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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

ExaGrid-Veeam Solution Provides MPB with Quality Backup Performance and Support

Customer Overview

Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) provides relevant instructional and public affairs programming to Mississippians through its statewide television and radio network. MPB enhances the work of educators, students, parents and learners of all ages by providing enlightening programming and educational resources. MPB’s locally-produced programming focuses on the people, resources and attractions that make Mississippi unique. Children’s programs constitute a major portion of the daytime and weekend morning schedules. Since 1970, MPB has won more than 350 national and regional awards, including Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, and Parents’ Choice Awards.

Key Benefits:

  • ExaGrid-Veeam solution provides fast backup and restore performance
  • Storage savings from deduplication leaves ‘plenty of room for growth’
  • High-quality support from ExaGrid ‘critical’ to department
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ExaGrid Remains Top Choice during Refresh of Backup Environment

When Kevin Cornell first started his position as systems administrator at Mississippi Public Broadcasting, the organization was replicating data across two Dell storage arrays, and while this offered a small measure of data protection, it was not actually a backup solution. The organization decided to invest in backup infrastructure and its IT vendor recommended using Veritas Backup Exec software with ExaGrid for backup storage. While the new solution offered more data protection, Cornell found that Backup Exec was difficult to use while ExaGrid was easy to manage and offered great customer support.

When it was time to refresh the backup environment, Cornell looked into better option for a backup application and decided to switch to Veeam.

“When it came time to purchase a new backup solution I didn’t even shop around for backup storage, I knew I wanted to stick with ExaGrid. We ended up upgrading our ExaGrid system with a larger appliance and switched from Backup Exec to Veeam, and I like this new solution much better,” said Cornell, now the lead systems administrator at Mississippi Public Broadcasting. “I never felt confident using Backup Exec and I didn’t like its interface, but now that we have switched to using ExaGrid with Veeam, I’m absolutely confident that I can restore my entire environment if necessary, as well as individual components within the environment, which I’ve been able to test. Our ExaGrid support engineer was very helpful with the transition, especially when it came to reconfiguring for Veeam.”

ExaGrid and Veeam can instantly recover a file or VMware virtual machine by running it directly from the ExaGrid appliance in the event that the file is lost, corrupted or encrypted or the primary storage VM becomes unavailable. This instant recovery is possible because of ExaGrid’s Landing Zone – a high-speed disk cache on the ExaGrid appliance that retains the most recent backups in their complete form. Once the primary storage environment has been brought back to a working state, the VM backed up on the ExaGrid appliance can then be migrated to primary storage for continued operation.

"Over the years, my department has shrunk to just two people, so having support personnel we can count on is critical. I’ve been able to work with the same ExaGrid support engineer for years and she is awesome. "

Kevin Cornell, Lead Systems Administrator

Fast Backup and Restore Performance

Cornell has found that the new solution keeps up with the large amount of data that is backed up. “We’re a public broadcasting agency that produces about 14 hours of our own radio content every week in addition to television production. Our organization also includes an education department, a business department, an art department, and a communications department. Since we create so much media content, the files we need to back up are rather large.”

Cornell is pleased with the backup and restore performance that the ExaGrid-Veeam solution provides. “Since the initial backup, the incrementals have been very fast, and work well in the window we must operate in. I’ve been very happy with the backup speed and our file-level restores are very easy and quick,” he said.

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).

ExaGrid-Veeam Combined Dedupe ‘Important Factor’ in Backup Environment

Cornell is “super satisfied” with the deduplication provided by the ExaGrid-Veeam solution, which saves on storage capacity, accommodating the organization’s three-year data retention policy. “I’ve got plenty of room for growth, which was an important factor in the refresh of our backup environment,” he said. 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.

Quality Support ‘Critical’ to Department

Cornell appreciates the level of customer support that ExaGrid provides. “Over the years, my department has shrunk to just two people, so having support personnel we can count on is critical. I’ve been able to work with the same ExaGrid support engineer for years and she is awesome. In terms of system administration, I’m a one-man show in a very technical organization, so the time I have to work through issues is very limited. The support is always available, so I don’t have to wait on hold, or end up in a queue,” he said.

“Our ExaGrid system doesn’t give me any issues, and I’ve gotten to know the interface very well, so usually I only need to reach out to my ExaGrid support engineer if we need to do firmware upgrades or with a quick question. The interface is very easy to use and the ExaGrid system just works, so I don’t need to worry about it, and that’s important to me,” he added.

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.

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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