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October 2nd, 2013, 19:41
LTO is basically the only tape format remaining. You'll probably want an LTO3, LTO4, or LTO5 drive (or library), depending on your budget. LTO6 is coming soon, last I heard.

If you're backing up multiple systems across a network, you'll almost certainly want to go disk-to-disk-to-tape ("DDT", or "disk staging"), as opposed to going directly to tape. Tapes today run too fast to stream data to them, when you're pulling that data live across a gigabit network. Your overall backup speed will be absolutely atrocious if you try it, and you'll kill your tapes/drives. (Look up "shoeshine effect" for more info) Your backup jobs should copy everything that's going to be backed up to a central disk area, then move it to tape from there, at whatever interval you desire (you can keep incrementals/dailies on the disk only).

Personally, I use ARCserve. Generally you would run it on a Windows system (where your tape system is attached), and then run ARCserve agents on the Linux systems. Backup Exec is probably your other popular, low-cost option. Both of them support disk staging, of course.
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