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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Manufacturer Modernizes Backups, Improves Retention and Backup Times with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

NGK-LOCKE, INC., located in Virginia Beach, VA, produces silicone polymer insulators for transmission lines and substations. Since its founding, NLPI has been recognized as a dependable, superior quality and world-wide supplier of silicone polymer insulators to major electric utilities both in the U.S. and around the world. NGK-LOCKE, INC. began operations in the United States in 1965 under the name of NGK Insulators of America, Inc., as an exclusive sales division of NGK Insulators, Ltd., Japan. The name became NGK-LOCKE, INC., when a joint venture between General Electric and NGK was formed.

Key Benefits:

  • Six-fold increase in retention
  • 12-hour backups reduced to just two hours
  • No more network slowdowns during business hours due to lengthy backups
  • Deduplication as high as 22:1
  • Runs out of the box with NGK’s version of Veritas Backup Exec
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Limited Retention, Long Backup Times with Legacy Disk-Based Backup Solution

NGK-LOCKE had been backing up its data to a customized disk- based backup solution but had outgrown the seven-year-old unit and had been experiencing issues related to retention and lengthy backup times.

“We are a single-site manufacturing plant and needed a new disk-based solution capable of backing up the data from our plant. Our old solution required constant attention, and we only had about a week of retention,” said Bill Bunch, IT specialist, NGK-LOCKE. “We began looking for a disk-based backup solution that could work easily with our existing infrastructure and with our backup application, Veritas Backup Exec.”

After researching different solutions on the market, the company decided to install an ExaGrid disk-based backup solution with data deduplication. “The ExaGrid system was cost effective, and it fit seamlessly into our existing environment. We were concerned that we might have to update our Windows 2003 environment to implement a disk- based backup solution with deduplication capabilities, but the ExaGrid system works beautifully with it. We were also able to continue using our existing version of Backup Exec, which made the whole purchase easier and more cost effective,” said Bunch.

"Some of our backup jobs used to run beyond our backup windows, and if they were still running during the workday, our network would slow down. Backup jobs that used to run 12 hours now take about two hours. It’s made a huge difference. "

Bill Bunch, IT Specialist

Data Deduplication Reduces Amount of Data Stored, Boosts Retention

Bunch said the company has seen a six-fold increase in retention since installing the ExaGrid system. “We only had a week of retention on our old system, and we really struggled with it. We were constantly pulling disks out and rotating them into the safe,” said Bunch. “With the ExaGrid, we’re able to keep six weeks of data on the system and ready to restore. ExaGrid’s data deduplication technology does a terrific job at reducing our data. Our overall ratio is currently 11:1, but we have some data deduping as high as 22:1.”

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).

Faster Backups and Restores

Bunch said that since installing the ExaGrid system, backup jobs that used to run all night long are now completed in a few hours. “Some of our backup jobs used to run beyond our backup windows, and if they were still running during the workday, our network would slow down. Now backup jobs that used to run 12 hours take about two hours. It’s made a huge difference,” he said. “Also, restoring data is now much easier. I recently did a major test restore of our ERP system, and it went off quickly and without a hitch.”

Easy Setup, Easy to Use

Bunch worked over the phone with ExaGrid’s customer support staff to set up the system. “ExaGrid’s customer support engineer worked with me over the phone to help set up the system, and it was a fairly straightforward process. The customer support staff is easy to reach and always willing and able to help answer any question I have,” said Bunch.

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.

“The ExaGrid is extremely easy to use, and I don’t have to manage the system that closely. The ExaGrid system automatically sends an email message to me every day that includes statistics on the deduplication process, and information on the amount of retention space available,” said Bunch.

Scale-out Architecture Ensures Scalability

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.

“We sized our ExaGrid system so that it should serve our backup needs into the foreseeable future. However, we tend to keep our equipment for a long time, so we have an extra level of comfort just knowing that the system can scale up to meet increased backup needs,” said Bunch. “We’ve been pleased with the ExaGrid. It’s a solid system that works consistently well day in and day out, and it has taken the worry out of our backups.”

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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