Illustration: Eric Frommelt

Rubrik sells a hardware appliance that the company claims can backup data and help applications stay alive in the case of emergency.

By Jonathan Vanian
May 26, 2015

It’s probably safe to say that analyzing vast quantities of company data can lead to making better business decisions for your organization. But the process of obtaining useful business insights from all that stored information is only as good as the quality of the data you maintain. If something were to go wrong with that data, there’s a chance that you might not have anything to analyze.

This is why it’s important for companies to properly backup and archive their data, and doing just that is what Palo Alto-based Rubrik wants to make a name for itself in. The startup–which was founded a little over a year ago by former Google, Facebook, and Oracle engineers–will announce on Tuesday that it has landed a $41-million series B funding round. The new financing comes just a few months after the startup raised $10 million.

When companies archive their data, they usually have to buy three things, Rubrik CEO and co-founder Bipul Sinha explained in an interview with Fortune. They have to buy a hard drive, a server to store that hard drive, and data-archiving software to run on top of all that hardware.

Rubrik sells a hardware appliance that’s essentially an all-in-one data archiving system that negates the need to buy all three of those items separately. The device comes loaded with both spinning disk drives and flash memory, which is useful for backing up company data that doesn’t need to be accessed a whole lot, as well as critical data that can’t afford to go down even for a minute or two.

For example, if a company using an Oracle database to power one of its applications experiences a hiccup that causes the database to fall apart, the Rubrik appliance can supposedly sync a backup copy of that Oracle database (stored in flash memory) and allow the application to continue running as if an error never happened. “You just redirect to our platform,” said Sinha.

The startup isn’t the only player in the data-archiving space, explains analyst George Crump of Storage Switzerland. It has a host of competitors, including products sold by Symantec SYMC , IBM IBM , Asigra, and a fast-rising startup called Actifio that’s now worth over $1 billion.

What separates Rubrik from the pack is the ability to scale its appliance rapidly, meaning companies simply have to drop more Rubrik appliances into their data center if they want more backup storage. The Rubrik software will automatically tether all the appliances together so they read as one machine, Crump explained.

“They are one of the few scale-out architectures,” the analyst said. “They are the only scale-out architecture in this end of the market that scales the backup process.”

Crump explained that backup storage can be considered “the Rodney Dangerfield of the data center,” in that archiving data doesn’t get as much respect as other areas of operations like networking and data processing. But its importance can’t be understated, because companies need to ensure that their systems can continue to operate in the face of disaster.

Greylock Partners led Rubrik’s latest funding round, along with Lightspeed Venture Partners and Microsoft Chairman John W. Thompson, ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman, Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey, and Mark Leslie of Leslie Ventures. Rubrik has 40 employees and $51 million in total funding.

For more about big data, check out the following Fortune video:

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