Why Veeam’s software-driven, hardware agnostic approach makes sense for backups


Late last year I attended a bloggers briefing for the launch of Rubrik Converged Data Management where the secondary storage startup announced version 2.0 of their hardware plus software backup platform. This week Rubrik will be presenting at Tech Field Day 10 and have just relaunched their website to coincide with some new announcements.

Is it safe to say backups are cool again…and even though Veeam have been making backups cool for a while Rubrik are looking to raise the bar and make backups even cooler and above all…highly salable and trustworthy.

For an overview of what Rubrik is and what it’s trying to achieve, click here to go through my introductory post. Below are some screen shots and a quick walk though of the Rubrik setup and first configuration steps taken from the POC box that I have in the Zettagrid Labs testing with the help of Frank Yoo.

Why Veeam’s software-driven, hardware agnostic approach makes sense for backups

Initial Setup and Configuration:

As with most startups these days the initial setup and configuration is heavily guided with the help of a Rubrik engineer…they even offered to fly out the resource (Frank) to do an onsite install over here in Perth which wasn’t required. After racking and stacking the R344 series appliance we connected up a laptop to the same subnet as the management network ports. The setup is fairly automated and makes use of the Bonjour service as well as the inbuilt smarts Rubrik have baked in.


Once the initial node has been reached via a web browser you are ready to set up the default admin user and you go through and configure the basic network settings (note these can’t be modified later without getting into the backend) and NTP configuration.


You next set each of the four nodes Management and Data addresses. The data network will be used to talk to the ESXi hosts and act as the pathway to mount NFS shares for VM restores.


After about 5 minutes you are ready to log in. The architecture of the Rubrik block is such that you can hit any of the IP addresses to enter the management UI.


The interface is fluid and simple to operate with a number of informational dashboards throughout the various menu options.


From the Top Right Configuration Icon you can work through the different options and the Rubrik team have made it straight forward to configure users, add target vCenter instances as well as setting replication and archive endpoints.

Why Veeam’s software-driven, hardware agnostic approach makes sense for backups


You can add multiple vCenter servers and all you need to connect is the IP address and a vCenter account with the necessary privileges.



You can also connect to an Active Directory domain for user authentication however this feature is still a little underdone and doesn’t let you do any role based access control yet.


Once connected to AD you get a list of all users from which you can modify through the UI and grant access permissions to.


The left hand menu is used to navigate through the Backup operations as well as reporting.



Why Veeam’s software-driven, hardware agnostic approach makes sense for backups

The static images don’t do the UI justice and as you can see below there is lots of details when it comes to node configuration, usage and overall health as well as current IO throughput numbers and disk performance.
rubrik_first_look_13So there is a quick walk through of some of the main screens of the UI as you install and configure the Rubrik Backup Appliance for the first time. It really is a quick start to finish from the time the nodes are first powered up to when you are able to do your first VM backup and there isn’t too much to grasp in terms of mastering the interfaces knobs and dials.

I am hoping that there are some more great announcements at TFD10 that further enhance the feature set included in v2.0 and I’m looking forward to going through a few more blog posts around setting up SLA Domains that essentially dictate backup frequency as well as the archival and replication features that are currently available.

Why Veeam’s software-driven, hardware agnostic approach makes sense for backups

Rubrik have well and truly shaken up the backup market and that can only serve to increase the quality of all vendors in the space as backups continue to be a challenge within IT.