Scaling Software Solutions and Protecting Your Data with Rubrik Cloud

How does Rubrik Compare to other Cloud Based Data Management Companies?

Rubrik Principal Architect Bill Gurling, Sirius CTO Vik Nagjee, and Chris Knapp (System Engineer) and Brian Farmintino (System Infrastructure Manager) for New Hanover Regional Medical Center discussed the importance of cloud data management strategy and Rubrik’s cloud-based solution with host Bill Russell.  

Protecting Data and Scaling with Rubrik

Vik Nagjee – Healthcare & Managed Services, Sirius Computer Solutions

Rubrik is a cloud data management company. According to Gurling, the philosophy is security and resilience at the point of data, which he believes brings significant value to customers. 

When the company interacts with protected data sets in a cloud platform, they utilize API-driven integrations for security data protection and resiliency. Customers appreciate this because it can operate on hybrid and multi-cloud environments, Gurling explained. 

Rubrik allows customers to have a multi-cloud environment, multiple data centers, and various environments and can be applied with similar data tiering data, security models, and frameworks.

“We’ve got a control plane that actually lives in SAS, and you can link that control plane to things that SAS would naturally interact with,” Gurling explained.

As explained by Russell, Rubrik is not a security, DR, or automation platform but has those elements built into it. Essentially, it is a classification data management platforming providing these additional services.

“We’re trying to just produce additional value drivers out of this object or this capability that our customers sort of felt like they had to have,” Gurling said.

Now, according to Gurling, business value can be extracted from these factors, as it can be automated for test development or rapidly orchestrate ransomware recovery. 

“All of a sudden, it goes from a sunk cost to a value driver. And that’s really what we’re trying to do as a company, take this idea of data protection expanded across all of these boundaries and turn it into a value driver instead of a call center,” he said.

Unique Capabilities and Adoption

Addressing ransomware, security at the point of data is a significant driver for their value, according to Gurling. Rubrik was engineered where the file system is immutably built to the lowest primitive, extending to the file system layer where APIs do not accept any override.

Chris Knapp Headshot
Chris Knapp – Systems Engineer, New Hanover Regional Medical Center

More than this, the software utilizes metadata to track good patterns in the data set. This allows for them to detect anomalous behavior. The end-user is alerted if an abnormal pattern is detected, provided with the blast radius (what has been affected and the last known good point of data), and given a workflow for rolling back and recovering data. 

One health system that has taken advantage of Rubrik’s offerings is New Hanover Regional Medical Center, a not-for-profit community hospital located in Wilmington, North Carolina. The team supports multiple hospitals and medical practices.  According to Farmintino, when the hospital began its cloud journey, they were inexperienced. Deciding to jump into the process anyways, they soon realized the need for assistance. 

“We realized that this is new to us, and we really need to partner with a vendor to help us, at least guide us through the basic foundation and the processes that just we weren’t familiar with,” he said. 

Rubrik Origins

One of the first steps was developing a Cloud First Strategy, according to Farmintino. These benefits allowed for increased ability to serve bursts in demand,

Bill Gurling – Principal Architect, Rubrik

as well as exceed provision capacity. An additional goal was to shift IT personnel from managing data to concentrate on higher-value tasks.

They worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS), according to Farmintino, because of a previous project using Alexa, which had been a huge success. 

“That was the kickstart to reducing our data center and getting our IT staff thinking in a different way. It was the start of our journey into the public cloud,” he explained. 

As the hospital continued to acclimate to cloud computing, they moved environments into AWS with hope to increase their cloud footprint. 

According to Farmintino, his team is becoming increasingly agile and is developing skills to help the organization become a multi-cloud environment. 

A governance strategy is needed first when looking at the challenges companies have experienced with a data management strategy in a multi-cloud environment, Nagjee explained. This runs parallel with data management and data protection strategies, which focus on safely backing up and restoring data. 

According to Knapp, when his team first began searching for a new backup solution, they wanted something easy to use. Additionally, he wanted something that started the organization’s cloud journey to leverage cloud functionality to offload workload and storage issues. 

While the team experienced a long proof of concept (POC) to validate older systems’ overall functionality, after receiving hardware, they were “racked and stacked” in four hours, according to Knapp.

Nagjee, who runs large managed service programs around EHR, has found Rubrik works well in this environment. The first thing a cloud-based solution needs to be able to do is protect data across all systems. 

Security and Automation

The protection of data is paramount, according to Nagjee. However, recoverability is also integral if bad action occurs. As teams address this, building automation and orchestration into the workflow is another step. 

As for service provider challenges, they must not have inefficient processes that require a lot of manual intervention, nor require team oversight to address one-off concerns. 

“When you have a platform like Rubrik that was built for the cloud, you can take advantage of what it offers, that you may not already have, in your regular day-to-day operations,” Nagjee said.

According to Nagjee, these additional features allow customers to optimize COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) and be competitive on pricing.

Being built and designed from the cloud, the platform can be flexibly scaled. This means the software can be applied to various environments, regardless of size or complexity, according to Nagjee.

Automation is another aspect of the Rubrik platform. It is offered because it is part of the user experience and approach to data protection, according to Gurling. 

Hooks and integrations are provided for customers to utilize to extend and disintegrate deeper into their environments and processes. Gurling explained customers can enter at any level of the stack. This flexibility is a large part of their philosophy.

When there are mergers and partnerships, Rubrik works as a strong tool. According to Gurling, a reason for this is because of affirmation automation. Their ability to come into any workflow through automation is helpful for daily managing, operating, monitoring, reporting, or altering.

Regarding cloud initiatives, Rubrik describes themselves as a bridge to the cloud, no matter the level of skill a customer is at, according to Gurling.

“The whole idea is just being flexible and multifaceted and really trying to do one thing well, which is tie data sets together and provide insights. I think it goes over really well during M&A [mergers and acquisitions] type scenarios,” Gurling said.

To learn more about this episode of This Week in Health IT, watch the full interview at www.thisweekhealth.com.

Tess Kellogg – Editor-in-Chief
Katie Talpos – Staff Writer

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