Storage networking, also known as storage area network, is a network used to provide access to a secured, block level data storage. These networks are used to enhance the capacity of mass storage devices (tape libraries, optical jukeboxes and disk arrays) that have access to servers. Storage networking ensures that these storage devices appear as locally attached drives to any operating system. It links all storage devices together in any network and connects them to different operating systems in other IT networks. The storage networking market is primarily driven by explosion of digital data which generates the need for developing secure, efficient and effective data storage infrastructure among enterprises. Storage networking is a technology specially designed to allow computer systems to share huge volumes of data across high-speed local area networks, owing to which it isexpected to be the future of recent IT storage needs. The storage networking is used in various applications in industry sectors such as government communications, media and services, banking and securities, manufacturing and natural resources, insurance, retail, transportation, healthcare, entertainment and education.
In the information driven world, the amount of data that is generated is increasing at a rapid pace. The digital era has made possible electronic data capture for individuals, government agencies and private companies that enables them browse, store and share huge volumes of data securely. Private companies have been key contributors for information explosion and creating large amounts of data. Additionally, increase in implementation of customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning solutions have majorly contributed to data explosion through generating huge volumes of information about suppliers, partners and customers.
Healthcare and entertainment industries are primary contributors fueling the growth of the global storage networking market. Data explosion is making these two sectors lucrative adopters of storage networking technology. Another key factor responsible for an increased demand for storage networking technology from the entertainment industry is the continuously rising data volume due to propagation of the broadband internet services. For instance, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter accumulate huge amounts of data and therefore are potential opportunities for storage networking market. Similarly, rising pressure to store huge volumes of medical data in the healthcare industry is also a key reason forcing this industry to adopt storage networking technology. Growing importance of maintaining patient related data is likely to offer a banquet of opportunities for storage networking industry.
Rising adoption of cost reduction techniques such as server virtualization is likely to boost storage networking market in the near future. Server virtualization integrates various emerging technologies such as Service-oriented architecture (SOA), Green IT and Software as a Service (SaaS) and therefore is a key strategy among other virtualization drives. Additionally, the implementation of centralized servers which requires more networked and distributed storage facilities is anticipated to enhance market growth. Effective working of virtualized environments depends on factors such as, efficiency, scalability, speed of the storage technology and reliability. With such integrated benefits in storage area network, this technology is poised to reap the highest benefits.
Major players in the storage networking market include Cisco Systems, Inc., Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., Coraid, Inc., Dell, Inc., Cutting Edge Networked Storage, EMC Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Emulex Corporation, International Business Machines Corporation, NetApp, Inc., LSI Corporation, NETGEAR, Inc., Overland Storage, Inc., Nexsan Technologies, Inc., and QLogic Corporation.