Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Startup Rubik Seeks to Disrupt Data Management Market 

Cloud infrastructure startups are popping up these days in Silicon Valley like spring daffodils. The latest to emerge from stealth mode is Rubrik Inc., which rolled out a converged data management platform this week that eliminates the need for backup software.

Rubrik, Palo Alto, Calif., was founded by top engineers from Data Domain, Facebook, Google and VMware. Co-founder and CEO Bipul Sinha is also a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, which led an oversubscribed $10 million Series A funding round. Sinha was also a founding investor in enterprise virtualization and storage vendor Nutanix.

Arvind Jain, a former Google distinguished engineer, serves as Rubrik's vice president of engineering.

The startup also refers to its data management platform as a "time machine for cloud infrastructure" in that it offers live access for data recovery and application development. Backup software is eliminated under its scheme by merging data management with web-scale IT infrastructure. The result, the startup asserts, is a new capability for backing up and recovering data across private and public clouds.

Rubrik cited industry estimates that enterprises will spend about $47 billion in 2015 on infrastructure used to protect data, manage disaster recovery and enable DevOps as well as archival storage to meet data compliance requirements. The startup is betting that legacy architectures will not be able to keep pace with the growth of big data.

The startup's "time machine" is billed as eliminating the need to kluge legacy infrastructure together to manage data from recovery to provisioning production replicas for DevOps teams. The data management platform "delivers live data and seamless scale in a hybrid cloud environment," Sinha asserted in a statement announcing the startup.

Rubrik said pent up demand for new approaches to data management in the cloud prompted it to launch "early access program" through which converged data management platform is immediately available. The startup said it is already working with several unnamed customers and partners.

Besides Sinha and Jain, Rubrik's other co-founders are architect Soham Mazumdar, architect of Google's disk-based search index, and Arvind Nithrakashyap, a former Oracle engineer who also co-founded Oracle Exadata.

Lead investor Lightspeed Venture Partners includes a long list of Silicon Valley veterans, including former Data Domain CEO Frank Slootman, Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey and former Symantec CEO and Microsoft Chairman John Thompson.

The investors said Rubrik's data management approach could disrupt a market that has "remained stagnant for more than a decade" while addressing the "foundation of enterprise IT."

The rise of Hadoop and other database deployments and the resulting data explosion is forcing companies to reconsider data management schemes as they increasingly seek to unlock silos of enterprise application data for business analytics.

While Rubrik seeks to disrupt the market, others have proposed more traditional approaches incorporating storage with analytic and processing power. For example, EMC Corp.'s Isilon storage unit and partner Cloudera announced a data management platform last fall that leverages scale-out storage and big data analytics.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).