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 This functionality will be available for any VMware virtual machines that have been archived to Amazon S3.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. 


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. 


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.





Nutanix Vocabulary

This will be the first post of a series —as I am going to post my study notes for NPP as a general reference and a study tool for others. We’ll start with the basics, Nutanix vocabulary.

The Nutanix Xtereme Computing Platform (XCP) is a converged, scale-out compute and storage system that is purpose built to host and store virtual machines.

XCP is comprised of two components:

Acropolis – data plane made up of App Mobility Fabric (AMF), Distributed Storage Fabric (DSF) and hypervisor integration.

  • App Mobility Fabric (AMF) – logical construct built into Nutting solutions that allows application and data to freely move between environments. The AMF abstracts the workloads (Containers, VMs, etc.) from the hypervisor, which is what provides this ability to easily move applications and datas around.
  • Distributed Storage Fabric (DSF)  – distributed system that pool storage resources and provides storage platform capabilities such as snapshots, disaster recovery, compression, erasure coding, and more. Nodes work together across a 10 GbE network to form a Nutanix cluster and the DSF.
  • Hypervisor –  ESXi, Hyper-V, and Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV)

PRISM – provides management UI for administrators to configure and monitor the cluster. This web interface also provides access to REST APIs and the nCLI.

A few more terms to be familiar with (since I used them in the section above!):

Node – the foundational unit for a Nutanix cluster. Each node runs a standard hypervisor (ESXi, Hyper-V, and AHV) contains processors, memory, network interfaces, and local storage (SSDs and HDDs).

Block – a Nutanix rackable unit containing up to four nodes

Nutanix Node.png

Cluster – set of Nutanix blocks and nodes that forms the Acropolis Distributed Storage Fabric (DSF). A cluster must contain a minimum of three nodes to operate.

The three objects that allow the Nutanix platform to manage storage are:

Storage Pool – is a group of physical storage devices, including SSD and HDD devices, for the cluster. The storage pool can span multiple Nutanix nodes and is expanded as the cluster scales.

  • It’s recommended that a single storage pool be created to manage all physical disks within the cluster.

Container – is a logical segmentation of the storage pool and contains a group of VMs or files (vDisks). Containers are usually mapped to hosts as shared storage in the form of an NFS datastore or an SMB share.

vDisk – is a subset of available storage within a container that provides storage to virtual machines. If the container is mounted as an NFS volume, then the creation and management of vDisks within that container is handled automatically by the cluster. Any file over 512 KB is a vDisk.

nutanix bible.png

(Image above taken from

Some more storage terms:

Datastore – logical container for files necessary for VM operations.

Storage Tiers – utilize MapReduce tiering technology to ensure that data is intelligently placed in the optimal storage tier —flash or HDD —to yield the fastest possible performance.

The general process for provisioning storage is as follows:

  1. Create a storage pool that contains all physical disks in the cluster.
  2. Create a container that uses all of the available storage capacity in the storage pool.
  3. Mount the container as a datastore.


More to come over the next few weeks!