28 Sep 2018
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When Rubrik launched in 2014 with version 1 of the product, it focused on Protecting VMware vSphere workloads. It was able to protect a VMs VMDKs and index the data therein, therefore making the files searchable for easy file-level recovery. In addition, you are also able to live mount a vSphere virtual machine backup snapshot directly from the Rubrik cluster using NFS, essentially bringing the backup snapshot to life as a running virtual machine within seconds. Not only can you do it on one VM, but many virtual machine snapshots at the same time.

But innovation for us doesn't stop at virtual machines. We added support for protecting Microsoft SQL databases, using the native SQL APIs. And yes, of course, we are able to live mount a SQL database backup snapshot from the Rubrik cluster back into SQL server, making the backup snapshot available for querying in MSSQL.

We also support the live mounting of backup snapshots for Hyper-V VMs and managed volumes (containing Oracle Backups).

With CDM4.2 now officially released, I'd like to look at one of the new features we've added, Windows Volumes, and yes, you've guessed it, the live mounting of Windows Volume snapshots.

Windows Volume protection in CDM4.2 enables you to take a backup of a full Windows Volume and therefore the system state. Prior to CDM4.2, Rubrik was able to take a file-level backup of a Windows and Linux VM, but the system state wasn't being protected. In CDM4.2 we are now able to protect the full drive volume, as well as make any backup snapshots of that volume available via our live-mount feature within seconds, by exposing the backup snapshot as an SMB share from the Rubrik cluster.

After a snapshot has been taken of a full Windows Volume, we are able to recover individual files from the volume snapshot (multiple file restores are also a new feature in 4.2), in the same way as what is possible with a VM-level backup or a file-level backup, by either searching for the filename or by browsing the backup snapshot. In addition, we can choose to mount the snapshot which will expose the data within the snapshot as an SMB share:

When selecting the mount option, you will see a list of all the volumes that were backed up with Rubrik:

Selecting the volume and clicking next will present us will a list of available Windows hosts with the Rubrik Connector installed. We can also choose not to mount the snapshot to a specific host, but to rather just expose the backup snapshot via SMB by providing a link to the SMB share:

For someone with a strong background in automation and scripting, the ability to expose backup data of a full Windows Volume via SMB without the need to mount the snapshot to a particular host is a game changer. Remember, this is Rubrik we're talking about. Therefore, if it's in the UI, it was first in the API. And if it's in the API, we can use it in automation. Just think of the possibilities. You can take a backup snapshot of any point in time, programmatically live-mount it via the Rubrik REST API, which will return an SMB link, and use the data in that snapshot for dev/test purposes. When done, just unmount the snapshot again using the API.

For this post, I have selected a C: volume for a Windows host called "mysqldev". I've also opted to mount the snapshot back on to the "mysqldev" host. In the Rubrik UI, we can see the live mount has succeeded by clicking  "Live Mounts -> Windows Volumes":

The backup snapshot has been mounted on the "mysqldev" VM under C:\rubrik-mounts:

 

At Rubrik, we believe that backup infrastructure and the data held within can serve a bigger purpose than just an insurance policy. If you're backing up the data, why not use it in a meaningful way? This feature, as with many other such features in CDM4.2 is just another way that we help enable you to get more out of your backups. Don't Backup, Go Forward!

 

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06 Feb 2018
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So, more than a month has passed since I've joined Rubrik on the 2nd of January 2018. Those who know me would know that before moving to Rubrik, I worked for Computercenter for nine years. So what's it like leaving a secure role in a large corporate environment after such a long time, to join a 4-year-old startup?

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24 Oct 2017
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I've been with Computacenter now for 8 and a half years, during which time I have been privileged to have worked with many talented people and for many wonderful customers. However, every good thing does eventually come to an end. After much deliberation, I've decided that the time has come to bring this chapter of my life to a close.

It is not often that you hear of IT professionals who stay with the same business for 8 or more years. Many of my friends in the industry have changed companies several times during my time at Computacenter. However, within Computacenter, many people have been in the business for much longer than my eight years, some have been there for more than 20 years. When asked why, I'm sure most, if not all of them will tell you that it is an excellent place to work, with many opportunities and a great culture.

However, sometimes opportunities come and find us, rather than us actively looking for them. I've had my fair share of offers over the past eight years to join other businesses, but I've never really felt that those opportunities were right for me. However, this time, I could not just sit back and pass on the opportunity.

So, I am pleased to announce, that as of the 2nd of January 2018, I will be joining Rubrik as a Solutions Architect within the EMEA region. I'm looking forward to the new challenges that await in vendor land.

I've learned a lot during my time at Computacenter, and I will always be grateful for all the support I enjoyed from individuals within the business. However, I believe the move to Rubrik will take me out of my comfort zone and help me grow even further, and I am excited for what lies ahead and grateful for the opportunity. Onwards and upwards!

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21 Mar 2017
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Last night I was searching for a domain name for a new personal project that I would like to kick off. Personally, I don't find searching for a new domain name a fun thing to do. I wanted to see if I could find a domain name which is made up of a combination of words. Some of these include the terms tech, cloud, river, stream, sphere, and many others. As I started my search, I quickly came up with domain names that were already taken. I then decided to look at synonyms for some of these terms. It was at this point that I noticed something peculiar about the word "cloud". This is not a serious post, but just a bit of fun, so check this out:

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20 Mar 2017
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This blog post has the potential to be a very controversial. I'm sure there will be many in the IT industry who will want to protest against a post like this, but there will also be others who would agree with this post.

Disclaimer: Following a review of the first draft of this article, and after careful consideration, I opted to remove about three paragraphs of text. The three pieces of text outlined some of the current buzzwords that drive some of us mad. It also included an extract of text from a website of a well known international consultancy (and no, it's not the one I work for ;-) ), that quite simply put, is a paragraph entirely formed out of BS buzzwords and phrases. You know, one of those monologues that consist of a lot of fancy buzzwords, but doesn't tell you anything. I decided to remove the text as I don't want this article to look like an attack on any individuals or organisations. I didn't mention any names of persons or organisations in this article, nor did I have any particular names in mind when I was writing the article. However, I am conscious of the fact that some people will be drawing conclusions. Therefore, any conclusions drawn by the reader are their own, and do not necessarily represent truth, or align with my intent with this article. You might also be reading some parts of this article and think "this guy is writing about my organisation!". Well, if you've been around the IT industry long enough, you will know that his issue is everywhere. No, it's not just your company. I'll place a bet that it is in every IT business out there.

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16 Mar 2017
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Following on from my original vRetreat blog post, I thought it would make sense to report on some of the technical IT discussions that happened on the day, For this blog post, I am going to be focusing on the presentation by Darren Swift from Zerto.

So who and what is Zerto? Well, as started on the "About Zerto" page on their website,  "Zerto provides enterprise-class disaster recovery and business continuity software specifically for virtualised datacenters and cloud environments."

In simple terms, Zerto provides hypervisor-level replication and automation with no hypervisor vendor-specific lock-in. It provides continuous replication (no snapshots) of virtual machines between hypervisors and replaces traditional array-based replication solutions that were not built to deal with virtualised environments.

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Sitting in Madrid Airport waiting for my flight back to London. That 4am start this morning is starting to pull me… https://t.co/JPZIsH5JnZ
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