Hard Drive Hard Choices

If you at all follow technology and haven't been on vacation on a beach somewhere for the past 3 weeks you may have noticed that storage has gotten a lot more expensive. The 2TB WD Green drives which I use to store images have gone from around $79 to $129 to $149 in a matter of days. And no more free shipping. Not good news for those of us who use a lot of drive space. The reason behind all of this is the flooding currently happening in Thailand. Apparently a very heavy monsoon season is pummeling them. This is obviously a terrible human tragedy, around 400 people have died at last count with millions displaced from their homes. The bad news in tech land is that a huge percentage of hard drives are put together in Thailand, and even worse news is that around 90% of some of the components like the main motors are made in Thailand, which means that even companies which manufacture their drives elsewhere are screwed.

Estimates I've heard recently indicate that it may take them a few quarters to get things back to where they were once the water recedes, and that there are only a couple of months worth of inventory in the pipeline. Put this together and it means we're in for a bad winter if you need drive space.

The question is, what to do about it. I've got a couple of spare 2TB drives in my case which should give me more than enough bits to get through, but still makes me nervous. What happens if I have multiple failures or get inordinately busy? One possible option is to do a bit of hoarding now. They're expensive for sure, but maybe the price will go up to $300 in a couple months and I can sell a couple of the drives I bought for $150 on ebay at net gain. Fantasy? I'm not sure. I've watched them double already on NewEgg and that's before the real shortages occur, when things are just out of stock.

So if you see a good deal at Costco, you might want to pick up a few before it's too late.

Think I'm crazy? Feel free to comment and let me know.