Disk Drive Shortages hit home.

Disk Drive Shortages hit home. In November 2011 there were major floods in Thailand that effected the Information industry in profound ways. The Disk manufacturing plants of the worlds largest manufactures suffered widespread damage.


The results are far reaching as it relates to Personal Information Management and how we as individuals secure, protect and preserve our personal information.

The heart of what happened is as follows. The two largest manufactures of disk drives are Seagate, and Western Digital. Both suffered damage.

Thailand flood picture of western digital Manufacturing facility.

Production in their Thailand facilities has been crippled. Each of these firms has very large contractual obligations they need to meet to the major Computer Manufactures like IBM, HP, and Dell. They also have major obligations to the largest Storage Systems manufactures like EMC, Hitachi, and NetApp. By far, the majority of product is being supplied to these mega firms. These firms are exercising their clout to get the lions share of production. And will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

A fact I have repeated many times is that there is more information being generated in the world today than there is media to be able to store it. This fact is even more evident today after the storm.

The immediate result is and will continue to put individuals at risk of losing their personal information because those that follow proper procedures to consistently back up their information on disk, do not have access to new disk because of the shortages. (Most of the production is going to the large firms.)

This past weekend I went to three major chain retail stores that supply the majority of our personal devices. (Fry’s, CompUSA, and Best Buy.)

Fry's Inventory 4-12'

Fry's Inventory 4-12'

The situation is dire. Please note the LACK OF INVENTORY!! See the pictures of the shelves that represent the inventory on hand. And there is not much else on the way for the foreseeable future!!

Some data points: Fry’s generates massive volumes of individual disk drive sales. The store I visited told me they are selling in the area of 400 Drives per week. That is 2,000 per month or 25,000 per year. There are 32 Fry’s mega stores that equates to 800,000 per year. This number is approximately 1/2 of the normal volume due to availability issues. And supply not getting any better. The shelves were bare. They did not know when the next shipment would be.

Looking at the shelves in BestBuy, and CompUSA, I must conclude that the story is the same. Prices are raising due to the lack of supply.

I highly suggest that you secure at least one add-on storage device to backup your systems, as soon as possible. If you do not back up your systems regularly, you are at continued risk of losing your information. If you cannot secure an add-on storage device at reasonable prices, you will not back-up your information. The situation is getting worse!! Act now!! Thank me later.


Peter Gailey
The PIMCoach


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