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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Law Firm Speeds Backups and Cuts Backup Window by Two-Thirds with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

Established in 1987, Berger Schatz’s founding partners shared a passion for bringing the highest professional and ethical standards to the practice of family law. Since its founding, Berger Schatz has specialized in cases involving high net worth individuals and complex personal assets. The firm has grown to become one of the premiere matrimonial law firms in the nation with a team of 36 attorneys in two offices in downtown Chicago and in Lake Forest, representing clients throughout Illinois

Key Benefits:

  • Two-site ExaGrid system maximized Berger Schatz’s budget dollars vs. competition
  • Backup window reduced from 15 hours to 4
  • Replication over WAN provides improved disaster recovery
  • Post-process dedupe provides fastest possible backup speed
  • ‘Exceptional’ customer support
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Long, Time-Consuming Tape Backups Wear Thin for Sole IT Staffer

Berger Schatz had been backing up company and client data to a tape library for years, but daily tape management and long backup times were a burden for its one-man IT department. Finally, the firm decided the time was right to look for an alternative solution.

“I have a broad range of responsibilities at the firm, and managing backup processes was taking up more and more of my time,” said Michael Sauriol, director of information services at Berger Schatz. “We wanted a solution that would automate our backups, reduce our backup window, and improve disaster recovery.”

"We compared both solutions and liked ExaGrid’s data deduplication method better than the Dell EMC Data Domain solution. The ExaGrid system was also more cost-effective. We were able to stretch our budget dollars further with ExaGrid. "

Michael Sauriol, Director of Information Services

Cost-Effective ExaGrid System Delivers Fast Backups, Data Deduplication

After looking at solutions from Dell EMC Data Domain and ExaGrid, Berger Schatz chose a two-site ExaGrid system with data deduplication to provide both primary backup and disaster recovery. The company installed one appliance in its Chicago office and a second in its Lake Forest location, and replicates data between the two units via a wide-area network. The ExaGrid system works in conjunction with Veritas Backup Exec to back up and protect data from the company’s physical and virtual servers. “We compared both solutions and liked ExaGrid’s data deduplication method better than the Dell EMC Data Domain solution,” said Sauriol. “The ExaGrid system was also more cost-effective. We were able to stretch our budget dollars further with the ExaGrid, which allowed us to purchase a two-site system for disaster recovery sooner than we would have with the dell EMC Data Domain.” Sauriol said that ExaGrid’s data deduplication technology helps to reduce the amount of data stored while delivering the fastest possible backup times.

“With the ExaGrid system, backups run as efficiently as possible because the data is backed up to a landing zone and then deduplicated. We’ve been very pleased with the ExaGrid’s deduplication performance and are currently seeing 15:1 dedupe ratios,” said Sauriol. “Our backup times have been reduced from nearly 15 hours per night to four hours per night. Also, restoring data is an extremely fast process. We can bring back a file with the touch of a button.”

ExaGrid writes backups directly to a disk-cache Landing Zone, avoiding inline processing and ensuring the highest possible backup performance, which results in the shortest backup window. Adaptive Deduplication performs deduplication and replication in parallel with backups for a strong recovery point (RPO). As data is being deduplicated to the repository, it can also be replicated to a second ExaGrid site or the public cloud for disaster recovery (DR).

Easy Management, Superior Customer Support

Sauriol worked with the ExaGrid customer support engineer assigned to the Berger Schatz account to set the system up. “Setting up the system was easy. Our support engineer handled most of it, even the Veritas Backup Exec integration,” he said. “ExaGrid support has been exceptional. We’ve had the same support engineer since day one; he really knows his stuff and is extremely proactive.”

The ExaGrid system was designed to be easy to set up and operate. ExaGrid’s industry-leading level 2 senior support engineers are assigned to individual customers, ensuring they always work with the same engineer. Customer’s never have to repeat themselves to various support staff, and issues get resolved quickly. “The best part about the ExaGrid system is that it’s extremely easy to use. I get a report every night that tells me the status of my backup jobs and gives me an overview of the deduplication ratios. If there’s an issue, I get an email alert or our support engineer contacts me directly,” Sauriol said. “I spend virtually no time at all on backups now. It’s fantastic, especially after spending all that time managing tape.”

Scalability for Future Growth

As the firm’s data grows, the ExaGrid system can easily scale up to meet increased backup requirements. ExaGrid’s award-winning scale-out architecture provides customers with a fixed-length backup window regardless of data growth. Its unique disk-cache Landing Zone allows for the fastest backups and retains the most recent backup in its full undeduplicated form, enabling the fastest restores.

ExaGrid’s appliance models can be mixed and matched into a single scale-out system allowing a full backup of up to 2.7PB with a combined ingest rate of 488TB/hr, in a single system. The appliances automatically join the scale out system. Each appliance includes the appropriate amount of processor, memory, disk, and bandwidth for the data size. By adding compute with capacity, the backup window remains fixed in length as the data grows. Automatic load balancing across all repositories allows for full utilization of all appliances. Data is deduplicated into an offline repository, and additionally, data is globally deduplicated across all repositories.

This combination of capabilities in a turnkey appliance makes the ExaGrid system easy to install, manage, and scale. ExaGrid’s architecture provides lifetime value and investment protection that no other architecture can match. “We sized our system to accommodate expected data growth, but it’s nice to know that we can expand the system if we need to,” said Sauriol. “With the ExaGrid system, I don’t have to worry about backup jobs anymore because it works faithfully, day in and day out.”

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 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 ExaGrid for backup to disk.


Intelligent Data Protection

ExaGrid’s turnkey disk-based backup system combines enterprise drives with zone-level data deduplication, delivering a disk-based solution that is far more cost effective than simply backing up to disk with deduplication or using backup software deduplication to disk. ExaGrid’s patented zone-level deduplication reduces the disk space needed by a range of 10:1 to 50:1, depending on the data types and retention periods, by storing only the unique objects across backups instead of redundant data. Adaptive Deduplication performs deduplication and replication in parallel with backups. As data is being deduplicated to the repository, it is also replicated to a second ExaGrid site or the public cloud for disaster recovery (DR).

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 6PB full backup in a single system.

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