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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Hologic Upgrades to ExaGrid and Veeam for Reliable and Scalable Backup Storage

Customer Overview

As a leading global healthcare and diagnostics company, Massachusetts-based Hologic strives to make advances toward greater certainty for its customers by providing them with cutting-edge technology that makes a real difference. Founded in 1985, Hologic has worked to achieve both incremental and transformational progress to improve patients’ lives, pushing the boundaries of science to deliver clearer images, simpler surgical procedures, and more efficient diagnostic solutions. With a passion for women’s health, Hologic enables people to live healthier lives, everywhere, every day through early detection
and treatment.

Key Benefits:

  • Outstanding integration with ExaGrid and Veeam
  • Backup window decreased by over 65%
  • 70% less time spent on daily backup management
  • Strong customer support relationship
  • Architecture provides scalability needed to keep backup window consistent
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ExaGrid Solution Provides Positive Backup Results

Hologic used Dell vRanger to back up their VMs in addition to IBM TSM for backing up Microsoft Exchange and SQL, along with some physical boxes. Hologic also had Veritas NetBackup to manage their tape out. Everything being backed up went to tape except for Hologic’s Isilon crossovers. “We had multiple products to do a simple thing – backup storage,” said Mike Le, System Administrator II for Hologic.

Hologic has two headquarters on the east and west coast. The backup project team oversees backups for the enterprise, which is worldwide. Each site accounts for approximately 40TB of backup. Because of their strong relationship with Dell EMC, Hologic decided to move forward with their backup solution and purchased Dell DR appliances.

“We started backing up to the Dell DRs and then replicated between our two sites. Our first run came back, it was great; the fulls replicated, everything was fine. Then, as the days went on and incrementals occurred nightly, the replication couldn’t catch up. We decided to retain the Dell DRs at our smaller sites and convert our main datacenters over to a new solution that had CPU on each system to help with ingest, encryption, and deduplication,” said Le. Hologic had new management in place and immediately directed the IT team to select a new solution – new software and hardware – a complete overhaul. When they set out to do a POC, they wanted to do it correctly. Le and his team knew Veeam was number one for virtualized backup software – that was a given – and they narrowed the disk-based backup options down to Dell EMC Data Domain and ExaGrid.

“We compared Data Domain and ExaGrid, running Veeam in parallel POCs. ExaGrid just worked better. The scalability seemed almost too good to be true, but it lived up to its hype and it was awesome,” said Le.

"We compared EMC Data Domain and ExaGrid, running Veeam in parallel POCs. ExaGrid just worked better. The scalability seemed almost too good to be true, but it lived up to its hype and it was awesome! "

Mike Le, System Administrator II

Unique Architecture Proves to be the Answer

“We liked the ExaGrid architecture for so many reasons. It was during our transition project time when Dell acquired EMC, and we contemplated buying Data Domain, because we thought it might work better. The concern was that their architecture is almost the same as the Dell DR where you just keep adding cells of storage, but you’re still working on just one CPU. ExaGrid’s unique architecture allows us to add full appliances as a whole unit, and it all works together while staying fast and consistent. We needed something reliable, and we got it with ExaGrid,” said Le.

Le says that he spent every day monitoring backups, while Hologic continued to run out of disk space. “We flirted with the 95% line constantly. The cleaner would catch up, we would gain a few points and then we’d lose it. It was back and forth – and really bad. When storage reaches 85-90%, performance drags,” said Le. “It was a massive snowball effect.”

With ExaGrid, Hologic runs a report every day to confirm backup job success. Their IT staff especially values how well ExaGrid and Veeam work together for deduplication and replication. Currently, they are seeing a combined dedupe ratio of 11:1. “The ExaGrid-Veeam system is perfect – exactly what we needed. We are now meeting or exceeding every portion of our backup goals,” said Le.

“We’re not eating up a ton of space anymore, especially since Veeam also does their own dedupe. What I care about is the fact that I’m not losing storage, and replication and deduplication are caught up and
successful,” said Le.

Time Savings Matters

In the past, Hologic’s backup was spread across three different backup apps and took over 24 hours to complete. Today, everything is done in eight to nine hours, which is a 65% reduction in the company’s backup window. “ExaGrid’s landing zone is a lifesaver. It makes restores easy and straightforward – for example, an instant restore takes around 80 seconds. ExaGrid is amazing, and it means the world! It has made all of our lives so much easier,” said Le

Consistent Support from POC ‘til Now

“Most of the time when you’re doing a POC with a vendor, you get the vendor’s undivided attention. But once you buy the product, support starts to slack off a little bit. With ExaGrid, since day one, our assigned support engineer has been very responsive and highly knowledgeable. Anything that I need, or have questions on, he is on the phone with me within an hour. I’ve only had one failed drive – before we even really were able to acknowledge it, he had already sent me an email informing us that a new drive was on its way,” said Le.

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.

“Our backup report is a custom power shell that will pull data from ExaGrid and make a gorgeous .xml file with all the dedupe rates, in color, so I am on top of every metric. I am loving my new backup storage system and job more than ever,” said Le.

“I now spend only 30% of my time during the day on backup, mainly because we have a number of other smaller offices. Our long-term plan includes getting ExaGrid systems at each of these sites as well.”

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.

ExaGrid-Veeam Combined Dedupe

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.

Architecture Provides Superior Scalability

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.

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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