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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Leith Management Cuts Backup Times in Half with ExaGrid

Customer Overview is one of the largest automotive groups in North Carolina. A family business founded in Raleigh, has been serving the Triangle community for over 50 years, employing over 1,900 from the area. Named the #1 place to buy vehicles in the Raleigh Metro area for six years running, according to a Marshall Marketing Survey, with 39 franchise locations throughout the state.

Key Benefits:

  • Data replication to a second site provides disaster recovery
  • Backups are now well within backup window
  • Backups are ‘hands-off’ and require minimal staff time
  • 34:1 deduplication on SQL backups
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Unreliable NAS Solution Led to Problematic Backup

Leith Management Group had been backing up its data to a NAS device, but it wasn’t an enterprise class product, and it was a struggle just to keep it up and running each day, according to Gene Barden, senior network and systems specialist at Leith. So, in order to boost reliability and improve backup times, Leith began looking for a more robust backup solution.

“When we were backing up to the NAS, I’d come in each morning to find that our nightly backup jobs had either failed or were still running,” said Barden. “We finally decided the time was right to look for an enterprise-class solution capable of reducing our backup times and the amount of user intervention required to get good, consistent backups. We also wanted to improve disaster recovery.”

"We compared solutions from Data Domain and ExaGrid and ultimately chose the ExaGrid based on its lower cost and its ability to replicate data between sites. "

Gene Barden, Sr. Network and Systems Specialist

Two-Site ExaGrid System Delivers Seamless Disaster Recovery, Backup Times Cut in Half

Barden said that after looking at several different solutions, the company narrowed down the field to systems from Dell EMC Data Domain and ExaGrid.

“We compared solutions from Data Domain and ExaGrid and ultimately chose the ExaGrid based on its lower cost and its ability to replicate data between sites,” he said. “The replication feature is wonderful. We purchased a two-site system for both primary backup and disaster recovery. The systems work with our existing backup application, Veritas Backup Exec, and data is replicated automatically between the two systems each night.”

Prior to installing the ExaGrid system, long backups were a particular concern for Barden. Backups of the company’s SQL data were especially difficult because the jobs were taking over 12 hours. Since installing the ExaGrid system, SQL backup times have been cut in half.

“Our backups are so much faster with the ExaGrid system, and all our jobs are completed well within our backup window. I used to have to troubleshoot backups first thing in the morning. Now, I come in and all the jobs have been completed, and the data has been replicated offsite,” said Barden.

Data Deduplication Reduces SQL Data 34:1

ExaGrid’s post-process data deduplication technology speeds backup times by sending backup data to a landing zone before the deduplication process begins.

“ExaGrid’s data deduplication method is extremely effective at reducing our data, and it makes our backups run very fast,” said Barden. “We’ve been particularly impressed with the way it handles our SQL backups. We’re currently seeing a 34:1 deduplication ratio for SQL.”

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).

Easy to Manage, Easy to Use

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.

Reduced Management Time, Reliable Customer Support

Barden said that prior to installing the ExaGrid system, it took several hours a day to manage and administer backups to disk, but it takes him far less time with the ExaGrid system.

“I can’t even estimate how much time we used to spend each day dealing with our old backup solution; it was unbearable,” said Barden. “We spend almost no time at all managing the ExaGrid. It’s totally hands-off, and I love the fact that our data is automatically replicated offsite,” he said. “Restores are extremely fast too. I used to cringe when I had to perform a restore, but now it’s no big deal. I’ve had to restore a couple of SQL databases, and the whole process was fast and easy.”

“I worked with ExaGrid’s support staff to set the system up, and it was extremely quick and easy to do. Our support engineer has been terrific. Every time I have a question or an issue, they’re easy to reach and knowledgeable,” said Barden.

Scale-out Architecture Ensures Scalability

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.

“The ExaGrid system is intuitive and straightforward to use. We haven’t had to scale our ExaGrid up yet, but I’m sure that when the time comes, it will be easy to do,” said Barden. “I have a high level of confidence in the ExaGrid system. It’s taken all the worry out of our backups and has significantly reduced the amount of time I spend on them each day.”

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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