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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Sommer Improves Regulatory Compliance with ExaGrid

Customer Overview

Sommer is a leading manufacturer of aluminum and steel windows, facades, doors and gates. Sommer’s products are distributed worldwide and are designed to be highly secure, and burglary, bullet, blast, sabotage and fireproof. Founded in 1890, the company employs 450 people and has been led by the Sommer family for four generations. Sommer is located in Doehlau, Germany.

Key Benefits:

  • ExaGrid solution easily met regulatory demands
  • ExaGrid data deduplication maximizes retention, resulting in rates of over 16:1
  • Restores take only seconds
  • 50% reduction in backup window
  • Responsive & knowledgeable support
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Meeting Regulatory Compliance Difficult with Tape

The IT department at Sommer must tailor its backup policies and disaster recovery capabilities to meet stringent industry standards, but the manufacturer had difficulty meeting its backup, retention and restore goals with tape. Restoring data from tape was time consuming and the company had difficulty meeting its mandated three month retention period. “We were having a hard time meeting industry regulation using tape,” said Michael Müller, systems administrator at Sommer. “It was difficult to manage and administer so many tapes and restoring data was a long process. We needed a solution that would provide us with fast restores and increased retention.”

Sommer’s IT department decided to begin looking for an alternative solution that would provide faster backups and restores and enough capacity to cost-effectively store three months of backups on-site. The company initially tried to back up the firm’s data to disk but found that disk space quickly became an issue without data compression. The experiment proved to Sommer’s IT department that disk-based backup was the right direction and Müller began researching various solutions. After experimenting with several different solutions, Sommer chose an ExaGrid disk- based backup system.

The ExaGrid system works along with the company’s existing backup application, Dell Networker. “The ExaGrid system was extremely cost effective and gave us the backup and restore performance and the retention we needed,” said Müller. “ExaGrid’s data deduplication technology is very effective at reducing our data and it enables us to make the most of our disk space. The data deduplication is automatic and happens in the background, so we never even know it is occurring.”

"The ExaGrid system has really reduced the amount of time our backups take and it delivers extremely fast tape copy performance. Cloning our backups to tape takes no time whatsoever. "

Michael Müller, Systems Administrator

ExaGrid’s Data Deduplication Maximizes Retention, Speeds Restores

Sommer is currently experiencing data deduplication rates of over 16:1 and can now keep three months of data on its ExaGrid system. 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).

The ExaGrid system provides the fast restore time Sommer needs to easily meet its regulatory demands. “Restoring data from the ExaGrid system is a painless process. Restoring individual files takes just seconds and performing larger restores is incredibly fast,” said Müller. “We’re now able easily demonstrate our ability to recover from a disaster and we no longer have to deal with massive amounts of tape. It’s been a tremendous time saver for us.”

Backup Times Cut in Half, Fast Tape Copy Performance

The ExaGrid system provides fast backup performance and since installing the system, Sommer has been able to cut its backup time in half. The ExaGrid is backed up to tape for long term archival and disaster recovery purposes and the tapes are sent to a secure off-site facility for safekeeping. Sommer clones its backup data from the ExaGrid to tape automatically after it has been deduplicated. “The ExaGrid system has really reduced the amount of time our backups take and it delivers extremely fast tape copy performance. Cloning our backups to tape takes no time whatsoever,” said Müller.

Industry-leading 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.

“ExaGrid’s customer support has been amazing. Our support engineer is very responsive and is well versed in both the ExaGrid product and in backup methodologies. He has helped us considerably in making the most of our ExaGrid system,” said Müller. “Installing the ExaGrid system has made a tremendous difference in our day-to-day backup processes and has enhanced our ability to retain and restore data. It’s been a very good experience.”

ExaGrid and Dell NetWorker

Dell NetWorker provides a complete, flexible and integrated backup and recovery solution for Windows, NetWare, Linux and UNIX environments. For large datacenters or individual departments, Dell EMC NetWorker protects and helps ensure the availability of all critical applications and data. It features the highest levels of hardware support for even the largest devices, innovative support for disk technologies, storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) environments and reliable protection of enterprise class databases and messaging systems.

Organizations using NetWorker can look to ExaGrid for nightly backups. ExaGrid sits behind existing backup applications, such as NetWorker, providing faster and more reliable backups and restores. In a network running NetWorker, using ExaGrid 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 the ExaGrid for onsite backup to disk.

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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