According to Hu Yoshida, VP and CTO at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) the recent floods in Thailand affected about 40% of disk manufacturing. The supply shortage adversely affected revenue of PC and server manufacturers. For example, 8TB disks that were $79 jumped to $189 in a matter of weeks. They expect the supply line to come back by third quarter 2012.
“Even if they come back, the price increase will exist for some time,” said Yoshida. “This is life altering. For the last 50 years we’ve had decreasing prices, and the price of that capacity was declining 30% a year. As a result of Moore’s law, the capacity was doubling every 18 months, and price of that capacity was eroding 30% per year.”
That constant price erosion got all of us in IT used to the idea that after five yeas it was cheaper to buy new than to maintain old. Now we’ve seen an increase, which will change things forever.
The estimated cost of rebuilding factories in Thailand is about a billion dollars. That cost must be recovered over some period. To recover a billion dollars when disks are so cheap will take some time.
Other factors are also affecting the cost of manufacturing drives. Perpendicular recording is the next step, after the longitudinal recording technology currently in use.