We have enabled backup jobs in VSC at a datastore level and leverage the VSC plugin in vsphere web client to perform restores or ondemand backups. Some of the other members of the team prefer to use the vsphere client to take a VMware snapshot if they need a one-off backup with a timestamp. I think I remember reading somewhere that this was a bad idea and it could make the guest VM unstable but I could be wrong. Is there a downside to doing vmware backups vs using the vsc plugin to perform backups?
vSphere snapshots are useful in quick rollback scenarios where you might have issues with OS patches or changes to an application. They should not be kept long-term because they do increase in size over time and can impact the performance of your VM.
Also, this is another area where Virtual Volumes (VVols) improve ONTAP integration with vSphere. For both SAN and NAS VVols, vSphere will offload VMware managed snapshots to ONTAP which uses fast, space efficient file/LUN clones.