Tape isn't going away, much like mainframes never actually went away. However, their utility is evolving somewhat.

The emergence of the Linear Tape File System is quite interesting. It's an open tape format (nothing new there) that looks to have broad acceptance (the new part). Especially since the LTO governing body has adopted it, and LTO is the de-facto standard for tape in the industry right now.

Open standards make the long-term archive problem easier to tackle, since the implementation details are widely understood and are more likely to either still be in use or have industry expertise available to make it work should an old archive need to be read. They also allow interoperability; a "tier-5" storage tier consisting of tape could allow duplicates of the tape media to be housed in an archive built by another vendor.

In my current line of work, a data-tape using LTFS would be a much cheaper carrier for a couriered TB of data than a hard-drive would. We haven't seen this yet, but it remains a decided possibility.

Understandably, the video content industry is a big fan of this kind of thing since their files are really big and they need to keep them around for years. The same technology could be used to build a computer-image jukebox for a homebrew University computer-lab imaging system.

Looking around, it seems people are already using this with CloneZilla. Heh.

It's hard to get excited about tape, but I'll settle for 'interested'.