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PC Makers Run Short of Popular Drives

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the shortfall-highprice dept.

Data Storage 353

Lucas123 writes "The impact from the monsoonal flooding in Thailand over the past three months is now being felt by users as computer system manufacturers are unable to meet supply needs. Lenovo told its corporate customers this week that is has run out of a number of drives including several types of 7200rpm and 5400rpm HDDs. 'Akin to the hysteria when banks defaulted in the 1930[s], PC orders across the industry are being placed for which HD supply does not exist,' a Lenovo rep wrote to his clients. IDC this week said the HDD shortages that have resulted from the flooding of four major Thailand industrial parks will likely be felt into 2013. Western Digital and Toshiba have been hit the hardest. PC shipments are also expected to fall short by 3.8 million units in the first quarter of 2012 due to component supply shortages. Meanwhile, there has been some indication of retail HDD price stabilization, but for some of the most popular hard drives prices continue to soar."

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Don't bitch. (5, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322420)

We're short on hard drives, and the factory workers are short on homes because of flooding.

Re:Don't bitch. (5, Informative)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322434)

Not only that, but many people have died too. It's currently over 600 deaths.

Re:Don't bitch. (5, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322452)

Plus people have cancer, so no one has the right to complain about anything.

Re:Don't bitch. (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322478)

In fact world would be much happier place if people did actually stop complaining about unimportant things. Indeed, about an year ago I got seriously ill and doctors were sure I wasn't going to wake up and that I was going to die. I didn't, but after that it's hard to bitch and complain about little things.

Re:Don't bitch. (5, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322538)

Yeah, everything would be great if people weren't people, but they are, so it's important to learn to work with it.

Re:Don't bitch. (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322700)

unimportant things

Right. Now if only someone could define what that means...

Re:Don't bitch. (5, Funny)

Multiplicity (2498210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322990)

Back to complaining then, boys! We still got until someone comes with "the definition"!

Re:Don't bitch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323094)

Positive statement of the day? "I have cancer, so I can't bitch about it."

Re:Don't bitch. (4, Funny)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322528)

Dont you understand, this is serious! Its TOTALLY worth comparing to the 1930s depression!

Nice summary tho, totally a good comparison. Might want to throw in a comparison to the loss of drives being similar to the loss of lives in the holocaust, for good measure.

Re:Don't bitch. (4, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322550)

It is not comparing the severity of the situation. It is comparing the feedback reaction making that makes the situation worse.

Re:Don't bitch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322616)

godwin's law!

Re:Don't bitch. (5, Funny)

Pastor Jake (2510522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322474)

My fellow-believer,

Despite the less-than-Christian wording of the title of your comment, I must agree with your overall sentiment. It pains me that during the season of Christ's birth, consumers are complaining of a shortage of a material luxury when there are so many people who lost loved-ones and the basic necessities they need to survive because of the flooding. My prayers go out to those affected and those who wanted Santa to bring them that extra 10TB RAID 0+1 array; may the Lord provide the former with what they need, and may the latter be cured of their addiction to pornography.

Your respectful peer,
Jake

Re:Don't bitch. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322518)

I know for a fact you aren't a christian. Your a neocommunist.

Re:Don't bitch. (3, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322548)

And considering Thailand is a Buddhist country (the good Theravada kind), it doesn't really fit either.

Re:Don't bitch. (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322848)

I know for a fact you aren't a christian. Your a neocommunist.

I doubt you know that for a fact. But now we all know for a fact you're semiliterate.

rj

Re:Don't bitch. (2, Funny)

RandomAvatar (2487198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322672)

but what if we don't WANT to be cured of our addiction to pornography ....

Re:Don't bitch. (5, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322946)

My fellow-believer,

Despite the less-than-Christian wording of the title of your comment, I must agree with your overall sentiment. It pains me that during the season of Christ's birth, consumers are complaining of a shortage of a material luxury when there are so many people who lost loved-ones and the basic necessities they need to survive because of the flooding. My prayers go out to those affected and those who wanted Santa to bring them that extra 10TB RAID 0+1 array; may the Lord provide the former with what they need, and may the latter be cured of their addiction to pornography.

Your respectful peer,
Jake

No Christian needs a 10TB RAID0+1 array - Jesus would use RAID6 (with a battery backed caching RAID controller)

Re:Don't bitch. (2)

Multiplicity (2498210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323038)

No Christian needs a 10TB RAID0+1 array - Jesus would use RAID6 (with a battery backed caching RAID controller)

Nope, he actually would use RAID5, and thrash the array because a) one disk totally failing on him and b) another one failing reads three times during recovery. But don't worry, somehow a three-day ddrescue would finally bring back all data (to be saved in "the cloud", of course).

Re:Don't bitch. (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322826)

Furthermore after the floods they may be out of jobs too, a lot of factories may very well pick up and move elsewhere(most likely China)

Re:Don't bitch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322934)

those slaves never had a chance

Scam??? (1, Interesting)

spaceplanesfan (2120596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322436)

I might be wrong, but I feel, really feel like the flooding wasn't that big factor

but rather its great excuse to jack up the prices.

I remember similar story about RAM and Taiwan earthquake, when it was found out that damages to facilities were really minimal.

Re:Scam??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322450)

the employees are either dead or homeless now. have fun running 2 hard drive factories alone, in a wasteland caused by a flood because those people have bigger problems than work.

Re:Scam??? (2)

FairAndHateful (2522378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322704)

I don't think it's just an excuse to jack up prices. Guy at work today was trying to get a hard drive to build a server, and I hear him on the phone. "Wait, what do you mean they're no available anywhere?"

It makes me wonder why we're building so many in the same place. Doesn't anyone remember the saying at putting all of your eggs in one basket?

That said, compared to the effect on the people, it seems trivial.

Re:Scam??? (3, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322832)

Uhhh...Tigerdirect was selling a Seagate 1.5Tb for $69 the other day, the 1Tb external for $99 so there are drives still out there, you just got to keep an eye out. I would suggest having an email account where you get the daily emails from ALL the major and minor tech stores, from Tiger and Newegg to Surpluscomputers and Geeks. That way since most of these things are first come you can jump in quick enough. BTW sellout.Woot! usually has all the sales listed so i'd add them to my daily checklist.

I'm just glad i got my 6Tb worth of space before the flood along with taking care of my long time customers and family. all i have left in SATA drives is a single 80Gb and that one is going in the new quad i'm building my GF for Xmas. All she does is FB and IM anyway so 80Gb with win 7 HP will be just perfect for her. I just hope the guy bringing me some off lease boxes this weekend has drives in them, because i'm down to a handful of IDE drives from 40Gb to 200Gb and then that's it. Lucky for me this time of year i already have the new boxes sold and all that is left is the off lease for those looking for a last minute affordable PC.

Man the moron that thought putting all the eggs in one basket ought to be FIRED. Does anybody know if the Maxtor factories were located there too? Because it seems like all I'm seeing now is Seagate drives and I'm wondering if they are not just using the Maxtor facility and slapping Seagate labels on them.

Re:Scam??? (5, Interesting)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323074)

Uh, all the eggs were not in one basket. I heard figures of around 10-20% of world hard drive production that was in Thailand. Not even sure that ALL the production in Thailand was affected. Then there is sub-component production, which complicates the picture.

The real problem is that there wasn't excess capacity. Also, the just-in-time inventory fad where nobody actually stocks anything any more makes any disturbance like this much more critical. But mostly I think there are elements in the manufacturing, distribution, and retailing chain that are orgasmic about the opportunity for gouging afforded by the disturbance. As always, it's very difficult to pinpoint the profiteers, but they are clearly there.

Hope you guys are enjoying the invisible hand of the ingrown corrupt super-capitalist market which you worship. It's more like an invisible phallus raping you in your sleep.

Re:Scam??? (5, Informative)

Tynin (634655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322802)

I might be wrong, but I feel, really feel like the flooding wasn't that big factor

but rather its great excuse to jack up the prices.

I remember similar story about RAM and Taiwan earthquake, when it was found out that damages to facilities were really minimal.

Wish it was a scam... but I cannot help but feel sorry for their loss. Please check out these pics, showing the damage done, I haven't been able to find any newer pics, but the damage is beyond bad.

To address your concerns on this hdd scam, I present pics of from a Western Digital production plant:
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/11/1/photo-horrific-images-of-flooded-western-digital-factory.aspx [brightsideofnews.com]

I couldn't bring myself to look for pictures/video from the surrounding area, but my heart does go out to them.

Re:Scam??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322914)

I still see a few more floors that are untouched by water!

Re:Scam??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322880)

Exactly. I too call BULLSHIT!

Re:Scam??? (4, Informative)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323010)

What do they expect? (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322456)

That's what they get for putting all (or most of) their eggs in one foreign basket.

I mean, sheesh. It's not like "single point of failure" is an unknown concept or anything.

Re:What do they expect? (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322490)

they gambled.

we all lost.

isn't a totally free market GREAT??

no one watches out or cares. its just a blind grab for short term revenues. no one thinks long term. no one does, anymore.

its surprising this hasn't happened *more*.

silly humans. we can't plan for shit, as a species.

Re:What do they expect? (2, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322532)

Natural disasters can happen anywhere in the world, it's just a matter of which kind. This is one of the largest floods Thailand has had within 100 years. You really can't plan for such, or otherwise you can't really do anything if you're constantly afraid of something happening. These factories aren't cheap either. Of course, you're always free to start your own factory and "care" more.

Re:What do they expect? (5, Insightful)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322634)

Actually, you CAN plan for this. By, you know, not putting 75% of the entire world's manufacturing of hard drive motors into a single location.

Re:What do they expect? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322744)

Hopefully this will become a case study for how diversification of supply chain can be immensely profitable - if any one of those companies had split their factories 50/50 with another location, they could basically print money for the next 12 months by undercutting the entire rest of the market by 50% (which would still be above what prices were before the flooding)

It's amazing how companies don't learn - Toyota & Honda did the exact same thing by having a diverse set of models instead of focusing only on gas-guzzling SUV's, and all of a sudden when gas prices skyrocketed they made a fortune.

Really?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38323092)

You mean the world isn't a &variable?

Surely you jest...

--

Re:What do they expect? (5, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322540)

isn't a totally free market GREAT??

When you consider that it resulted in a price drop for 2TB HDDs from $250 or so in 2010 to $75 as of 3 months ago, yes, it is great.

The "spike in prices" is only a spike because of how cheap everything had gotten, and it only got so cheap because of heavy competition. Second guessing things and claiming it would have been better with heavier regulation and restricted ability to outsource is moronic.

Re:What do they expect? (3, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322916)

You're confusing "influence of free market" with "influence of technological progress". Former had little to nothing to do with prices of medium going down as technological progress made better technologies and processes available for use.

Re:What do they expect? (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322584)

they gambled.

we all lost.

They tried to lower costs and considered the risks, but got zapped anyways. Maybe they learned something. I've enjoyed satisfyingly low prices combined with generous leaps in capacity for years now, so I can't see that I "lost". A year from now, they will be back on the bargain treadmill.

Re:What do they expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322638)

"They"? Who is "they"?

Sorry to bust your idealistic bubble, but many think in the long term.

They're just not thinking about *YOUR* long term.

Pull your own weight and quityerbitchen.

Re:What do they expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322798)

they gambled.

we all lost.

isn't a totally free market GREAT??

no one watches out or cares. its just a blind grab for short term revenues. no one thinks long term. no one does, anymore.

its surprising this hasn't happened *more*.

silly humans. we can't plan for shit, as a species.

What? where else can you have all those slaves making hard drives?

Re:What do they expect? (0, Troll)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322814)

isn't a totally free market GREAT??

It is, yes. But what you have here is just about the opposite of that - a steaming pile of regulation and taxation that drove a large percentage of the hard drive manufacturing industry to one geographic area (a friendly regime).

All the US plants weren't closed because US workers were cheap and the business environment was conducive to low-friction business.

silly humans. we can't plan for shit, as a species.

True that. And yet the central planners spend all their days believing that they can because they're smarter than everybody else.

Re:What do they expect? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322950)

"And yet the central planners spend all their days believing that they can because they're smarter than everybody else."

You said it.

Re:What do they expect? (4, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323056)

we all lost.

No, we didn't. We all won. Even with the price increases, hard disks are available and the price per terabyte is ridiculously cheap. The only people who think they lost, are the whiney bitches who are comparing the prices to what they were a couple months ago. Try comparing the cost to what it was two years ago, and terabytes are slightly cheaper except they also use fewer SATA ports.

What we're seeing isn't expensiveness; it's volatility. If you can't handle that the prices sometimes vary between "dirt cheap" and "cheaper than dirt," then boo-fucking-hoo. DO NOT make me start sentences with "I remember when," you spoiled little whipper-snapper.

Re:What do they expect? (4, Funny)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322854)

Seriously. They should have built a RAID5 of manufacturing plants.

This is what you get... (2)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322466)

...when you overly optimize for business friendliness. Perhaps moving everything to the Third World was a bad idea after all.

Re:This is what you get... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322504)

That's a fairly interesting conclusion to draw. I guess when all you have is an axe, everything looks like a grindstone.

Re:This is what you get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322510)

Third world sounds so.....................20th Century?

No HHDs = SSDs? (2)

djh2400 (1362925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322470)

Might this shortage help spur interest in SSDs?

Re:No HHDs = SSDs? (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322506)

why, because SSD's float?

(too soon?)

Re:No HHDs = SSDs? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322516)

That's silly. Even with the current rise in hard drive prices, SSDs are still terribly expensive by comparison. Otherwise, SSDs would have already been seen as competitive against hard drives even before this supply problem.

Only 2x or 3x for a lot better performance? Not everyone would have jumped on it but there still would have been plenty of performance minded consumers lining up to buy them.

Even with limited supply, it still makes much more sense to escalate to larger drive sizes before going to SSD.

Re:No HHDs = SSDs? (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322844)

That's silly. Even with the current rise in hard drive prices, SSDs are still terribly expensive by comparison. Otherwise, SSDs would have already been seen as competitive against hard drives even before this supply problem.

Only 2x or 3x for a lot better performance? Not everyone would have jumped on it but there still would have been plenty of performance minded consumers lining up to buy them.

Even with limited supply, it still makes much more sense to escalate to larger drive sizes before going to SSD.

Terribly expensive if you look at price per GB, but not terribly expensive if you're just interested in getting a nice, high performance, low power, quiet drive, and don't need a ton of disk space, then SSD's are quite reasonable.

Newegg sells a 120GB SSD for about the same price as a 1TB hard disk drive. Most people (well, maybe not the Slashdot crowd) don't need a TB of disk space and the SSD will work quite nicely for them.

When I upgraded from a 1TB drive to a 64GB SSD in my desktop, I kept the 1TB drive for my large storage needs. It turns out that except for a single DVD that I ripped a few months ago, I haven't stored anything on the 1TB drive, and still have lots of room on the 64GB drive. My 8GB of photos and 12GB of music still leave me lots of room to grow. I imaging that by the time I do outgrow the 64GB drive, I'll be able to buy a 256GB or even 512GB SSD for the same or less price than I paid for the 64GB drive.

I think the problem that computer manufacturers face is that when a consumer sees a computer with a 500GB hard drive next to one with a 120GB SSD, they are going to go for the 500GB hard drive since bigger numbers are better.

Re:No HHDs = SSDs? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322920)

That's silly. Even with the current rise in hard drive prices, SSDs are still terribly expensive by comparison.

It depends on what you are comparing.

If cost per gigabyte is your main concern then HDDs arround 2TB are still your best bet by far.

OTOH if you are comparing cost of a system drive for an office desktop things are much closer. A 60GB drive will let you install windows,office etc and still have half free. Looking at my local supplier the cheapest sata HDD* is arround £70 while a 60GB SSD is arround £80.

In the early days of the crisis there were smaller SATA drives available cheaper but at least at my local supplier they have sold out now.

*there is a 120GB IDE drive for £33 but afaict most modern motherboards don't have IDE.

Re:No HHDs = SSDs? (3, Informative)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323082)

*there is a 120GB IDE drive for £33 but afaict most modern motherboards don't have IDE.

So, if your motherboard does not have IDE, it is still cheaper to buy an IDE drive and a IDE-SATA adapter.

Re:No HHDs = SSDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322562)

SSDs aren't as popular because they are expensive. I'm not going to switch from platter drives to SSDs because one is as expensive as the other. I'll just wait until the price drops back to a sane level.

SSD Time (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322500)

It's time to make the switch to better speed, performance and reliability.

price of SDD is still more then HDD of the same si (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322520)

size so there price will need to come down as well.

Re:SSD Time (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322552)

Better reliability is a somewhat dubious claim.

Given the current pricing on SSDs, reasonably priced drives represent the amount of storage available on laptop hard drives 10 years ago. If I am not using my old laptop drive from 2002 it is not because it's not reliable enough but simply due to the fact that it was overtaken by technology.

Until stories of people chugging along on 5 or 7 year old SSDs are commonplace, the technology simply won't have the track record to justify such claims.

Re:SSD Time (0)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322566)

It's time to make the switch to better speed, performance and reliability.

SSDs will remain the toys of those who want large e-penises (replace with organ of choice) and those few who really "need" the speed until the price comes down to something less than gold pressed diamonds.

Not to say they're worthless. Just vastly overpriced and overrated for the vast majority of people.

Re:SSD Time (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322600)

They're really good as OS drives or your most commonly used programs, but not for storage. That's why I have both SSD and normal drive on my laptop too.

Re:SSD Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322788)

What? This comment is insane. Anyone that owns an modern PC has one bottleneck left in daily use. The spinning-disk harddrive! An intel 120g SSD can be had for 189 anywhere. Thats fine for any home user's OS, games, whatever drive. They make computers wonderfully snappy. Every single person needs one. The user can feel the responsiveness in every action they take. Save a file, load a level, BOOT goddamn boot and hibernate alone make it a good buy. With an SSD you finally feel like you have the computer you'd be using in the year 2011. They also breathe new life into 4200/5400rpm drive'd business laptops! Find any Dell your end users hate and swap in an SSD, you can even cheap out and get a 60gb drive for them, as all user files should be saved to the network anyway. Your users will be happy with you for once. Im going overboard, but its outright crazy to say they are overrated. Consumer SSDs are the only impactful piece of technology for John Q PCOwner, everything else is just esoteric numbers that dont reflect the user experience.

Re:SSD Time (5, Informative)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322846)

You've obviously not used a machine with the OS and apps on a SSD.
I will not be getting another computer without a SSD.
Sure, for bulk data, such as music, movies and photos, these all live on spinning disks, but for things where latency and throughput matters, SSDs are more than worth the additional cost.

Configure you machine with a small (120GB is usually enough) SSD. Put your OS and all your Apps on this disk. Put everything else on a multi-TB spinning disk and you will feel like it's a whole new computer.

You'd be crazy (or just too rich to care I suppose) if you wanted your media collection to live on SSD, but even for that hybrid disks are pretty good in a lot of usage scenarios.

You'll also get little to no benefit putting SSDs on a RAID controller - most RAID controllers are optimised for the access times and throughput of regular hard disks, even if in this case regular means a 15k RPM SAS disk.

Re:SSD Time (2)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322892)

SSDs of respectable make and model can be found as low as a dollar per gigabyte these days. Either you've never used an SSD in your daily computing, or you have a very unusual perception of value. An SSD as an OS/application drive is by far the most noticeable upgrade that you can perform on a current desktop computer.

Re:SSD Time (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322932)

They are neither over priced or overrated. Just misunderstood.

Gen 1 was shit, much like the first automobiles. Just a curiosity for the early adopters and extremophiles. The latest ones are not really over priced. That's just what it costs, which reflects what the market will bear. Sure, there might be price fixing, but for what it *is*, it seems reasonable depending on the model and features.

It is most certainly not overrated. The performance increase is quite substantial over spinning media. Form factor and density are pretty darn good too. Let's not forget that with no moving parts you don't have to worry about letting it fall. Of course, spinning media has some features to mitigate that, but SSD mitigates it by fundamental design.

My own laptop has a small 64GB SSD and two 1TB "normal" drives. The responsiveness of the OS *skyrocketed*. You don't need huge SSDs. The smallest SSD on market would probably suffice.

This is where they are misunderstood. With proper configuration you can move all user data to the larger cheaper drives and use the SSD for core files and temporary storage/cache. Even with Windows 7 bloated to all hell I still have a lot of programs installed (faster to have their files on the SSD too) with almost 1/3rd of the drive free. It's nice to not have to defrag either. With TRIM support the reliability and lifetime of the drive goes up quite a bit too.

Where they are not overrated at all is server applications. You can build a very very fast DB server with some SSD's. So there are valid enterprise use cases for SSDs when you compare their costs against vastly more expensive solutions delivering higher I/O and throughput such as the ioDrive2. There are quite a few drawbacks to a PCI-E implementation of SSD that can balance against the resultant bottleneck of the SATA bus. However, with 6 GB/s SATA that is less of a concern and there are some pretty decent SATA RAID controllers that can better handle the load. For a number of database applications you don't need a large amount of space, but higher performance. Build a RAID with cheaper and more affordable 64GB SSDs with a decent controller ($1500-200$) and you have a storage solution at about 25% of the cost of the enterprise PCI-E SSD solutions.

Like I said, very misunderstood.

The vast majority of people would see a tangible and cost justified benefit simply be using it for the core OS files. I know I am.

Re:SSD Time (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322964)

If you try and use SSDs for bulk storage you will waste a ton of money.

Use them for files with heavy random use patterns though (e.g. your OS and apps) and you will get a big boost in responsiveness for a relatively small outlay. Especially if the machine is a bit short on ram and can't take a ram upgrade.

Re:SSD Time (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322966)

It's time to make the switch to better speed, performance and reliability.

SSDs will remain the toys of those who want large e-penises (replace with organ of choice) and those few who really "need" the speed until the price comes down to something less than gold pressed diamonds.

Not to say they're worthless. Just vastly overpriced and overrated for the vast majority of people.

With a 64GB or 120GB SSD costing around the same as a 1TB had drive, I think the hard drive is the big e-penis, and the SSD is for people that know that size doesn't matter (for most people).

Re:SSD Time (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322572)

Speed and performance are the same thing, and reliability is pointing towards HDDs in terms of controller reliability, media reliability and amount of bugs due to technology being still in infancy.

And of course, let's not forget price per amount of storage.

China to the rescue? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322512)

Why isn't China in the hard drive business?

Isn't China one of the leading rare earth metals exporter at the moment?

Re:China to the rescue? (5, Interesting)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322820)

Why isn't China in the hard drive business?

That's actually a very good question.

There's an parallel situation with semiconductor manufacturing. There's a interesting paucity of foreign companies with fabs in China. [wikipedia.org] . There's only about three entries from foreign companies. All the other fabs in China belong to the native Chinese company SMIC, which has substantial state investment... as well as a history of IP-theft lawsuits.

It's almost as if semiconductor manufacturing corporations were smart enough to foresee the long-term consequences of building up their own future competitors.

Re:China to the rescue? (2)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323050)

And note that while idevices and similar are "made" in china they are made by chinese contractors, not by the western companies that sell them.

Afaict the trick to dealing with china is to keep your assets (both "IP" and tangible) OUT of the country. Sure get em to fab and assemble the PCBs and put them in boxes (it's not as though they will learn anything they couldn't learn by buying your product and dissecting it) but don't put anything in that you can't afford to lose (and if you are a big company that extends to having the dealing with local companies be done in a manner that does not involve your executives traveling to china where they can be held hostage on trumped-up charges).

Clearly something is wrong here... (5, Funny)

The Optimizer (14168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322534)

... because just before drive production went offline I finally outfitted my new home server with 9TB of storage for just $420. Pretty much my entire life, it's been that once I go and buy some computer hardware, two weeks (or however long the return period is) later, the price is guaranteed to be cut significantly (or a much better version is released).

Someone needs to check the alignment of the universe.

Re:Clearly something is wrong here... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322588)

Here's hoping that the current batch of drives last long enough for the prices to correct themselves.

I just bought a bunch of drives myself too. It had been a few years since buying the last batch and seemed like a good time to get ahead of the older batch of aging hard drives.

Re:Clearly something is wrong here... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322768)

Someone needs to check the alignment of the universe.

you're right, its out.

be a dear and find us a left handed monkey wrench.

Re:Clearly something is wrong here... (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322790)

I got lucky as well.

I just happened to have finished over the past year buying 2TB drives during various $69-$89 Fry's Electronics specials.

I'm currently using ten of them. :-)

In unrelated news... (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322560)

In unrelated news, my desktop's hard drive just failed 15 minutes ago. Fuck.

Re:In unrelated news... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322810)

A client that I perform server maintenance for just had two drives drop out in the same day (one for each server). So two RAID5 containers are now in a degraded state and their out of warranty to boot. Not my fault, I warned and pleaded with them years ago about renewal. Anyways, yes. Drives always seem to go bad at the most inconvenient of times. It's almost a law a nature or something.

Re:In unrelated news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322900)

Murphy's law, Anything that can go wrong will go wrong (at the worst possible time). Seems like he knew what he was talking about!

We Should Be Making Them Here (0)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322622)

HD's and a lot of other stuff. No, its not the labor rates, its the taxes. We can't do squat as long as we have a 35% corporate tax rate Federally combined with an average 4.5% state tax rate to give us the 2nd-highest corporate tax rate on the planet. All we need to do is abolish the IRS and the income tax, totally, and we'll have an economic boom of biblical proportions. And, we'll make hard drives, too. Its called The Fair Tax. It abolishes the IRS, and taxes consumption instead. It will reindustrialize America.

Consumption tax on whose backs? (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322770)

Taxing consumption would appear to shift the tax burden onto those for whom consumption is a greater part of income, namely the working classes that can least afford a tax hike. Wikipedia's article about the FairTax proposal claims that even with a deduction equal to poverty income, the tax rate for the middle class will rise and that for the top 1 percent will fall. Or what am I missing?

Re:Consumption tax on whose backs? (3, Informative)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322910)

You are missing the fact that the well-to-do's spending on their toys far outstrips what they've been paying in income taxes, and especially since they are so masterful at hiding their income from the taxes. You also have to study the Fair Tax to know that no poor person pays a penny of Fair Tax. Also good to know is the fact the the income taxes are highly regressive, starting with 15.3% of the 1st dollar that the poor person makes, in the form of the payroll taxes (social security and medicare) and are further compounded by the hidden income tax in the price of all American-manufactured goods, which amounts to, on average, about 22% of the selling price of those goods. Add everything together, and the poor are being crushed by up to 37% taxes on their income right now. The Fair Tax would reduce that to zero via the mechanism of a prebate, which is essentially the gov't giving every social-security-number-carrying American enough money each month to pay the Fair Tax on income up to the poverty level. So, if you are making the poverty level, you pay no tax. If you are making less than the poverty level, you get a bit of a subsidy. If you are making millions, you're going to be sending millions to Washington when you buy your next $70 million dollar yacht.

As for the middle class taxes rising, my own taxes would fall about $2K, and at somewhat less than $100K income, I'm square in the middle of the middle class. The testimony of 2 Fair Tax experts before the house ways and means committee earlier this year stated the fact of the rich's spending outstripping the middle class's tax burden. It;s here:

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=252676 [house.gov]

And if you go down to the bottom of that page, you can call up the video of the whole testimony and get those statements in real-time, on video. Unfortunately, I think that comes at about 1 hr and 36 minutes into the testimony, if I remember right.

Re:Consumption tax on whose backs? (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322922)

Nothing. That's the point: giving the rich people a break and soaking the middle class.

Re:We Should Be Making Them Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322786)

you tell em Ayn!

Re:We Should Be Making Them Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322800)

Baseless conjuncture, particularly since what you actually need to do for that is repeal all environmental and labor protections. You might have something resembling an economic blip then, but you won't notice as you will be working 16 hours in a smogfilled factory.

Re:We Should Be Making Them Here (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322960)

Just the opposite.

As we get factories springing up like mushrooms across the land to employ the millions of unemployed, labor will become scarce, and competition for those workers will become more intense. Employers will have to offer good working condx in order to lure those that can weld, wire, pipefit, milwright, machine, etc. into their factories. If you want to see the extreme example of this, note the wooing of software developers with lavish campuses for workplaces that contain tennis courts and weight rooms and swimming pools and everything you could want in pleasant working conditions.

Helping that along _could_ be unions, if things were to go in the direction of medieval torture dungeon - UAW workers make more than $100K with overtime at time and a half, with Sundays at double time, all negotiated by the unions. That sort of protection can spread if need be, but if employers have learned anything at all, they won't abuse people to the extent that a majority of them would vote for a union.

And no, we don't need to completely remove environmental regulations, although getting a bit more reasonable might help a lot. Spending billions on the last 0.002% of some pollutant isn't necessarily cost effective if the misery caused by the economic recession resulting from most of our jobs moving overseas is more expensive to the American people.

Re:We Should Be Making Them Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322874)

Did you ever bother to check what the _effective_ corporate tax rate actually is? If there is one thing Us corporations are NOT, it is burdened by taxes.

Re:We Should Be Making Them Here (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323026)

If they end up paying zero taxes, its only because they've paid almost as much as the taxes to lawyers and accountants to guide their every move in the direction of least tax exposure. But the bottom line on that is that their products are very nearly as expensive as if they'd just paid the taxes, because of the necessity to pay those high-priced lawyers and accountants. The whole income tax system hurts the companies that either pay the taxes, or pay the lawyers/accountants to avoid paying the taxes, and its really expensive either way. We cannot have the highest labor rate on the planet and the 2nd-highest corporate income taxes on the planet and expect to compete.

What we should be doing is to try to make things as cheap for industry as we possibly can, so that there will be more profit and therefore more industry, which means employment will be more plentiful. Automation or not, the factories still need people to install those machines, repair those machines, move them around, wire them up, supply them with compressed air or hydraulic power or chemical supplies such as paint and so forth. While such factories won't employ the 1000's that factories of old did, we can still make it up on the volume by building many more factories.

And think of the boost to the global warming efforts to have AMERICAN factories which will, naturally, run on natural gas or wind, as most new electrical plants are gas-fired, and 100's of new electrical plants would be needed as 1000's of new factories are built, and this would TAKE AWAY the work from the factories in India and China, which are digging coal as fast as they can. We can get our energy from 1 carbon atom and 4 hydrogen atoms of the methane molecule, about as clean a deal CO2-wise as you can get with fossil fuels, and we will likely be the first to convert all that to solar and geothermal as soon as it makes economic senses to do so. Until then, we have oceans and oceans of natural gas, more than 50% more than the next-most-plentiful supply on the face of the earth, Russia.

The reindustrialization of America is a win on many fronts, but we're going to have to abolish the income taxes to make it happen.

Re:We Should Be Making Them Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322878)

We can't do squat as long as we have a 35% corporate tax rate

Corporate tax is on net profits, not on revenue. You can make 10 hard drives, you can make 10 thousand hard drives, and that tax won't hit you any harder just because you're doing greater business. If you can make money, then you're making money, and if you can't make money in the US, well you're not getting hit with the corporate tax anyways. And that's without any of the many special deductions and loopholes companies like GE use to make huge profits and yet pay no federal income taxes.

Re:We Should Be Making Them Here (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323070)

Corporate tax happens on the SUPPLIERS to the corporation that are making the hard drives, too. It doesn't matter that the hard drive mfgr is only breaking even and paying no corporate income tax, he is in fact paying it in the elevated prices of all the components he buys from his various suppliers. Need a supply of raw material for casting hard drives? That will be supplied by a company making a profit, because if it wasn't, it'd be out of business. And, the HDD mfgr here will be paying the cost of that supplier's corporate income tax.

And if we want corporations here to make no profit just to avoid killing taxes, that is a killing philosophy that has already sent most of our jobs overseas, esp. the blue-collar jobs.

Why not seek to allow corporations every chance possible to make money in America? If that works, we should be up to our ears in newly-employed people. Right now, our unemployment compensation is costing the US Gov't, or more precisely "the rest of us", $100 million a year. Food stamps come in at $70 million a year. Those expenses could be brought down considerably if we could have several 10's of 1000's of new factories, and therefore new jobs, that would enable people that can weld and wire and install and maintain machinery in factories to get off that sort of gov't assistance. Growing the economy has to happen, or we're going to go bankrupt, I believe.

@_O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322674)

@_o gay robots

No, it is not like a bank run. (4, Informative)

feepness (543479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322688)

Banks only keep a portion of deposits on hand. This is standard regulated procedure called "Fractional Reserve Lending". No bank can return every despositers funds on demand at the same time. None of them. Anywhere.

When bank runs occur, there is a systemic lack of funds to meet demand due to fractional reserve lending.

This is simply not enough supply to meet demand, and not similar to failure of fractional reserve lending at all.

Just like with girlfriends... (0)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322728)

I guess that means I'll have to settle for one of the unpopular ones.

Ridiculous Comparison (2)

pdxer (2520686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322738)

'Akin to the hysteria when banks defaulted in the 1930[s], PC orders across the industry are being placed for which HD supply does not exist,

This is not even remotely "akin".

And in other news (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322818)

Western Digital has restarted HDD production in Thailand earlier than expected.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavitz/2011/12/02/western-digital-lifts-dec-qtr-view-restarts-thai-mfg-shrs-up/ [forbes.com]

Post-flood hard drives (4, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322894)

Western Digital has restarted HDD production in Thailand earlier than expected.

I'd definitely be a little careful about the first few batches of new drives that come off those assembly lines, considering all the decontamination, repair and re-calibration the flooded manufacturing equipment would have needed. Would be interesting to know if there's going to be a bump in their drive rate failure over the next few years for Western Digital, Hitachi, and Toshiba.

Re:Post-flood hard drives (2)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323062)

I'd definitely be a little careful about the first few batches of new drives that come off those assembly lines,

I'm not sure how you would tell. I had a WD drive fail after a few hours of use last year and its replacement will consistently fail after about 900GB is written. According to the SMART data it is perfect, but irrespective of the enclosure it is in, or the cables used, or the host it is connected to, I get I/O failures after writing ~900GB of data (on a 1TB drive).

Back in my day . . . (2)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322828)

My first computer had a 256Mb hard drive that stored the OS, applications, files, AND had room left to turn on virtual memory. And I had to walk uphill in the snow to buy floppy disks!

It used to be that if you didn't need a file any more you deleted it. If your disk filled up, you didn't just buy a new one. Aside from graphics, recording, and IT professionals, does anyone really need much more than a few hundred gigs? Or do that many people insist on digitizing their entire DVD library?

Obligatory XKCD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322836)

A suggestion for Western Digital... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38322936)

Get some people to build a solid 12 foot high reinforced concrete wall around the factory. Make bridges over it for people and stuff to get in and out. Seal it up really tight. Then you won't have this same exact flooding problem in the next rainy season.

In other words (1)

chicago_scott (458445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322944)

This is an opportunity...

Even the teensy ones? (1, Troll)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38322948)

What will Microsoft et al do without a constant supply of itsy-bitsy hyper-overpriced drives to shove into consoles? Will they be forced to buy cheaper 1TB drives off the shelf of Walmart and partition them down to a size that sounds great to a gamer and laughable to everyone else?

Seagate can die and the world would be better (0)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38323046)

I litterally as I was reading these a Seagate 2TB died on me that was part of a 7TB raid0. it's the 8th fucking seagate I have had die on me in the last 2 years. I have had 1 WD die on me in the same amount of time[out of about 25+ active drives 12ish are seagates and the rest are WD or hitachi]. I will NEVER buy another seagate drive for me or my clients. EVER. I've had enough. The last 3 drives I sent in for RMA came back and 1 was DOA 1 died again within 6 months the other was the same fucking drive I sent in and it was still broken. As soon as I am done bitching here I am going to seagate and cancelling my partner program and I am going to pull the 15 or so seagate drives I still have, wipe them and put them on Ebay. I had 10 years of my life on those drives and NO I did not have backups. I'm just one person who can't afford to buy another 7 goddamn TB just to backup my main 7. Though looking back I just lost FAR more of my life then the 1400 dollars it would have cost me to have a spare backup. Do youselves a favor and NEVER buy a fucking Seagate drive, but if your a glutton for punishment I'll have about 10 drives on ebay this weekend you can pick up cheap.
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