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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Cloud Service Provider Improves RPO and RTO for Its Customers with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

Integrated Systems Corporation (dba ISCorp) is a trusted leader in private, secure cloud management services, serving a wide variety of industries and customers with tailored solutions to meet their business needs while managing complex compliance and security requirements. Headquartered in Wisconsin, ISCorp has been leading the industry in data management, systems integration, and security since 1987, developing its first private cloud environment in 1995 – long before private cloud services were widely available.

Key Benefits:

  • ‘Huge’ amount of time saved administering backups with ExaGrid
  • ISCorp no longer forced to choose subsets of critical data for DR backup – can replicate entire primary site
  • A higher volume of backup jobs can now be accommodated while staying within the defined window
  • System is easily scaled with a ‘rinse and repeat’ process
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System that Saves Staff Time

ISCorp had been backing up its data to a Dell EMC CLARiiON SAN disk array, using Commvault as a backup app. Adam Schlosser, ISCorp’s infrastructure architect, found that the solution was limiting in terms of managing the company’s data growth and had noticed performance issues as the system aged.

Schlosser was frustrated that the CLARiiON solution was not easily expandable, so he looked into other solutions. During the search, a colleague recommended ExaGrid, so Schlosser looked into the system and arranged for a 90-day proof of concept (POC). “We put together a plan and mapped out what needed to meet or exceed expectations. We worked on our primary site first, and then we synced the appliances that were going to our secondary site, making a trip down to the secondary site to install that system and get the replication caught up. Once a week, we had a tech meeting with ExaGrid’s sales team and support engineers, which kept the process moving.

“What impressed me, from an administrative standpoint, was the ‘set and forget it’ nature of the ExaGrid system. When we were replicating from our primary site to our DR site using Commvault, a lot of administration needed to be done, such as making sure that the DASH copies and the replicated copies were finishing on time. With ExaGrid, when the backup job is done, one look at the interface confirms whether the deduplication completed and allows me to check on the replication queues. We realized during the POC that we’d save a huge amount of time administering backups using ExaGrid, so we decided to move forward,” said Schlosser.

"When we were replicating data using Commvault, we were forced to choose a subset of our most critical data for replication to our DR site. With ExaGrid, we don’t have to pick and choose anything. We can replicate our entire primary site to our DR site, ensuring that all of the data that we store is protected. "

Adam Schlosser, Infrastructure Architect

More Backup Jobs in the Same Window

ISCorp installed ExaGrid systems at both its primary and DR sites, keeping Commvault as its backup application. “We’re using ExaGrid to back up a large subset of the environment, which is 75-80% virtualized. This environment is made up of over 1,300 VMs and 400+ physical servers, with a total of 2,000+ devices between the two sites,” said Schlosser. As a cloud service provider, ISCorp backs up a broad spectrum of data, from databases and file systems to VMs. Schlosser backs up data in daily incrementals and weekly fulls, and has found that he can run a higher volume of backup jobs using ExaGrid than he could using Commvault to disk – and still stay within his backup window. “I can run more backup jobs than ever, and everything gets done on time. I don’t have to spread the jobs out as much or be as conscious of the scheduling. Our backup jobs are definitely staying within the backup window.”

Overall, Schlosser has found that using ExaGrid has simplified his backup process, saving on staff time and worry. “I’ve noticed that there is much less stress around backups since we installed ExaGrid, and now I enjoy nights and weekends a little bit more. It’s so simple to use and I don’t have to babysit it.”

Protection from Potential Disaster

Schlosser has found that using ExaGrid has had a major impact on ISCorp’s preparations for disaster recovery. “When we were replicating data using Commvault, we were forced to choose a subset of our most critical data for replication to our DR site. With ExaGrid, we don’t have to pick and choose anything. We can replicate our entire primary site to our DR site, ensuring that all of the data that we store is protected. Some of our customers have certain RPOs and RTOs, and ExaGrid’s deduplication and replication helps us to meet those objectives,” said Schlosser.

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).

Simple Scalability – Just ‘Rinse and Repeat’

“It only takes an hour or so to scale out an ExaGrid system. It’s such a simple process: we rack up the new appliance, power it on, hook it up to the network and configure it, add it to Commvault, and we can start our backups. During the initial installation of our first system, our ExaGrid support engineer helped to tweak everything so that we can fully utilize all of the system’s capabilities. Now when we purchase a new appliance, we have already ‘figured out the formula,’ so we can just ‘rinse and repeat,’” said Schlosser.

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.

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.

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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