More than seven in 10 SMBs that use cloud-based storage solutions also use networked-attached storage, according to a recent In-Stat survey. While SMB NAS represents a smaller portion of the total NAS market, it is expected to grow at a much faster rate over the forecast period, with revenues reaching $2 billion in 2015, said In-Stat.
Network-attached storage is a specialized server connected to a network that provides file-based data storage services to other devices on the network. NAS systems typically have the capability to support one or more hard disk drives (HDDs), and often include features such as RAID (redundant array of independent disks) and backup/replication services for all the devices attached to the network.
"As the market has matured, the definition of NAS has taken on additional aspects," said Norm Bogen, vice president of research for In-Stat. "In particular, system management software has evolved into the most important feature of NAS adoption for several reasons, but primarily because it simplifies the user experience to set up and manage NAS products."
The research found 57.3 percent of SMB survey respondents use NAS technology products, and North America and Europe will represent 84.6 percent of the revenue opportunity for the SMB NAS market. Survey respondents that "don't use NAS" tend to have less than 50 employees.
The report, "Worldwide SMB Network-Attached Storage: Technology and Service Innovation Drive High Growth," provides survey results and coverage of the SMB NAS market, including survey data relating to the use of NAS and cloud services, as well as an in-depth overview of the market and technology trends.
Another In-Stat report on NAS storage found the number of portable consumer electronics and computing devices in the home has grown over the last couple of years, and it will explode in the coming years. The report concluded that the need and use for NAS centralized storage will become more practical for one reason-content access.
In a network with multiple computing devices, sharing common storage, content access and media sharing becomes a key component of driving consumer value. In-Stat said it believes that this would push worldwide consumer NAS unit shipments past 11 million in 2015. The estimated household penetration of consumer NAS in North America will be 4.4 percent at year-end 2015.
"The concept of centralized storage was originally developed for businesses where access to corporate information through a network connected to multiple devices provided a number of competitive advantages," Bogen said. "This context, where benefits are gained connecting multiple devices to a centralized network or storage system, never materialized in the home until recently. Now, with so many different devices in the home, the value of centralized storage is becoming more apparent. The difference, however, is that the need for home network storage is driven by practicality, while in business the driver is efficiency."