The Wish List for Nutanix Centric Enterprise backups?

I was asked today what I would look for for in a solution that was Nutanix focused for backup. Just quickly spit balling I came up with the following list:

Backup vendor must use ABS to eliminate the needs for multiple proxies or solve this using a similar method.

Backup vendor must support or show a road map of supporting AFS change file tracking? Minimum of supporting NAS backup

Backup vendor must support backing up volume groups.

Backup vendor must support backing up Nutanix snapshots that have been replicated from a remote site to a primary DC.

Backup vendor must support Change Region Tracking for AHV. ESXi is a plus.

Backup vendor must support synthetic full backups.

Backup vendor must have native support for X APP, list your App like SQL.

Backup vendor must have an open API.

Got any others to add?


Will DR and Backup power AHV sales to 50%?

.Next has come and gone like your favorite holiday. Tons of hustle and bustle with great euphoric feelings followed by hitting a wall and being extremely tired. The Nutanix conference was chalked filled with announcements but the most powering to me were the ones related to DR and Backup. AHV being built with Cloud in mind is surging but adoption has been slowed by 3rd Party backup support. You can have this great automated hypevisor with best in class management but if you can’t back it up easily it will curb adoption.

This number will grow rapidly now with all of the backup and DR

This number will grow rapidly now with all of the backup and DR options

So before .Next 2017 DR and Backup Options for AHV included:
Commvault with support for IntelliSnapp
• Time Stream – Native DR with Time Stream
o 1 node backup with the NX-1155
o Backup/DR to Storage Only Clusters
o Cloud Connect to AWS and Azure
o DR/Backup to a full cluster.
• Any backup software with agents

After .Next 2017 announcements for AHV Backup and DR support include:
HYCU from Comtrade – Rapidly deployed software using turn-key appliances. Great choice if you have some existing hardware that you can use or place onto Nutanix. Point, click, done. Check out more here.
Rubrik – A hardware based appliances that do the heavy lifting for you. Check out more here.
Veeam – Probably best known for making backup easy on ESXi have announced support for AHV later this year. Nutanix added Veeam as a Strategic Technology Partner within the Nutanix Elevate Alliance Partner Program. Going Green!
Druva – Nutanix users can now take full advantage of Druva Phoenix’s unique cloud-first approach, with centralized data management and security. Only ESXi today and agents with AHV but agentless support is coming. More here.
• Backup and DR to full Nutanix Clusters get near-sync to achieve very low RPO. Read more on near-sync here.
Xi Cloud Services, a native cloud extension to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform that powers more than 6000 end-customers around the globe. This announcement marks another significant step towards the realization of our Enterprise Cloud vision – delivering a true cloud experience for any application, in any deployment model, using an open platform approach. For the first time, Nutanix software will be able to be consumed as a cloud service.

Maybe 50% for AHV is a lofty goal but I can see 40% by next year for new sales as people focus on their business rather than the day to day to headaches. With a very strong backing in backup and DR AHV growth will flourish.


Rubrik: Not Hyper-converged, just easy.

Rubrik is a backup appliance that uses the next wave of technology from the web world to allow an scale out, pay as grow infrastructure for your backup environment. While Rubik is simple and easy to get up and going and has a similar architecture to Nutanix it is not hyper-converged. It’s not hyper-converged because it does not run applications. Rubrik being backed by scale is allowing hard problems to solved and giving simplicity to its customers.

Rubrik Architecture

The Interface
The interface layer allows Rubrik to be agnostic in the future but today they only backup VMware environments today. Like Nutanix, anything in the UI is done with RESTAPI call which aloows customer to interact with the system in variety of ways. Cloud Connect allows them to plug in multiple vendors even though they only support AWS today. I know the work required to connect to different cloud providers is no easy task but it’s great to see that they have planned for it up front. The interesting feature that they is the ability to restore at the file level, even if the vmdk is stored in AWS. If you have a 500 GB VMDK in AWS and you only want to restore a 20 GB file, you have the ability to do so at a fraction of the cost.

The Logic
The data management layer handles the whole life cycle of your data, ingest, maintaining snapshots based on splices and archiving to the cloud based on polices. The search indexes all of the data coming into the system so you can quickly grab any data you need.

The Core

The system is built to scale and is a master-less system so any node can be lost and services will continue to run. The metadata layer resides on flash so all metadata lookups are fast. All of the backup catalog data lives inside of the metadata layer, so as you scale out and select different restore points and everything remains fast. The distributed task framework uses the concept of data locality in scheduling jobs so data is getting shuffled around needlessly when doing data processing.

Rubrik also has its only distributed file system to ensure both storing the data in the most compact way but also lay out the data to allow for very quick restores for any version on demand. Data is stored using RF3 but it is configurable. Being a backup appliance Rubrik doesn’t have to worry about burning through CPU and it’s efficiency, instead it has the freedom to use all of the CPU to squish down copies of data so RF3 doesn’t really become an issue.

Being scale-out allows Rubrik to use multiple streams to backup data going to different CPU’s. This is very important when stunning VM’s for something like VSS snapshots and reducing backup windows.

I look forward to seeing Rubrik support other hypervisors and hopefully the Acropolis hypervisor sometime in the future ( I don’t have a road map, I am just wishful thinking).


Simplicity & Choice for Private & Public Cloud Backup. #.NEXT with #Rubrik

As the inaugural .NEXT conference slowly creeps up and the speed and change in the industry is only continuing to accelerate. While CIOs, Operations managers, development teams and sysadmins struggle to keep pace an important ally has become the ability for the customers to demand choice and simplicity. Simplicity reduces pain and choice gives the feeling of safety.

While Steve Herrod was CTO at VMware he had coined the term Software Defined Datacenter. The ability for a workload to live anywhere has been dream for many years but now is a reality as other services like backup and disaster recovery have continued to evolve. It’s always been easy to spin up virtual machines but another to protect and manage them all.

Technologies from Nutanix and Gold sponsor of .NEXT, Rubrik highlights how customers are adapting to backup and disaster recovery needs. Simplicity comes in the form of the mentality of it “just works” across private or public backup solutions.

Rubrik being a virtualization only backup solution has many similarities to Nutanix. Both Nutanix and Rubrik provide simplicity with:
· Rapid deployment
· Fractional consumption based models
· Built web-scale technologies that are designed to scale on demand
· As you scale configuration complexity doesn’t increase
· Per VM backup to local and remote appliances and AWS
· Ability to create multiple backup schedules, SLAs & retention periods
· HTML 5 user interface to avoid plugins, reduce setup times and highly available control plane

When things “Just Work” you don’t have to be an expert in the technology and you can focus your time on how your business makes money. Backup and DR are a time sinks until unfortunately time comes when you need to use them. As public cloud back up uses cases it great for companies that don’t have to spend the money on keeping the lights on for backup\DR.

Some other similarities between the two companies are make up of the companies. There is a heavy DNA of google blood line in engineering, they share a common venture capital firm in Lightspeed Ventures. Both the CEO of Rubrik, Bipul Sinha and one of the founders of Rubrik Mark Leslie, sit on the board of Nutanix. If you’re thinking you like a full stack play, Nutanix can be your primary data fabric and Rubrik for your secondary fabric. Remember, friends not let friends do complex!

Nutanix & Rubrik

Check out the chassis, Top and bottom, notice anything similar?!

Choice is important because there is never 1 way to do things for 100% for everybody. When it comes to getting work done most of us have experience of being locked into the UI of vendor X. If it’s not in the UI you can’t change the workflow to meet your needs and then you start doing things that really consume a lot of time. Manually adding VM’s to backups it just one of those boring redundant tasks. In a large cloud environment you wouldn’t want to just backup every new virtual machine every 1 hr on the 1 hr but might want to do this say after X days once it been deemed important. This could be both accomplished by Nutanix or Rubrik via Rest API’s with ability to tie in your own business logic into the workflow.

Rest API’s represent the ultimate choice in how to run your infrastructure. When Marc Andreessen’s authored “Software is Eating The World” was about the industries being distributed by software. Both Nutanix and Rubrik share this view and have more news on how they’re both disrupting the datacenter at .NEXT.