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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Community Credit Union Shortens Backup Window, Increases Retention with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

Community Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative that serves a six county area of Central Florida with a focus on community and educators. CCU has been serving members since 1953 and has seven branch locations.

Key Benefits:

  • Reduced management and administration
  • Tightly integrated with Veritas Backup Exec and OST
  • Restores are faster and more reliable
  • Excellent support
  • Straightforward scalability
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Time Consuming Tape Backups Strained Limited IT Resources

Community Credit Union had been backing up data to tape, but long backup times, difficult restores and the burden of managing cumbersome tape weighed heavily on its IT staff.

“We were backing up all our information to tape in our primary datacenter and mirroring it to a tape library located at our branch in Palm Bay, but the whole process was difficult and time consuming,” said Linda Ryan, systems administrator at CCU.

“We finally got the budget to upgrade our backup system and decided to research disk-based systems in the hope that we could improve reliability and reduce management and administration.”

"We have a lot of redundant data, and ExaGrid’s data deduplication technology does a fantastic job at reducing it. We’re able to keep far more data on hand and accessible for restores. "

Linda Ryan, Systems Administrator

Scalable ExaGrid System Works with Veritas Backup Exec to Speed Deployment, Reduce Learning Curve

After looking at several different solutions, CCU decided to purchase a tiered backup solution with data deduplication from ExaGrid. The ExaGrid system works along the institution’s existing backup application, Veritas Backup Exec.

“The ExaGrid system was the easiest solution to implement, and it’s scalable so it can grow along with our backup needs,” said Ryan. “It’s also tightly integrated with Backup Exec. The two products work seamlessly together.”

CCU is currently using three ExaGrid appliances to back up its data. The ExaGrid system located in the credit union’s main datacenter in Rockledge acts as a spoke, and systems located in a branch in Palm Bay and at a disaster recovery center in Atlanta act as hubs.

ExaGrid’s support of Veritas Backup Exec’s OST Technology

Veritas OST (Open Storage) enables both onsite and offsite backups from the ExaGrid to be managed from within the Backup Exec console. The backup catalog is also kept up to date for the replicated offsite backups through OST, making it easier for users to monitor the status of onsite and offsite backups. Additionally, backup data can be easily recovered from off-site ExaGrid systems via the Backup Exec console ensuring fast disaster recovery.

“Tight integration with Backup Exec was critical for us. ExaGrid’s support for OST enables us to manage the solution through Backup Exec, a product we’ve used for a long time and we’re comfortable with,” said Ryan.

Data Deduplication Reduces Amount of Data Stored

ExaGrid’s data deduplication technology helps to maximize the amount of data stored on the ExaGrid system. “We have a lot of redundant data, and ExaGrid’s data deduplication technology does a fantastic job at reducing it. We’re able to keep far more data on hand and accessible for restores,” Ryan said.

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).

Faster Backups and Restores

Ryan said that since installing the ExaGrid system, backup times have been cut in half, and restores are faster and more efficient. “Our backups run smoothly now. With tape, we’d occasionally have nightly backup jobs that didn’t finish before the start of business. Now, we’re able to get all our backups completed in three hours or less,” said Ryan. “Restores are far faster with the ExaGrid, too. We can basically restore data with the touch of a button.”

Easy Installation, Knowledgeable Customer Support

Ryan said that she worked with the dedicated customer support engineer assigned to the credit union to install the ExaGrid system. “Our customer support engineer is excellent. When we got the ExaGrid, she helped to install it and spent a lot of time walking me through the system and explaining how things worked,” Ryan said. “I like the fact that we have a dedicated support person. Our support engineer knows us and she’s familiar with our installation. She’s experienced and she’s always available to us if we have a question or issue. It saves a lot of time.”

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.

Smooth Scalability with Scale-Out Architecture

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 really appreciate the scalability of the ExaGrid system. We were able add another unit to give us additional disk space and it was a simple, straightforward process. It’s a very flexible system and its ability to scale quickly and easily gives us peace of mind,” said Ryan. “I’m a lot more confident in our backups now, and I don’t have to spend as much time managing tape or backup processes. Having the ExaGrid system in place makes my job easier.”

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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