Are your growing storage needs threatened by the flood?

The Impact of Thailand Flooding on Enterprise Storage

Most IT professionals are aware that recent flooding in Thailand has had an impact on the Hard Disk Drive manufacturing industry.  The impact has been most immediate on disk drives used in PC’s and Industry Standard Servers (ISS) because the drive types used by these products are manufactured by the companies in these locations.  For the most part, Thailand does not supply Enterprise Hard Drives for Data Center disk arrays. 

 The most direct impact to enterprise storage from the Thailand floods is regarding component supply.  The extent of this impact over time is uncertain.  The consensus opinion from Storage Array manufacturers is that the impact of the Thailand flooding can potentially be the biggest swing factor regarding their sales over the next six months, especially toward the end of that timeline.  However, most did large buys of hard drives as the current situation was unfolding.  Therefore, they have most of the capacity they need for the next quarter, but possibly not all of it.

Although enterprise class drives are considered to be the least impacted, Softchoice still anticipates some amount of supply and pricing complexity.  The predictions of the industry analysts and the drive vendors themselves contain information that is conflicting, and most of it is changing daily in regards to scope and ultimate impact.

 Other things to keep in mind that mitigate the impact of the Thailand floods are that while Thailand is the second largest supplier of hard drives, it only makes up 25% of the Worldwide supply.  Manufacturing capacity in other regions will work to fill the gap.  Additionally, some of the manufacturing capacity in Thailand will be returned to service as early as the end of November 2011.

So what can you do to ensure disasters like this, don’t turn into a storage disaster for you?

This event underscores the importance of proper capacity planning and having capacity margin for ongoing operations.  Softchoice’s storage architecture team can help you assess the state of your current environment and design the right upgrades to meet capacity and performance needs.  These actions should be taken now since the impact on next year is uncertain.

>Learn more about our storage assessment.

Additionally, Solid State storage is unaffected by the flooding and continues to drop in price.  While there is still a gap between the price of Solid State storage and hard drives it could the right time to add solid state storage to your environment to improve service levels for your most mission critical applications.

Related Blog Post: How to plan your PC refresh through the hard drive shortage

About Ferrol Macon

Ferrol Macon’s career for more than 20 years has lived at the intersection of people and technology. He has been a part of designing storage and data management solutions for companies large and small in almost every industry.