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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Transit Authority Replaces Dell EMC Data Domain with ExaGrid, Cuts Backup Window by 40%

Customer Overview

The Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) is one of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ 15 regional transit authorities. ‘MART’ is located in North Central Massachusetts and encompasses parts of Northern Worcester and Western Middlesex Counties. ‘MART’ was created in 1978 to provide public transportation to 22 area cities and towns and works with those local communities to offer attractive travel options.

Key Benefits:

  • 40% improvement in backup window
  • 50% less IT staff time spent managing backups
  • Tight integration with Veeam maximizes system optimization
  • ExaGrid engineer ‘knows what we need’ and is ‘very knowledgeable’ about Veeam
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Virtualization Leads to ExaGrid and Veeam

Prior to ExaGrid, the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) was using Dell EMC Data Domain. As they started virtualizing their environments, backing up virtual machines required a little more work, including installing modules.

“We didn’t want to go that route, so we looked into alternatives in order to optimize our environment, and we came up with ExaGrid and Veeam,” said David Gallant, IT administrator for ‘MART.’” My director had experience with ExaGrid in the past, so we did a full analysis of a few different offerings. I did my due diligence, and ExaGrid won hands down due to its tight integration with Veeam.

“Our old backups took quite some time to complete and in addition, we were constantly having performance issues. I’d say with the ExaGrid-Veeam solution, we have a much shorter backup window – I would estimate a 40% improvement at least. I monitor ExaGrid once a day, and that’s all. There’s not much to it. It just works,” Gallant said.

"With Dell EMC Data Domain, I was spending more time doing daily monitoring and trying to figure out where I could save on disk space here and there. Now, I just do a quick view to make sure everything is ‘in the green,’ and that’s it - I’m done for the day. I save half my day NOT managing our backup storage! "

David Gallant, IT Administrator

Retention and Replication Covered

Replication was an issue for ‘MART’ in the past, and Gallant reports having to go down to three days’ retention because they were running out of disk space. Now, he says they’re back to two weeks and it’s very fast.

“We back up from two sites, and we also run cross replicated backup copies from site to site. Every night, data from site A gets replicated to site B, and data from site B gets replicated to site A, and we continue to maintain a good percentage of data availability. Post Veeam, we are seeing an average of 4:1, which is phenomenal. We get 50TB of data down to under 12TB – that’s very manageable for us.

“I like the ability to rebuild a virtual machine from another site. I can go right from site B and make the VM from site A and do a full restore from site B, which could really help us – this is very good. With Dell EMC Data Domain, I was spending more time doing the daily monitoring and trying to figure out where I could save on disk space here and there. With ExaGrid, I like our dedupe ratio – it gives us space when we need it. Now I just do a quick review to make sure everything is ‘in the green,’ and that’s it – I’m done for the day. I save half my day NOT managing our backup storage. “For me, ExaGrid defines reliability. It’s a game to get backup storage where you want it. I just want to make my life easier and ExaGrid does just that,” said Gallant.

Seamless Integration and Support That ‘Knows What We Need’

“The ExaGrid relationship has been very good. I like having an assigned ExaGrid engineer because he keeps in touch with me and consistently checks on how things are going. He’s very knowledgeable about products, especially Veeam! I haven’t had to reach out to Veeam at all because our ExaGrid engineer knows what we need.”

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.

Scalable Architecture

ExaGrid’s award-winning scale-out architecture provides customers with a fixed-length backup window regardless of data growth. Its unique disk-cache Landing Zone allows for the fastest backups and retains the most recent backup in its full undeduplicated form, enabling the fastest restores.

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. This combination of capabilities in a turnkey appliance makes the ExaGrid system easy to install, manage, and scale. ExaGrid’s architecture provides lifetime value and investment protection that no other architecture can match.

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).

ExaGrid and Veeam

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.

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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