I recently did some work with a customer who deployed a VNXe to act initially as a file server for quite a bit of file data. They were using Unitrends to backup their Hyper-V VMs, and for application level backups and physical machines. Before deploying the VNXe to serve up CIFS data, they ran a Windows file server, which Unitrends could simply backup by deploying an agent into the OS, and all was well.
The customer asked me how to go about backing up the VNXe, especially with Unitrends, because they didn’t want to switch backup products or deploy an entirely new backup solution just for the VNXe. My initial response was that NDMP is the best way to go for backups if that is an option with your backup product.
However, I did some research, and found that NDMP isn’t always the best thing to use. In this case, check out Unitrends’ limitations when using NDMP. The fact that you can’t restore your backups to anything but a VNXe, and you can’t granularly recover out of an NDMP backup would be very serious deal breakers for a lot of companies.
So check your NDMP backup vendor and storage array for what is supported, and make sure it’s what you want to use for backing it up. You may actually prefer using CIFS mounts within a server, and back the server up to get the file data.