Rubrik Full Bare Metal Recovery

Recently I wrote a post on Rubrik’s latest major release, 5.0 Andes. That’s 5 major releases since the very beginning in January, 2014 and shipping the first Brik in November of the same year.  Much like the appliances themselves, that is just an incredible speed to get up and operational to send onsite to a customer! You can check out the full timeline here.


I do however want to dig a little bit deeper into some of the items that were released as part of the 5.0 announcement. There were a number of things I had already mentioned, but for this post I want to go further into the Windows Bare Metal Recovery.

So why do we want to deal with physical servers, isn’t everything virtualized? Well, no. Not everyone’s environments are virtualized as there are many reasons why an enterprise may need to continue to run physical machines for licensing or hardware requirements,  and it is imperative that they are backed up accordingly and even more-so easily recoverable in the event of a failure.

Rubrik have now met this need with their full Windows Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) feature as part of the Rubrik 5.0 Andes release, backing up at block level while ensuring even the MBR/GPT partitions are secured. BMR isn’t new to Rubrik, but in the past it started only protecting file sets and files, in 4.2 it was able to protect volume partitions, however, now in 5.0 Rubrik offer FULL BMR by introducing the Volume Filter Driver (VFD) which can be installed optionally to work with the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and is used for Change Block Tracking (CBT) to decrease backup times.

On first run, the Rubrik Backup Service (RBS) will capture a Crash-Consistent Volume-based snapshot and backed up onto the Brik and is stored as Virtual Hard Disk v2 (VHDX) which makes it easily available for P2v. Once captured, then incremental snapshots are taken with the VFD checking and creating a bitmap of changed blocks to ensure faster backup windows.

The ease of backup is incredibly simple, and recovering from a disaster is just as good. You will need to use the Rubrik WinPE Tool to assist in making you WinPE boot image, but once created, you can then boot your target system into the PE. This environment will allow you to log in and mount the samba share and kick off the restore PowerShell script. BMR also support Live Mount which will allow you to mount your required volume snapshot that you want to restore from. As the first part, the script will obtain and prepare you disk layouts prior to copying down your boot partitions and data. Once the restore is completed, reboot and then you can login and confirm that all the volumes are intact and all data is there and accessible. If you are migrating to a different physical tin, then sensible target hardware needs to be considered, however there is no requirement to match the original source hardware.

One last feature of the 5.0 release is the ability to migrate from a physical machine. There are 3 options for migration;

  • P2V: Migrate from physical to virtual, either VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V
  • P2P: Migrate from physical to similar or dissimilar physical hardware
  • P2V: Migrate from Physical to the cloud, whether it is Microsoft Azure or AWS

It really is just that easy to do and those who are still bound by physical servers can breathe again knowing that Rubrik can take care of their Full BMR needs, as well as being able to meet the Enterprises’ requirements of off-site long term storage by pushing to the cloud.

Rubrik announces Andes 5.0

Alright, backup and take a seat for this one!  See what I did with the title? Ok, maybe I’m a kinda a little excited to write a post this time. Not only is this my first briefing with Rubrik, but it is also a jam packed new release with some amazing new features.  In this post, I am just going to briefly mention the new features and what to expect, as I hope over the next week, I can dive in deeper into a few of them..

So starting from the top, since 2015 when Rubrik rebased their v1.0, they have been making some significant headway in new feature and almost releasing a a major release within the same year of the previous. Skipping a bit over 3 years since that first release and here we are with Andes 5.0, this is staggering to see a company raising the bar.

As I mentioned above, this is a just a quick overview to get your tastebuds watering, so I’ll move right in to mentioning the all the gossip!

Rubrik is really looking into the Digital Transformation buzz that we are all see happening at the moment, and they are rapidly adapting to keep up and get infant of the market to meet the Digital Transformation demand.

When you work with databases, you know how quickly they update and change, and being able to recover your database in the event of a disaster is time critical. That’s where Rubrik now has Instant Recovery and Live Mount to achieve almost near zero Recovery Time Object. This is great for test/Dev as the databases would be an almost instant clone.

NAS Direct Archive:
Sometimes you may already have a file store in place backing up\replicating from an onsite NAS, this is good, but it can be better with Rubrik’s NAS Direct Archive. This new feature will allow you to continue to backup you NAS to a remote store (Clud, NFS Store, or Object store) however, it packs on extra simplicity by crawling through the data for you and indexing it automatically to save you time when you need to recover from that remote storage.

Elastic App Service:
The EAS is a new storage repository that provides a highly available, storage efficient distributed file repository over NFS or Secure SMB. This platform allows nearly any application or OS to write direct to the volume, opening and closing the connection with scripted API calls. The EAS works like any other plain old NFS/SMB but when the connection is closed a Point-In-Time snapshot is taken and the data is secured. Rubrik has again made it easy by creating some pre-tuned default tags for different databases, you can tag the volume with this predefined tags and let the Brik for the rest.

SAP HANA Protection Certified Solution.
Rubrik has now been awarded the SAP HANA Certified Solution certification leveraging the backint API to assist with backup and restore using SAP HANA Studio or Cockpit.

Microsoft SQL Enhancements:
MS SQL has been supported since version 3.0, however there have been some major updates to the platform to help make the process more efficient. Change Block Tracking has now been enabled with a new filter driver, this will ensure that you are only backing up the blocks that have had any changes made and decreasing the backup time. Rubrik can also now invoke VSS and take snapshots of the database to get a point-in-time consistent backups.

Windows Server Bare-Metal Recovery:
Just when the world was moving away from physical as virtual infrastructure offers more in terms of high availability, lower power consumption, better resource utilisation, etc… Rubrik has come out with Bare-Metal backup and recovery, protecting those who still run in a physical world. The perfect thing about this is that your Brik will do all the work for you in taking a backup of the MBR and GUID Partition Table while tracking the changed blocks at the kernel level. In the event of a failure, there are some manual steps including booting into WinPE, however, this is a much more efficient and accurate way than restoring from tapes!
There is also the added benefit this can be use for P2V – so not all hope is lost in those still running physical workloads!

Polaris protection for Office365:
Earlier this year, Rubrik announced their Polaris SaaS Platform offering simple policy-based management to backup and recovery of your Office365 environment. This allows customers to mange their O365 backup and recovery policies through the Polaris interface, allowing them to use the same SLA policies as their on-prem solution. This integration also allows for global file search and single object recovery.


As mentioned, this is just a brief overview for now. There is a lot crammed into this release, too much to put into one post. Stay tuned and continue to check out other posts around this release.

To learn more check out: