They're roughly equivalent in terms of backup functionality. Both of them backup via NDMP or NFS/CIFS. These backup methodologies work fine for a lot of people. I've done some pretty fast backups both ways. Your mileage will definitely vary, and I would back up and recover large samples of YOUR data before making a decision.
The only thing you might want to watch out for are configurations with millions of small files. Both NDMP and NFS/CIFS are block-based backup products that will suffer from poor performance during such a condition. This scenario is what image-based products are for, like Veritas' FlashBackup or Legato's SnapImage. If you are using a filer, these options are not available to you.
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This was first published in March 2003