For those who didn’t know, the Thailand Floods that have been havocking the residents and industries for the past 126 days and counting have greatly affected the I.T industry, with the severe shortage of Hard Disk Drives being amongst one of the most problematic for business and consumers alike.
Thailand is one of the world’s largest producers of hard disk and with the recent floods; many of the factories that make hard disk drives have been flooded, including the Western Digital factory that distributes 25% of the world’s drives. As of this week, Western Digital has been able to get one of their plants, that was flooded on October 15th, 2011, back up and running on November 30th, 2011 with flood related costs estimated at between $225 and $275 million USD but the shortage is expected to last for quite a few months with some analysts expecting the industry to be “rationed” until March 2012.
The price of internal HDD’s has gone up around 150% since the disaster and this has caused many retailers to charge extra due to their short supplies, and eBayers to flog their old IDE, SATA and even SCSI drives for modestly high rate, considering the fact that they wouldn’t score much for them if it weren’t for the desperation of those that refuse to delete content to make extra space (like myself).
Even web hosting companies are finding it a little hard to tame their data load, with many of the “unlimited” hosts having to enforce data throttling against their users to keep things stable.
In the long run, those that are worried about the floods hurting the computer industry and costing consumers more need to remember that 53 people have died, over nine million people have been affected, 400,000 acres of land have been submerged and around 5,000 households have been evacuated as of December 3rd 2011 – making the Thailand floods a little under-reacted compared to the Japan Earthquakes that occurred earlier this year.