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Megabyte's 5 Year Prediction for the NAS Market

first published on our NAS page December 2006

As the market for networked consumer storage in 2011 will be bigger than that for NAS in the enterprise, consumer storage companies and products (with much lower price points and cost of sales) will take over what is now regarded as the low and medium levels of the market which are (in 2006) occupied by Network Appliance, HP and EMC.

The consumerization of network storage may be a more aggressive and dramatic process than the consumerization of the PC was for the computer industry in the 1980s and 90s.

If international markets remain open then most, if not all, the world's leading NAS manufacturers by 2011 will be based in China, Taiwan or Korea. The lowest cost place to manufacture NAS will be in proximity to, or in the same factory as, the lowest cost place to manufacture the drives. The ground breaking investments for those super storage plants of the future have already begun.

Standardization will mean there will be much less opportunity for US NAS manufacturers to supply services or higher pricing based on brand strength. Although new markets will be created for very high performance storage systems to deliver the backbone functionality that will be required by the demands of the online digital tv market - it is possible that those needs will be met by server farms of single board computers with onboard embedded solid state disks, and that for most organizations the notion of the "big storage box" may be as irrelevant as the concept of the mainframe is today - for large internet companies like Google.

NAS market shifts may lead to a scramble to acquire high end storage switch and router storage technology - which will become the central cores in enterprise storage environments.

One safe bolthole for the NAS industry will be long term archive storage. Because it's unlikely that the media used for online enterprise storage (which will overlap with consumer products) will comply with the needs of data regulators.

See also:- Squeak! - How Solid is Hard Disk's Future?
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