This content is part of the Conference Coverage: NetApp Insight 2019 Las Vegas: Conference highlights and updates

Rubrik customers get validated NetApp StorageGrid target

Rubrik's Cloud Data Management is now tested and validated to work with NetApp's StorageGrid, giving customers a new target option for backup and archiving across hybrid clouds.

Rubrik joined forces with NetApp to test and validate a new on-premises object storage target for backup and archive customers.

Rubrik's Cloud Data Management (CDM) software lets users set policies to automate data protection to public clouds and on-premises storage, including S3-based object systems such as NetApp StorageGrid. Customers can restore their files, virtual machines and databases regardless of the physical location.

NetApp's StorageGrid and Rubrik's CDM share key capabilities such as support for policy-based automation, to ease data protection and management, and file metadata indexing, to enable global searches of potentially massive amounts of unstructured data.

Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) senior analyst Christophe Bertrand said the Rubrik-NetApp partnership reflects a shift from traditional backup and recovery to the market's "next phase of evolution across hybrid infrastructures." He said that phase is "really about data reuse, intelligent data management and automation of workflows in order to generate more leverage out of data assets that would otherwise be dormant."

Bertrand said NetApp's StorageGrid is a great match for Rubrik's advanced data management capabilities because it can scale across hybrid infrastructures.

Growing object storage adoption

Adoption of object storage is growing for hybrid, multi-cloud applications, according to Steven Hill, a senior analyst at 451 Research. He said enterprises then need to provide common, policy-based lifecycle management and governance for data that increasingly resides outside traditional data centers.

The collaboration between Rubrik and NetApp offers a level of information management that's "more capable of addressing the long-term security, protection, governance and continued value of business data, regardless of where it's physically hosted," Hill said.

"Because of the limited capabilities of file systems, data management in the past was pretty much limited to filename, path and date information," Hill said. "With data growing like it is, IT needs a better way of automating governance that can only be accomplished by gathering more information about the data itself in the form of metadata. That metadata can then be used as criteria for automating policy-based management, and those policies can then be extended to any object stores, spanning any number of locations."

Impetus for Rubrik-NetApp partnership

Rubrik and NetApp forged their partnership on the new "Rubrik Cloud Data Management for NetApp StorageGrid" after noticing they were working independently with some of the same customers and partners, according to Rubrik chief commercial officer Wendy Bahr.

Although Rubrik CDM and NetApp StorageGrid are not tightly integrated, the vendors claim their partnership went beyond routine product certification. They said they worked jointly for months on end-to-end testing and documentation and technical reports for their professional services and support teams.

"It's beyond just two Lego blocks that fit together," said Duncan Moore, senior director of the StorageGrid software group at NetApp.

Moore said the Rubrik partnership would open up new ways for NetApp customers to use StorageGrid now that they have a "simplified backup and archive solution that they didn't have before." Customers can choose to manage data policies through Rubrik or NetApp, he said.

Because Rubrik CDM and NetApp StorageGrid can deploy as software-only, they could run as discrete products on the same server. But the vendors expect most customers will run the software on separate hardware.

Deployment options

CDM can run on Rubrik-sold appliances, other certified server hardware and compute instances in the public cloud. NetApp StorageGrid can tier objects to S3-based public cloud targets but doesn't run in the cloud. Deployment options for StorageGrid include NetApp appliances, VMware virtual machines and Linux-based servers in Docker containers.

Neither Rubrik nor NetApp will carry each other's products on their price list. Customers can buy Rubrik Cloud Data Management for NetApp StorageGrid through authorized channel partners. Moore said customers could also use NetApp's or Rubrik's professional services to put together the system.

Ramesh Chitor, senior director of strategic alliances and business development at Rubrik, said partners are asking the company to lead with a preference for NetApp StorageGrid because of their complementary product architectures.

The Rubrik website shows a long list of partners, including Amazon, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi Vantara, IBM Cloud, Microsoft, Nutanix, Oracle, Pure Storage, Red Hat, Scality, SwiftStack, VMware, Wasabi and Western Digital. Rubrik, which released its first product in 2015, closed on a $261 million funding round early this year, raising its overall total to $553 million.

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