There are many remote data replication solutions available to address this limitation but network bandwidth becomes the next hurdle. If large volumes of data must be replicated off site, the cost for network bandwidth that can keep up with high volumes of data can quickly nullify any storage infrastructure savings.
Some high-end tape technologies also offer features such as WORM emulation (write once read many), which is required by some customers to satisfy certain legal requirements. Other customers will also want to leverage the investment in their existing high-end tape storage infrastructure and might not be willing to switch technology just yet.
The dropping cost of disk will certainly impact the acquisition of new high-end tape solutions in favor of a combination of both disk and cheaper tape technology. However, I do believe that high-end tape technology will be with us for a while still.
This was first published in August 2004