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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

ExaGrid-Veeam Solution Provides Consistency to Essex Industries’ Backup Environment

Customer Overview

Founded in 1947 by Harold and Sidney Guller in their father’s basement in Saint Louis, Essex Industries has grown to four facilities, with over 200,000 square feet and 400+ employees. The Gullers’ first product, an F-214 Radio Noise Filter, was designed to meet a specific requirement for that aircraft. Over the past seven decades, the product range has grown to include a variety of Platform Controls and Aircraft Components. As a result, Essex Industries has been a part of virtually every major military and commercial aerospace program since 1947. Today, Essex is recognized for its core product segments of Platform Controls, Aircraft Components, Emergency Breathing Equipment, LOX Equipment and Gas Regulators.

Key Benefits:

  • Essex Industries replaces unreliable Backup Exec solution with ExaGrid and Veeam
  • ExaGrid and Veeam ‘work flawlessly together’
  • Backups are ‘critical’ to Essex Industries, and now they are ‘faster, more consistent and without any errors’
  • Essex Industries values ExaGrid’s reliability and quality support
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ExaGrid-Veeam Solution Replaces Backup Exec Appliance and Software

The IT staff at Essex Industries had been backing data up to a Backup Exec appliance, using the built-in Backup Exec software. “That solution was pretty unreliable,” said Andy Hagen, manager of IT at Essex Industries. “We dealt with hardware issues and failed backups, and we decided we needed a better solution.”

When Hagen and his team started researching other backup solutions, they came across ExaGrid, and then he realized he was using the ExaGrid notebook he had received at an ExaGrid event in the past and recalled the “great” sales pitch the ExaGrid team gave about the tiered backup solution. After narrowing down potential backup options, Hagen decided to replace Backup Exec software and hardware entirely with ExaGrid and Veeam.

Though he had previously used an end-to-end solution, Hagen was impressed with the integration between ExaGrid and Veeam, and how easy it was to set up the new backup system. “Installation was very simple. We worked with our assigned ExaGrid support engineer and he helped us get our ExaGrid system working with Veeam. Since then, we’ve installed additional ExaGrid appliances and I’ve been able to configure them to work with Veeam by myself, because ExaGrid is already preloaded in the Appliances section of the Veeam menu, so it’s as easy as pressing a button,” he said. Veeam’s backup solutions and ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage combine for the industry’s fastest backups, fastest restores, a scaleout storage system as data grows, and a strong ransomware recovery story – all at the lowest cost.

"With any service, the value is in the support and the people you work with. Over the years, we’ve weeded out the products that don’t work right or the ones that make us cringe when we have to call support. ExaGrid is one of our favorite products to work with, especially because of its high-quality support. "

Andy Hagen, Manager of IT

‘Faster and Consistent Backups’ and Quick Restores

Essex Industries has a large amount of data to back up, from Exchange and SQL data, to other application servers and its PDM environment. “We’re a manufacturing design company, so it’s critical that data, like our engineering drawings, is backed up correctly,” said Hagen, who backs up the company’s data on a nightly and weekly basis, in addition to a monthly backup that is kept for retention. “Now that we’ve switched to the ExaGrid-Veeam solution, our backup jobs are faster and consistent, without any errors,” he said.

Hagen has also found that restoring data is a quick process, usually taking “a minute or two.” In addition, he is pleased with the restore performance during quarterly backup tests. “During the test, we run through all of our critical servers, and try to hit one file from every server, and we’re able to restore 70 servers within a couple of hours,” he said.

Since switching to the ExaGrid-Veeam solution, Hagen has been able to add a yearly backup in addition to the monthly backups stored for longer-term retention, as the backups take up less of the storage space, due to deduplication.

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).

ExaGrid and Veeam can instantly recover a file or VMware virtual machine by running it directly from the ExaGrid appliance in the event that the file is lost, corrupted or encrypted or the primary storage VM becomes unavailable. This instant recovery is possible because of ExaGrid’s Landing Zone – a high-speed disk cache on the ExaGrid appliance that retains the most recent backups in their complete form. Once the primary storage environment has been brought back to a working state, the VM backed up on the ExaGrid appliance can then be migrated to primary storage for continued operation.

‘The Value is in the Support’

Hagen appreciates ExaGrid’s approach to customer support – working with an assigned support engineer on installation, upgrades, and any issues that might come up. “Our ExaGrid support engineer has been helpful with any questions we’ve had. We replicate our backups to a secure cloud repository, and we had some issues with the replication when we first starting using it. The cloud’s support team was not very helpful, but my ExaGrid support engineer spent days helping us troubleshoot so that it works like it’s supposed to,” he said.

“With any service, the value is in the support and the people you work with. Over the years, we’ve weeded out the products that don’t work right or the ones that make us cringe when we have to call support. ExaGrid is one of our favorite products to work with, especially because of its high quality support. Our CFO does periodically ask us to shop around to make sure we are using the best solution for our money and when we did look into alternate solutions to ExaGrid, such as a Dell solution, and after comparing the hardware and the dedupe ratios it claimed to offer, it didn’t fall in line with how the real world works, and we decided to stick with ExaGrid. Not only were we used to the technology, but we feel comfortable with our ExaGrid support engineer and we trust that ExaGrid offers accurate sizing and works well in our environment,’ said Hagen.

“One of the nicest aspects of our ExaGrid system is that we rarely have to touch it – it just does its own thing. ExaGrid and Veeam work flawlessly together, and I don’t think we’ve ever had a hardware issue. We racked and stacked it, and we’ve been able to set it and forget it. Backups are critical, and now I have peace of mind knowing that if a server goes down overnight that we’ll be able to restore it the next morning. I don’t have to think twice about it.”

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.

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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