Re: Sure this will be great on the long term
"And one tape drive/robot/tape subsystem, which typically lasts until next version(tm) of tape is available, 10 years."
First, tape generations come more quickly than that, so they must be skipping a few. Second, your need for tape readers and writers is directly proportional to your requirement for tapes, after a given point. If you have multiple petabytes to back up, you will need more than a single tape drive. You will need at least a large automatic tape library, and quite possibly multiple smaller automatic tape libraries for different locations. You will also need a backup reader, because they might not make these readers after three more generations have been released.
However, even if you don't have multiple petabytes and are using many fewer tapes, you still need a drive. That's why there is a point at which a certain amount of data storage in disk is cheaper than that amount in tape, because the equipment required to use the storage is so much cheaper for disk than tape.
For example, a post below has stated prices for 30 GB of LTO7 at $400 and the same amount of disk at $1300. If you add in the $3000 reader for the tapes, you get
Price of tape = 3000+(400/30)*t where t=number of terabytes stored
Price of disk = (1300/30)*t
In other words, the price of disk is lower than the price of tape below a hundred terabytes. If we conclude that we need twice as much disk as tape because you consider disk extremely unreliable, it's still cheaper under fifty terabytes. And that's why there is very little use of tape in small business or places that don't generate a lot of data. A local business can keep eight copies of their data on disk and still be even with the price of a tape backup system. The problem is that the increasing price of tapes and readers due to these legal disputes and the decrease in manufacturers while disk prices are falling is pushing that boundary higher. Of course tape is going to be used when the company is large enough and has a very large dataaset. While I don't run our backup systems at [current employer, which has a very large amount of data], I'm entirely certain there are rooms full of tapes around me.