Rubrik picks up Igneous pieces, gains Petabyte scale

Rubrik has bought “key technology and IP assets of Igneous”, the Seattle-based data management startup which hit the buffers this year. Terms are undisclosed.

Dan Rogers

Dan Rogers, Rubrik President, GTM Operations, said in a blog post announcing the deal that the company “welcome(s) the existing Igneous customers and their innovative team into the Rubrik family.”

Igneous has developed a UDMaaS (unstructured data management-as-a-service) that provides a petabyte-scale unstructured data backup, archive and storage system with a public cloud backend. At the end of 2019, the company said it had 40-60 customers, mostly large enterprises.

Rubrik thinks there is synergy between the Igneous and Rubrik approaches to managing NAS data and will integrate Igneous technology to build a unified NAS data management system.

Vinod Marur, SVP of Engineering at Rubrik, said: “Combining the innovative technology that Igneous has built with the power and breadth of Rubrik’s platform will bring the best in class solution for unstructured data management to our customers.” 

He said customers will be able to “realise the value of their unstructured data while reducing risk and optimising IT resource utilisation.” 

Jeff Hughes, former CTO of Igneous, said: “The combination of Igneous’s unique approach to unstructured data coupled with Rubrik’s extensive data management capabilities and their reach in the market is exactly what leading enterprises need today.”

Igneous UDMaaS 

Igneous has developed petabyte-scale unstructured files data management software to identify, classify and migrate billions and perhaps trillions of files. The company’s UDMaaS handles file and object data, and providies data protection, movement and discovery. Cloud backends for tiering off data including the big three: AWS, Azure and GCP.

Rubrik says Igneous is capable of scanning hundreds of millions of NAS files, indexing the metadata, and transferring data protection copies to the cloud with an incremental-forever architecture. The technology also offers a simple to use web interface in managing this data with the capability for deeper API-driven integration.

Igneous’s very bad year

Igneous was founded in 2013 in Seattle and has taken in $67.5m in funding, including a $25m C-round in March 2019.

The first public signs of trouble appeared in July this year when Igneous co-founder Kiran Bhageshpur gave up his CEO position while retaining a seat on the board. His replacement, Dean Darwin, a data storage industry veteran who had joined the board in March 2019 after a career including stints at F5 Networks and Palo Alto Networks.

At the time Darwin told us: “There’s no change in company strategy [but] we want to tell the story a little better than we had in the past.”

Christian Smith, VP Products, left the company around then for a business development role at AWS.

The second sign became visible in November when it laid off an unspecified number of its LinkedIn-counted 69 staff, citing a “difficult economic environment”. There was a rumour of bankruptcy mentioned to us by a prominent storage supplier competing with Igneous. At time of writing, LinkedIn records 39 employees.