ExaGrid’s Innovative Architectural Approach to Deduplication for Backup
ExaGrid
Category
Backup Storage Innovation of the Year
Entry Description
ExaGrid is the only solution in the industry that solved the challenges and changed the economics of backup. ExaGrid realized that managing data growth can cause strain on backup storage and set out to develop the best backup target possible. Through its intelligent hyperconverged storage for backup, ExaGrid helps IT organizations solve three of the most pressing issues they face today: how to protect and manage growing data, how to recover data as quickly as possible, and how to do so at a lower cost.
ExaGrid is best known for having architected an industry-leading approach to backup storage with unique Landing Zone technology, Adaptive Deduplication approach, and cost-effective scale-out architecture. ExaGrid also offers flexibility by supporting a wide variety of backup applications and utilities in a single environment.

In data backup, organizations retain weekly, monthly and yearly backups in order to account for regulatory audits, legal discovery and other business reasons. It is not uncommon for organizations to retain 20 to 50 copies of their backup data at different historic points in time. As a result, the backup storage can be 20 to 50 times greater than the initial primary storage copy. The cost of storage for backup becomes prohibitive and difficult to manage. The value that ExaGrid provides stems from its adaptive approach to deduplication, which offers a 20:1 data deduplication ratio.

The traditional “in-line” approach to backup storage only stores deduplicated data. Therefore, both backups and restores are slow as data is deduplicated and rehydrated. As data grows, no additional compute resources are added – so the backup window grows until backups must be abandoned as they are cutting into production hours. Only an expensive, disruptive, forklift upgrade can solve it. Instead, ExaGrid writes data straight to disk, while deduplication happens in parallel. The most recent backup is kept in undeduplicated form in its Landing Zone for the fastest restores and instant VM recovery, since no re-hydration is necessary. Long-term retention data is stored deduplicated in the repository, which is a separate section of the appliance.

The ExaGrid system can easily scale to accommodate data growth. ExaGrid’s computing software makes the system highly scalable. Appliances of any size or age can be mixed and matched in a single system with capacities of up to a 2PB full backup plus retention and an ingest rate of up to 432TB per hour, which is the highest in the industry. Once virtualized, they appear as a single system to the backup server, and load balancing of all data across servers is automatic reducing IT staff maintenance and time.

ExaGrid’s unique scale-out storage architecture provides all compute, network and storage resources for a fixed-length backup window as data grows. Additionally, this approach eliminates expensive and disruptive forklift upgrades and planned product obsolescence, which reduces the total cost of ownership.

ExaGrid supports all typologies including private cloud, offsite data center, third-party data center, third-party cloud, public cloud, and can operate in a pure hybrid environment.

Lastly, ExaGrid supports a wide variety of backup applications, utilities, and database dumps. ExaGrid allows multiple approaches within the same environment. An organization can use one backup application for its physical servers, a different backup application or utility for its virtual environment, and also perform direct Microsoft SQL or Oracle RMAN database dumps – all to the same ExaGrid system. This approach allows customers to use the backup application and utilities of their choosing, use best-of-breed backup applications and utilities, and choose the right backup application and utility for each specific use case. If the customer chooses to change their backup application in the future, the ExaGrid system will still work, protecting the initial investment.
Supporting Documents