Looming disk shortage could go critical

Looming disk shortage could go critical

A global shortage of hard drive servers and warnings of delays in supply is forcing New Zealand distributors to act quickly to ensure their customers aren’t affected.

Vendors HP, IBM and EMC have admitted to sourcing problems, driven by demand for large-capacity models outstripping supply, causing delays on shipments by several weeks.

IDC director of storage research Asia-Pacific Graham Penn says the demand for enterprise servers has been greater than expected and there is a global deficit of 400,000 drives.

“That’s not a huge amount but it becomes critical rather quickly,” he says.

Penn says the hard drive market is notorious for having peaks and troughs and the current situation has been exacerbated by product transition. He points to Hitachi as an example, which was down 25% on production in the third quarter of last year.

“These will be tough times for the next three months at least. Some resellers and distributors will probably panic and over-order to compensate which will make the situation worse.”

EMC New Zealand country manager Alister Dias says he hasn’t been notified of any shortfall.

“We haven’t had anyone impacted yet and so far have been able to deliver on all our orders,” he says.

Dias says it certainly hasn’t raised any alarm bells inside EMC.

IBM New Zealand PR manager Rachel Dahlberg says the company foresaw the shortage coming and ordered additional stock, so no customers have been affected.

Datastor product marketing manager Robert van der Harst says there hasn’t been too much of a problem getting stock.

“Maybe we’ve had one day without stock. We’re fighting hard to make sure there’s minimal impact,” he says.

Van der Harst says vendors are offering no explanation for the shortage.

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