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Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Southeastern Container Reduces Backup Window, Increases Capacity and Retention by Deploying ExaGrid's Disk-Based Backup with Deduplication System

Customer Overview

Southeastern Container (SEC) was formed in 1982 in Enka, NC. SEC produces plastic “PET“ (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles to meet the packaging needs of its customers in the Coca-Cola bottling community. SEC has ten manufacturing locations in nine states. It operates as a manufacturing cooperative, supplying bottles to Coca-Cola bottling plants in 32 states and three provinces in Canada. PET bottles are formed in a two-step process that utilizes both injection molding and blow molding equipment. The company works extensively with suppliers to drive technological improvements and innovation.

Key Benefits:

  • 75% reduction in full backup window, 36 hours down to 8
  • Dedupe rates as high as 61:1
  • Fast & knowledgeable support
  • ExaGrid was up and running in less than 40 minutes, start to finish
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Struggling to Accommodate Growing Data and Increasing Backup Window

The IT staff at SEC had been backing up its 5TB of data to tape and was becoming increasingly constrained by lengthy backup times and an ever growing tape library. Protecting its data using tape was requiring valuable IT resources. To complicate matters even more, SEC was keeping two weeks of retention, and its goal was to increase that to three months. In addition to increased retention, the company also needed faster and more reliable data recovery.

SEC realized that to decrease its storage requirements, it needed to deploy deduplication technology. The company also required a solution that would work with its existing backup application, Veritas Backup Exec. SEC evaluated several disk-based backup solutions and chose ExaGrid. According to Merel Johnson, network administrator at SEC, “ExaGrid has a greater data capacity and retention period as well as better price per gigabyte than the other solution we looked at.

"After installing ExaGrid, I have confidence in our backups that I didn’t have previously. "

Merel Johnson, Network Administrator

Full Backup Window Reduced by 75%, Restores Completed in Minutes

Since moving its backups to the ExaGrid, the IT team at SEC has been pleased with the 75% reduction in backup time. “When we were backing up to tape, our weekly full backup was taking close to 36 hours to complete,” said Johnson. “After installing the ExaGrid, our weekly full backup is generally complete in about eight hours.”

“I used to be concerned when we were backing up to tape about the reliability of our backups and how long they were taking,” comments Johnson. “After installing ExaGrid, I have confidence in our backups that I didn’t have previously. In terms of restores, a typical restore request takes a minute or two to complete. It takes longer to build a job than it does to run!”

Fast Post-Process Deduplication is Key Differentiator

“Deduplication was critical for us in being able to keep three months of retention,” said Johnson. “We’ve been impressed with the high deduplication ratios that we’re seeing; it’s as high as 61:1 on SQL Dumps and an overall system average of 10.91:1. We may even be able to increase our retention out past three months since our deduplication numbers are so good!”

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).

“Phenomenal” Customer Support

“Customer support has been phenomenal,” said Johnson. “We have our own dedicated support engineer at ExaGrid who is available within an hour or two at the most. The few times we’ve had an issue or question, he’s been able to resolve it right away.” 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.

Installation was a breeze

Johnson has been very pleased with the ease of installation. “Our network engineer at SEC was able to do the installation with no problem. We had the ExaGrid up and running in less than 40 minutes, start to finish.” 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).

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).

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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