Storage hardware is used to store applications and digital data in its various forms. It’s a key component of any computing or data management system, whether on-premises or in the cloud.
Storage hardware can be used for archival and long-term storage purposes or for the processing unit to regularly access directly or remotely.
See below to learn all about the global storage hardware market:
Storage hardware market
The data storage market was estimated to be valued at $54.03 billion in 2018, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2% over the analysis period from 2021 to 2025, reaching a value of $120.94 billion by the end of it.
Regionally, the U.S. and China are expected to drive the market, followed by Asia-Pacific, led by Australia, South Korea, and India. Other notable regional markets driving demand in the global market include the U.K., Japan, France, and Germany.
By industry, the market is being driven by the following segments:
- Banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI)
- Health care
Storage hardware features
In searching for storage hardware, there are several factors a company should take into consideration before making a purchase:
- Hardware longevity
- Data type support
- Compatibility with existing environments
- Resource manageability
When it comes to enterprise-grade storage hardware, the solution needs to be suitable for the type of data and its use cases, from accessibility to speed.
There are three common types of storage hardware that enterprises use to store their data on-premises:
Solid-state drive storage
A solid-state drive (SDD) is a type of data storage that doesn’t contain any moving parts. It uses integrated circuits to store and access data, relying on semiconductors and electronics, using less power than their counterparts.
It’s a variation of flash memory storage, allowing for quick access to data. Generally, they’re on the more expensive side, but they also tend to be smaller in size.
Disk storage includes a wide category of storage hardware that stores data using magnetic, electronic, optical, or mechanical changes to the surface of a spinning disk. Data is organized within disk storage into individual blocks and segments, allowing for quick, non-linear access.
While it’s suitable for large enterprises with massive amounts of data to store due to its capacity and low cost, disk storage has a relatively short lifespan. It’s also more fragile compared to its counterparts, where a non-suitable environment could damage its contents and quality.
Tape drive storage
Tape drive storage is one of the oldest types of storage hardware. It’s able to access and read data stored on a magnetic tape that can be accessed offline.
It’s slow to retrieve data, making it a suitable option for archival storage, as the machine has to go through the entirety of the tape and rewind it to access requested data. However, it’s the cheapest storage hardware option and resilient.
One of the biggest operational challenges organizations face is the need to accommodate remote work.
Companies are seeking more flexible storage solutions and in some cases, moving to the cloud.
“To thrive in today’s world — in other words, to enable collaboration across distances, support modern workloads with performance and protection, and do it without long delays and high costs — your data needs to be portable,” says Brendan Wolfe, a member of the Forbes Technology Council.
“Well, you don’t need to replace your current storage infrastructure and clouds. Instead, one solution is to overlay intelligent software on top of them that can act as a global file system.”
Benefits of storage hardware
There are numerous benefits to using strictly or primarily your own hardware for data storage, such as:
- Fully customizable security
- Accessible offline
- Reducing costs of data transfers
- Full control over data
- Enabling regulation compliance
“Storage and memory impacts a ton of different hardware products, from computers to thumb drives. … The amount of storage you have available can also impact performance. The closer you are to your storage limits, the slower your device may run. So storage and speed often go hand in hand,” according to a post at sba.gov.
“When considering a new hardware purchase, you first need to consider how much space you actually need. Look at what you have stored on your current hardware products, if possible.”
Storage hardware use cases
The following case studies highlighting a variety of storage hardware solutions used by organizations in different industries:
City of New Orleans
The City of New Orleans is responsible for delivering services to its residents.
The digital infrastructure of the city faced a cyberattack that forced their IT team to shut down its 470 servers and virtual machines (VMs) to mitigate the damage. The attack ended up affecting the 4,000 government employees in New Orleans and just under half a million residents.
Looking to minimize the chances of a similar incident happening in the future, New Orleans’ IT team cleansed the city’s data and transferred it to a new storage infrastructure supplied by Pure Storage. Pure Storage FlashArray and Pure Storage FlashBlade were used to secure data and prepare for future instances of disaster recovery.
“The Pure Storage team showed up, rolled up their sleeves, and offered to help. Within days, we had new equipment on site and started to migrate our data to Pure,” says Kimberly LaGrue, CIO, City of New Orleans.
“Our investment in Pure has more than proven its short-term worth, but we’re in it for the long-term value it provides to our citizens.”
With Pure Storage, New Orleans’ storage system became easy to use with a lowered risk with space-saving snapshots and faster backups and restoration.
Bradesco is a financial group in Brazil that manages customers’ assets.
Being in the financial industry, Bradesco needed a storage solution to meet the demand for banking and insurance solutions, along with the availability on mobile services.
Working with IBM, Bradesco created a secure and reliable online banking experience using IBM Z and IBM Storage systems to offer data availability and accessibility to their customers across Brazil.
“IBM tools, such as two-factor authentication, enable Bradesco to offer a secure banking experience 100% of the time. These solutions ensure security of confidential information. Our customers trust us because of that,” says Waldemar Ruggiero Jr., executive GM, Banco Bradesco.
“IBM Z delivers the resiliency, security, and agility we need to make sure that our millions of customers can access our services anywhere, anytime, using any device.”
With IBM, Bradesco was able to process over 1.5 billion business transactions monthly and ensure platform and data accessibility to over 36 million customers.
Testo is a leader in quality and standards measurements, from food and drug safety to heating systems and climate control. The German company employs 3,200 staff members worldwide and serves 650,000 customers.
Handling massive amounts of data on a regular basis, Testo needed to implement a reliable data storage system. Working with NetApp, Testo was able to implement storage hardware and solutions that integrate seamlessly with the Trident storage orchestrator they were using.
“With the NetApp data fabric, we can deliver services quickly and move data between on-prem systems and SaaS or IaaS environments in no time,” says Klaus Hurst, senior expert data center, Testo.
“When you want to operate IT with a future like Testo, my advice is to take a close look at your needs and the possibilities of NetApp on-premises, hybrid, and in the cloud. It’s worth it.”
Storage hardware providers
Some of the leading providers of storage hardware in the global market include:
- Dell Technologies
- Juniper Networks
- Hitachi Vantara