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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center Moves Backups Into the Future with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

FutureCare Health and Management operates 12 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers across the Baltimore-Washington area. FutureCare specializes in orthopedic, cardiac, and pulmonary rehab, stroke recovery and other rehabilitations.

Key Benefits:

  • Fits seamlessly into existing infrastructure
  • Streamlined backups that run more quickly and efficiently
  • Less time spent managing and troubleshooting backups
  • Scale-out architecture allowed FutureCare to easily expand the system to accommodate data growth
  • Customer support engineer provides “deep level of technical expertise”
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Long, Complex Backups to Tape Led Organization to Seek a More Unified Solution

FutureCare had been backing up its data to a combination of hard drives and tape, but space limitations on both made nightly backups complicated and time consuming to manage and to run.

“We had bits and pieces of backups here and there – wherever we could scratch up enough space,” said Alan Siu, director of IT at FutureCare Health and Management. “We were constantly experiencing reliability issues with our backup jobs, but it was difficult to nail down where the problems were, and fixing them took a lot of time. Our backup jobs were running nearly seven days a week, and realistically, there wasn’t enough time to get everything done.”

Siu said that FutureCare decided to search for a more unified solution to back up data from its main datacenter and each of its 12 facilities and contacted a trusted value-added reseller for advice. The reseller suggested that the organization look at a disk-based backup solution with data deduplication from ExaGrid.

“We were intrigued with ExaGrid’s service and support model, and we liked its scale-out architecture,” said Siu. “We also compared its data deduplication technology to the competition. We were impressed with its approach over the alternatives because we believed it would result in faster, more efficient backups and restores.”

"One of the selling features of the ExaGrid system was its scale-out architecture because we wanted to ensure that the system was scalable. We were able to add the two additional systems quickly and easily – it really was ‘plug and play. "

Alan Siu, Director of IT

ExaGrid Works with Existing Backup App, Management Time Reduced

FutureCare purchased a two-site ExaGrid system, and installed one appliance in its main datacenter and a second in its offsite location. The ExaGrid system works seamlessly with the company’s existing backup application, Veritas Backup Exec.

“The ExaGrid system fit right into our existing infrastructure to streamline our backups. Before, we had backups running all over the place, but now, everything’s so much cleaner. Backups from our different facilities are sent directly to the ExaGrid system and then replicated offsite each night,” said Siu. “It works extremely well with Backup Exec, and it was simple to implement. The other solution we looked at would have required proprietary software.”

Siu said that since implementing the ExaGrid system, backup times have been reduced. “Our backup jobs run so much faster now, and I spend far less time managing them than I did in the past. Before, if there was a problem, I didn’t have enough time to resolve it before our tapes needed to be sent out. Now, we run our full backups over the weekend and if there’s an issue, I have all week to resolve it before we have to send the tapes out on Friday,” he said. “All in all, I’m saving at least ten hours a week on managing and troubleshooting backup jobs.”

Data Deduplication Reduces Amount of Data Stored

ExaGrid’s approach to data deduplication reduces the amount of data stored, boosting retention while ensuring fast backups. “We’re backing up a wide range of data types, from Exchange servers to file servers, and SQL. The ExaGrid system does a fantastic job at reducing our data so that we maximize the amount of data we can retain,” said Siu.

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).

Scale-out Architecture Offers Scalability

Siu said that within a year after FutureCare purchased its first two ExaGrid systems, the company experienced a spurt in its data growth and decided to purchase two more appliances to handle the increased amounts of data.

“For us, one of the selling features of the ExaGrid system was its scale-out architecture because we wanted to ensure that the system was scalable. We were able to add the two additional systems quickly and easily – it really was ‘plug and play.’”

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.

Top-notch Customer Support

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 can’t say enough about ExaGrid’s customer support model. I talk with the same support engineer each time I have a question, and he has a deep level of technical expertise,” said Siu. “Unfortunately, oftentimes, support engineers aren’t always well versed in either their software or in the practical application of it. Our ExaGrid support engineer not only knows the ExaGrid device inside and out, but he’s knowledgeable about Backup Exec, too. That’s made a huge difference, and we’ve been very happy with the system.”

ExaGrid and Veritas Backup Exec

Veritas Backup Exec provides cost-effective, high-performance backup and recovery – including continuous data protection for Microsoft Exchange servers, Microsoft SQL servers, file servers, and workstations. High-performance agents and options provide fast, flexible, granular protection and scalable management of local and remote server backups.

Organizations using Veritas Backup Exec can look to ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage for nightly backups. ExaGrid sits behind existing backup applications, such as Veritas Backup Exec, providing faster and more reliable backups and restores. In a network running Veritas Backup Exec, using ExaGrid is 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 ExaGrid for backup to disk.

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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