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With Rubrik Go, backup vendor adopts evergreen pricing

Converged secondary data vendor Rubrik is the latest storage vendor to jump on the cloud-like pricing bandwagon.

Rubrik today said it is adding a subscription pricing model, called Rubrik Go. Go is a three-year subscription that covers software, support and hardware – including refreshes – for data managed on-premises and in public clouds. Customers will pay on a per appliance basis, but licenses can be moved across hardware and clouds. All software and hardware upgrades are included in the three-year subscription.

Rubrik will offer new customers a choice between Go evergreen pricing and traditional perpetual licensing. There will be two versions of Go. Rubrik Go Foundation for cloud backup, recovery and cloud archiving is available now. It includes Rubrik Cloud Data Management software for backup, replication, analytics, copy data management and search as well as CloudOut cloud archiving and Polaris SaaS management.

A Rubrik Go Premium edition will follow later this year with more applications and a higher subscription price.

Rubrik sells its data protection and management software on branded appliances, and channel partners bundle the software on third-party hardware. Rubrik has qualified its software to run on Dell EMC, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Cisco servers, and it runs in AWS and Microsoft Azure clouds.

Jenn Wei, product marketing director for Rubrik, said the vendor came up with Go pricing after surveying customers. “The majority were looking for something different,” she said. “They’re frustrated with licensing. Tech refreshes become expensive. They want automatic access to technology and free upgrades.”

Wei said customers who choose Go pricing will likely pay the same initial price as those who pick perpetual licensing, but refreshes will cost less with subscription licensing.

Rob Owen, chief architect at Rubrik channel partner Computer Design & Integration (CDI), said he welcomes Go evergreen pricing.

“Rubrik is embracing where the industry is going,” Owen said. “Historically with IT infrastructure, most of the complaints are that every three to five years manufacturers come knocking on your door looking for the next deal. And most companies would not give you credit for the software that runs on the hardware. You have to re-buy the software stack on that infrastructure.”

IT companies have been changing their pricing model to mimic the way public cloud services offer storage and compute. Server vendor Lenovo and software-defined storage startup Datrium unveiled pricing new models in recent weeks, but Rubrik Go is most similar to the Pure Storage Evergreen program the flash array vendor adopted in 2017. Pure’s Evergreen Storage includes software and hardware refreshes in its licensing, forging a storage-as-a-service process that makes it an opex rather than capex model.

CDI also sells Pure Storage, and Owen said Pure Evergreen has been popular with his customers.

“Pure leverages commodity hardware the same as Rubrik does,” he said. “The bundled software is the real value. You pay an annuitized fee versus a one-time thing where you only own the software on the hardware you just bought.”

Owen said subscription evergreen pricing would be a better option for almost all IT consumers, with few exceptions where capex makes more sense. “There’s an odd financial model where it won’t make sense, depending on how long you’re going to own a set of equipment,” he said. “If you’re willing to push depreciation of equipment for a long time – typically more than five years – it makes sense to buy maintenance up front with perpetual licensing.”


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