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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Adding Scalable ExaGrid System Helps Manage Storage Capacity for Nampak’s Backup Environment

Customer Overview

Nampak is Africa’s largest packaging manufacturer and offers the most comprehensive product range, manufacturing packaging in metal, glass, paper and plastic. The company is comprised of numerous divisions that specialize in their own unique packaging materials products and machinery. Individually, the group’s divisions are industry-leading suppliers to the key targeted markets they serve. Combining forces collectively within Nampak’s operating units enhances the company’s strength in products while reinforcing Nampak as a global supplier of packaging solutions. This is a benefit particularly designed to assist in locating and providing the best products for customers across paper, plastic metal and glass substrates. Nampak is Africa’s leading diversified packaging manufacturer, and has been listed on the JSE Limited (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) since 1969.

Key Benefits:

  • Adding ExaGrid to backup environment resolves storage capacity issues
  • ExaGrid chosen for its scale-out architecture
  • ExaGrid integrates well with Veritas NBU and supports OST
  • ‘Impressive’ restore speeds from ExaGrid
  • ExaGrid support is helps keep system up-to-date and is helpful, patient, and proactive
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Adding ExaGrid Resolves Storage Capacity Issues

Nampak relies on global technology integrator and managed services provider, Dimension Data, to manage its data protection, including backup and recovery. Murendeni Tshisevhe, data backup engineer at Dimension Data, uses Veritas NetBackup to back up Nampak’s data to a Veritas deduplication appliance but found the lack of scalability of this solution became problematic as the storage reached capacity on the Veritas appliance.

“We decided to look for a backup storage solution that we can add onto if we reach storage capacity again. We liked ExaGrid’s scale-out architecture which allows us to easily add more appliances when we need to,” said Tshisevhe. “We also wanted a solution that was tried and tested like ExaGrid, as Nampak’s environment is fast-paced and we can’t afford any downtime.”

Nampak installed two ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage appliances installed at its primary data site and one at its DR site. Tshisevhe still backs up data to the Veritas appliance and then replicates those backups to ExaGrid appliances which replicates data to the DR site. Adding ExaGrid has resolved the storage capacity issues Nampak once faced.

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). 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 integrates so well with NBU that we don’t notice a difference between backing up to ExaGrid or Veritas appliances so it feels like we are only using one backup storage solution when we are actually using two. They really do complement each other. "

Murendeni Tshisevhe, Data Backup Engineer

ExaGrid Integration with Veritas NetBackup

Tshisevhe has found that ExaGrid works well with Nampak’s existing backup solution, Veritas NetBackup (NBU). Tshisevhe uses Veritas NetBackup OpenStorage Technology (OST) to optimize the integration. “ExaGrid integrates so well with NBU that we don’t notice a difference between backing up to ExaGrid or Veritas appliances so it feels like we are only using one backup storage solution when we are actually using two. They really do complement each other,” he said.

ExaGrid supports Veritas’ OST to provide deeper integration between Veritas’ backup applications and ExaGrid’s Tiered Backup Storage appliances with deduplication and replication. This integration provides better backup performance and reliability as compared to CIFS or NAS and balances backup traffic across the network interfaces of all ExaGrid appliances in a scale-out system.

Fast Backup and Restore Performance

Tshisevhe back up Nampak’s data on a regular schedule and is happy with the backup performance. He also tests the restores each month to ensure that the backups are working properly and that the data is always available. “We have never had any difficulties restoring data and the speed of the restores has been impressive, especially considering that they are usually being tested during the workday when there is pressure on the network bandwidth since all of the departments are in the office working,” 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).

Proactive ExaGrid Support Keeps System “One Step Ahead”

Tshisevhe appreciates the level of support that ExaGrid provides. “Our assigned ExaGrid support engineer has been very helpful and willing to teach best practices about ExaGrid as I was new to the product when it was first installed. Even when I have had many questions, he has always been patient, and is very knowledgeable and professional. He is also proactive and makes sure that our firmware is up to date, and I am grateful for that and feel that we are always one step ahead in terms of protecting our backup environment” he said. “One of best advantages of using ExaGrid is its Retention Time-Lock feature which also gives peace of mind about our data protection.”

ExaGrid appliances have a network-facing disk-cache Landing Zone Tier (tiered air gap) where the most recent backups are stored in an undeduplicated format for fast backup and restore performance. Data is deduplicated into a non-network-facing tier called the Repository Tier, where recent and retention deduplicated data is stored for longer-term retention. The combination of a non-network-facing tier (virtual air gap) plus delayed deletes and immutable data objects guards against the backup data being deleted or encrypted. ExaGrid’s offline tier is ready for recovery in the event of an attack.

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. Customer’s never have to repeat themselves to various support staff, and issues get resolved quickly.

ExaGrid and Veritas NetBackup

Veritas NetBackup delivers high-performance data protection that scales to protect the largest enterprise environments. ExaGrid is integrated with and certified by Veritas in 9 areas, including Accelerator, AIR, single disk pool, analytics, and other areas to ensure full support of NetBackup. ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage offers the fastest backups, the fastest restores, and the only true scale-out solution as data grows to provide a fixed-length backup window and a non-network-facing tier (tiered air gap) for recovery from a ransomware event.

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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