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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

ExaGrid is Backup Solution of Choice for Foley

Customer Overview

Headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey, Foley, Inc. has been a Caterpillar equipment dealer since 1957, spanning three generations of the Foley family. Foley partners with industry-leading contractors in fields such as utility and transportation, asphalt and paving, and landscape management to provide its customers with solutions that help them build and power a better place to live.

Key Benefits:

  • Data Dedupe rates as high as 37:1
  • Nightly backups reduced from 12 to 3 hours
  • Full backups reduced 50%
  • Seamless integration with Dell Networker
  • Saves tremendous amount of time on management and administration
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Problematic Tape Backups Strained IT Staff

Foley’s three-person IT department supports nearly 400 users, so it’s critical that routine processes like nightly backups run as efficiently as possible. When the company’s IT staff became overburdened with tape library issues and long backup times, Foley decided the time was right to search for a new solution.

“Our nightly differential backups were taking 12 hours or more, and we were having lots of issues with tape,” said Dave Cracchiolo, network administrator at Foley. “It was becoming clear to us that tape wasn’t an efficient or stable way to back up our data for the long term, so we decided to look for a disk-based solution to improve the speed and reliability of our backups.”

"I highly recommend the ExaGrid system. It’s easy to use, and its deduplication technology works extremely well. "

Dave Cracchiolo, Network Administrator

ExaGrid Reduces Nightly Backups from 12 to 3 Hours

Foley purchased an ExaGrid disk-based backup system with data deduplication after considering solutions from Dell EMC Data Domain and CommVault. The ExaGrid system works with Dell’s NetWorker to back up and protect Foley’s data.

“The ExaGrid system was the most cost-effective solution we looked at, and we were impressed with how easy it was to use,” said Cracchiolo. “Also, ExaGrid’s data deduplication was top-notch. It’s a very quick, efficient, and reliable solution.” Cracchiolo said that since installing the ExaGrid system, the company’s backup times have been significantly reduced. Nightly differential backup times have been cut from twelve hours to three hours, and full backups have been cut in half from 96 hours to less than 48 hours.

“Our backups are so much more efficient now and restores are incredibly fast. We can restore small files in seconds, and larger files can be brought back in minutes,” he said. “Another advantage is that we’re able to retain 90 days of backups on the system, so we have rapid access to a great deal of history in case we need it.”

Data Deduplication Rates as High as 37:1

“ExaGrid’s data deduplication technology has been extremely effective at compressing our data. In particular, it’s worked phenomenally with our SQL data, and we’re seeing dedupe rates of 37:1,” said Cracchiolo.

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).

Easy Installation and Management

“We worked closely with our ExaGrid customer support engineer to set the system up, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since,” said Cracchiolo. “We really like ExaGrid’s approach to support. Oftentimes, we find that products run well out of the box, but support doesn’t live up to our expectations. We’ve had an excellent experience with ExaGrid’s support. Our support engineer is responsive and knows his way around the system.”
Cracchiolo said that ExaGrid’s user-friendly interface makes managing the system easy.

“We’re saving a tremendous amount of time on management and administration. I probably look at the ExaGrid system once or twice a month to make sure things are running smoothly, but we really haven’t had any issues. It’s a very reliable solution,” he said.

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.

Scalability to Grow

Cracchiolo said that Foley has already expanded the ExaGrid system to handle increased amounts of data. “The system is easily scalable. We recently added an EX5000 to our EX2000, which will give us an additional 9TB of disk space. We estimate that we’ll be able to put about 50TB of compressed data onto the system,” he said.

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.

“I highly recommend the ExaGrid system. It’s easy to use, and its deduplication technology works extremely well,” said Cracchiolo. “Having the ExaGrid system in place means that there’s one less thing for me to worry about. Our backups run flawlessly day in and day out.”

ExaGrid and Dell Networker

Dell NetWorker provides a complete, flexible and integrated backup and recovery solution for Windows, NetWare, Linux and UNIX environments. For large datacenters or individual departments, Dell EMC NetWorker protects and helps ensure the availability of all critical applications and data. It features the highest levels of hardware support for even the largest devices, innovative support for disk technologies, storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) environments and reliable protection of enterprise class databases and messaging systems.

Organizations using NetWorker can look to ExaGrid for nightly backups. ExaGrid sits behind existing backup applications, such as NetWorker, providing faster and more reliable backups and restores. In a network running NetWorker, using ExaGrid as easy as pointing existing backup jobs at a NAS share on the ExaGrid system. Backup jobs are sent directly from the backup application to the ExaGrid for onsite backup to disk.

Intelligent Data Protection

ExaGrid’s turnkey disk-based backup system combines enterprise drives with zone-level data deduplication, delivering a disk-based solution that is far more cost effective than simply backing up to disk with deduplication or using backup software deduplication to disk. ExaGrid’s patented zone-level deduplication reduces the disk space needed by a range of 10:1 to 50:1, depending on the data types and retention periods, by storing only the unique objects across backups instead of redundant data. Adaptive Deduplication performs deduplication and replication in parallel with backups. As data is being deduplicated to the repository, it is also replicated to a second ExaGrid site or the public cloud for disaster recovery (DR).

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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