4 min

Rubrik and Microsoft have entered into a strategic agreement. This agreement primarily consists of an investment from Microsoft in Rubrik. This investment will allow Rubrik to bring specific products to market faster and better. In addition, it can work with Microsoft to develop solutions for Azure. A major reason for the collaboration is the fight against ransomware.

A lot has happened in the past year in terms of collaborations between cloud players and data management solution providers. It started over a year ago, when it was announced that Metallic SaaS portfolio from Commvault would be integrated into Microsoft Azure (in Dutch). Not long after, Cohesity announced its close collaboration with AWS. The latter collaboration became officially available in Europe some time ago. Today, there’s the announcement we talk about in this article, about the agreement between Rubrik and Microsoft.

Fight against ransomware

Integrating services like the ones Rubrik offers with cloud platforms makes perfect sense. From a data management perspective, you have much more control over your data when things are more deeply integrated. However, Rubrik’s press release about the investment from Microsoft specifically talks about ransomware as the driving force behind the partnership. Rubrik has long talked about Zero Trust data protection as an important weapon against ransomware. Solutions that meet that characteristic will now also be developed specifically for Microsoft Azure, in collaboration with Microsoft. Together, this should enable Rubrik and Microsoft to protect Microsoft 365 data and data from hybrid cloud environments. In addition, integrated cloud services will also become available on Microsoft Azure.

When it comes to Microsoft 365 data, customers of both companies (there are about 2,000 of them at the moment) will get the necessary extras. The press release talks about additional data protection for this data as part of the collaboration. It should make and keep the data more secure, easier to find and more accessible in case of an incident. This can be a hack, a ransomware attack, but also the accidental deletion of data or data corruption. Rubrik also provides additional support and protection in the form of instant search and data recovery. Finally, Rubrik and Microsoft jointly provide long-term archiving of Microsoft 365 data. This should especially help customers who have very stringent compliance regulations.

End-to-end data management

The investment from Microsoft in Rubrik and the resulting collaboration is a logical consequence of the movement towards end-to-end data management. That’s something that more and more organizations are starting to focus on as well, as a result of the expansion toward the cloud that many organizations have done and continue to do. When we talk about data management here, securing that data obviously plays a crucial role. So that includes things like backup and disaster recovery. That has traditionally been Rubrik’s playing field. It will continue to be so, even as they build more and more solutions on top of that.

The basis of Rubrik’s approach could be captured in the term immutability. All data that Rubrik is involved with is by itself immutable. That is, the data cannot be modified or deleted, nor can it be encrypted by ransomware. If you apply this property to the data spread across your organization, it should, in theory, be possible to contain ransomware. The chances of attackers being able to access your backups are (or at least should be) virtually non-existent.

All in all, the deeper integration between Rubrik and Microsoft should ensure that you can have the best protection for your data in the Azure cloud environment as well as in the SAP, SQL, Oracle and VMware world. The press release talks about “tightly integrate protection and automation with Azure”. That seems to indicate that Rubrik and Microsoft are going to jointly develop products that should make the power of the public cloud available to on-prem environments.

Details of Microsoft investment

In the end, the most interesting part of the collaboration, as far as we are concerned, is the joint new products that Rubrik and Microsoft will develop. These will prove what organizations can gain from the collaboration. This type of collaboration or partnership is also inescapable, because of the ever-increasing problems with cyberattacks in general and ransomware in particular.

If you want to know exactly how much Microsoft has invested in Rubrik, we have to disappoint you. The companies don’t seem to be very eager to disclose this at this time. That is, in the press release that Rubrik has sent out, it makes no statements about exactly how much Microsoft invests. As always, the grapevine comes to the rescue here. Bloomberg has a source close to the proceedings that says the investment is in the low tens of millions. Rubrik supposedly was valued at $4 billion during this process. That’s $700 million more than during the last investment round in 2019.

We are going to try to find out more about this investment/collaboration. So keep an eye on the site in the near future.