Hard Drive Crisis Being Felt Now

I reported earlier about how the situation in Thailand will be affecting the availability of a hard drive for the next 12 months. Since that time we’ve had some disturbing news.

  • There are now no hard drives available for Canadian distribution
  • 70 million hard drive orders will go unfilled per quarter for the next 24 months worldwide. (note was 12 months, now 24)
  • There are very few hard drives left in Australia
  • Many US suppliers of hard drives are out of stock

So what do we do? We do what we always do in times of shortage:

  • Reduce: We will recommend smaller hard drives and possibly SSD (flash) hard drives.
    • Carefully use every drop of available space
    • Use data archiving
    • Evaluate whether or not stored items are necessary
  • ReUse: We will be recommending that we keep drives in circulation longer.
    • Older drives can continue to be used if paired. Using the buddy system we can protect from failure while reusing old drives in new systems.

This shortage is likely to have a serious economic impact as well. Businesses are more likely to keep older equipment in production and will experience greater rates of failure. Mom and Pop computer stores will be hit hardest and may not survive. Sales of IT hardware in general will be down significantly putting a big crimp in the profits of hardware dependent companies like: Dell, Intel and Apple.

We’re keeping a close eye on our suppliers and so far drives are available but expensive. We have seen some sizes and types drop off though and will be expecting more.

There’s no magic bullet solution for this problem. No one company that has more access to drives than another. I have started to hear of “amazing deals”, “my guy can get anything, no problem” as usual if it’s too good to be true, it’s not true.

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