MANHASSET, N.Y. The global market for consumer network storage will increase from $305 million in 2006 to nearly $1.2 billion by 2011, according to a report by ABI Research (Oyster Bay, N.Y.).While the market for consumer digital media backup is dominated by low-cost solutions such as USB hard drives and CD/DVD writeable drives, the firm believes the increasingly difficult task of managing digital media will drive the adoption of network storage in the home. "Today fewer than 4 percent of those who have a home network use some form of network storage device," says principal analyst Michael Wolf, in a statement. "While most consumers today do not have a good understanding of network storage, we believe that over time consumers will be drawn to the benefits of centralized storage and the redundancy these solutions provide." According to the report, Japan and Europe are ahead of North America in adopting network storage, driven in part by the fact these markets are less PC-centric than North America. The firm believes network storage will see increased adoption across all major geographies, even as form factors differ. European markets have seen greater adoption of network storage bridge/adapters such as the Linksys NSLU2, while Japan has seen adoption of more traditional NAS devices. Consumer network storage vendors are adding media server capabilities to their products. The network storage drive will increasingly become a media tank that can serve content around the home, enabled by support of DLNA and UPnP standards as well as more powerful specialized network storage processors, the report noted.
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