We've been working in my company with several NetApp implementations where the virtualization software is VMware, and frequently we also provide the virtualization solution (also VMware) as we are a systems integrator company. We've been using the Backup&Recovery functionality in VSC for some of those implementations. Although we are facing several backup issues regarding VMs with RDMs, VMs that could not be quiesced, and so on (I know some of those issues are caused by VSC limitations).
The more we implement those kinds of solutions (NetApp + VMware), the more I get to think that a solution composed by different backup approaches is the one that can be the most effective. When I am speaking about a backup solution composed by different approaches I am considering the use of different tools together, to provide the best backup solution for the virtualized environment (e.g VSC (for some VMs using quiesced snapshots, for some only crash consistent snaps) + third-party backup software to achieve app consistent backups where I cannot quiesce the VM + VSM/SnapVault to 2nd storage or DR site.
I would like to know from the community what do you think is the best or possible strategies you've been seeing in your environments. Let's discuss alternatives and approaches to meet the business requirements in our companies.