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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Reliability Is #1 for IT Team at Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department

Customer Overview

Sarasota County is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast and has a jurisdiction that encompasses 572 square miles. The county is home to 387,000 residents, rising to over 500,000 during winter months. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department has nearly 1,000 sworn and civilian employees. The Sheriff’s Office is accredited by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) and the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC).

Key Benefits:

  • Simple UI and reporting are very user friendly
  • Easy to use, fast, and reliable
  • Deduplication maximizes capacity, ‘better bang for your buck’
  • Proactive reporting confirms jobs completed each day
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‘Solid Workhorse’ Provides Reliable Backups and Restores

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department has been using ExaGrid as its disk-based backup system for six years, running Veritas Backup Exec to back up the Department’s file servers and physical servers, and VMware SRM for its VMs. “Doing backup in the past at other organizations before the Sheriff’s Department, I used Backup Exec to a NAS device, and we copied what we needed to tape. Back then, I didn’t have any of the fancy features like data deduplication; it was raw data in its native form, so it was pretty easy to hit capacity,” said Felipe Cortes, senior systems analyst at Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department.

“I started with the Department at the time that the ExaGrid system was installed, and it’s been a solid workhorse. We haven’t run into a single issue that’s been due to the ExaGrid. It’s a pretty simple UI and very user friendly,” Cortes said. “We’ve had to do a decent amount of restores, and as far as ease of use and speed, it’s solid.”

"The system does what it’s supposed to do. I’ll be honest, there are times that I don’t even look at the portal unless I receive a failure notification – that’s how confident I am in its reliability. And in IT, the number one thing that you want in any product is to know what you’re using works. "

Felipe Cortes, Senior Systems Analyst

Intelligent Data Protection

“Deduplication is a nice feature. I’m currently backing up about 9.4TB and space consumed is 4.6TB. Being able to store that extra amount of data is great – it’s a much better bang for your buck,” Cortes said.

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).

What You See Is What You Get

Cortes likes the simplicity of the ExaGrid, “It’s very ‘what you see is what you get.’ The landing page shows you the landing zone, the retention, and deduplication ratios. I have reports enabled to be sent to me overnight when jobs are completed, and again, they’re pretty simple.

“The system does what it’s supposed to do. I’ll be honest, there are times that I don’t even look at the portal unless I receive a failure notification – that’s how confident I am in its reliability. And in IT, the number one thing that you want in any product is to know what you’re using works.”

‘Excellent’ Customer 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. “I haven’t had to call ExaGrid’s customer support much, but the few interactions I have had have been excellent. It’s not something that I’ve had to use a lot because the product just works.

“We’ve never had any problems with disk errors or hardware components going out. We’ve had occasional power issues in the building, but we have the UPS. At one point, we did have an extended outage where we had to power the units down, and I was a little worried. I think storage is the last thing that people turn off because you fear that when it comes back up, something is going to hiccup. The appliances hadn’t been off in probably two years before that, but they came right up and just kept going like nothing ever happened. Again, that’s what IT values the most,” said Cortes.

Scalability in Parallel with Data Growth

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.

Easy to Install and Maintain

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 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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