution into their modern IT infrastructure and operations automation systems, such as ServiceNow, Chef, and Puppet.
Best of all, Rubrik decouples data recovery services and other data intelligence services from the infrastructure, making the solution agile and easily deployed on-premises or in the cloud.
Rubrik is like a gush of fresh air blowing into a building that is closed for 20 years, challenging you to think differently about data recovery and inspiring you to do more with your data. Rubrik doesn’t just simplify backup, but also elevates the IT organization into something with high business impact. How cool is that? In the following blogs, I’ll talk about Rubrik’s key design principles that make its solution highly differentiated in the market. Stay tuned.
Want to learn more about how Rubrik modernizes data protection? Check out our eBook, How to Buy Backup and Recovery: A Customer’s Evaluation.