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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Adding ExaGrid Enables Cloud Service Provider to Offer Longer-Term Retention and Better Data Protection to its Clients

Customer Overview

FlashData, located in Brazil, is a startup of cloud computing services and solutions. Its core business is to bring and connect the different technologies available in the cloud to customers’ environment and reality, so that their businesses can become more competitive, modern and secure. FlashData was created in 2018 as a spin-off company that emerged within the Sauk (Business Technology company) environment. FlashData was created out of the need for cloud expertise, based on more than 20 years of experience in IT projects and services.

Key Benefits:

  • ExaGrid integrates well with Veeam and supports both FlashData’s VMware and Nutanix environments
  • ExaGrid-Veeam dedupe triples storage savings, allowing FlashData to offer longer-term retention to clients
  • ExaGrid shortens backup window and improves RPO
  • ExaGrid provides ‘excellent’ support with quick response time
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ExaGrid Chosen to Back Up Internal Infrastructure and Client Data

The IT team at FlashData, a cloud service provider, had been backing its internal data and client data up Dell EMC VNX storage arrays, but the IT team found that backups were too slow and decided to look for a new solution that would improve performance, and wanted a backup storage solution that is secure. They looked into a few backup storage solutions and decided that ExaGrid would be the best fit for their environment, especially due to its integration with Veeam, the backup application that FlashData uses.

“In Brazil, we place a high importance on the security of our data, especially with the increasing amount of attacks that have been happening worldwide. It was critical for us to choose a backup storage solution that offered the best data protection. ExaGrid’s secure tiered backup architecture was one of the reasons we chose to install it,” said Cesar Augusto Pagno, senior analyst and sales engineer at FlashData.

ExaGrid provides Tiered Backup Storage with a unique disk-cache Landing Zone tier for the fastest backups, restores, and instant VM recoveries. The Repository Tier offers the lowest cost for long-term retention. ExaGrid offers the only two-tiered backup storage approach with a non-network-facing tier, delayed deletes, and immutable objects to recover from ransomware attacks.

"In Brazil, we place a high importance on the security of our data, especially with the increasing amount of attacks that have been happening worldwide. It was critical for us to choose a backup storage solution that offered the best data protection. ExaGrid’s secure tiered backup architecture was one of the reasons we chose to install it. "

Cesar Augusto Pagno, Senior Analyst and Sales Engineer

Switch to ExaGrid Improves Dedupe, Tripling Storage Savings

FlashData backs up VMs using both VMware and also a Nutanix hyperconverged environment, in addition to SQL and Oracle databases. Pagno has found that switching to ExaGrid, and using the combined ExaGrid-Veeam deduplication has helped manage long-term retention.

“Some of our clients have a long-term retention policy as there are many rules and laws in Brazil, and the long-term retention requirements can range from one year to 20 years depending on the type of client and type of data,” said Pagno. “Before using ExaGrid, our virtualized storage didn’t have deduplication but after switching to ExaGrid, our storage savings have tripled due to the deduplication it provides, so we can offer longer-term retention to our clients.”

Veeam uses the information from VMware, Nutanix AHV, and Hyper-V and provides deduplication on a“per-job” basis, finding the matching areas of all the virtual disks within a backup job and using metadata to reduce the overall footprint of the backup data. Veeam also has a “dedupe friendly” compression setting which further reduces the size of the Veeam backups in a way that allows the ExaGrid system to achieve further deduplication. This approach typically achieves a 2:1 deduplication ratio. 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.

ExaGrid Shortens Backup Windows and RPOs

One of the issues that Pagno had experienced with the previous solution was that the backup jobs were exceeding the windows and causing RPOs to be too long. “One of our backup jobs was 6TB and it used to take three to four hours, but now that we have installed ExaGrid, that same backup only takes 20-30 minutes. Now, we can do all of our backup jobs in the scheduled window,” he said. In addition, he finds that restoring data using the combined solution of ExaGrid and Veeam is a very fast process. “We do restore testing regularly, including restoring individual files and also VMs, and restoring the data using our ExaGrid-Veeam solution always works well and is so fast. It’s fantastic!” said Pagno.

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 Provides ‘Excellent’ Support with Quick Response Time

Pagno appreciates ExaGrid’s support model of working with an assigned customer support engineer, who gets to know the customer’s individual backup environment. “The customer support from ExaGrid is excellent! Our ExaGrid support engineer contacted us about best practices to using ExaGrid and helps with integrations within our environment, including setting up and testing ExaGrid’s Retention Time-Lock feature,” he said. “Our customer support engineer responds very quickly if there is anything we need – I can simply send him an email and often get a reply within a few minutes.”

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.

ExaGrid and Veeam – ‘The Complete Solution’

FlashData backs uses a VMware environment and also a hyperconverged Nutanix environment and Pagno feels confident that the combined solution of ExaGrid and Veeam will work well for both. “Veeam plus ExaGrid is the complete solution,” he said. The combination of ExaGrid and Veeam’s industry-leading virtual server data protection solutions allows customers to utilize Veeam Backup & Replication in VMware, vSphere, Nutanix AHV, and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments on ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage. This combination provides fast backups and efficient data storage as well as replication to an offsite location for disaster recovery. Customers can use Veeam Backup & Replication’s built-in source-side deduplication in concert with ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage with Adaptive Deduplication to further shrink backups.

ExaGrid has integrated the Veeam Data Mover so that backups are written Veeam-to-Veeam versus Veeam-to-CIFS, which provides a 30% increase in backup performance. Since the Veeam Data Mover is not an open standard, it is far more secure than using CIFS and other open market protocols. In addition, because ExaGrid has integrated the Veeam Data Mover, Veeam synthetic fulls can be created six times faster than any other solution. ExaGrid stores the most recent Veeam backups in an undeduplicated form in its Landing Zone and has the Veeam Data Mover running on each ExaGrid appliance and has a processor in each appliance in a scale-out architecture. This combination of Landing Zone, Veeam Data Mover, and scale-out compute provides the fastest Veeam synthetic fulls versus any other solution on the market.

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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