Hard Drive Shortage?

Due to flooding in Thailand, we’re seeing hard drive prices rise steeply in a matter of days. Large drives (3 TB particularly) seem to be in short supply, and they’re getting expensive.

I would not suggest hoarding, but if you know you need a new drive really soon, it *might* be time to act quickly.  I did a quick survey of the places I buy drives, and it seems like prices have indeed gone up, and availability is more scarce.

This seems to be particularly true of mail order retailers. One bright spot – for some people at least – is that Best Buy seems to be prioritizing local stores over mail order.  A 2TB Western Digital Green drive is listed as being in stock at my local store for $79. Since it’s an advertised special, I think they are obligated to sell it for that price for the time being. I would not expect that sale to be repeated anytime soon. (Note that they now refuse to ship this item – you have to pick up in person).

One reality check here.  Hard drive prices may be going up, but that’s probably up to what the price per terabyte was 6 or 12 or 18 months ago. An extra $100 feels like a lot, but it’s probably not a reason to panic. My expectation would be that we’ll still be able to get drives, they will just cost a bit more.  Not a happy prospect if you are just about to trick out an 8-bay RAID with 3TB enterprise drives, but not too bad for someone who needs to buy one extra drive.

Also keep in mind that hoarding does not help the situation, so don’t go overboard.