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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Easy-to-Use ExaGrid System Provides Reliable Backup Storage and DR for GICSD

Customer Overview

Grand Island Central School District (GICSD) is a K-12 school district in Western New York whose mission is to foster academic excellence, personal growth, and social responsibility.

Key Benefits:

  • ExaGrid keeps rotating backups running consistently within scheduled windows
  • GICSD expanded its system and established offsite DR; replication provides optimal data protection
  • Systems are upgraded remotely by ExaGrid customer support without network interruption
  • GICSD quickly restores data from ExaGrid’s landing zone
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Backup Jobs Stay on Schedule

Grand Island Central School District (GICSD) has been backing up its data to an ExaGrid system for a number of years, using Veritas Backup Exec. Its environment is mostly virtualized, and its data is primarily made up of documents stored by its faculty, staff, and students, who are each assigned a home folder in a file redirection system.

“We back up data on a daily basis and run different types of backup jobs throughout the week,” said Josh Nichols, GICSD’s network systems administrator. “We have a rotating schedule of differential, incremental, and full backups. We run our backup jobs at night, and they are always completed by the time we are in the next morning.”

Nichols finds it easy to restore the data that end users sometimes accidentally delete, since it is stored in an undeduplicated format on ExaGrid’s unique landing zone. “We don’t have to restore data very often, but it’s been a pretty quick process when we’ve had to. It takes between five to ten minutes, since we have assigned snapshots to a server on a separate drive and duplicate the home folders there so we can easily search through the folder to retrieve the data.”

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).

"It gives me peace of mind knowing that our ExaGrid system works so well that we don’t really have to keep an eye on it. It’s easy to use and well-supported. "

Josh Nichols, Network Systems Administrator

ExaGrid Sales and Support are ‘Always on the Ball’

Nichols appreciates working with the proactive and knowledgeable ExaGrid team. “The ExaGrid team is always on the ball, and they have been great to work with; from working with the sales team on ordering the best appliance for our environment, to working with ExaGrid support on configuring the system.

“Our ExaGrid support engineer upgrades our system remotely, and it’s so seamless that we don’t always know the upgrade is happening because there is no interruption on our network. It gives me peace of mind knowing that our ExaGrid system works so well that we don’t really have to keep an eye on it. It’s easy to use and well-supported.”

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.

Establishment of Offsite DR Completes Data Protection Strategy

To further protect its data, GICSD established offsite disaster recovery (DR) by purchasing a new ExaGrid system for its primary site and sending the original system to its DR site; GICSD now replicates backups from its primary to its DR site as part of its backup process.

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 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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