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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

NBME Cuts Backup Window by 50% and DR Testing from Weeks to Days with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

Founded in 1915, NBME offers a versatile selection of high-quality assessments and educational services for students, professionals, educators, and institutions dedicated to the evolving needs of medical education and health care. To serve these communities, they collaborate with a comprehensive array of professionals including test developers, academic researchers, scoring experts, practicing physicians, medical educators, state medical board members, and public representatives.

Key Benefits:

  • Backup window reduced from 14 hours to under 7
  • DR recoveries are twice as fast
  • ExaGrid allows for quick, worry-free replication to offsite storage
  • ‘Outstanding’ customer support is a one-stop solution for the entire environment
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ExaGrid Replaces Painful Tape Process for Disaster Recovery

NBME had been having issues with disaster recovery testing while using Veritas NetBackup and tape. “It was a painstaking process to gather all the needed information through NetBackup to do a tape restore, and to make sure the tapes were available and not damaged. Then there was the process of actually restoring the data, which required manual tape loading after the test. When we realized there was a way to do this without manually handling tape, it made a big impact. It was a great change for us,” said David Graziani, senior UNIX systems analyst at NBME. “We had been unloading tapes in the morning and again in the afternoon, then shipping them off to our DR site for offsite storage. Since we installed ExaGrid, the data is sent automatically – it’s great!”

ExaGrid and Dell EMC Data Domain were among several solutions that NBME considered for replacing its tape based disaster recovery. ExaGrid was chosen for its deduplication and replication, which were major deciding factors. Graziani noted, “We wanted to be able to replicate quickly and without worry to our offsite storage and DR site.” NBME purchased six ExaGrid appliances to use onsite and four for disaster recovery offsite. Graziani added,

“ExaGrid offers reliability – reliable DR testing, reliable backups and restores, reliable customer support, all on a consistent basis.”

"ExaGrid offers reliability – reliable DR testing, reliable backups and restores, reliable customer support, all on a consistent basis. "

David Graziani, Senior UNIX Systems Analyst

ExaGrid Installation is ‘A Breeze’

“The installation was great,” said Graziani. “We had our ExaGrid system up and running, and fully configured in less than 48 hours. On top of that, we were able to start backing up all of the data we normally needed to in that timeframe. It was a breeze to install, and the support was super.”

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).

ExaGrid’s customer support and maintenance services are designed to ensure that ExaGrid meets the customer’s data protection needs through remote support, automated emails with updates on health reporting, and an easy-to-use GUI. “The reporting is great, because it puts everything in a nice chart for management to review and gives an overall quick look at how well the system is performing,” Graziani said.

A Dramatic Reduction of Backup Window and DR Testing Time

Graziani was impressed with the results of upgrading to ExaGrid from tape. “Our backup window has shrunk drastically. We’re doing our DR recoveries twice as fast, if not faster. There’s no more gathering of tapes and getting them ready to process. It’s all done online without any intervention from any operators whatsoever, except for the person doing the restore. Our backup window was about 14 hours and now it’s down to 6 or 7.”

NBME conducts DR testing twice per year. “We used to manually ship tapes, get the exact tapes lined up, packaged up, and shipped. If we were missing tapes, that would delay testing by a day or longer. Using ExaGrid has cut our DR testing time down from weeks to days,” Graziani noted.

A One-Stop Support Solution

Graziani was pleased to find that ExaGrid support staff are specialists in specific backup applications and are assigned based on having expertise with a customer’s backup application(s). He noted, “Anytime we send over an e-mail, we get a response within minutes. ExaGrid customer support is outstanding; they work out problems from start to finish. They don’t ask you to call another company if you have questions about a backup application or software. It’s all done under the umbrella of ExaGrid support.”

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. Graziani added, “ExaGrid support has been just unbelievable in helping and resolving any issues very quickly. Where before it might have been days if not a week before we got issues resolved, with ExaGrid I can count on timely resolution to any problems that pop up.”

ExaGrid and 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.

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).

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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