Ready to Talk to a System Engineer?

Please enter your information and we'll contact you to set up a call. Thank you!

Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Hunter Industries Speeds Backups with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

Founded in 1981, Hunter Industries is a family-owned manufacturer of best-in-class solutions for the landscape irrigation, outdoor lighting, dispensing technology, and custom manufacturing sectors. Hunter Industries offers thousands of products in over 120 countries. The company is headquartered in southern California.

Key Benefits:

  • Phenomenal price point
  • Backup time reduced from 42 hours to 7
  • Time savings on managing backups decreased from 15 hours per week, to one hour
  • Easily expand for future data growth
  • Superior customer support
Download PDF

Aging Tape Library Delivered Long Backups, Slow Network Performance

Hunter’s IT staff was finding it more and more difficult to back up data to its aging tape library. With backups running nearly 23 hours a day, the company’s network was slow due to the constant traffic and the IT staff struggled to keep up with tape management chores.

“We weren’t able to properly back up our information and the whole situation weighed heavily on our IT group. All in all, we were spending 15 hours per week on tape management, and we still weren’t able to keep up. We needed a state-of-the-art solution that could cut our backup windows and reduce our reliance on tape,” said Jeff Winckler, network administrator for Hunter Industries.

"The ExaGrid system is easy to manage, and the user interface has a nice look and feel. Installing the ExaGrid system has made a huge impact here. Before we installed the system, I would spend as many as 15 hours per week on backups but now I only spend about an hour a week. It’s been extremely liberating. "

Jeff Winckler, Network Administrator

Cost-Effective ExaGrid System Works with Popular Backup Applications, Delivers Effective Data Deduplication

After looking at several competing solutions, Hunter decided to purchase a disk-based backup system with data deduplication from ExaGrid. The ExaGrid system works with the company’s backup application, Commvault.

“ExaGrid’s price point was phenomenal, and it was far more cost-effective than the other solutions we considered,” said Winckler. “At the same time we purchased the ExaGrid, we also decided to look for a new backup application. We liked the fact that the ExaGrid system worked with all the leading backup applications so we could choose the one we felt was the best for our environment.”

The strength of ExaGrid’s data deduplication technology also was an important factor in the decision. “The other thing we really liked about the ExaGrid system was its approach to data deduplication. ExaGrid’s post-process data deduplication gives us the fastest possible backups because it compresses the data after it hits the landing zone. Some of the other solutions we looked at used inline data deduplication. We looked at both approaches and we concluded that inline data deduplication would negatively affect the speed of our backups,” said Winckler.

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).

Backup Times Significantly Reduced, Scalability for the Future

Winckler said that since installing the ExaGrid system, the company has seen its backup times greatly reduced. For example, Hunter’s Notes® backups used to take 42 hours with tape, but they are now completed in seven hours or less with the ExaGrid.

“Our backups are now completed within our backup window and they’re done consistently each and every night with the ExaGrid. I come in and check the ExaGrid every morning just to make sure everything backed up correctly and it’s a rare to even have an error,” said Winckler.

“The other area where the ExaGrid has made a tremendous difference is in restores. We used to cross our fingers and hope that the data was backed up and available every time we got a restore request. Now we are able to back up all of our data and we can restore a file in no time at all.”

Currently, the company backs up the ExaGrid system to tape and sends the tapes offsite on a weekly basis. In the future, Hunter can add a second ExaGrid system offsite to replicate data and improve its ability to recover from a disaster. “The ExaGrid system gives us the flexibility to add another system on for data replication at any point in the future,” said Winckler. “We also like the fact that we can expand the capacity of the ExaGrid when we need to by adding on extra units. Some of the other solutions we looked at weren’t scalable at all, but the ExaGrid will enable us to scale the system as our needs grow.”

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.

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

“We’ve developed a great relationship with our ExaGrid support engineer. He understands our environment and he’s always available to answer any question we have,” said Winckler. “The ExaGrid system is easy to manage, and the user interface has a nice look and feel. Installing the ExaGrid system has made a huge impact here. Before we installed the system, I would spend as many as 15 hours per week on backups but now I only spend about an hour a week. It’s been extremely liberating.”

ExaGrid and Commvault

The Commvault backup application has a level of data deduplication. ExaGrid can ingest Commvault deduplicated data and increase the level of data deduplication by 3X providing a combined deduplication ratio of 15;1, significantly reducing the amount and cost of storage up front and over time. Instead of performing data at rest encryption in Commvault ExaGrid, performs this function in the disk drives in nanoseconds. This approach provides an increase of 20% to 30% for Commvault environments while greatly reducing storage costs.

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.

Talk to us about your needs

ExaGrid is the expert in backup storage—it’s all we do.

Request Pricing

Our team is trained to ensure that your system is properly sized and supported to meet your growing data needs.

Contact us for pricing »

Talk With One of Our System Engineers

With ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage, each appliance in the system brings with it not only disk, but also memory, bandwidth, and processing power—all the elements needed to maintain high backup performance.

Schedule call »

Schedule Proof of Concept (POC)

Test ExaGrid by installing it in your environment to experience improved backup performance, faster restores, ease of use, and scalability. Put it to the test! 8 out of 10 who test it, decide to keep it.

Schedule now »