UPDATED 22:16 EST / JUNE 21 2016


Bringing sexy back to data protection | #NEXTConf

Data protection and recovery have maintained the same principles for many years, but as infrastructure changes along with the data center, data protection is interesting all of a sudden because vendors like Rubrik, Inc. are changing the process from backbreaking work to fun.

Chris Wahl, technical evangelist at Rubrik, joined Stu Miniman (@stu) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), cohosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, at the Nutanix. NEXT Conference at the Wynn Las Vegas to talk about his new role in data protection and backup with Rubrik and what the company has to offer.

Can protection be sexy?

At first, Wahl said data protection did not seem like a sexy thing, but as he got to know the company, the culture and the product, he could not turn down Rubrik’s CEO Bipul Sinha request for him to join the team.

According to Wahl, the team at Rubrik wanted to wipe the slate clean, converge all of the different pieces into an appliance and make it software-centric. It also needed to be easy to deploy and very API-centric. The Rubrik solution (its Converged Data Management appliance) offers one interface, instead of multiple screens and it handles most of the nuances for you automatically.

“So it checks all those boxes of what people doing data center protection and doing data center architecture are looking for in this very fun very usable form factor. It’s a nice package,” Wahl said. “Imagine if you could take all of what you wanted data protection to be and just give that to a policy … then you have this special smart board, cube kind of fabrication that’s underneath it that figures out data protection, what to back up, where to put it and how often to put it in those places for you. That’s fun because then you set the backups and it’s all about the restores and building services on top of it,” Wahl said.

The backup business problem

Vellante brought up many of the data protection pain points, such as backup is usually one size fits all, it’s viewed as insurance, it’s expensive, it’s complicated, etc.. Wahl explained that these complaints have not really changed because the architecture flow needs to be addressed. He said that the old policy rule of “thou shall back up every day” needs to be replaced with a solution that is not a one-policy-fits-all design and provide the fine grain control that admins are looking for in a solution.

Wahl pointed out that the Rubrik vision is pretty simple. “The vision is to make backup fun again. To make it simple, to make it elegant and primary among all of those is to make the user experience something you enjoy actually doing,” he said. He went on to say the process needs to be a first-class citizen, noting that if the process has a lot of friction, it’s not going to be something anyone wants to do.

Day in the life of customer

Is it difficult to get buy-in from customers on this new type of data protection? According to Wahl, it’s about perception. With the old data protection methods, there was a need for many levels of expertise; now with Rubrik, the system handles all these processes and there is a hierarchy of policy assigned at every level.

Wahl said that for the administrators, it’s scary and a bunch of what-ifs. “It’s about what if a new way of thinking. In some ways, you’re kind of releasing control. You’re saying I’m going to do this in a policy declarative manner, which is a little new in the infrastructure space,” he stated. Wahl explained it as a “you have to see it to believe it kind of thing.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the Nutanix .NEXT Conference 2016.

Photo by SiliconANGLE

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