We've just gotten iSCSI going on our 3.5 ESX servers and are running VirtualCenter 2.5. I am trying to ascertain the most efficient design for our vm backups. Can we just leverage NDMP to back up our VMFS volume? The Backup Exec software sees the VMFS volume and we will be using NDMP to backup other non-vm data on the SAN through an HBA initiator. The LUN is on a NetApp SAN which is enabled and configured for NDMP via Backup Exec 11d (on Windows Server 2003) and a robotic tape library. If we install the integration module for Backup Exec as well as the VCB software on the Backup Exec server, will this work?
Okay, there is a lot of stuff in that paragraph. Some comments
NDMP is your transport for the backup. If you look at the VMFS LUN on the Netapp pull the VMDK files these will be crash consistent. You are going to have to snap them first and then use something to backup the snap, such as NDMP. This is doing things at the SAN layer.
VCB is doing it at the VMware layer. Here VCB will co-ordinate a VMware snap with a quiesce of OS file system (not application) and then mount the disks to your backup server (for the backup software to backup), or dump a copy of the disks in CAL format into a holding tank (for the backup software to then backup).
You also have the option of putting backup agents within the VM, this can help with doing an application quiesce if needed.
Your really want to start with what type and frequency of restores you need to do, then look at the equipment and software you have at your disposal and then come up with a suitable backup architecture.
Considering awarding points if this is of use
You can use the VCB abilities to create and delete snapshots and the NDMP backup together.
I have attached file which I believe will give you the suitable answer your looking for.
In this sort of backup you should plan you restore procedure and SLA because it might take time (depends on the environment)