What is the ideal use case for snapshots as part of your overall data protection strategy?
Some snapshot solutions also provide some interesting data access scenarios, where the same baseline data can be presented to multiple constituents without the doubling or tripling of storage -- NetApp FlexClone is an example. Backups, on the other hand, usually provide a longer range of retention, measured in days, weeks or months.
Use each approach for what they are designed for -- not interchangeably, but complementary. Consider adding long-distance replication and archiving to that spectrum of data protection strategies, as well.
This was first published in August 2013