Flash and the Cloud Gain Ground in Growing SMB NAS Market

By Pedro Hernandez

The worldwide market for small and midsized business (SMB) network-attached storage (NAS) will grow to $18.1 billion by 2020, compared to just $4.4 billion in 2020, according a new forecast from Technavio, a market research firm. The SMB NAS market will expand at compound annual growth rate of 33 percent, predict Technavio's analysts.

"NAS systems play a vital role in the operational needs of every business. In terms of small office home office (SOHO), SMBs and SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] need NAS for a cost-effective and reliable private cloud environment that offers exceptional performance, scalability, and durability," noted Technavio lead analyst Rakesh Panda, in a statement.

Increasingly, data storage providers are targeting SMBs with technologies once reserved for their enterprise customers. "The market for NAS among SMEs, SOHO, and SMBs is likely to grow significantly due to continuous innovations by vendors, including increased ability to work even in mission-critical environments," said Panda.

Those technologies include speedy flash storage. Falling costs are making once-pricey solid-state drives (SSDs) a viable alternative to traditional hard drives. Technavio expects that flash storage use in small business environments will reach parity with HDD usage by the end of 2020.

Cloud-based NAS solutions are also having a major impact on the SMB storage market. Typically used for backup and archiving, cloud NAS providers deliver storage services from enterprise-grade data centers.

"There are several vendors currently involved in integrating the existing NAS system with the popular cloud storage services such as Amazon S3. Western Digital, a provider of external and internal hard drives, offers NAS solutions as My Cloud products," stated the analyst.

"NAS systems are used in cloud data centers for storage provisioning purposes," continued Panda. "Integration of on-premises NAS with cloud storage will gain traction in the future among small business, as it allows overall control over the latest data in the NAS, as well as facilitates the backing up and archiving of data in the cloud."

Also affecting the growing SMB NAS storage market are hybrid systems that can handle both file and block storage. Finally, big data analytics is beginning to influence how vendors cater to the SMB storage buyers.

"Data is constantly being fed into storage systems and traditional storage systems are not feasible to run analytics on massive sets of complex data. Vendors in the market are offering NAS storage systems that are suitable for analytical purposes and likely to trigger product innovations during the forecast period," stated Technavio.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on February 05, 2016