The Data Protection Manager has been around for awhile offering backup and restore functionality to more than just SharePoint. The most recent version however, provides some key enhancements for SharePoint (MOSS) backup and restore operations.
Key DPM Backup and Restore FunctionsProbably the biggest benefit of DPM is its ability to backup an entire SharePoint farm -- including the SQL Server databases, metadata within the web servers and farm configuration server and files that maintain the indexes for Enterprise Search. Backups can be automated to occur on a regular basis -- up to 4 times per hour if needed. Noel indicated that Microsoft uses the DPM for their SharePoint environment, which gives you a good idea of how it works for large sites.
Data Protection Manager for SharePoint
Data recover/restore options are plentiful with DPM. You can restore your environment to a specific time or use more advanced options such as collection, site and item level restore or restoring a content database to a different location. You can also restore a content database to a unique window and onto a tape, providing auditors with a snapshot of the content for a specific period of time.