Microsoft has made an investment in Rubrik as part of a strategic deal involving co-development of Zero Trust anti-ransomware services in the Azure public cloud with joint go-to-market activities.
The two companies will provide Microsoft 365 and hybrid cloud data protection and integrated cloud services on Azure. Zero Trust is the rejection of the idea that a network end-point location or user is trustworthy in itself. Every access session has to be validated for legitimacy and access level change, and every user authenticated.
Bipul Sinha, Rubrik CEO and co-founder, told us in a Zoom briefing: “The sky is the limit in terms of how we can help our customers’ digital transformation.”
Microsoft and Rubrik will ensure Microsoft 365 data is secure, discoverable, and always accessible in the case of a ransomware or other malicious attack, accidental deletion, or corruption. They will provide long-term archival of Microsoft 365 data for regulatory compliance purposes.
Rubrik also offers additional Microsoft 365 facilities — including instant search and restore, and policy-based management at scale.
Adding trust to Azure
As part of its Zero Trust approach, Rubrik-stored data is natively immutable and may not be modified, encrypted, or deleted by ransomware. Joint Azure-Rubrik customers will be able to recover their data after an attack and avoid paying any ransom.
The companies say that applications such as SAP, SQL, Oracle, VMware, and enterprise NAS workloads can tightly integrate protection and automation with Azure.
Sinha said: “Together with Microsoft, we are delivering tightly integrated data protection while accelerating and simplifying our customers’ journey to the cloud.”
Nick Parker, Corporate VP for Global Partner Solutions at Microsoft, said: “Customers, across industries, are migrating to the cloud to drive business transformation and realise growth … We believe that integrating Rubrik’s Zero Trust data management solutions with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 will make it easy for customers to advance their Zero Trust journey and increase their digital resilience.”
If customers perceive that their data in Azure is not safe against ransomware attacks, they will stop migrating to Azure. Rubrik is Microsoft’s anti-ransomware weapon and ally to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The amount of Microsoft’s equity investment in Rubrik wasn’t disclosed. A Bloomberg report suggests it was in the low tens of millions of dollars, at a $4 billion valuation.
Microsoft has literally hundreds of thousands of enterprise customers, a few thousand of which are also Rubrik customers. Microsoft hasn’t disclosed much about the size of its Azure customer base, but one source reckons it is growing at 120,000 customers per month, and another has data on 204,306 Azure business customers. Let’s say it’s between half a million and a million customers — the potential for Rubrik penetration of that base is clearly immense.
In a way, this Rubrik deal with Microsoft can be seen as its response to Cohesity’s relationship with AWS.
Rubrik can present itself as Microsoft’s recommended and trusted partner for protecting customers’ data against ransomware and other threats in the Azure cloud. That is a huge, huge win for Rubrik.