Customer Success Story

Customer Success Story

Ireland's IT Tralee Triples Backup Retention Thanks to ExaGrid’s Data Deduplication

Customer Overview

The Institute of Technology, Tralee (IT Tralee) was established in 1977 as the Regional Technical College, Tralee and became the Institute of Technology, Tralee in 1992. Located in Tralee, Ireland, the Institute currently has 3,500 full- and part-time students, employs 350 staff, and provides a financial contribution of about €60 million annually to the local economy. IT Tralee is involved in the provision of third-level education and training, as well as research and development for the economic, technological, scientific, commercial, industrial, social, and cultural development of the State with particular reference to the region served by the Institute.

Key Benefits:

  • Data deduplication maximizes the Institute’s backup storage capacity, tripling retention
  • Replication between on- and offsite systems saves time and alleviates prior concerns about physical storage
  • Institute easily adds an appliance to keep pace with data growth
  • Data is restored in minutes from ExaGrid’s landing zone – “much faster” than tape
  • Managing ExaGrid system is “effortless”
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Replacing Tape to Gain Data Deduplication

The Institute of Technology, Tralee (IT Tralee) had outgrown its tape libraries. Its IT staff found that backup jobs took too long and that tapes were often faulty and temperamental. Chris Bradshaw, IT Tralee’s computer technician, was interested in finding a new backup solution that offered data deduplication. “Data deduplication had just come on the scene, and since we were looking to replace tape, we decided to try it to see if it would speed things up, and it did!

“We chose to purchase an ExaGrid system because of its deduplication capabilities, and because it worked with our existing backup application, Veritas NetBackup. Installing our ExaGrid system was very straightforward, especially with the help of our ExaGrid support engineer,” said Bradshaw.

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).

"Switching to ExaGrid has allowed us to keep a great deal more data available to restore, and allows us to more easily manage our backup storage. "

Chris Bradshaw, Computer Technician

ExaGrid Triples Retention and Provides Quicker Data Restores

Bradshaw backs up IT Tralee’s data in daily incrementals and weekly fulls, along with two yearly full backups. He has found that ExaGrid simplifies managing IT Tralee’s backup retention. “We used to keep one month’s worth of data on tape, as well as end-of-month backups for three months. Now, we simply keep three months’ worth of all backups, which we have enough room for thanks to deduplication. Switching to

ExaGrid has allowed us to keep a great deal more data available to restore, and allows us to more easily manage our backup storage.” IT Tralee’s data backups are replicated to a second ExaGrid system on another campus for disaster recovery. Bradshaw has found that the daily and weekly backup jobs stay well within the established backup windows despite continued data growth, and that restores are quick and efficient. “Restores are much faster compared to tape; it only take a few minutes to restore a file from our ExaGrid system,” said Bradshaw.

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).

Scalable System is “Effortless” to Manage

Bradshaw has found that his assigned ExaGrid support engineer is helpful with everything from system maintenance to configuring a new appliance when IT Tralee recently scaled its system due to data growth. “Our support engineer reaches out to us whenever there’s a firmware upgrade, and has either guided us through the upgrade or done it for us remotely. Whenever we’ve had a question or an issue, he’s responded quickly, and he recently helped us to add a new appliance to our existing system. It’s been a great relationship so far,” said Bradshaw.

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. Customer’s never have to repeat themselves to various support staff, and issues get resolved quickly.

“Switching to ExaGrid has made my job so much easier! The system’s web interface is straightforward, which makes it effortless to manage. It works so well that I don’t have to worry about our backups anymore. I no longer have to travel to a tape library, or worry about the environmental conditions of where our data is stored, such as a change in humidity or temperature that could damage our tapes,” Bradshaw said.

The ExaGrid system can easily scale to accommodate data growth. ExaGrid’s software makes the system highly scalable – appliances of any size or age can be mixed and matched in a single system. A single scale out system can take in up to a 2.7PB full backup plus retention at an ingest rate of up to 488TB per hour.

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.