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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

HCC Backs Up More Data in Half of the Time with ExaGrid-Veeam Solution

Customer Overview

Hackley Community Care Center’s providers offer an array of services to patients in Muskegon County, Michigan; ranging from preventative healthcare, to chronic healthcare management, mental health services, dental care, school-based healthcare services, and pharmacy services.

Key Benefits:

  • ExaGrid-Veeam deduplication maximizes storage, allows for five years’ worth of retention
  • ExaGrid support assists with adding appliances to existing system and provides expertise on entire environment
  • HCC IT staff save time on managing backups thanks to ExaGrid system running ‘seamlessly’
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ExaGrid-Veeam Chosen to Streamline Backup and Replication

Hackley Community Care (HCC) was looking into replacing its existing backup system and establishing replication at a disaster recovery (DR) site. Gary Szatkowski, HCC’s IT director, worked with his trusted reseller to identify a solution that would streamline HCC’s backup process. “We first heard about ExaGrid from our reseller. We liked the data deduplication that ExaGrid provides and that replication is hardware-based instead of being done through the backup application. I spoke with existing ExaGrid customers, and they gave nothing but glowing recommendations, so we decided to move forward and make the switch to ExaGrid.”

HCC installed an ExaGrid appliance at its primary site, which replicates backups to its second offsite ExaGrid for DR site. From the start, Szatkowski has seen a significant impact on backup management and is impressed with the system’s ease-of-use. “I save at least five hours per week on backup management. Our ExaGrid system runs seamlessly, without issue. My team spends much less time on troubleshooting problems than we did with previous backup solutions.”

HCC completely virtualized its backup environment, using Veeam as its new backup application. “We bought ExaGrid and Veeam because we’d heard that they work seamlessly when combined, and we’ve found that to be true – they just work great together!”

"We added a larger ExaGrid appliance at our primary site and moved two smaller appliances to expand on our remote site [...] Adding more appliances to our ExaGrid system was so easy to do! "

Gary Szatkowski, IT Director

Weekly Backup Window Cut in Half

Szatkowski backs up HCC’s data in daily incrementals and weekly fulls. Most of the backed up data consists of SQL databases as well as document files and other basic data shares. “Our full weekly backup used to take over 24 hours. Since switching to ExaGrid, that backup takes half the time, even though we’re backing up much more data,” he said.

In addition to shorter backups, Szatkowski has been impressed with how rapidly the ExaGrid- Veeam solution has been able to restore data, even an entire server, from ExaGrid’s unique landing zone, which eliminates the lengthy data rehydration process. “When one of our servers wouldn’t boot up, we decided to restore the system partition from the previous night’s backup. Within half an hour, we had that server back up and running. Restoring it was quicker than trying to troubleshoot and find out why it wasn’t booting up!”

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).

Deduplication Maximizes Storage, Accommodates 5-Year Retention Plan

HCC keeps retention of 21 restore points to back up from, and those restore points are copied to its DR site, and kept for five years. ExaGrid’s data deduplication has maximized storage capacity, accommodating five years’ worth of storage. “We are able to back up much more data than we had in the past, because deduplication allows us to do so without using as much storage,” said Szatkowski.

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.

ExaGrid System Easy to Scale – Even During Vacation

HCC has recently scaled out its ExaGrid systems and Szatkowski is impressed at how effortless the process is, especially as it was taken care of while he was on vacation. “We added a larger ExaGrid appliance at our primary site and moved two smaller appliances to expand on our remote site. Everything went great! As a matter of fact, I had one of my tech staff work with our ExaGrid support engineer while I was on vacation. My staff simply plugged the appliance in and the ExaGrid support engineer took over and got the job done, while following our requirements to a T. Adding more appliances to our ExaGrid system was so easy to do!”

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.

‘High-Quality Support’ on Entire Environment

Szatkowski appreciates the level of customer support that ExaGrid provides. “We’ve worked with a couple of ExaGrid support engineers over the years, and they have both provided excellent customer service. One of the reasons I have used ExaGrid for so many years is its high quality support.

“A few years ago, we were having some issues with our backups and I worked all night for two nights in a row to get the issue resolved. My ExaGrid support engineer stayed on the phone with me the entire time while we resolved everything. The issue turned out to be with the backup application, and not with ExaGrid at all, but our ExaGrid support engineer still provided assistance.”

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. Customers never have to repeat themselves to various support staff, and issues get resolved quickly.

ExaGrid and Veeam

Veeam’s backup solutions and ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage combine for the industry’s fastest backups, fastest restores, a scale-out storage system as data grows, and a strong ransomware recovery story – all at the lowest cost.

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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