I’ve long waxed lyrical about Rubrik, the early(ish) stage storage data management company that looks set to be a highly disruptive force in the broader storage world. Unlike more traditional storage vendors such as EMC and NetApp, Rubrik is unencumbered by traditional delivery models and, perhaps more importantly, a traditional sales force. Instead, it has the freedom to pitch a new way of selling product, and a new approach towards engaging with customers.

This freedom to chart new territories goes much of the way to justifying the huge amount of money that Rubrik has raised and the prognostications from many in the industry, myself included, that Rubrik will, in short order, IPO and become a dominant player in the space.

Anyway, part of the requirement for a listed company is to have multiple revenue streams and the ability to ”attach” – that is to derive – extra revenue from existing customers. To this end we see Rubrik broadening its product base to satisfy more of the tick boxes that modern CIOs have.

Today’s move in this direction is the announcement of Radar, an application that Rubrik promises will help its customers defend against ransomware. Radar is itself built upon Rubrik’s Polaris platform and leverages machine learning models to add data defense to the existing value propositions that the company offers. The specific aim is to accelerate the rate at which organizations can respond to data security incidents. It does so by modeling threat behavior and allowing more rapid data recovery across a customer’s environment.

The need for Radar

The threats just keep on coming -ransomware attacks are intensifying in scale and sophistication, and the perpetrators are better at evading countermeasures. A recent NTT Security survey revealed that ransomware attacks rose 350 percent in 2017 over the previous year. According to a survey conducted by endpoint protection provider Barkly, 71 percent of organizations were infected by ransomware after it successfully bypassed their prevention controls.

In situations like this, time is really of the essence – impacted enterprises need to act quickly to contain risks posed by ransomware prevention, as well as detection and recovery, are all part of the required functionality that a broad ransomware posture requires.

Building out Polaris

As well as the name that United Airlines chose for its (seriously swanky) new first class lounges, Polaris is also the name for Rubrik’s SaaS platform. Essentially, Polaris is a broad platform into which various solutions can be plugged – it’s a way for Rubrik to create a broader platform and, more importantly, given IPO ambitions, a deep ecosystem.

Anyway, Radar plugs into Polaris and leverages some of the broad Rubrik functionality. With regards to dodgy behavior, Radar offers:

  • Monitoring – Radar leverages machine learning algorithms (of course it does – buzzword du jour!) to understand how users behave and data evolves over time. By actively monitoring global metadata, Radar generates alerts for anomalies and suspicious behavior, such as ransomware.
  • Analysis – Radar analyzes the entire customer environment to map change activity over time. Enterprises can identify which applications and data were impacted and where they are located to help visualize the attack’s impact on the system.
  • Recovery– Radar automates manual recovery processes with intelligent workflows. Users select all impacted applications and files and can restore to the most recent clean state with a few clicks. Radar builds upon Rubrik’s core platform, which provides immutable backups and government-certified encryption to safeguard all data against any attack.


Clearly a smart move. Radar furthers Rubrik’s ambitions to move beyond “simple” data management and begins a new foray into the (warning – horrible term!) SecDevOps space. All of a sudden the categories that Rubrik plays in are expanded and with it, it’s ability to generate attention, customer engagement and, ultimately, revenue.

The Polaris play is a smart one and Radar is a great addition. I would be keen to see more third-party vendors building solutions on top of Polaris, that is, after all, the ultimate proof point for an ecosystem play – that third parties build products and derive value from another vendor’s core platform.

That said, Radar is a good addition to the Rubrik stable, and further leads them to their listed company end goal.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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