The good thing about snapshots at the storage level is the ease to recover a volume. However recovering a single virtual machine, let alone a file inside the virtual machine is a different story when using legacy tools made available by the storage vendor. This requires quite some manual labour.
Now that is a thing of the past. Veeam has developed software named Veeam Explorer for SAN snapshots. The software is part of the Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 software as well as Veeam Backup Free Edition and can be used to recover VMs, files and objects from HP StoreVirtual VSA and Lefthand snapshots . Using the Instant VM Recovery feature VMs can even run from storage snapshots! This allows a combination of very low RPO and RTO. Best of both worlds.
At HP Discover 2012 in Frankfurt Veeam announced it will support 3PAR StoreServe storage as well for recovery of SAN based snapshots. Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots with support for HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 Storage and all other 3PAR models is expected to be available in the first half of 2013. To learn more, visit: http://go.veeam.com/san-snapshot-explorer.html . Every 3PAR model is supported as long as the Virtual Copy license is available.
Luca Dell’Oca has a series of blogpostings on how to use Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots.