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January 5, 2017updated 04 Jan 2018 11:33am

Inside Silicon Valley Startup Rubrik: Reinventing Cloud Backup

CEO Bipul Sinha believes his company has the cure to the 'drought of innovation' in the backup and recovery space. All the more important in a world of mega breaches and cyber attacks, the Rubrik CEO tells CBR how his company is re-imagining backup with cloud.

By Ellie Burns

Rubrik is one of the hottest Silicon Valley startups of the moment, having over $112 million in funding since its inception just 30 short months ago. With numerous Fortune 500 companies making up the company’s customer base, the company has seen exceptional growth since its inception by engineers behind Google, Facebook, VMWare and Data Domain.

Founder and CEO Bipul Sinhu is heading up the startup, having previously worked at Lightspeed, where he invested in Snapchat and Numerify. Before that he

bipul sinha, Rubrik CEO

Bipul Sinha, Rubrik CEO and co-founder.

worked at Blumberg Capital where he was the founding investor and board member of Nutanix, a “multi-billion dollar unicorn” company.

Giving an insight into the company and explaining why cloud backup is so vital in the era of ransomware and cybercrime, Mr Sinhu talks to CBR.

 

CBR: Why are backups so important?

BS: Data is the lifeblood of the Enterprise. It’s critical to the well-being, development and growth of any organisation. However, at any given moment access to data could be compromised through things like system failure, power outages, or even worse cybercrime, such as the spiralling rise in ransomware. ‘When’, not necessarily ‘if’ these things happen, backup and recovery plans are the difference between a slight inconvenience or more critically losing all of your data. And this applies to every industry. Looking at healthcare for example, hospitals depend on constant access to their data, be it patient records or other clinical data, which is usually stored electronically today. If this data is compromised or lost hundreds of patients’ lives may be at risk.

And backups alone aren’t enough. If a backup can’t be restored, quickly, what use is it to you and your team? The true test of a backup solution is in its ability to restore data, as inaccessible data is about as much use as data that’s been compromised or lost. At Rubrik instant recovery is built into our ethos. The simplicity and performance of Rubrik enables companies to recover from system outages in seconds rather than hours.

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Given our current landscape and the exponential surge in data breaches in recent years, backups, and the ability to rapidly restore those backups, are more important now than ever.

 

CBR: How have backups, or the failure to backup, been significant in recent threats like ransomware?

BS: Ransomware is different to traditional threats in that the attacker’s goal is to prevent the victim from accessing their data, not steal it. In these cases, the data affected by ransomware often doesn’t leave the enterprise, meaning that your traditional network defences, designed to prevent the exfiltration of data, are rendered useless.

Earlier this year cyber criminals in the UK crippled a well-known hosted desktop and cloud provider, infecting its multi-tenanted environments with a new ransomware virus and demanding a hefty reward to have its data freed. This resulted in a £18,600 pay-out.  Other such pay-outs in the US have been in the six-figures.

cloud backup - ransomware

To counteract this, enterprises should not only make attacks difficult to mount, but also ensure that they have access to their data if an attack is successful. With an effective backup solution, and the ability to instantly restore data, ransomware can ideally be reduced to a minor inconvenience as opposed to a costly, time consuming and critical event.  Last quarter we had a few customers who used Rubrik to recover from ransomware attacks.

Whilst no combination of security measures will totally defend from a ransomware attack, enterprises can address the problem with an approach that integrates security and data protection. As well as making life as difficult as possible for attackers, enterprises need to ensure that they have access to their data if an attack is successfully carried out.

 

CBR: Why have businesses struggled to deal with data backups?

BS: It’s largely due to legacy architectures: with the rapid adoption of virtualisation and the surge in big data, enterprises struggle to access, retrieve and recover all their data from siloed systems. Today’s enterprises need a next-generation solution that provides consistent performance, whilst simplifying the management of backup and recovery.

With Rubrik we eliminate this legacy problem by providing a converged data management platform that delivers complete protections and rich data services at a cloud scale.

It takes previously siloed services, be it back up software, replication or storage, and converges them into a single fabric that can scale up to thousands of nodes.  With Rubrik, our customers go from days to minutes per week managing their backups.

 

CBR: How should businesses approach backups?

BS: There’s been a drought of innovation when it comes to how data is backed up andcloud backup managed over the past decade, whilst the actual amount of data being generated has grown tenfold. Legacy architectures, , often result in fragmented management and numerous points of failure that are complicated to address and take days or even weeks to recover data. It’s imperative that enterprises simplify how their backups are managed and protected.

Second, forward thinking businesses should look at how the backup environment can be used for productive purposes such as to power on-demand cloud instantiation, test/dev. or analytics.  These kinds of uses make the business more effective and increase the ROI of IT investments.

 

CBR: How does Rubrik address this?

BS: Rubrik’s purpose is to simplify how backup and recovery works in enterprises. To do this we abandoned legacy architecture approaches and created a new solution that simplifies backup and recovery for virtualised and physical environments, eliminating backup software by integrating data orchestration, catalogue management, and de-duplicated storage into a single, scale-out fabric.We aim to make lengthy backup setup times, broken job scheduling, and uncertain recoveries are relics of the past.

Because Rubrik makes data easily accessible and ties into existing applications via a rich set REST APIs, an increasing number of our customers also use Rubrik to manage their data across Clouds, to power their test/dev environments and provide data for analytics.

 

CBR: How has the involvement of Google and Facebook engineers affected Rubrik’s development?

BS: It’s certainly injected us with a consumer-like, user first mentality that’s built on providing a simple, intuitive user experience that we have come to expect in our consumer lives. I like to say that if you can use Google, you can use Rubrik.

We’ve made it easy to quickly locate VMs and files with a Google-like search: simply type a few letters into Rubrik’s predictive search engine and you’ll be instantly served results and suggestions. This applies to all your data, be it on-premise, in the cloud or on another storage tier. All data managed by Rubrik is searchable and can be extracted at a granular level.

rubrik cloud backup

 

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