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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Disability Management Services Ensures Fast, Reliable Backups with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

Founded in 1995, Disability Management Services, Inc. (“DMS”) is an independent, full-service third-party administrator and consulting firm, specializing in the management of individual and group disability products. DMS is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, with an additional service center located in Syracuse, New York.

Key Benefits:

  • DMS no longer struggles with long backups — ExaGrid cuts backup window in half
  • ExaGrid provides quicker replication to DMS’ colo facility for better data security
  • Switch to ExaGrid from tape eases backup management
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Backup Window and Problems with Tape Leads to Frustration

The IT department at DMS was seeking to replace its tape backup system and had grown weary of tape and its many challenges. “We were tired of the headaches associated with tape, and because the media changes every few years, we had to keep old tape drives around to access old data,” said Tom Wood, network services manager at DMS.

DMS was backing up user data and Exchange databases nightly as well as critical SQL databases containing information on nearly 200,000 policies. DMS backs up 29 servers using Arcserve Backup, and performs SQL dumps of its 21 databases, creating a full backup each night. In total, DMS was backing up over 200 GB of data onto six tapes each night. The IT staff managed a two-week daily rotation schedule with tapes being sent out to local safes each night, and a full tape backup sent to an outside storage service once a week.

With nightly backups beginning at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 8:00 a.m., “We were pushing the window right to the edge,” he said.

"As a smaller company, we thought that disk-based backup was out of the question because we weren’t prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. With ExaGrid, we realized that it was possible to get disk and all of its benefits for about the same cost as a new tape system. "

Tom Wood Network Services Manager

Moving to Cost-Effective Disks

When DMS began to consider replacing its legacy tape backup system, the staff initially looked at new tape-based backup systems because they assumed disk-based backup was cost prohibitive. “As a smaller company, we believed that disk based backup was out of the question because we weren’t prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring in storage area networks and backup to disk,” said Wood. “When we learned about ExaGrid, we realized that it was possible to get disk and all of its benefits for about the same cost as a new tape system.”

“The ExaGrid system fit our budget, and we are thrilled with the results,” said Wood. ExaGrid was easy to set up and use. Best of all, I don’t have to leave my desk anymore for restores or to change tapes, and our backups are faster and more reliable.”

Backup Window Reduced From Fourteen to Seven Hours

In addition to streamlining operations, DMS has reduced its backup window from fourteen hours to seven hours, and incremental backups take only 90 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).

DMS had been replicating SQL data containing critical information to its co-location facility in Connecticut via a T1 line each night. Since DMS moved to the ExaGrid system, replication has taken only four hours instead of 12-15 hours for a full replication.

Scalable, Cost-Effective Data Protection

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.

ExaGrid and Arcserve Backup

Efficient backup requires close integration between the backup software and backup storage. That is the advantage delivered by the partnership between Arcserve and ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage. Together, Arcserve and ExaGrid provide a cost-effective backup solution that scales to meet the needs of demanding enterprise environments.

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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