Starting in 1980 as a 3,000 sq. ft. neighborhood grocery in Anaheim and growing to a network of 40 retail outlets providing foods, financial services, and insurance throughout Southern California, Northgate Markets now has over 7,000 employees, two data centers, and a massive amount of retail and financial data to manage. Harrison Lewis, Northgate’s CIO for seven years, has aggressively pushed a cloud-first IT strategy for all the company’s business processes and to outsource costly infrastructure as much as possible.
The company maintains data centers in Anaheim and Mesa, with both running business-critical applications as well as backing each other up. Northgate targets stringent business continuity SLAs. Northgate’s data center environment is 99% virtualized with over 450 VMs on VMware, supporting applications using SQL, Windows, and Linux environments.
With diverse businesses, including international financial services, Northgate must comply with various regulations.. Previously, to meet these regulations, Northgate ran EMC Data Domain in each data center and used NetWorker to back up local payloads and replicate them over to the other data center. According to Harrison, “It was a mess..Backups weren’t running as we expected or in accordance with our data protection policies.”
Given this, Northgate started looking for alternatives. “We wanted a cost-efficient, scalable, cloud data protection solution delivered as-a-service where we wouldn’t have to worry about our own hardware, but all the big-ticket approaches seemed like a step backward and retrofitted for the cloud,” conceded Harrison.
Druva offered Northgate an alternative to the management overhead of hardware infrastructure and software for backup, archival, and disaster recovery. As a cloud-native solution, Druva Phoenix is simple to use, and delivers the scalability and flexibility Northgate needs. Furthermore, Druva’s global source-side deduplication technology promised significant storage footprint reductions.
“When you come from a legacy background, a truly cloud-native solution can be difficult to wrap your head around,” Harrison said. “[Druva] is the only service we need for full and incremental server backups.”
The performance of Druva’s global deduplication far exceeded Northgate’s expectations and reduced the company’s cloud storage requirements by 3.4x while also minimizing bandwidth utilization for data transferred to the cloud—nailing Northgate’s ambitious RTO/RPO requirements. And unlike their previous solution, Druva was intuitive and easy-to-learn. “I have to say, it works like magic and the IT teams just love it,” according to Harrison.
Druva Phoenix protects Northgate’s entirely virtualized server environment, avoids the complexity of cobbled-together software/hardware architectures, and eliminates internal infrastructure for less than half the cost of competing products.
When I added up initial and ongoing costs, I discovered that we saved over 60%, Druva was a bargain. On top of being the best-performing, all-in-one, cloud-native solution by far.”
— Harrison Lewis, Northgate Markets CIO