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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

ABC Companies Opts for ExaGrid over Data Domain for Price, Manageability, and Features

Customer Overview

ABC Companies is a leading provider to the passenger transportation industry with diverse product and service offerings that cover a full spectrum of operational needs including new and pre-owned full-size highway coach equipment along with transit and specialty vehicles including battery electric vehicles. ABC supports customers with a comprehensive after sale service network for service and repairs, collision services, extensive OEM and quality aftermarket parts needs for transit, motorcoach, and heavy-duty equipment from ten strategically placed locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. ABC Companies is headquartered in Faribault, Minnesota.

Key Benefits

  • Accomplished goal of automatic offsite disaster recovery plan
  • Restoring data is a faster process, entire servers restored within an hour
  • ExaGrid solution was a fraction of the cost of previous install
  •  ExaGrid system is easy to manage & maintain with proactive expert support
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New ERP Implementation Led to Decision to Improve Backup Solution

When ABC Companies installed a new Oracle ERP system, the organization’s IT staff decided the time was right to look for a more reliable backup solution. The company had been backing up its data to a tape library and then transporting tape offsite but wanted a more robust solution with data deduplication to reduce the amount of data stored and the ability to replicate data offsite for better disaster recovery.

“Having the right backup solution in place is a very important consideration that often gets overlooked,” said Matt Horn, senior network administrator at ABC Companies. “When we implemented our new ERP system, we wanted to make sure that we had a solid backup solution that could provide fast, efficient backups along with replication to improve disaster recovery and reduce our reliance on tape.”

Cost-Effective ExaGrid System Works with Existing Backup Application to Deliver Faster Backups and Restores

After looking at solutions from ExaGrid and Dell EMC Data Domain, Horn said that ABC Companies decided on ExaGrid’s disk-based backup solution with data deduplication based on cost, manageability and feature set. “The ExaGrid system did all the things the competitive products did for a fraction of the cost,” said Horn. “The ExaGrid system also seemed to be the easiest solution to manage. It really is ‘set it and forget it.’”

ABC Companies installed an ExaGrid appliance in its Florida data center along with an appliance in California. The ExaGrid systems work along with the company’s existing backup applications, Veritas Backup Exec, Quest vRanger and Oracle RMAN. Data is automatically replicated between the sites for disaster recovery.

“One of the nice things about the ExaGrid system is that it works with all the popular backup applications. We were able to quickly and easily integrate the ExaGrid into our existing
infrastructure,” said Horn. Horn said that ABC Companies has saved a considerable amount of time and money by installing the ExaGrid system.

“Before, I was spending a lot of time swapping out and rotating tapes and then packing them up and shipping them offsite. We were also spending a lot of money on transportation costs. Now, all that hassle is gone because our data is automatically replicated offsite,” said Horn. “It’s not only a time saver, but we have a higher level of confidence in our disaster recovery plan.”

Restoring data is also a much faster process, according to Horn. “We’ve performed several restores from the ExaGrid system, and they’ve all run perfectly. It’s so nice because I don’t have to go through a whole process like I did with tape. I can restore files with the touch of a button, and the restore speeds are so much faster with disk. I can restore an entire server to its exact working condition within an hour,” he said.

"Effective data deduplication translates into big savings, especially when you consider replication. ExaGrid’s data deduplication does a fantastic job at reducing our data, and it enabled us to purchase a smaller system, shorten backup times and improve disaster recovery. "

Matt Horn, Senior Network Administrator, ABC Companies

Effective Data Deduplication Reduces Amount of Data Stored

“Data deduplication was a critical factor in selecting the ExaGrid system,” said Horn. “All the servers we’re backing up run the same core operating system, so we have lots of duplicate data. Effective data deduplication translates into big savings, especially when you consider replication. ExaGrid’s data deduplication does a fantastic job at reducing our data, and it enabled us to purchase a smaller system, shorten backup times and improve disaster recovery.”

Smooth Setup, Exceptional Support

Horn said that installing the ExaGrid system was simple and straightforward. “The ExaGrid system was very easy to install. I racked it myself, plugged it in and called into ExaGrid support. Our support engineer initiated a WebEx session to complete the configuration process, and he walked me through the system,” Horn said. “It couldn’t have been easier.”

The ExaGrid system was designed to be easy to set up and maintain, and ExaGrid’s industry-leading customer support team is staffed by trained, in-house level 2 engineers who are assigned to individual accounts. The system is fully supported, and was designed and manufactured for maximum uptime with redundant, hot-swappable components. “One of the things that has impressed me the most about ExaGrid is the support. It’s not often that we work with a vendor with such a proactive support program. For example, with most vendors, we randomly find out about product updates, and then we have to find the time to install them. With ExaGrid, our engineer contacts us to let us know about updates, and he installs them for us, too. He’s experienced, knowledgeable and easy to reach when we have a question or issue,” said Horn. “As a company, ExaGrid bends over backwards to make sure that the system works up to its potential.

Scalability to Grow

The ExaGrid system can easily scale to accommodate data growth. ExaGrid’s computing software makes the system highly scalable, and when plugged into a switch, appliances of any size or age can be mixed and matched in a single system with capacities of up to a 2.7PB full backup plus retention and an ingest rate of up to 488TB per hour. Once virtualized, they appear as a single system to the backup server, and load balancing of all data across servers is automatic.

“Looking ahead, it’s great to know that the ExaGrid system can scale up to meet our needs in the future,” said Horn. “I juggle many different responsibilities, and having the ExaGrid in place makes my life easier because I don’t have to worry about our backups anymore. Our backups are completed correctly each and every night and automatically replicated. It’s really a painless process.”

ExaGrid and Veritas Backup Exec

Veritas Backup Exec provides cost-effective, high-performance backup and recovery – including continuous data protection for Microsoft Exchange servers, Microsoft SQL servers, file servers, and workstations. High-performance agents and options provide fast, flexible, granular protection and scalable management of local and remote server backups. Organizations using Veritas Backup Exec can look to ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage for nightly backups. ExaGrid sits behind existing backup applications, such as Veritas Backup Exec, providing faster and more reliable backups and restores. In a network running Veritas Backup Exec, using ExaGrid is as easy as pointing existing backup jobs at a NAS share on the ExaGrid system. Backup jobs are sent directly from the backup application to the ExaGrid for backup to disk.

ExaGrid and Oracle RMAN

ExaGrid eliminates the need for expensive primary storage for database backups without affecting the ability to use familiar built-in database protection tools. While built-in database tools for Oracle and SQL provide the basic capability to back up and recover these mission-critical databases, adding an ExaGrid system allows database administrators to gain control over their data protection needs at a lower cost and with less complexity. ExaGrid’s support of Oracle RMAN Channels provides the fastest backup, fastest restore performance, and database of any size.

About ExaGrid

ExaGrid provides Tiered Backup Storage with a unique disk-cache Landing Zone that enables fastest backups and restores, a Repository Tier that offers the lowest cost for long-term retention and enables ransomware recovery, and scale-out architecture which includes full appliances with up to 2.7PB full backup in a single system.

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