Ethernet fabrics claim to keep packet loss rate below 0.1 percent without any kind of protocol offload engines. This is a clear indicator that TOE is no longer considered a must-have feature. As software-based offloads become so good they will eliminate additional hardware such as purchase of a NIC with TOE. The same goes for many other protocols too, not just the TCP/IP suite.
This all comes down to one simple fact that storage fabrics are quickly replacing traditional NICs in data centers because their performance characteristics are better suited to cloud services and virtualization, which means that Ethernet fabrics will soon become pervasive among enterprises globally. Therefore, their demand will most likely increase in the next few years.
Data Centers to Remain the Largest Consumer of Ethernet Storage Fabric
Improves performance, lower power consumption, improved ability to fight faults, and cost-effectiveness are some of the key benefits that Ethernet storage fabric offers. As a result, data centers are more attracted to these solutions than others. Ethernet fabrics will be the most suitable technology choice in data centers where most servers are likely to be virtualized soon if they are not already. This does not mean that Ethernet fabrics cannot handle physical workloads, but if most servers are likely to become VMs soon, then investments in technologies that can cater efficiently to their needs will gain ground.
Software offloads, such as LRO or GSO, might seem like a good idea at first because they reduce the load of the host CPU. However, but this advantage is sometimes offset by their negative effect on overall network performance or even by increased power consumption. The same goes for hardware offload engines that needs special drivers and often do not support all protocols and features that may be needed in the environment.
On top of that, these new designs are more fault-tolerant by default because there is no single point of failure in this case, and we all know how important it is to have a fault tolerance in cloud environments where availability is paramount. Running storage and compute workloads on separate fabrics can improve overall performance as well as security and reliability of data centers because now they will not need to assign those protocols to the same queues that were previously used for regular network traffic. Instead, each fabric can support its own set of protocols that are used for different purposes.
By Storage Type, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure to Witness Slow Growth
The hyper-converged Infrastructure segment is seeing a shift from edge to core deployments. Hyper-converged infrastructure edge will have the slowest growth in the years to come as organizations initially adopt hybrid hyper-converged solutions at remote and branch sites before eventually consolidating them into the data center. The hyper-converged infrastructure market has been heating up in recent months, with companies such as VMware (NYSE: VMW), Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX) and SimpliVity leading the revenue and shipment rankings.
Nutanix has become well-known for hyper-convergence, which simplifies server and storage management by combining multiple devices into one unit that can be easily configured via an application programming interface (API). The hyper-convergence market will likely see slower revenue growth than other hyper-verged infrastructure segments because organizations started adopting hyper-converged infrastructure solutions later than edge hyper-convergence. The market growth has been driven by the increased need for agility and scalability, which hyper-converged infrastructure helps provide. It also promises improved disaster recovery capabilities because of its ease of management, installation, and low cost.
The block storage segment is bifurcating into separate high-performance/low latency block networked arrays and the low-cost block NAS appliance industry. Both segments are exhibiting strong growth but in opposite directions with the block networked array segment growing by 25% CAGR while the NAS appliances are seeing strong growth of 30%.
The difference can be explained by a maturing block NAS appliance industry, which has now begun to benefit from the much-reduced costs of flash memory and hard disk drives. The block networked array market is still seeing much higher rates of growth as suppliers race for performance leadership with their products. This competition is resulting in much lower prices for block networked arrays as they compete on price as well as performance, but at a cost forecast that the block networked array revenue will stay flat through 2021. In contrast, solid-state drive (SSD) pricing continues to fall dramatically over time and its use is increasingly becoming a standard feature of block networked arrays.
Regional Market Dynamics: Asia Pacific to Witness Fastest Growth
Datacenter storage traffic comprises a large quantity of data flows constantly pushing its limits in terms of throughput and latency to support high workloads and applications such as online transaction processing (OLTP) and analytics in modern data centers. The key factors driving the growth of this market include increasing adoption of cloud-based services, increase in mobile users, growing demand for high throughput data storage solutions, and increase in SMB's across various geographies.
In terms of geography, North America is expected to dominate the Ethernet storage fabric market, which is projected to be followed by the Asia Pacific region due to factors such as an increase in penetration rate for cloud-based services and public clouds across countries such as China, India, and Japan. This trend has led to a high adoption rate of data center technologies including data storage which is further expected to fuel the demand for Ethernet storage fabrics across different industry verticals during the forecast period.
Demand for Ethernet storage fabrics offers huge potential especially in SMB's across various geographies. This can be attributed to the fact that encryption and authentication functionality is built into storage fabrics components, which enhances the security of data.
Global Ethernet Storage Fabric Market: Key Market Players
Many factors such as increasing adoption of cloud-based services and data centers, growing demand for high throughput data storage solutions, and increase in mobile users are expected to drive the global Ethernet storage fabric market over the forecast period. However, complexities associated with the integration of storage fabric into data centers is expected to pose threat to the growth of this market. On the other hand, an increasing number of enterprises that prefer open network architecture may provide opportunities for solution providers in this market.
The major companies dominating the global Ethernet storage fabric market include IBM Corporation (US), Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (US), Dell Technologies Inc. (US) Intel Corporation (US), Huawei Technologies (China), Cisco Systems Inc., (US), Arista Networks Inc. (US), Mellanox Technologies (Israel), Microsemi Corporation (US), Fortinet (US), and Juniper Networks Inc. (US).
Key Elements Included In The Study: Global Ethernet Storage Fabric Market
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