At the beginning of 2010 VMware is announcing the end of availability for VMware Consolidated Backup, cause vSphere backup product strategy, ongoing enhancements, and end of availability plans for VMware Consolidated Backup.
VMware Backup Product Strategy for vSphere
VMware released vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) with the vSphere 4.0 release in May, 2009. VADP is the next generation of VMware’s backup framework. We have also been working with several backup partners to integrate VADP into their solutions to make backup of vSphere Virtual Machines fast, efficient and easy to deploy compared to VCB and other backup solutions. Several of our major backup partners have already released VADP integrated backup products and we expect most of the major backup partners to have VADP integrated backup software by the upcoming feature release of the vSphere platform in 2010.
VMware Consolidated Backup enables agent-free (and in some cases also LAN-free) backup of virtual machines from a centralized proxy server. It's a scripting framework and could "easy" be integrated with backup programs.
Understanding VMware Consolidated Backup - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_consolidated_backup.pdf
VCB official documentation - http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vcb_pubs.html
Other backup solutions
More info on Virtual Machine Backup Guide:
SAN mode (default) - works LAN free, but requrire a physical VCB proxy with SAN connectivity
NBD mode - use LAN connectivity to do backup jobs
nbdssl mode - same of nbd but with SSL for encryptions
hot-add mode - works in a VM and can do backup LAN free - VCB in hot-add mode, why are backups slow?
How make restore?
VCB does not provide any restore method (there is only a vcbRestore tool, but is quite complicated to use)...
For file level backup you can use network to restore single file from VCB proxy to the VM...
For image level backup you can use VMware Converter to restore the VM:
http://viops.vmware.com/home/docs/DOC-1392 - Proven Practice: Setting Up VMware Consolidated Backup for any Backup Software
Integration with Symantec Backup Exec
Symantec Backup Exec for Windows Servers - http://www.symantec.com/business/backup-exec-for-windows-servers
Technical FAQ: Backup Exec 12.5 for VMware - http://eval.symantec.com/mktginfo/enterprise/other_resources/b-backupexec_12.5_faq_10-2008_69739.en-us.pdf
Configure Backup Exec For VCB Backups - http://bradspace.net/blog/kb/?p=105&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
http://viops.vmware.com/home/docs/DOC-1191 - Proven Practice: Integrating Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 with VCB 1.5
Integration with other backup software
Running a script before VCB Snapshot
Pre and post scripts location:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006671 - Running custom quiescing scripts inside Windows virtual machine with ESX 3.5 Update 2 and later