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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

ExaGrid Helps Concur to Keep Pace with Backup Demands and Data Growth

Customer Overview

SAP Concur is the world’s leading brand for integrated travel, expense, and invoice management solutions, driven by a relentless pursuit to simplify and automate these everyday processes. The highly-rated SAP Concur mobile app guides employees through business trips, charges are directly populated into expense reports, and invoice approvals are automated. By integrating near real-time data and using AI to analyze transactions, businesses can see what they’re spending, improve compliance, and avoid possible blind spots in the budget. SAP Concur solutions help eliminate yesterday’s tedious tasks, make today’s work easier, and support businesses to run at their best.

Key Benefits:

  • Data restored faster, accessed immediately on landing zone
  • Scalability of system fits Concur’s data protection strategy
  • System easy to install and maintain, daily emails provide updates on backup jobs
  • ExaGrid’s replication abilities key for plans to eliminate offsite tape vaults
  • ExaGrid support engineers ‘go the extra mile’
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Long Backups and Restores Due to Maxed-Out Disk-Based Backup Device

Customers rely on Concur to house and protect critical travel and expense data. Concur’s IT staff had been successfully using a disk-based backup device, but when the amount of backup data exceeded the system’s capacity, the staff realized that the solution couldn’t scale to meet the organization’s needs, and backup speed and retention became major issues.

“We had been using a disk-based backup device with a single controller, but we couldn’t add any more disk trays to the system,” said Sean Graver, storage architect at Concur. “We liked the convenience of backing up to disk, but we had reached the point where we could only get three consecutive days of backups because the device would get bogged down doing deduplication and need another four days to catch up. We began reverting back to tape as a primary target but wanted another disk-based solution with the scalability, data deduplication, and speed to keep up with our demands.”

ExaGrid’s Data Deduplication Delivers Faster Backups and Restores

After looking at several other solutions on the market, Concur chose a disk-based backup system with data deduplication from ExaGrid. The ExaGrid system integrates well with Concur’s existing backup application.

“One of the things that struck me immediately about the ExaGrid system was its data deduplication,” said Graver. “The fact that it backs up data to a landing zone that is partitioned off from other processes makes a huge difference for us. We perform many restores each day, and we pride ourselves on responding quickly. With our old system, our restores were often difficult because the data deduplication process took so long, and it slowed down the system. With the ExaGrid, we have immediate access to data on the landing zone. It doesn’t have to be rehydrated like it does with other solutions, so restores can be processed as quickly as possible.”

At one location, Concur stores over 1PB of data on the ExaGrid system in 80TB of disk space 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).

"We’ve worked closely with ExaGrid on our backup infrastructure and have been extremely pleased with the product, customer support, and the company as a whole. The folks at ExaGrid go the extra mile, and we consider them to be a trusted partner. "

Sean Graver, Storage Architect

Option for Data Replication at a Later Date

To date, Concur has installed ExaGrid systems at multiple locations, and Graver said while tape is still used for offsite vaulting, future plans call for leveraging the built-in replication capabilities. “We liked that we could start backing up data locally and then move to replication at some point in the future,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the day when we can eliminate the movement of tapes offsite.”

Easy Management and Administration, Superior Customer Support

Graver said that he finds managing and administering the ExaGrid system straightforward and uncomplicated. “There’s really not much to do in terms of management. I get daily emails at 6:00 a.m. that provide me with a snapshot of how things ran overnight. The email tells me everything I need to know,” he said. “Maintaining the system is easy, too. I recently had to replace a drive, and it took no time at all.”

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 ExaGrid was really easy to install. I set up the first system myself with some help from our reseller and have installed all the subsequent ones too. Our ExaGrid customer support engineer has been a tremendous help to us and is always available if we need assistance,” said Graver. “With ExaGrid, support is second to none. We do business with many technology companies, and their support can’t compare to what we get from ExaGrid. They go above and beyond to make sure we’re happy.”

Scalability to Handle Increased Demands without ‘Forklift Upgrade’

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. “One of the things that we like about the ExaGrid system is its scalability. For us, backups are the cornerstone of our data protection strategy, and it’s critical that we can grow the system to meet the needs of our business,” said Graver. “We’ve worked closely with ExaGrid on our backup infrastructure and have been extremely pleased with the product, customer support, and the company as a whole. The folks at ExaGrid go the extra mile, and we consider them to be a trusted partner.”

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.

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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