I have a piece backup software that supports two options for backing up VMware virtual machine - one is just backing up VM's files (taking a snapshot first) and the other using vStorage API. The first option can backup VMs from the free version of ESX(i) the other only works with the paid version. So, I see an immediate disadvantage of using vStorage API - we would have to pay $500 for VMware license, but I assume there should be something good that compensates for this, right?
VMware is avoiding the fact that it is really easy to backup VM files if your storage is on NFS, so they keep quiet about this and only promote vStorage API. I have a feeling that there is nothing substantial in this API and they just want more money. Could someone speak from experience and shed some light on REAL advantages of using vStorage API for backups?