Introducing “Alta” – Rubrik CDM 4.0

Rubrik Cloud Data Management (CDM) 4.0 is Rubrik’s ninth and largest product release. The release, named Alta, expands the Rubrik platform to encompass all major hypervisors, adding Oracle support, furthering SQL support by introducing live mount functionality, and Cloud Instantiation. Additionally, Alta closes the gap with traditional backup architectures by introducing support for tape archival.

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Rubrik CDM 4.0 Features

A few release highlights…

Rubrik Atlas Infographic

  1. Manage and protect all major hypervisors. Support is added for Microsoft Hyper-V and Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor (AHV); this adds to the already supported VMware vSphere. Enterprise organizations are now able to orchestrate application data management and availability across multi-hypervisor and cloud infrastructures.
  2. Spin up applications in a public cloud using Cloud Instantiation. Any data that has been protected on-premises and sent to Amazon S3 can now be powered on as a fully functioning AMI. This functionality will be available for any VMware virtual machines that have been archived to Amazon S3. There is no requirement for a Rubrik Cloud Cluster to be running in the target Amazon region.
  3. Automate protection and recovery of Oracle databases. Database owners and administrators can leverage Rubrik’s high performing multi-stream backups to massively reduce any impact to production and existing workflows for database backups, replication, archival, and compliance.
  4. Live Mount capabilities for Microsoft SQL. Awesome innovation that delivers near-zero recovery times versus potentially hours or even days using other methods for restoring Microsoft SQL Server. With this feature, administrators can power on a SQL Server directly on Rubrik using any point in time. This delivers self-service access along with the powerful suite of APIs that can be used to automate workflows.
  5. Archive data to tape. This is the least sexy major feature but still an important one. Rubrik automates data archival to tape for enterprises who must meet governance specifications or other any type of compliance regulations.

What I’m excited about…

Nutanix AHV support – Nutanix Acropolis is a turn-key infrastructure platform, delivering enterprise-class storage compute, and native virtualization services capable of running nearly any application. In addition to supporting to supporting VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, Acropolis includes its own built in hypervisor, AHV. With the 4.0 Alta release, Rubrik is excited to extend its capabilities to protect AHV virtual machines, making the company one of the first to do so. It’s been a fun journey the past few years watching Nutanix grow their platform and its ecosystem– AHV has matured a lot over the past few releases. I’m looking forward to seeing Rubrik used in large enterprises to protect multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud infrastructures. 

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Cloud Instantiation – There is a clear macro trend of IT workloads moving to the cloud. The use of cloud storage has been a part of the Rubrik story since the initial GA release in 2015. Customers can capture data sources on-premises and leverage cloud resources, such as Amazon S3, as a long-term archival target while still maintaining the ability to search, manage, and restore the data in any location. And now with this release, Rubrik extends the functionality of data in the cloud with cloud instantiation. There’s unlimited use cases for this type of functionality, especially as its feature set grows in future releases. This can assist with DR to cloud strategies or on-premises to cloud or even cross-cloud migrations. 

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Mark your calendars — I’m co-presenting webinars on both topics this summer (AHV on 27 July and AWS Cloud Instantiation on 10 August). You can sign up here.

 

 

 

 

Ravello Ends its Silence

On 23 May, I attended the Oracle Blogger Day at HQ in Redwood City. Ravello, an Oracle family member, has been quiet ever since acquisition. After an excellent day spent deep-diving into the product, I think it is safe to say that Ravello will be silent no more.

If you are not familiar with Ravello, it is an overlay cloud service that allows you to take any VMware based multi-VM application and run it in the cloud. This can be done without any change to workload, storage, or the network configuration. Ravello allows you to seamlessly deploy your existing VMware or KVM based data center workloads on Oracle Public Cloud, AWS, or Google Cloud as-is.

 

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On-premises to cloud migration

Most organizations face challenges when moving an enterprise application to the cloud. This image outlines some of the considerations and difficulties.

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Challenges when moving enterprise application to the cloud

Ravello creates a software layer that abstracts the differences between on-premises and cloud infrastructure (networking, storage, virtualization).

The heart and soul of Ravello is HVX. HVX is a virtualization engine designed specifically for nesting. This is what allows vExperts to easily run ESXi hosts in their cloud service without issue. HVX is designed to run on already virtualized hardware using binary translation with direct execution. It exposes VMware or KVM virtual devices, which is why no changes to the VM are required.

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HVX technology overview

But most impressively, it allows you to run any VM in any cloud. Or so they say.

Currently in Ravello, you can add and/or remove NICs, do simple IP filtering, but not much more. One of the items that was demoed by the team was enhanced network editing. The upcoming new networking capabilities include a visual network topology that allows for the creation of switches, configuration of ports, subnets, VLANs, etc.

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Ravello network overlay

Considering how rudimentary networking has been with Ravello, this enhancement will be warmly welcomed once released.

The storage overlay abstracts underlying cloud storage, exposing block devices to the guests. Ravello uses an image caching, copy on write file system.

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Ravello storage overlay

Transparent RAID0 is used, as needed, for large disks.

At this point, you may be wondering where Oracle is going with Ravello. Imagine deep integration with Oracle Cloud — a true lift and shift to the cloud with even heavy enterprise workloads. Think:

  • Ravello on Oracle’s Bare Metal Cloud Service (BMCS)
  • Leverage virtualization with hardware assist
  • Integration of BMCS and Ravello networking

So, where does this fit for businesses?

  • If Oracle and Ravello can really deliver on a “lift and shift” type migration without need for redesign or reconfigure then this will ease transition into the cloud.
  • Creation of identical cloud resources matching that of on-premises for security or penetration testing, update testing, etc.
  • Identical but isolated environments, such as for educational purposes.

Ultimately, I am glad to see that Ravello is still around and that its use cases are growing. Being integrated with Oracle Cloud has propelled towards becoming a more evolved platform. A big issues that I’ve seen as a consulting architect is the difficult and complex migration of legacy applications from on-premises to the cloud.

All in all, as far as Oracle Cloud and Ravello have come, there is still a lot of work to be done. I’m looking forward to what future releases bring.

 

Thank you to Oracle, Ravello, and the Tech Reckoning crew (John, Kat, Amy) for inviting me out to the inaugural blogger day.