The degree to which many companies still back off to tape perplexes me. Obviously, you can't eliminate back tapes completely, but there's a huge cost associated with managing a large rotation of backup tapes. That's not to say that online providers of backup storage are cheap, but there are certainly some major benefits and efficiencies to be had via off-site electronic backups.
I admit that I'm biased. I just hate how slow and clunky tape technology is compared with online backup storage, so I've gravitated to off-site backup technology like a moth to a bug zapper. And I'm certainly not alone, because even the behemoth that is Iron Mountain is now in the business.
The loss of data by third parties, like what happened at the Mellon Bank of NY, is a walking white paper for the reasons that the off-site electronic storage industry has absolutely exploded. Just google "off-site backup storage" and you'll find a vast array of service providers who are dying to get your business. So what does it actually cost to use an all digital storage provider? We solicited a quote from one of the market leaders in this space, AmeriVault, and received a price of $1,185 a month to store 250 GB of data off-site. Like most other providers, AmeriVault sends only the delta of file changes, so WAN utilization after the initial backup is reduced dramatically.
And $14,000 per year is obviously not cheap, but compare that with the ongoing hardware, software, maintenance, and management costs associated with jockeying tapes all over the place, and you have yourself a viable cost-justification argument for management. On top of that, you get quick encryption and restore, and you reduce the use of tape-dropping off-site storage providers!