For the last two weeks we have seen limited availability of hard drives, but since Friday stocks are now looking OK at our two main distributors.
Believe it or not, the reason for not just a local but a global hard-drive shortage is the floods in Thailand.
Thailand is the world’s second largest manufacturer of hard drives, and the recent floods have caused havoc. Many factories have closed and distribution networks become blocked.
Seagate, the maker of our often-recommended types of hard drive, has factories in Thailand, and while they’ve managed to keep their production lines running they’ve warned of parts shortages further down the line.
Another fear is that there may also be an impact on PC production, with hard drives still being a major component. Another manufacturer, Western Digital, says that its Thailand-based production facilities account for about 60% of its hard drive production.
Some analysts are predicting larger shortages in early 2012, but many people say that it’s hard to gauge the extent of the problem at this stage.
At Priority IT, we are making a number of recommendations:
- Ensure you have a robust backup system. If a hard drive in your IT system fails, you need to at least ensure your data is safe – and we can often supply temporary drives installed with your backed-up data should a replacement drive not be immediately available.
- If you’re considering upgrading to new or additional hard drive, order it sooner rather than later. Products will be made available from manufacturers to distributors and from distributors to suppliers such as ourselves on a first-come-first-served basis. Ordering now will also enable you to avoid any price rises that come as a result of product scarcity.