We think of LTO as the easiest and most reliable way of data backup. Users were using this format for archiving data too. Space and speed was a concern with the older generations of LTO but with LTO 7 & 8, this has become less of a problem.
Two Generation Backward compatibility was taken care till LTO 7. But with LTO 8 and going forward this compatibility has been reduced to only One Generation. This means that LTO 8 drives can read & write only LTO 7 tapes and not LTO 6. This is going to be a significant limitation since migrating data from one generation to another is going to be a more expensive and frequent process.
LTO’s will be probably limited as a backup media to mitigate shot term risks and not long term requirements as was perceived in the past. Storage conditions and tape handling does play a vital role when it comes to reliability of the tapes, though they claim that it’s good to go for 10 – 15 years. LTO’s may no longer have its charm in archival solutions.
Near line / offline storage solutions with RAID / MAID technology are gaining momentum for less frequently accessed information. Solutions depend on the amount of data that you want to store, the redundancy that you build and of course the BUDGET.