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Updated 29th April 2020, Rob Morrison

Alternatives and Competitors to Rubrik

There are many solutions available in the backup and recovery space. While a lot of backup vendors have been building their reputation for many years - there is one relative newcomer, and it is called Rubrik.

Rubrik is a platform that works with data in the cloud, and it is used across many different verticals, from delivery to healthcare and government organizations. Rubrik’s solution is also used for backup and recovery purposes in data centers, allowing for easier scaling of the user’s cloud-based services with a high level of security and easy access to business data when needed. It is a relatively young company, too - having been found in 2014.

Rubrik’s base is a platform that includes data backup, recovery, search, archive and a good number of other operations with data. Rubrik users can easily retrieve lost files, restore their applications and data in case of a failure or a disaster - and with little downtime. It’s all-in-one platform also means that users can access their applications and data (databases, VMs, singular files etc.) both through the cloud and from on-premise locations.

Rubrik is also known for its customizable dashboards and visual reports to provide  for useful insights across a user's cloud environment. There’s also an extensive policy engine to consider, which allows users to create or automate multiple policies, be it for backups, replication or archival, which saves a lot of time and resources.

Generally speaking, using Rubrik provides a good number of benefits, including:

  • Highly customizable policy engine
  • Predictive global search functionality with access to data from both on-site and off-site
  • Instant data recovery with no data rehydration
  • Data deduplication
  • Low RTOs
  • Extensive customizable visual reports to allow for more conclusive insights
  • Scalability, suitable for all kinds of business, from smaller companies to large enterprises
  • Low deployment time
  • User-friendly UI for all types of workloads - be it cloud, physical or virtual
  • Ransomware detection and recovery using Polaris Radar
  • Continuous data protection for VMware, and more

Polaris Radar is one of the most unusual services provided by Rubrik. It is used to both monitor for potential ransomware and to also make a faster recovery after an incident occured by analyzing which files were targeted and what’s the damage extent. The whole process can be summarized in three steps:

  • Anomaly detection - Polaris is using machine learning experience on the application metadata to look for unusual and suspicious activity - ransomware. The nature of machine learning implies that the detection mechanism is getting better and better all the time;
  • Threat analysis - Polaris monitors changes in data over time to know in advance which parts of your database were corrupted and need to be replaced;
  • Restoration - Polaris’s user-friendly UI allows to restore the corrupted files to their previous versions in just a few simple clicks.

There are a lot of benefits when choosing Rubrik as your backup and recovery platform. However, there is room for improvement. For example, some features that Rubrik alternatives provide and Rubrik itself doesn’t are the following:

  • Granular recovery for Active Directory;
  • Granular management for VM backups;
  • Native support for more applications, like MySQL
  • Easier troubleshooting and log writing/deciphering in case of a failure
  • Data caching for rapid data recovery from the Cloud
  • Backup and Recovery of Kubernetes clusters
  • Backup and Recovery of Container persistent data

The backup solution market itself is rapidly growing on a yearly basis. While Rubrik is considered one of the better solutions available - other competitors such as Bacula Enterprise are rating higher in some peer review sites.

As it stands, Rubrik is a highly favorable data protection and data management solution that works primarily within hybrid IT environments. The platform itself has a lot of useful features, like Rubrik Cloud Data Management (RCDM), Office 365 backup support, Oracle database live mount capability, SAP HANA backup capability, Polaris Radar for both ransomware detection and ransomware recovery, and so on. One of the most useful features is reported to be the Live Mount capability, which allows for easy and fast recovery of SQL Server databases - those databases are launched from within the backups stored in the Rubrik cluster.

To compare Rubrik and Bacula Enterprise directly, there are some similarities between them, regarding advanced tools and user-friendly interfaces. There are also differences, though, For example, unlike Rubrik, Bacula has a much more rapid, easy to access - and free - trial

Another Bacula advantage is in its high granular control of the data throughout the system, which Rubrik lacks in some areas. For example, Bacula offers single file recovery in many of the applications it supports, such as AD, Sharepoint and Exchange. And in that regard, the breadth of technologies that Bacula integrates with is vast. Bacula offers higher compatibility with more hypervisors, natively integrated for more rapid deployment and data recovery. 

Bacula also distinguishes itself by offering global management of multiple systems, as well as reporting across multiple installed units. Another great difference is that Bacula offers Bare Metal Recovery of physical servers, along with a number of other advanced features useful for Disaster Recovery strategies.

Bacula Enterprise may well be an attractive solution if you’re looking for a Rubrik alternative.


About the author

Rob Morrison Rob on LinkedIn

Rob Morrison is the marketing director at Bacula Systems. He started his IT marketing career with Silicon Graphics in Switzerland, performing strongly in various marketing management roles for almost 10 years. In the next 10 years Rob also held various marketing management positions in JBoss, Red Hat and Pentaho ensuring market share growth for these well-known companies. He is a graduate of Plymouth University and holds an Honours Digital Media and Communications degree, and completed an Overseas Studies Program.