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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Berrien County Reduces Backup Window by 35% with ExaGrid and Veeam

Customer Overview

Berrien County’s location in the heart of “Michigan’s Great Southwest” makes it a prime market for business, industry, and tourism. Its substantial and wide variety of agriculture has established locally grown crops as major attractions for tourists and food processors. 585 square miles of scenic natural beauty with 42 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan make Berrien County a choice destination for tourists, artists, and naturalists. Berrien County contains 22 townships, 8 cities, and 9 villages.

Key Benefits:

  • Backup window reduced by 35%
  • Time spent on backup reduced from 70% daily to 20%
  • Backup is ‘easier to manage’
  • Scalability keeps pace with 25% per year data growth
  • System is virtually ‘maintenance-free’
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Before ExaGrid, Backups Ran ‘Forever’

The municipality of Berrien County serves all courthouses, 911 responses, and administrative functions. The County transitioned its backup from tape libraries to a disk-based solution because tapes were expensive, storage space became problematic, and the entire process was too complex to maintain and manage. They began looking for a disk-based backup storage solution to take them into the future, while balancing tape outs off the ExaGrid for long-term retention requirements.

“I worked more than a part-time job doing nothing but managing backup storage,” said Paul Olmstead, LAN Specialist at Berrien County. “Our backups would seemingly run forever, over 72 hours at times. We’d back up to tape and archive our government data for at least seven years of record.“

"Our backup is easier to manage, with much less stress. I know that if I need to restore a VM, it’s there for me. There’s ROI on our time and on our operations. "

Paul Olmstead, LAN Specialist

Multiple Backup Apps in the Same Environment Supported

Berrien County is 90% virtualized, using Veeam as its primary backup application and Veritas Backup Exec for a small amount of physical servers. Because ExaGrid supports a wide variety of backup applications, multiple approaches can be used within the same environment.

“With ExaGrid, we now have the correct product and sizing, which makes a world of difference. We keep about six months’ worth of retention on ExaGrid, and it’s relatively maintenance-free. I really like ExaGrid’s management interface because it allows me to pick and choose what time of day the DR data is available as well as easily manage backups among our three ExaGrid sites.

“When I need to add an ExaGrid appliance, it’s very smooth. We have a very good support engineer assigned to our account, so we get the support we need to rearrange things to fit our unique needs. We have a great design now, and I don’t have to worry anymore about scaling for the future – it’s pretty simple,” said Olmstead. Berrien County values how well ExaGrid data deduplication works with Backup Exec. They see deduplication of, on average, 16:1, so disk utilization is optimized.

Customer Support and System Flexibility Inspire Confidence

Olmstead is pleased with ExaGrid’s customer support and has found his assigned support engineer to be responsive and knowledgeable. “I get help from our support engineer as needed to ensure things are running optimally. I only spend about 20% of my day administering backup storage now, so I have more time to work on other key projects. Restores are much easier now. I don’t have to run and grab tapes with the hope that we can deliver. Our backup is easier to manage, and there’s much less stress. I know that if I need to restore a VM, it’s there for me. There’s ROI on our time and on our operations.”

Berrien’s data volume consistently increases at an average rate of 25% per year, and now they have a solution that easily scales to keep up with data growth. “I like ExaGrid’s data deduplication, scalability, and performance. That’s what matters most to us,” said Olmstead.

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.

Veeam-ExaGrid Deduplication

Veeam uses the information from VMware and Hyper-V and provides deduplication on a “per-job” basis, finding the matching areas of all the virtual disks within a backup job and using metadata to reduce the overall footprint of the backup data. Veeam also has a “dedupe friendly” compression setting, which further reduces the size of the Veeam backups in a way that allows the ExaGrid system to achieve further deduplication. This approach typically
achieves a 2:1 deduplication ratio.

Veeam uses changed block tracking to perform a level of data deduplication. ExaGrid allows Veeam deduplication and Veeam dedupe-friendly compression to stay on. ExaGrid will increase Veeam’s deduplication by a factor of about 7:1 to a total combined deduplication ratio of 14:1, reducing the storage required and saving on storage costs up front and over time.

ExaGrid and Veeam

Veeam’s backup solutions and ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage combine for the industry’s fastest backups, fastest restores, a scale-out storage system as data grows, and a strong ransomware recovery story – all at the lowest cost.


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.

Tiered Architecture Provides Superior Scalability

ExaGrid appliances contain not just disk but also processing power, memory, and bandwidth. When the system needs to expand, additional appliances are simply added to the existing system. The system scales linearly, maintaining a fixed-length backup window as data grows so customers only pay for what they need, when they need it. Data is deduplicated into a non-network-facing Repository Tier with automatic load balancing and global deduplication across all repositories.

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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