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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Eisai Makes Shift to ExaGrid, Realizes Huge Performance Gains

Customer Overview

Around the world there are still many diseases for which no effective treatments exist and many patients who do not have adequate access to the medicines they need. As a global pharmaceutical company addressing these unmet medical needs, Eisai is committed to making contributions to better healthcare for patients and their families around the world through its business activities.

Key Benefits:

  • Speed of backup window
  • Robust long-term solution
  • Landing zone is key feature
  • Save over 50% time managing backup
  • Compatible with Veritas NetBackup
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Disk-Based Backup Storage Supports Retention Requirements and Data Growth

When Zeidan Ata, Infrastructure Manager at Eisai, first joined the company, they had two sites, one on each side of the highway. A few years later, Eisai consolidated everything into one location. Each site used to have its own backup master server and its own policies on each. When the company consolidated, they kept two different backup servers and two different tape libraries in addition to backing up to tape.

“Because of the nature of our work, the FDA requires us to maintain some of our backups for 30 years, so tape is still a part of our plan on a quarterly basis only. Our yearly data grows up to 25% each year, so the decision to go with ExaGrid really made sense. Our day- to-day retention is 90 days, and we back up around 115TBs weekly,” said Ata.

Eisai’s equipment was getting old, and Ata’s team started seeing a lot of errors, which ultimately resulted in a lot of wasted time managing backups. “We realized that we needed to upgrade our systems and look for a new solution. We went straight to Gartner’s magic quadrant and had Dell EMC, ExaGrid, Veritas, and HP present their solutions. We had to narrow it down to three products and to be honest, I was very impressed with ExaGrid compared to everybody else. Plus, the price was very competitive.

“In the end, it was really a decision between ExaGrid and Dell EMC. Because of ExaGrid’s deduplication and architecture with every ExaGrid appliance having compute as well as storage, we decided to go with ExaGrid,” said Ata. “The landing zone was the most attractive feature.”

"When I started seeing the backups happening, I began to worry that maybe we didn’t size the system correctly, but then after all the backups completed and I looked at the ExaGrid dashboard, I saw a lot of green for availability and I got worried and thought we had a problem until I realized it was done! Backups are fast...recovery is even faster! "

Zeidan Ata, Infrastructure Manager

Compatibility Reaps Huge Benefits and Efficiencies

The Eisai IT staff liked the idea that they could stick with Veritas NetBackup and didn’t need to upgrade their hardware and software. “Our budget is tight due to the amount of equipment we have and the number of upgrades we perform annually. That was one of the big questions I asked during our POC. From the technical support side, it was pretty painless to integrate the ExaGrid system with our existing Veritas NetBackup servers,” said Ata.

“We also bought four appliances for our production site, which is our primary site, and we bought two appliances for our DR site, which uses ExaGrid appliances for replication. Our dedupe ratios on our primary systems average 11:1, and we also have a larger volume where I see a 232:1 dedupe ratio – a 6TB volume is only taking up 26.2GB. Our total backup data is 1061TB, and that backs up to 115TB.”

Speed of Backup Surprised IT Manager and Grants More Time

“When I started seeing the backups happening, I began to worry that maybe we didn’t size it correctly, but then after all the backups completed and I looked at the ExaGrid dashboard, I saw a lot of green for availability and I got worried and thought we had a problem until I realized it was done! Backups are fast, but recovery is even faster,” said Ata.

“We had a volume that’s about 30TB; the original backup took almost a week to complete, and it took two months to complete on tape. It’s a new backup world now.”

“We easily save more than 50% of our time managing backups. Every time we had a Monday or a Friday holiday, I worried about getting tapes swapped prior; not to run out of media to write to before we can rotate tapes again. That was really a big pain point for us, and we had to be on top of it continuously because all the data that we back up is crucial for the individuals who generate it. Now that we have ExaGrid implemented, it’s so nice to see how well it works and how much less I have to worry about backups on a daily basis.”

Seamless Integration and Support

“ExaGrid proved to be a robust backup and recovery system, and something we can rely on. I did the install by myself, and our ExaGrid engineer told me what I needed to know. He has been outstanding and offers a wealth of knowledge. Since we sized it correctly, I don’t expect to add any shelves for at least a year from now,” said Ata.

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.

“I like the way ExaGrid’s UI works. I go into one IP address and I see all the sites and the sub-sites – everything on one dashboard where I can check things out. It’s very obvious what’s working and what’s not. Lucky for us, everything is going the right way. I don’t regret one second about the decision we made to go with ExaGrid versus everybody else,” said Ata.


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.

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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