Thanks for your quick response, with regards to the physical tape drive, that was exactly my intention so that the physical box would function as a proxy and a repository. I'm glad i'm on the right track
In terms of the connectivity, how would Direct SAN work with the MD3260i? Would it automatically recognise it and utilise D-SAN or would I have to install some sort of plugin to allow that? I take it the Veeam backup server will interface with the ESXi hosts to identify the VMs and then carry out the snapshots on the MD3260i so that the hosts are not doing the snapshot-ing right?