In the context of computing, a controller is a hardware device that administers or directs the flow of data between two units. A storage controller is an equipment that supervises the storage arrays. The storage controller mainly has three elements: cache memory, connection interface with the network & storage devices, and Central Processing Unit (CPU). A storage controller is also known as array controller or storage processor. It assimilates the memory areas in several memory devices and offers them as a single memory area. Performing these tasks of reading and writing data from the memory and transferring it to the server is done by the storage controller. Processing tasks in an efficient and stable manner is the role of the storage controller. Additionally, storage controller performs different processing tasks such as acquisition of snap shots and dynamic allocation of volume capacity, in order to realize a range of added-value functions.
Storage controllers are available in the market according to requirement, that is, they are manufactured by the company according to the needs of the customer. This provides the customers with choice of controllers according to their need. This is estimated to be the major factor that drives the storage controller market. The controllers provide performance acceleration which increases efficiency of the systems. Reliability is achieved by the reduction in number of components required in the interface and built-in error checking. The customized controllers are highly affordable when used on a large scale. Thus, reliability, affordability, and efficiency is provided by storage controllers to customers, thus increasing its penetration in the storage controller equipment market and escalating its growth trajectories.
Serviceability is improved because components can be replaced non-disruptively. Scaling up or down of the system according to need can be achieved by the purpose built controllers. Standard servers are used by some storage controllers along with the storage software application running on the server.
However, developing the customized storage controllers takes considerable time. The cost of storage controllers is high when it is built according to the requirement; this restrains the storage controller equipment market as the spending capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) is less. Modifying the old controllers with rapid developments in technology is not possible; this also affects the storage controller equipment market growth. Reduction in the size of the controllers can be considered as an opportunity of the storage controller equipment market in the near future.
The storage controller equipment market can be segmented based on controller type, application, enterprise type, and region. In terms of controller type, the storage controller equipment market is bifurcated into Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) and Redundant Array of independent Disks (RAID). Based on application, the storage controller market can be divided into commodity-server based, purpose built, and custom designed. Custom designed is further sub- segmented into Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). In terms of enterprise size, the storage controller equipment market is segregated into Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and Large Enterprises.
By geography, the global storage controller equipment market is segmented into Europe (EU), North America (NA), South America (SA), Asia Pacific (APAC), and Middle East & Africa (MEA). APAC is expected to be the highest revenue generating region in the storage controller market because some of the leading companies of storage controllers are operating in this region. The storage controller equipment market in the MEA region is projected to grow at a higher pace due to increasing number of companies and growing adoption of technological advancement.
Some major players of the storage controller equipment market are Microsemi, Microchip Technology Inc., Broadcom, Esconet Technologies Pvt Ltd., Marvell, Areca Technology Corp., PC Connection, Inc., Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, ASUSTeK Computer Inc., ATTO Technology, Inc., Dell Technologies, and Intel Corporation.
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