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Nano-NAS market dives into the cloud

Who needs a USB drive or small NAS when you can sync 'n' share?

Small networked storage systems are in trouble: kit-tallyer IDC says sales declined in Q3 2015 and now sit at under 334,000 a quarter.

That's our conclusion from the firm's latest Worldwide Personal and Entry-Level Storage Tracker, released Monday and suggesting sales of 16,680,000 units for the quarter. The tracker defines personal storage as having one or two disk bays. Entry-level storage offers between three and 12 disks. Personal storage accounts for “over 98% of market shipments” in the quarter, a typical result that leaves small networked storage units with somewhere below 333,000 units a quarter.

There's plenty of players in the market: Imation, Netgear, D-Link, QNAP, Synology and others are players, often taking the trouble to get a tick of approval from VMware or Microsoft as providers of shared storage for servers.

IDC says the market for entry-level kit dipped 4.5 per cent in the quarter and suggests the sector may be following the demise of personal storage devices. The overall market's having a bit of a roller-coaster ride: down 13.4 per cent year over year, but up 10.3 per cent compared to the second quarter.

Cloud's been fingered as the culprit, especially for personal storage. It's not hard to see why, as the likes of Dropbox or OneDrive offer plenty of security and redundancy. The small NAS market's dip may also be down to cloud, as sharing files is arguably easier in a cloud service than on the LAN.

Whatever the reason, small storage devices of all stripes look to be on the slide. ®

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