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Consumer Network-Attached Storage Device

The rapid growth in consumer digital content libraries will push worldwide sales of network-attached storage (NAS) devices to nearly 13 million units by 2012, according to the latest market study by Parks Associates.

"Current file storage solutions are not equipped to handle consumer's ever-growing libraries of digital photos, music, and video," said Jane Shields, research analyst, Parks Associates.

"Soon the average broadband household will need close to a terabyte of storage for their media collections on PCs, portable devices, and DVRs. However, the industry will need to pay attention to additional features beyond storage capacity as these devices approach the mass market."

In targeting this broader market, companies should develop storage solutions that emphasize easier file allocation, searching, and media sharing. Manufacturers and retailers must carefully select the features to market.

Messages that emphasize content sharing have as much resonance with this new audience as do those that stress content backup. Intuitive user interfaces and installation processes, allowing easy backup, file sharing, and new device connectivity, will help consumers discover these and other features and grow accustomed to networked storage.

In this way, NAS devices will expand their role in the home into media servers.

The Parks market study defines several categories of consumer storage solutions -- from online/network-hosted services to network-attached storage and home servers. It provides primary consumer research about recent and planned storage uses and purchases and includes worldwide forecasts for network-attached storage devices.

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