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Data Storage Hardware

Hard Drive Shortage Relief Coming In Q1 2012 205

Posted by timothy
from the better-than-alka-seltzer dept.
MojoKid writes "According to new reports [note: source article at DigiTimes], global HDD production capacity is getting ready to increase to 140-145 million units in the first quarter of 2012, or about 80 percent of where it was prior to when the floods hit Thailand manufacturing plants. HDD production was sitting around 175 million units in the third quarter of 2011 before the floods, after which time it quickly dropped to 120-125 million units. Since then, there's been a concerted effort to restore operations to pre-flood levels."
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Hard Drive Shortage Relief Coming In Q1 2012

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  • Market pressures. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by philip.paradis (2580427) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:12PM (#39155313)

    It's great that HDD production is about to increase again, but I think the recent "crunch" was also a good thing in a way. Perhaps it encouraged some end users to get more creative with data storage techniques, resulting in more efficient systems that can do more with less bulk storage capacity. At least I can hope so.

    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:15PM (#39155331)

      Most end users never noticed. People that needed the storage paid the higher price. People that didn't actually need it just held off until prices went down.

      • I waited until prices went back to late 2012 levels before I bought my new drive today. Now I can get my camcorder out and not worry about losing frames (MiniDV captured on DV mode).

      • Re:Market pressures. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bloodhawk (813939) on Friday February 24, 2012 @11:23PM (#39155727)
        we had server purchases seriously delayed, in the end we had to go with some more expensive and larger disks just so we could get our desperately needed servers delivered, otherwise it was expected up to a further 3 months of delays.
        • Re:Market pressures. (Score:4, Informative)

          by parlancex (1322105) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @01:48AM (#39156353)
          We had to provision 2 new 16 disk storage arrays for network backups, and ended up paying about 3x what it should've cost for the storage. Needless to say our department's budget isn't looking as good as it could.
          • Re:Market pressures. (Score:5, Informative)

            by rrohbeck (944847) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @02:49AM (#39156573)

            We make systems that have up to 200+TB storage and had to do emergency qualifications of replacement disk drives because the drive vendors told us "sorry, can't deliver." That must be because we have long term purchasing agreements, i.e. prenegotiated prices. I think the bastards rather sold at 3x prices to Newegg & co.

          • by dbIII (701233)
            I ended up having a fairly unimportant server, a staging area for overnight backups, as the fastest machine in the room. The cheapest OS disk was an SSD and the storage disks ended up as SAS because that came to within less than $100 total difference between that and six SATA disks. As with the poster above it cost way too much and has a lot of empty drive bays for when disks get cheaper.
      • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Saturday February 25, 2012 @05:02AM (#39157019)

        Most end users never noticed. People that needed the storage paid the higher price. People that didn't actually need it just held off until prices went down.

        I'm trying to hold off, but damn if drives aren't dying left and right around me right now.

        Week before Christmas 2011, the main disk in my Windows Home Server died. Had to buy a replacement (but managed to Ghost it and reset the registry so it recognizes the new drive).

        Now my NAS appliance died, looks like I have to go buy a new one.

        Damn unlucky, it looks like.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Exactly, most of my customers simply made do with what they had until the price lowered like the one i just installed where the guy was simply tossing files off his 1Tb until the price hit $100 for a Tb again which is when he had me grab him another Tb to install. I'm just lucky that for once in my life i actually got in when prices were low thanks to Samsung being bought out. I've always preferred the Samsung EcoDrives because of the lower heat and rugged construction so when Newegg dropped the price to $3

    • Efficient? With drive prices where they were it is not efficient to spend a lot of time minimizing drive space usage.

      • by PatPending (953482) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:21PM (#39155361)

        Well, according to the article, "Due to increased costs of components and materials, HDD prices are likely to rise 30-40% from the level before the floods by the end of 2012, the sources indicated."

        A 30-40% increase is A LOT, esp. given the present and foreseeable economic conditions.

        Anyway, how is one supposed to be "efficient" with regards to JPG, MP3, and other highly-compressed file formats?

        • by Jeremi (14640) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:28PM (#39155403) Homepage

          Anyway, how is one supposed to be "efficient" with regards to JPG, MP3, and other highly-compressed file formats?

          You can recover up to 50% of your drive space by switching your collection over to midget-pr0n.

        • Re:Market pressures. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday February 24, 2012 @11:34PM (#39155779) Homepage Journal

          Anyway, how is one supposed to be "efficient" with regards to JPG, MP3, and other highly-compressed file formats?

          Start burning stuff to DVD or putting it on cheap flash drives and hand them out to your friends. It's just like saving stuff to the Cloud, except they appreciate the music and movies and you can drink with them.

          I call it "Sneaker-cloud".

          I am learning more and more that the answer to life's questions often comes down to the people who are around you, physically. Family, friends, neighbors. Internet is good for lots of things, but I'm re-discovering all the value hidden in these non-virtual relationships. Salut!

          • by SeaFox (739806) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @02:46AM (#39156563)

            Start burning stuff to DVD or putting it on cheap flash drives and hand them out to your friends. It's just like saving stuff to the Cloud, except they appreciate the music and movies and you can drink with them.

            I call it "Sneaker-cloud".

            So I take it you use Air Jordans for the physical layer? (or is that considered the data-link layer)?

          • by houghi (78078)

            Or just learn to live without it.

            I have lost several TB in data. Personal pictures and movies are the greatest loss, I guess. Somehow the world did not come to an end and it feels refreshing ditching all that data I never actually used or looked at.

            Nobody really cared or cares that it is lost. Otherwise I would have had people asking about it.

            Look at any hoarders tv show and then look at your HD and ask yourself if you really need all that stuff on your HD.

    • Re:Market pressures. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gman003 (1693318) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:40PM (#39155473)

      I think it had more of an impact on SSD adoption.

      Before the floods, SSD prices were 10x higher than hard drives, per gigabyte. When the floods hit, hard drive prices nearly doubled, while SSD prices continued to slowly drop. That added up to SSDs being only 4-6x the per-gigabyte price of a hard drive, at least temporarily.

      I've certainly noticed a lot more people buying and using SSDs. I'll probably do so myself at some point, once I have a computer that's primarily disc-latency-bound instead of CPU- or GPU-bound in most tasks.

  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:23PM (#39155371)

    Granted, the drop in supply was more abrupt than the restoration of supply, so one would expect prices to follow the same curve.

    It may be too much to hope that this leads to more geographic diversity in manufacturing, but I hope it's at least produced some lasting acceleration toward solid-state storage.

    • I agreed up until the SSD bit. Yes, there does need to be some geographic diversity in manufacturing. I'm still not 100% sold on SSDs for Terabytes of information.
  • by grumpygrodyguy (603716) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:53PM (#39155559)

    ...but, what's keeping 4TB internal drives off the market?

    The 4TB Deskstar has been out for a while...where are Seagate and WD?

    • Re:Good News... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @12:18AM (#39155957) Homepage

      Long story short, it's a 5 platter [vr-zone.com] design and generally they've not been good in the past, too many parts to be reliable. The other manufacturers are probably waiting until they can ship a 4x1TB disk instead of 5x800GB. Hitachi is actually shipping 1x1TB disks in the 4K7000.D and 4K5000.B class, but I guess the yield of perfect platters is too low yet.

  • by DragonHawk (21256) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:57PM (#39155589) Homepage Journal

    Uhhh... unless they're using some new calendar I'm unfamiliar with, the first quarter is about two-thirds over. The fact that they're using the future tense for something which is already mostly gone makes me wonder just how well informed this article is.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday February 24, 2012 @11:42PM (#39155825)

      If you read the article (not recommended) you'll see that the authors don't have the best grasp on the English language. My guess is that they meant "will have increased", as in, by the time time we finish adding up our production this quarter, it should be around 145 Mu. Considering the writers are based in Taiwan, they can hardly be blamed for not having a complete grasp of the future perfect tense.

      • If you read the article (highly recommended) you'll see that the authors have invented a FREAKIN' TIME MACHINE!!

        FTFY

  • Drive reliability (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2012 @11:11PM (#39155661)

    Has there been any data published about the reliability of the drives coming off of the assembly line now? When the drive makers reduced their warranties, there was concern that production after the flooding would have a drop in quality. Has this been borne out, or was it unfounded speculation?

  • by macraig (621737) <mark...a...craig@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 24, 2012 @11:22PM (#39155713)

    The floods caused, what, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of infrastructure damage? Who's ultimately going to write the final checks that pay for all the repairs (and likely upgrades)? Don't we know who? It will be every person and company that buys those products and the population of Thailand. Ultimately the entire global economy pays the bulk of the cost. The One Percenters who control those factories damned sure aren't gonna foot much of the bill. So... don't be a fool and expect prices to return to where they would have been otherwise. That will take a decade.

    (It's exactly how recessions work: One Percenters feel a pinch in their ability to concentrate wealth, and in a perverse reversal of the Trickle Down theory they make all those they employ suffer instead so that they regain the full extent of that ability. The only difference in this case is that the proximal cause is an obvious natural disaster. Economists have been feeding us lies about such things for decades.)

    • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @01:05AM (#39156155) Homepage

      I'm sorry, what exactly are you raging about? Just about every pricing theory from monopoly pricing to perfect competition require that costs be passed to you. If raw material costs go up, the costs are passed to you. If labor costs go up, the costs are passed to you. If people shoplift, the costs are passed to you. If the government adds a new tax, the costs are passed to you. If natural disasters cause damage, the cost is passed to you. Every business operates on margins, that more money comes in through revenue than what leaves through cost. That goes for everyone from the 1%ers to the corner shop.

      Do you expect it to be like in good years they'll take a profit, and in bad years they'll put the money back? Seriously? I wonder how you'd like it if your salary or your bank account worked like that. No, if I owned Newegg I'd expect it to turn a profit whether disks costs $50 or $300, my job is to beat all the other stores trying to make a business, not fight the market forces. In the long run I expect it to be the same for factories, if risk of flooding is a cost of doing business we must account for that and make sure our prices reflect all the costs, it's the ones that don't that are foolish. In short, I find your idea that 1%ers should "foot the bill" rather absurd.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by macraig (621737)

        What exactly are you raging about? I was responding to the post and title's implication that everything will soon be 'back to normal' as if nothing had happened.

        I find your idea that 1%ers should "foot the bill" rather absurd.

        Quote, please, the exact portion of my comments where I made that statement? You can't. I never said it. What I clearly implied was that One Percenters don't foot their fair share of the bill.

        • They don't have a "fair share" as they aren't running a charity. All costs need to be covered by the product and nothing else.

          It's perfectly acceptable that the consumer pays for the rebuild, just as it is that they get to pay for the R&D in a new product, or the repayment of the initial investment to build the factory.

          • by macraig (621737)

            That's very descriptive of an economic jungle. Jungles have no ethic.

  • I was starting to feel spoiled with how low hard drive prices were before the floods. But now, even months after the floors 1TB drives are still more than I paid for 2TB drives before the floods, I don't feel spoiled anymore.
  • by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me&hotmail,com> on Saturday February 25, 2012 @01:23AM (#39156231) Homepage Journal

    Skyrocket the moment they think supply is threatened and then fall back down glacially while waiting for the next disaster or crises. Supply may increase as production ramps up but I'm betting that the middle men and manufacturers will keep prices high for as long as they can. Some manufacturers apparently didn't suffer the same losses but jacked prices up too so this should be no surprise at all...

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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