TheNFAPost Podcast

Bengaluru, NFAPost: ExaGrid the industry’s only Tiered Backup Storage solution, announced that more city and county governments are replacing inline deduplication appliances with ExaGrid’s tiered backup storage.

The backup storage sits behind more than 25 backup applications and utilities, for improved backup and restore performance, true scalability as data grows and a lower TCO (total cost of ownership).

The IT department at the City of Kennewick, Washington not only supports various city departments, but also the Bi-County Police Information Network (BiPIN) for Benton County and neighboring Franklin County, to maximise efficiency in sharing information between police departments in the two counties, with 13 entities participating.

Additional licensing

Kennewick IT Department senior system engineer Mike O’Brien said for many years the department used Veritas Backup Exec to back up data to Quantum tape drives, and then to Dell EMC Data Domain.

“One of the major drawbacks of using this solution was the licensing between Backup Exec and Data Domain. We had to purchase additional licensing from both to deduplicate and then to store deduped data, and when we virtualized our environment, more licensing was required for VMware servers and VMDK saves,” said the official.

Mike O’Brien said the licensing situation is very much analogous to buying a car without tires, and it was pretty frustrating.

“As a city department, we have to be mindful of the budget and it felt like we weren’t getting the best backup coverage for what we were paying,” said Mike O’Brien.

Selling points

He said ExaGrid’s scale-out architecture is one of its biggest selling points, especially the fact that we can mix and match different ExaGrid appliances to our existing system.

“Switching to ExaGrid was a no-brainer because its upgradability just blows away what Data Domain offers,” said Mike O’Brien.

“When we started to run low on space on our Data Domain system, we had hoped to increase the size of the drives that were in the original shelf and it was disappointing to find out that we would actually need to purchase another shelf, which turned out to be much more expensive than the first, even though it was almost identical,” he said.

Mike O’Brien said the department’s backups [with ExaGrid] are incredibly fast, especially compared with how they used to run using Backup Exec and Data Domain.

Incremental backup

“Our weekend backups used to start on Friday evening and wouldn’t be finished until Monday night, sometimes even running into the Monday night incremental backup job. Now, we’ve been able to stagger various backup jobs throughout the weekend and they are finished early Sunday morning, even with gaps in between the jobs,” said Mike O’Brien.

ExaGrid President and CEO Bill Andrews, credits ExaGrid’s unique scale-out architecture and continued updates and innovations to the tiered backup solution for ExaGrid’s growing list of customers that include local governments’ departments and agencies.

“Municipal organisations are looking to get the best value for their budgets, and the best backup and restore performance to ensure that their data is well-protected. ExaGrid continues to grow its feature set, which most recently has included the Retention Time-Lock for Ransomware Recovery,” he said.

As city governments are often targeted for ransomware attacks, ExaGrid CEO said the company expects to see continued growth in this sector.

Scale-out architecture

Read more about the O’Brien’s experience in the City of Kennewick success story, as well as other success stories about local governments that use ExaGrid, including La Plata County Government in Colorado, the City of Bellingham in Washington, the City of Kingston in Ontario, and Dakota County in Minnesota, among many others.

ExaGrid provides tiered backup storage for over 25 backup applications and utilities with a unique disk-cache Landing Zone, long-term retention repository, and scale-out architecture. ExaGrid’s Landing Zone provides for the fastest backups, restores, and instant VM recoveries.

The retention repository offers the lowest cost for long-term retention. ExaGrid’s scale-out architecture includes full appliances and ensures a fixed-length backup window as data grows, eliminating expensive forklift upgrades and product obsolescence.

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