The global storage area network equipment market is expected to witness robust growth over the coming decade. Rising need to minimize the complexities of organizational storage systems and increasing adoption of virtualization technology by many companies are key factors contributing toward market growth. Furthermore, growing adoption of fiber channel over Ethernet is boosting demand for storage area network (SAN) equipment.
The market has been witnessing increased application of SAN devices in the cloud computing domain. The various facilities of SAN switch and adapter devices are forcing cloud service providers to accept these devices to provide better and more reliable services to end users. With these switches and devices, organizations can control storage virtualization, improve utilization of storage resources, and simplify storage management.
Low upgradation cost of storage area network is another driver boosting the industry. A large amount of data is being created on a daily basis, which leads to need for additional data center infrastructure for management of said data. This upgrading of infrastructure includes incremental costs for storage subsystems, flash, servers, solid state drivers, and network-attached storage. SAN technology helps in minimizing these costs as the storage management in this system is independent of additional hardware storage and is based on low-cost software.
Key components for SAN equipment include host bus adapters (HBA), switches, and cabling. HBA is an integrated circuit device that provides I/O processing and physical connectivity between a server and storage device. Wiring is used to connect the HBA’s port to the corresponding switch. Cabling can be optical fiber cabling or copper wiring. Optical fiber cabling offers several benefits such as high performance, reliability, scalability, speed, and ability to work efficiently in long-distance connections.
Leading end-use sectors include manufacturing, energy and utility, public sector, transportation, banking and financial services, and telecommunication.
Regionally, the global storage area network equipment market encompasses Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. North America and Europe are prominent markets due to rising efforts toward reduction of operating expenses and simplification of IT management. Moreover, establishment of large businesses implementing SAN equipment is anticipated to increase demand in these regions.
Asia Pacific has been identified as a highly lucrative market. In emerging countries such as Japan, India, and China, rising per capita income, growing population base, and increasing data traffic are having a positive impact on market growth.
Leading service providers in the market include Cisco Systems Inc.; Emulex Corp.; Brocade Communication Systems Inc.; and QLogic Corp. Other prominent vendors include ATTO, Arista, Intel, Mellanox, Neterion, Myricom, BLADE, Chelsio, LSI, and Voltaire.
Most players are focusing on introduction of advanced solutions to improve their offerings and strengthening their position in the market. Other competitive strategies adopted by major players to increase their market share include partnerships, agreements, collaborations, and acquisitions. In March 2016, Emulex Corp. and Brocade Communication Systems Inc. launched a new product called LPe32002 FC Host Bus Adapter. This Gen 6 (16/32 Gb) fiber channel is designed to address the demanding reliability, performance, and management requirements of modern networked storage systems.
QLogic Corp recently launched the QLE2690 Series of enhanced Gen 5 FC adapters and the QLE2700 Series of Gen 6 FC adapters. These new adapters are designed for data centers that require elevation in fiber channel performance, reliability, power efficiency, and investment protection to cater to rising demands of private and virtualized cloud environments.
Research Support Specialist, USA