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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Curry County Modernizes Infrastructure with Secure ExaGrid-Veeam Solution


Curry County, New Mexico was established in 1909 and lies on the far eastern side of the state, sharing a border with Texas. The 1,400+ square mile county is one of the smallest counties in New Mexico but one with a storied past. Clovis, the County Seat of Curry County was once an endless see of prairie grass that became a town-site for the Santa Fe Railway, and decades later, a booming city. Today, Curry County is home to nearly 50,000 residents.

Key Benefits:

  • ExaGrid-Veeam deduplication helps Curry County meet state-mandated retention policies
  • Easy-to-manage solution with industry-leading support
  • ExaGrid provides Curry Country with comprehensive security for data protection and ransomware recovery
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"The security that’s available on ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage is truly modern and keeps up with today’s rigorous industry standards. ExaGrid offers a very secure system and allows me to assign different levels of role-based access for users in my department. It’s important to us to have that level of control and security."

Todd Ulses, IT Director

ExaGrid Meets Modernization Requirements for Backup Storage

As the IT Director for a local government, Curry County’s Todd Ulses must ensure that his department adheres to certain standards around data protection. The county’s legacy systems weren’t cutting it. “We needed a modern solution, one that was more dependable and offered better security. We decided to look for a system that was easier to manage, offered longer-term retention of our data, could maximize deduplication ratios, and would be able to help us recover in the event of a ransomware attack.”

While researching a new backup storage solution that would integrate with Veeam, Ulses sought recommendations from peers outside his organization and was led to ExaGrid. “I did my homework. I called around and spoke with a few different people who gave great reviews on both ExaGrid and Veeam. That was part of what sold us on ExaGrid—the relationship the two companies have,” he said.

ExaGrid System Easy to Install and Manage with Proactive Support

Ulses has been pleased with the simplicity of using the ExaGrid system and appreciates ExaGrid’s support model of working with an assigned support engineer. “The setup and configuration were easy—I got the appliance rack-mounted and with the help of our ExaGrid support engineer we were up and running quickly. It was a very seamless process,” he said. “In addition, I don’t have to spend a lot of time managing the solution, which is very much appreciated.”

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. Customers never have to repeat themselves to various support staff, and issues get resolved quickly.

“ExaGrid support has been very proactive in contacting me when there are updates to the systems or new versions are out,” said Ulses. “Any time I’ve contacted my support engineer, he’s been very responsive to me. When I’ve worked with other companies and I have called support, it seemed like I would be lucky to hear back the same day. Any time I’ve contacted ExaGrid support, I’ve gotten a reply within the same day.”

ExaGrid Security Features Help Maintain Standards

As a local government, data security and the ability to quickly recover from ransomware attacks is vital to Curry County’s IT Department. Having the ExaGrid system in place gives Ulses and his team confidence in their data protection and he feels that the comprehensive security that the architecture offers is one of the most compelling features of the ExaGrid system.

“The security that’s available on ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage is truly modern and keeps up with today’s rigorous industry standards. ExaGrid offers a very secure system and allows me to assign different levels of role-based access for users in my department. It’s important to us to have that level of control and security,” he said.

ExaGrid appliances have a network-facing disk-cache Landing Zone where the most recent backups are stored in an un-deduplicated format for fast backup and restore performance. Data is deduplicated into a non-network-facing tier called the Repository Tier, for longer-term retention. ExaGrid’s unique architecture and features provide comprehensive security including Retention Time-Lock for Ransomware Recovery (RTL), and through the combination of a non-network-facing tier (tiered air gap), a delayed delete policy, and immutable data objects, backup data is protected from being deleted or encrypted. ExaGrid’s offline tier is ready for recovery in the event of an attack.


ExaGrid Helps Manage State-Mandated Retention Policies

One of the reasons the county sought to modernize its backup storage infrastructure was that the legacy backup solution that the county had used did not offer data deduplication. ExaGrid-Veeam combined deduplication provides storage savings, enabling longer-term retention of data.

Curry County’s IT department manages a mostly virtualized environment as well as a few physical servers. “The agency backs up a lot of data in addition to full database backups, and there are a variety of different media types that need backing up,” said Ulses. “The State of New Mexico has certain requirements around how long we have to keep data, and we have to ensure we keep data in accordance with the state’s mandated policies around data retention. Certain data must be kept for a year, other data is kept for five years, and there is some data we must keep forever.”

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).

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.

Scale-out Architecture Key for Data Growth

Ulses appreciates that as the county’s data grows, his team can easily add more ExaGrid appliances to the existing system without any forklift upgrades.

ExaGrid’s appliance models can be mixed and matched into a single scale-out system allowing a full backup of up to 6PB with a combined ingest rate of 516TB/hour 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.

Veeam and ExaGrid

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.

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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