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Digital Data Explosion to Drive Growth in the Network Attached Storage (NAS) Devices Market

GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Network Attached Storage (NAS) Devices markets. Global market for Network Attached Storage (NAS) Devices is projected to reach US$7.0 billion by the year 2017. Growth will be primarily driven by the increase in the number of home and small business networks, continued data explosion, and the growing need for data backup and archiving.

In a knowledge driven era where information is the engine that drives enterprises worldwide, management of information is gaining utmost importance. Widespread implementation of CRM and ERP solutions have contributed towards enterprise data explosion by triggering exponential growth in the volume of information generated about partners, suppliers and customers. Other factors driving data growth and the ensuing storage needs include generation of rich media, regulatory compliance that mandates maintenance of audit trails, and financial data, and gargantuan email archives, given that email is a primary vehicle of business communication. Networked machines and processes additionally generate a steady stream of real time data, which adds to the information overload being confronted by modern companies. While data storage remains an indispensable IT need, the growing magnitude of the importance of this very basic IT function can be put into perspective by the fact that information is currently multiplying at a rate of over 65% each year and total data generated worldwide is projected to reach over 3 million petabytes by the year 2020. Against this backdrop, the critical importance of data storage comes to the fore. As companies seek to overcome data storage performance limits, significant increases are in store for NAS Storage devices.

Network-attached storage (NAS) is one of the on-line storage architectures that promise to deliver businesses with cost-effective, scalable, and manageable alternatives for ever-growing data requirements. As a networked storage technology that allows connected host systems to share data, NAS devices have gained immense popularity in a short span of time, thanks to the wide range of benefits they offer. Advantages stacked in favor of the NAS technology include increase in data availability, improvements in server performance, optimized data access, end-user transparency, easy setup, low installation and maintenance costs and platform-independence.

SnapServer DX2 - 2012 NAS Hardware product of the year

Demand for NAS devices is forecast to be driven by the growing need for anytime, anywhere accessibility to corporate & internet networks. Emphasis on business continuity planning, growing adoption of remote and virtual office environments and the ensuing need to provide remote access to corporate networks to employees, is helping fuel the uptake of the NAS technology. Business continuity requires maintaining backup copies of primary data and NAS devices will find increased use as filers and backup targets in storing copies of user data. Integration of native deduplication abilities in NAS devices is additionally expected to enhance the use of NAS devices as backup targets. Data deduplication replaces duplicate files on the NAS network with tags/links referring to the original file. Reduction in volume of the data being actually stored on the NAS consequently reduces the amount of data that the NAS must access. Therefore, less head movement and less searching results in faster data access.

Demand is also expected to remain especially high among SMBs, as NAS devices provide a cost effective solution for these companies with are often saddled with issues, such as, limited access to financial and IT resources. Larger businesses are also gradually creeping into the spotlight as potentially lucrative clients for NAS vendors. The market is gradually witnessing transition from SMBs specific solutions to more advanced large enterprise-centric solutions. Unlike SMBs that adopt NAS solutions for core applications, large enterprises rely on NAS for less mission-critical applications, and for specific departments, workgroups and remote offices.

Technology innovations aimed at raising the performance bar of NAS devices is expected to benefit the market in the medium term. Cloud computing, in this regard, promises to expand the functionalities of NAS devices and eventually expand market opportunities in this space. Cloud network-attached storage (NAS) is currently waxing in popularity. As enterprises are now looking at deploying storage architecture, which lowers the total cost of ownership while improving Return on Investments (RoI), the concept of cloud NAS is snowballing in the market. The key benefit of Cloud NAS is the ability to access information instantaneously without the limitations of the physical location of the data. Advancements in key capabilities such as payment models, reliability, security and multi-tenancy are expected to increase the adoption of cloud storage in the upcoming years.

IT spending in Europe currently remains nervous with the mixed signals emanating from the handling of region’s debt crisis driving the IT industry to swing between hopes and fears. At the extreme pessimistic end of the spectrum is the belief that if the debt and financial dominoes begin to fall across the core euro-zone economies, IT spending could painfully crimp in technology sectors, such as, computing hardware, enterprise software and IT services. Even in the event of the European Union successfully resolving the euro area debt crisis, slower and rather anemic growth will continue to haunt the region even into the future, primarily because the euro crisis in reality masks a deeper financial and economic malaise built through years of unsustainable fiscal policies adopted by profligate governments in the euro zone. Companies and enterprises in all industrial sectors are therefore expected to remain prepared for times of scarce financial resources. Austerity measures like increased taxes and higher costs of financing, will create fiscal pain, which in turn will take its toll on corporate IT spending. IT in the public sector, under such a scenario, is forecast to be acutely impacted, given the greater pressure faced by government owned companies to shed debt and prune down budgets. IT budget cuts, project cancellations, postponements and the general tendency to do more with less will act as a drag on IT spending.

Currently, however, as the “Business Climate Indicator”, a key pillar of growth in the market, improves in the European Union reflective of the guarded optimism prevailing in the marketplace, there exist little signs of changes in corporate spending on critical IT products and services. Against this backdrop, outlook NAS devices remains positive with demand largely expected to hold up in the year 2012.

As stated by the new market research report on Network Attached Storage (NAS) Devices, North America represents the largest market worldwide. Strong future growth is however expected to stem from Asia-Pacific. The region is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 14.1%, over the analysis period.

Major players in the global marketplace include Dell Inc., EMC Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hitachi Data Systems Corporation, International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, LSI Corporation, NetApp Inc., Overland Storage Inc (SnapServer)., Panasas Inc., SGI Corporation, among others.


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