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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

City of Ft. Lauderdale Cuts Backup Times in Half with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

The City of Fort Lauderdale is situated on the southeast coast of Florida, centrally located between Miami and Palm Beach. Encompassing more than 33 square miles with a population of nearly 180,000, Fort Lauderdale is the largest of Broward County’s 30 municipalities and the seventh largest city in Florida. Embraced by the Atlantic Ocean, New River and a myriad of scenic inland waterways, Fort Lauderdale truly lives up to its designation as the “Venice of America.”

Key Benefits:

  • Reduced nightly backups by 50%
  • Full backups decreased from 48 hours to 12
  • Restores in minutes
  • Superior support
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Legacy Tape Drive, Outdated Backup Software Resulted in Long Backup Times

As the Manager of Technical Services for the City of Ft. Lauderdale, Jay Stacy is responsible for ensuring that the city’s data is properly backed up each and every night. However, their outdated tape drive used to protect the city’s data was making it difficult to finish the backup jobs before the over 1200 city employees arrived at work each morning.

“Our backup jobs were not completing on time and were affecting our ability to properly protect our data. We don’t begin our incremental backups until 10pm each night and with the growing amount of data it became impossible to complete the backup job before the start of business the next day,” said Stacy. “Towards the end, we would just stop the backup jobs if they didn’t succeed during the allotted backup window because our network would slow down to a crawl.”

"We’re amazed at how much our backup times have been reduced and how quickly we’re able to restore files. Since installing the ExaGrid, our backup times have been cut in half and we’re able to restore some files almost instantaneously. "

Jay Stacy Manager, Technical Services

ExaGrid Significantly Reduces Backup and Restore Times

Stacy and the rest of the IT team decided to look for a new disk-based solution that utilized data deduplication. The city eventually chose a two-site ExaGrid disk-based backup system with data deduplication and along with Veritas NetBackup software.

“We are required by our procurement department to issue a request for proposal (RFP) when we need to purchase new systems. When the RFP’s came back in and we had a chance to review them, it became clear that there wasn’t another solution on the market that compared to the ExaGrid in price, performance or scalability,” said Stacy.

“The ExaGrid system was the only solution that offered hardware deduplication, and we felt that its post-process approach would give us the fastest and most efficient backups,” he said. Since installing the ExaGrid system, the City of Ft. Lauderdale has been able to reduce its nightly backup times by half. Full backups, which had been taking nearly 48 hours to complete, are now finished within 12 hours.

Speedy Backups and Restores, Ability to Scale for Future Growth

“We’re amazed at the speed of our backups. Our backups run so quickly and smoothly that we’re able to complete them all without affecting system performance the next morning,” said Stacy. “In addition to that, restoring files is much simpler. Before installing the ExaGrid, we would have to send someone off site to find the tape and bring it back – which could take hours. Now, we can restore files in just minutes.”

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).

Superior Management and Customer Support, Scalability for the Future

ExaGrid system is easy to install and use and works seamlessly with the industry’s leading backup applications so that an organization can retain its investment in its existing backup applications and processes. In addition, ExaGrid appliances can replicate to a second ExaGrid appliance at a second site or to the public cloud for DR (disaster recovery).

As the city’s data grows, the ExaGrid can easily be expanded to handle additional data. The ExaGrid system can easily scale to accommodate data growth. ExaGrid’s software makes the system highly scalable – appliances of any size or age can be mixed and matched in a single system. A single scale-out system can take in up to a 2.7PB full backup plus retention at an ingest rate of up to 488TB per hour.
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. “We like to plan ahead, and the ExaGrid system will enable us to incrementally expand the system as our data grows,” said Stacy. “The ExaGrid system was cost-effective to acquire, and the fact that we can scale up our existing unit to handle more data will make it an even better value in the long run. I really can’t say enough about the system. It has made our backups much more reliable and efficient and we’re spending far less time troubleshooting. The ExaGrid was the best choice for our environment.”

ExaGrid and Veritas NetBackup

Veritas NetBackup delivers high-performance data protection that scales to protect the largest enterprise environments. ExaGrid is integrated with and certified by Veritas in 9 areas, including Accelerator, AIR, single disk pool, analytics, and other areas to ensure full support of NetBackup. ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage offers the fastest backups, the fastest restores, and the only true scale-out solution as data grows to provide a fixed-length backup window and a non-network-facing tier (tiered air gap) for recovery from a ransomware event.

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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