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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

L&B Realty Advisors Gain Deduplication and Establish Offsite Replication with Scalable ExaGrid System

Customer Overview

L&B Realty Advisors, LLP is an employee-owned, SEC-registered real estate investment advisor based in Dallas, Texas. Since 1965, L&B has provided real estate investment management services to institutional investors and family offices. With $9 billion under management and 46 years of experience, L&B has a proven track record of successfully acquiring, managing, and disposing real estate on behalf of clients.

Key Benefits:

  • After switch to ExaGrid, L&B able to establish replication to DR site
  • L&B’s backup windows are cut in half and data is restored from ExaGrid system in seconds
  • Over the years, L&B scaled out ExaGrid system, a ‘very simple and easy process’
  • ExaGrid’s ‘outstanding’ customer support helps L&B keep system up to date
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Switch to ExaGrid Provides Deduplication and Helps Establish DR Site

L&B Realty Advisors had been using Veritas Backup Exec, and updated its backup storage from tape drives to external hard drives, but found the new storage system still had trouble keeping up with the needs of the company’s backups. The IT staff decided to investigate other options, and discovered ExaGrid during a Lunch & Learn event.

“We liked ExaGrid’s data deduplication feature and realized that it could help us manage our storage capacity,” said Dan LeStourgeon, L&B’s network manager. “We also wanted to establish a disaster recovery site, and ExaGrid’s replication makes that a straightforward process.”

LeStourgeon found that ExaGrid works well with Backup Exec, L&B’s backup application. “We’ve used Backup Exec for many years, and with different storage solutions, and we find it works very well with ExaGrid’s deduplication. ExaGrid Support helped configure our backups with Backup Exec, and made sure the transition was seamless, so we didn’t have any issues with shares that had already been created.”

L&B installed ExaGrid systems at its primary site and also at a disaster recovery (DR) site. “Setting up our DR site proved important, as we ended up having a power issue one day at our primary site and it was down for nearly 24 hours. We were able to restore our email and file servers from our DR site, so that we could get back up and running quickly,” said LeStourgeon.

The ExaGrid system is easy to install and use and works seamlessly with the industry’s leading backup applications so that an organization can retain its investment in its existing backup applications and processes. In addition, ExaGrid appliances can replicate to a second ExaGrid appliance at a second site or to the public cloud for DR (disaster recovery).

"We liked ExaGrid’s data deduplication feature, and realized that it could help us manage our storage capacity. We also wanted to establish a disaster recovery site, and ExaGrid’s replication makes that a straightforward process. "

Dan LeStourgeon, Network Manager

Backup Windows Cut in Half

LeStourgeon backs up L&B’s data in incrementals Monday through Thursday, and in fulls on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. He is pleased with the backup windows for the different jobs. “Our incremental backups are usually less than an hour long, and our full backups are four hours at the most. This a major difference from the eight-hour backup windows we had dealt with before.” He finds that restoring data is a quicker process, as well. “We can restore data in minutes now – it’s wonderful! We’re able to simply click on a share in Backup Exec and restore it from the ExaGrid system in seconds, and then send back a file someone had lost a few moments later,” said LeStourgeon.

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).

Scalable ExaGrid System Keeps Up with Growth

LeStourgeon appreciates how well ExaGrid’s data deduplication has maximized the storage capacity in L&B’s backup environment. “The best feature about ExaGrid is its deduplication. We keep a retention of three months’ worth of backups, and deduplication has helped keep that manageable; we would have a lot less space available otherwise. We’ve had a great experience with our ExaGrid system, it’s helped us keep up with our current demands on backing up our data.”

As the years have passed, L&B has switched to a newer, larger ExaGrid appliance model at its primary site, and relocated the existing appliance to add to the DR site. “ExaGrid Support helped us to configure our new appliance and the one that we moved to our DR site, and migrate the data from one appliance to the other. It was a very simple and easy process,” said LeStourgeon.

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.

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).

A ‘Wonderful Experience’ with ExaGrid Support

LeStourgeon has been impressed with ExaGrid’s high level of support. “We’ve been using ExaGrid systems for a long time, and a major reason that we do is because of ExaGrid’s outstanding customer support. My assigned ExaGrid support engineer makes sure that our system runs smoothly. He has also helped us work through a plan before executing a project, like moving new appliances to our DR site, and he checks in after to make sure everything is up and running. In addition, he makes sure our system is kept up to date with the latest upgrades. Working with my support engineer has been a wonderful experience.”

The ExaGrid system was designed to be easy to set up and maintain, and ExaGrid’s industry-leading customer support team is staffed by trained, in-house level 2 engineers who are assigned to individual accounts. The system is fully supported and was designed and manufactured for maximum uptime with redundant, hot-swappable components.

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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