back to article World may be short 70 MILLION disk drives

Tied in a strangling knot by the Thai floods, the world could be shy of 70 million disk drives this quarter, sending retail prices rocketing, limiting PC supplies and creating an opening for flash drives. Taiwanese manufacturers in the PC supply chain reckon we will see 110 to 130 million hard disk drives (HDD) this quarter …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    20 t0 30% rise in prices?

    20 to 30% rise in prices in Taiwan? Then why are we seeing drives more than double:?

    Someone, somewhere, is making a tidy profit......

  2. Randolf McKinley

    Flash? It's a no-brainer anyway ...

    Spinning metal is on the way out permanently anyway, as inexorably as punch tape and the floppy drive did before it. The price and capacity and lifetime differences are shrinking all the time, and it's inevitable that flash will eventually dominate, and I'd not be surprised if that was within the next few years, 10 at the most.

    1. Tomato42
      Thumb Down

      Tape is still used in wide deployments. We won't bee seeing spinning rust marginalized to datacenters for at least 30-40 years.

  3. Brian Miller 1

    Hybrid Disks = FAIL

    Title says it all. RIP spinning magneto drive... Hello FLASH (AAAAHHH aHHHH, he'll save every one of us!)

    request flash gordon emoticon...

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. {¯`·.¸_LÅMߤ¥_¸.·´¯}

    No it is NOT a no brainer...

    If I had a penny for every time I see people writing 'SSD will replace HDD', I couple probably buy a new SSD fab for my own personal supply. In the next 10 years THAT WONT HAPPEN. SSD enterprise is where the money is and where the SSD manufacturers are investing. SSD wont be the mass market adoption every man and his dogs thinks it will be. Production capacity is an issue and the big players will not want their technology commoditized for low profit margins.

    HDDs will be with us for a very very long time. Applications will be served by the right type of memory, cheap 1TB SSDs will not be here any time soon.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Serves the manufacturers right

    I seem to remember a saying about eggs and baskets. Sure, offshore everything to the same country/region. Nice one.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And where do you propose all of this extra flash is made?

    Most Fabs tend to be created for chips, have a small run of NAND to test them then are used to make chips. The NAND can be made once the process is no good for top end chips any more.

    Think about it, would you build a hugely expensive fab for building chips that are going down in price and therefore reducing margin, or would you use that same fab to make high margin processors?

    Even if flash become $0.01 a GB tomorrow, there just isn't the capacity out there to produce enough of the stuff to store all the data in the world on disk and tape.

    What I think companies need to do is look towards archiving off the data they don't use any more and get it off the existing infrastructure. That way you can create space, without having to buy more and more storage.

    It appears there are now some archive vendors out there who are willing to offer more than just a money back SLA if your data doesn't survive and for those with regulatory issues or important data, that seems like a good idea. One of these even offers a 100% guarantee on the data out being the data you put in.

    That plus you get rid of a whole load of cap-ex when people are forced to cut and avoid paying for more disks at an expensive time.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    For SSD to dominate we need larger drives and cheaper prices. And I can't see that happening yet.

    You also need OS support for the TRIM. That's fine for computers with modern OS's but what about other applications? HD's aren't just used in your PC, but your PVR, security systems, and in industrial uses.

    Which also comes back to cost because your average PVR uses a cheap as chips (well usually!) but large 5400RPM drive. Again for SSD's to win the day you need that low price combined with high performance. For applications like that speed doesn't come into it.

    As much as I love the SSD's I have, affordable units are at capacities I was using nearly 10 years ago and at a higher price. I really hope it isn't 10 years before we see a 2tb SSD for under 100 quid. But I fear it's all further away than we'd all like.

  9. John P

    I know prices won't fall to spinning-metal prices, but if they could fall just enough that an 80-120Gb SSD doesn't cost me an arm and a leg, I'll be a very happy dev!

    1. Tomato42

      You've got very cheap legs if 80GB drives are worth as much...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SSD dominance won't happen

    SSDs won't overtake HDD technology. It's too expensive, too problematic etc.

    Just look at how TFT screens never took off and replaced CRTs. They were just too expensive and too problematic, with poor viewing angles, dead pixels and poor colour reproduction.

    Just another silly idea.

    1. Tomato42

      My two 22" CRT (that's 20" effective) screens running at 2048x1536 disagree.

      Maybe Apple will finally make high DPI screens actually available when people see what a 2048x1536 10" screen looks like.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Did 0.20mm horizontal dot pitch CRT monitors even exist?

        I've forced the OS to send resolutions that high to smaller CRTs before but that doesn't mean it's properly displaying all 2048x1536 pixels. The monitor only has so many phosphor dots, beyond that limit it's just aliasing.

        I also found with CRTs that you could choose any two of the following when selecting a display mode:

        1) High resolution

        2) High refresh rate

        3) High detail (i.e. low blur)

      2. GotenXiao


        I think your sarcasm detector is broken.

      3. bhtooefr

        That's funny... 15" 2048x1536 LCD isn't impressed by your 22" 2048x1536 CRTs.

        Nor is my 22.2" 3840x2400 LCD.

  11. {¯`·.¸_LÅMߤ¥_¸.·´¯}

    eggs and baskets

    @AC 'serves the manufacturers right'. Tech industries call it clustering, think about the pool of talent all in one place (no flood pun intended). Silicon valley is of course one of the better known cases of clustering.....and it sits on the Hayward fault. Earthquake city.

    Talking about eggs in one basket....try London, as this is also on a FLOOD PLAIN,%20City%20of%20London&lang=_e&layerGroups=default&textonly=off#x=536064&y=178206&lg=1,&scale=7

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Little tip

      If you want to share URLs, shorten them. Even with a a preview function that TinyURL offers the thing will be at least legible and not contain characters that can trip up a CMS (Note to El Reg. the URL looks interesting in Safari :-).

  12. Dani Eder

    Less Panic Please

    On an annual basis the shortage is 10% of a year's supply. So everyone just delays their purchases by a month, and does some housekeeping to clean up their unneeded files a bit. We can survive.

    (mine's the one with the USB hard drive in the left pocket)

  13. Federica Monsone

    The drive shortages in Thailand are indeed a serious issue but end users should not panic; to borrow a much-loved cliché this is the time to really do more with less. The drive shortage and price increase validate the critical need for deployment of storage optimisation solutions such as thin provisioning, deduplication and performance and capacity monitoring. With the right tools in place, storage and storage network utilization rates can be driven up dramatically, enabling deferment of new storage and SAN purchases by up to 50%.

    Len Rosenthal, Vice President of Marketing, Virtual Instruments

  14. Chris Schmid

    This is like a Black Swan for the storage industry...

    ...and all naive players who maintain their credo and lobbyist tactics with customers that storage will become cheaper and cheaper. It is the right time now to be really "green" in IT and not waste storage anymore. Companies can, as Len pointed out, reduce their storage requirements by 50% or more using the right technologies such as virtualisation, thin provisioning, dedupe on backup and content-aware native format optimization (NFO) on primary storage.

    Black swans exist, thank you Nassim Taleb. It is a tragedy and the human catastrophe in Thailand, but in the end it will contribute to greener IT...

    Chris Schmid, COO, balesio AG

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