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Make No Mistake, Rubrik is a Software Company

Rubrik as a company has been around for several years now. Founded in 2013 the initial concept was to create a backup product centered around delivering a simple solution to enterprise customers. Manually creating jobs and assigning virtual machines to them is no longer necessary thanks to Rubrik’s use of SLAs and policies. Scaling the solution as data grows is easy due to the scale out nature of the platform. Simply rack and stack more nodes, or “bricks”, and add them to your cluster.

The Rubrik Value Prop

The scale out nature of the platform and the dependency upon purchasing Rubrik hardware has led to objections from some that Rubrik is locking customers into their hardware and is more interested in selling boxes than software. To a degree, I get it. Often times customers want to have control over every element of their IT infrastructure. But frankly, these objections miss the point of Rubrik and what they are about.

Often times enterprise IT shops are willing to let go of flexibility and control over certain aspects of a solution in favor of simplicity. This is what Rubrik seeks to deliver by offering their software via their own nodes. The hardware serves as a path to get their software into a customers environment and are not a differentiator.

It All Comes Back to the Software

During their recent appearance at Cloud Field Day 5, Rubrik’s team covered a variety of topics. To be honest I may have missed what the overall message was, but the key takeaway from all the presentations for me was that Rubrik is not only focused on creating great software but enabling their customers to take advantage of a software first mindset as well.

The amount of R&D time and money spent on the Rubrik platform is apparent with the release of Rubrik’s Polaris platform late last year. Growing beyond simply being a backup solution to a full data management platform has likely been a long term goal of the company’s founders that they were finally able to unveil with the announcement. During Cloud Field Day David Terei, Lead Engineer at Rubrik, spent a significant amount of time talking about both the vision and architecture of Polaris.


The level of detail provided by Terei is probably unnecessary for most customers taking a look at Rubrik, but it does drive home the point that the company is very mindful of the way their platform is designed and that they are focused on creating a great experience for their customers. It can also get customers thinking about how they approach Rubrik as a software platform and unique ways in which they may leverage its capabilities and APIs.

Build: Like Lego Bricks, but as Code

Further along the point of leveraging code and APIs to manipulate infrastructure and data, Rubrik also covered their new open source community, Rubrik Build, during Cloud Field Day. Technical Marketing Engineers Matt Elliott and Mike Preston gave the Field Day audience an introduction to Rubrik build as well as highlighting some of it use cases.

Build exists as a community essentially to enable customers. Rubrik has been advocating an API first mindset for a long time, but many of their customers do not have the necessary experience to adopt such a mindset. By providing documentation and learning resources as well as automation and tooling examples, Rubrik is providing the onramp to enable customers start thinking about approaching their infrastructure as a software construct and unlock new possibilities.

Ken’s Conclusion

Enterprise IT has been undergoing a revolution in recent years where infrastructure needs to be a software resource, whether it is on-premises or in the cloud. This does not just include the primary infrastructure that hosts workloads, but all elements of infrastructure including data protection and data management capabilities. Rubrik is keen to highlight their involvement in this movement and their commitment to not only being a software first company but enabling their customers enable a software driven mindset as well.

About the author

Ken Nalbone

Ken is an IT infrastructure professional with over 15 years experience. His areas of specialty are the software-defined data center and cloud technologies. In addition to being a writer for Gestalt IT, Ken is an Event Lead for the Cloud Field Day and Tech Field Day series of events.

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