NDMP is simply a protocol that specifies how to move data from place A to place B using a third party application. Originally, this was used as the method to back up NAS servers. It is now being used as a way to control third party copy in a number of serverless backup products. It's also being used as a new way to share a tape library. ATL and Spectralogic's libraries, for example, have Ethernet ports on the back of each tape drive and they can accept an NDMP stream.
The next thing that the NDMP folks are trying to do is to control the creation and indexing of snapshots. That's all I know of for the immediate future. Who knows what they're working on that they haven't told anyone about.
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This was first published in May 2002