ExaGrid Pushed Backup Appliance Envelope

By Doug Barney

The MSP storage market may grab most of the attention through pure cloud services, but on-premises gear, particularly easy-to-handle appliances, are still of critical importance.

ExaGrid is an expert in this field, having built many an appliance, including its latest, the EX21000E. Rolls of the tongue, eh?

The aim of ExaGrid appliance is to not just provide a predictable backup window, but make it totally fixed so you can depend on it. Further, ExaGrid claims these backup windows won’t lengthen even as the backup volumes grow.

This is all due to deduplication, which only backs up the data that has changed, radically reducing the amount of data that has to cross the network of hit the disk or cloud backup service.

“IT pros asked us to fix the backup window, and build a solution that doesn't need to be ripped out and replaced every 18 months. That's what we've done from the beginning, and the EX21000E extends that commitment,” claimed ExaGrid CEO Bill Andrews. “Our scale-out architecture has no theoretical limits. It can handle any amount of data. It fixes backup permanently. That's why we have the industry's highest customer retention rate.”

So what details back these assertions. Well, if you link 10 ExaGrid appliances you can reach 210 terabytes.

Instead of comparing the appliance to competitors in a self-serving way, ExaGrid contrasts its new appliance with its predecessor, claiming the new one has more than 60 percent greater capacity at speeds to 80 percent faster.

The speed is the critical part of driving down the backup window. Simply put, the faster the backup the shorter the window. And this should carry over to restores. Through deduplication you are sending over less data to backup. When it comes time to restore, the likewise should be true, where there is less data that needs to be restored. This is because the restore is based on the latest backup, and if you use deduplication there is less data to restore.

Sarah Lawrence College is one organization exploiting the ExaGrid architecture.

Consumer and Media Focused Cloud Storage Mart

“Our data has grown exponentially over the past three years, and ExaGrid has grown with us seamlessly. The best part? There's no ceiling, no limitations. The EX21000E gives us complete confidence in the nightly backup, and makes our data accessible at a moment's notice – exactly as it's supposed to work,” said Sean Jameson, CTO of Sarah Lawrence College.

Cloud Storage

ExaGrid bases much of its business on actual appliances that scale, just as the cloud scales. But the cloud is clearly where a lot of the action is. A report by MarketsandMarkets indicates that the cloud storage market will, on a CAGR basis, grow 40 percent hitting $46.8 billion by 2018. Meanwhile Gartner says they by next year, some one third of medium-sized shops will do disaster recovery in the cloud, up from just one percent two years ago.

Hybrid cloud storage, by definition, is a bit complex as it blends two different technologies, physical and virtual storage. That is why there has been an immense number of partnerships, and even acquisition activity.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

MSPToday Editor at Large

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