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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

CoachComm Has Catastrophic Fire with Complete Loss – Recovers 95% of Data with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

With over 20 years of unrivaled excellence in coaches’ communications, CoachComm has built its business on winning. CoachComm is the wireless coaches’ communications provider for 97% of Division 1A colleges and thousands of high school and small college programs across the country. Based out of Auburn, Alabama, CoachComm offers the best communications equipment and coaching tools available on the market today.

Key Benefits:

  • Reliable DR in the face of catastrophe
  • True integration with Veeam delivers faster backups and restores
  • Backup window reduced by 50%
  • Deduplication maximized disk space
  • Retention increased to five weeks
  • Far less time spent managing backups
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Protecting Data Helps CoachComm Win

CoachComm has five members in their IT department, and they are all determined to succeed. On April 4, 2016, they experienced complete loss due to a tragic fire at their headquarters, and they are working together to rebuild. ExaGrid backs up all data, whether it’s CoachComm data or Pliant Technologies’ (CoachComm’s professional division), it’s all under one roof and totals over 4TB of data. Since the event, CoachComm increased retention to five weeks using Veeam. “The fire consumed all of the technical equipment in my server room. It was a complete loss,” said Haney. “Our ExaGrid appliance was in a different spot in the building. We had our tape drives in the server room. So along with losing all of our servers, virtual hosts, and my backup tapes, the only thing that survived was my ExaGrid device, as well as our PCs.

“I’ve gone through a lot, including floods and lightning strikes, but I had never gone through a fire. It was very traumatic and, to be honest, very scary,” said Haney. The CEO of CoachComm was very concerned about their data, but the IT team was confident in ExaGrid.

“[The fire] was chaos, but two to three days after, with ExaGrid being there for me, I was able to pull my data. I was even able to still make payroll that same week of the fire because we were up and running with email and all major systems. I relied on my ExaGrid system.”

"[The fire] was chaos, but two to three days after, with ExaGrid being there for me, I was able to pull my data. I was even able to still make payroll that same week because we were up and running with email and all major systems. I relied on my ExaGrid system, and it delivered. "

Mike Haney, IT Manager

Veeam and ExaGrid Combine for Long-Term Solution

When CoachComm first bought ExaGrid, they were using Veritas Backup Exec. After the fire, they had to replace all their servers, so they took the opportunity to migrate to a system that would do more in less time. Veeam fit those requirements. The ExaGrid system fully leverages Veeam Backup & Replication’s built-in backup-to-disk capabilities and ExaGrid’s zone-level data deduplication for additional data and cost reduction over standard disk solutions.

“ExaGrid has been one of the better things I’ve ever come across in my 17-year IT career in terms of data recovery, disaster recovery, and backup storage in general,” said Haney. “Well before ExaGrid and Veeam, we were going to tape and had a tape drive in our server room. We went through the routines, switching out tapes at regular intervals. We had some offsite, some onsite, some in the tape drive; it was a lot of maintenance. We kept about three weeks of data, and it was a ton of work to manage.”

Backup Times Cut in Half, Data Deduplication Maximizes Disk Space

Since installing the ExaGrid system, Haney has seen CoachComm’s backup windows cut in half. They wanted tapes to be their secondary backup balanced with a disk-based appliance as their primary backup. ExaGrid was their choice because of its approach to data deduplication, which saves valuable disk space. “I’m really happy about our dedupe ratios. Deduplication allows me to not have to worry about a library of tapes. I’ve got everything in one place, and I can back up everything I need,” said Haney. “We saw a drastic improvement in our backup window having ExaGrid as part of our backup routine. With ExaGrid being as fast as it is and Veeam being the product that it is, backing up from Veeam to ExaGrid has probably reduced that number by half. We’re very pleased,” stated Haney.

Easy Management and Experienced, Responsive Support

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.

“In one word, installation was ‘seamless,’” said Haney. “It was like having another employee on my IT squad. We were backing up in just a couple of days after we physically had the appliance come in. It probably took us more time to unpackage it and move it to where it was going to be than it did set it up to start backing up our data.”

“CoachComm is very customer oriented. We know who our customers are; they’re very important to us, and we do whatever we can to take care of them. ExaGrid has been that same way with me. I don’t like to call them my “vendor.” I like to call them my “partner.” I invested in ExaGrid, and ExaGrid invested in me – and they treat me that way. When I’ve had an issue, it was an issue for them, and they were part of our team,” said Haney.

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-Veeam Combined Dedupe

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.

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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