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Hardware Thread, Hard Drive Prices in Technical; Here's the latest update from WD... Western Digital expects to rebuild its production capacities to pre-flood levels by September, 2012 ...
  1. #106


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    Here's the latest update from WD...

    Western Digital expects to rebuild its production capacities to pre-flood levels by September, 2012, the company said this week. The manufacturer aims to repair its two factories in Thailand and bring back its output to normal levels in several months from now. Until then, shortages of hard drives will likely persist.

    [...]

    Back in early December WD said that it had restarted production of hard drives in one of its buildings in Bang Pa-in (BPI), Thailand. The company removed all submerged slider manufacturing equipment from the BPI facilities for assessment, decontamination and refurbishment and has commenced decontamination and restoration of its remaining buildings in BPI. Western Digital expects to recommence head slider production in BPI in the Q1 2012 quarter (Q3 FY2012) and also begin production in a new WD slider fab location in Penang, Malaysia, in the same time frame.

    The company's other Thailand hard drive facilities at Navanakorn are currently decontaminated and refurbished. The plants are projected to resume production in March and WD expects to restore its output by September, 2012. (Source)

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    Just in case your thinking of buying a new server with what's left in the budget this month there are plenty of discounted HP Servers out there but no HDDs to go in them...

    Most of the major distributors still have plenty of servers but no HDDs to go in them.
    As of Friday, Computer 2000 had no HP SFF Hot Plugs at all
    Some dealers are only selling drives if purchased with a new server order and those are ridiculously priced.
    One sub £1000 server I tried to buy last week was only available with 2.5" 600 Gb SAS drives which of course cost more than the server itself.

    There are a few HP Renew HDDs around but I still have not seen any reasonably priced SSDs to fit HP SFF Hot Swap drive bays.

    If WD don't expect to start supply until September things are going to get desperate on the HP server front in a number of ways.

    If you have (had) plans for Easter or Summer that involves new servers or storage I would think that now is the time to review these plans to ensure that you can actually get what your going to need at the price you thought you would pay!

  3. #108

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    Recently ordered some Dell Servers, NAS and SAN - been advised approx 3 weeks lead time.

    Noticed end of last week that some Dell SANs are currently not available to order via their website and/or advise to phone for pricing etc.

  4. #109

    m25man's Avatar
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    Good News! WD Drives are arriving back into most distrubution channels right now.

    CPC seem to have the entire WD Range back in stock (although the prices still have a long way to go to get back to pre-flood levels)

    I am amazed at the resilience of our asian friends and how they have rebuilt and returned to work entire factories and manufacturing facilities in just a few short months...

    In the meantime Im still waiting for the local council to fix a few potholes from last winter and for TFL to complete a few track repairs!

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    At one time components would be manufactured all over the place, so a local problem would not affect global supply. However, modern [short sighted] business practice is to centralise production of any one item in one place, as that makes it cheaper short term, but leaves the business extremely vulnerable to local problems - such as the Japanese earthquake, and the floods in Thailand.

    However, the bean counters who make these decisions are not bothered by this, as they will have made their names, and collected their bonuses when disaster strikes, and will be busy speculating on stock of the commodity concerned.

    NN

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    This is interesting. Toshiba will soon be making 3.5" HDDs...

    Western Digital Sells Hard Drive Assets to Toshiba
    To meet the requirements from regulatory agencies for the planned Western Digital buyout of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), Western Digital has agreed to sell off certain assets to Toshiba. This deal will allow Toshiba to manufacturer 3.5-inch hard drives for the desktop and consumer products market, as well as improve Toshiba's ability to make near-line 3.5-inch hard drives for enterprise markets.

    Part of this new deal also has Western Digital buying Toshiba Storage Device (Thailand) Company Limited (TSDT). TSDT produced 2.5-inch hard drives up until the Thailand flooding, but has not resumed production since. Western Digital plans on integrating their facilities and employees with their Thailand operations.

    No financial terms of this deal have been disclosed. Western Digital still anticipates closing the Hitachi acquisition in March, along with the Toshiba transactions. (Source)

  8. #113


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    Western Digital announces record profits...

    WD soaked in sales cash bonanza after Thai flood hell
    CEO John Coyne said this was "the strongest revenue and profit performance in the company's 42-year history".

    Recovery from the Thai floods is progressing very well. Coyne said: "The recovery activities related to both WD operations and those of our supply chain partners impacted by the Thailand floods have reached a point where we now have the capability to adequately meet anticipated customer demand in the current quarter and beyond." (Source)


    ^ Perhaps they can lower HDD prices now!

  9. 2 Thanks to Arthur:

    mac_shinobi (28th April 2012), zag (28th April 2012)

  10. #114


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    This is getting ridiculous!

    Western Digital posts three-fold increase in profits despite floods
    Storage vendor Western Digital has highlighted the effects of artificially high hard drive prices by posting a doubling in revenue and a 375 per cent jump in profits.

    Western Digital was hit hard by the floods in Thailand last year but as the flood waters receded, both it and Seagate have been making hay while the sun is shining. The company reported that its revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter almost doubled to $4.75bn while profits grew almost four-fold to $745m from the same period last year.

    Despite Western Digital's problems at the start of its financial year, there was even more evidence that in some perverse way the Thai floods were the best thing to happen for the hard drive industry in many years. Western Digital announced that full year revenues increased 30 per cent to $12.5bn with profits more than doubling to $1.6bn.

    Even though Seagate and Western Digital have got their respective supply chains back in order, the firms decided to reduce warranties on the majority of their hard disk drives and have kept prices significantly higher ever since. The two firms might point to drive shortages, but given that Western Digital's gross margin - revenue minus the cost of generating that revenue - has increased by over $1bn there's no doubt that Western Digital is milking the market situation. (Source)
    Seagate profits rise 750 per cent thanks to high prices
    Storage vendor Seagate joined Western Digital in boasting about how profitable the Thai floods have been, with profits ballooning 750 per cent to $1bn.

    While Seagate's revenues have risen handsomely, it's profitability has gone exponential with a 750 per cent increase to $1bn. The firm also managed to cut its long-term warranty liabilities by $31m during the quarter, which is not surprising given that the company has cut its warranties to a pitiful 12 months on most of its products.

    Despite the Seagate's highway robbery profits the firm's CEO Steve Luczo showed disappointment for not turning the screws on its customers even tighter. "As we announced previously, we were disappointed not to meet our revenue and margin plan for the fourth quarter as a result of the industry's faster recovery from the supply chain disruption and an isolated supplier issue that we experienced," said Luczo. (Source)

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    Why do I get the feeling that WD/Seagate are run by a bunch of bankers?

    If these companies were serious about maintaining supply they would set up plants in other parts of the world to provide redundancy (rather like a RAID array), but they put all of their eggs in the Thai basket because that is cheapest, and because they can simply put prices up whenever the supply chain is interrupted to maximise profits.

    This is yet another case where bad management decisions [that would sink many other businesses] result in maximum profits.

    Perhaps they will now move hard drive production to Bangladesh so they can be guaranteed flood disruption every year?

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    And the moral of the story is.... Never let a good crisis go to waste

    To be fair I suppose that they'll need to use those profits to rebuild their production/factories after all the damage from the floods and pay the increased insurance. It's a cost that would have been passed onto the consumer at the end of the day regardless.

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    Thing is though, it is a short-term gain which I would estimate that will disappear relatively quickly as SSD prices tumble and sizes increase.

    I'd guess that 2 years and we'll see near enough price parity between SSDs and HDDs and as such why would anyone buy slower disks?

    At sizes like 120GB/160GB, the price ratio is 1.9:1 now, per GB
    At the other end (large disks), the price ratio is around 10:1.

    Compare that to prices in 2005, where the ratio was 33:1!

    So, as far as I can see, the companies are using the floods to build up significant cash reserves. They could then either use them to buy an SSD competitor, or develop their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    And the moral of the story is.... Never let a good crisis go to waste

    To be fair I suppose that they'll need to use those profits to rebuild their production/factories after all the damage from the floods and pay the increased insurance. It's a cost that would have been passed onto the consumer at the end of the day regardless.
    We don't know whether the factories themselves were flooded, or whether the floods simply disrupted the supply chain. My guess would be the latter (assuming they had the good sense to build the factories above likely flood levels).

    Regardless, I am sure the increased revenue will more than cover the cost of reinstating production.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Thing is though, it is a short-term gain which I would estimate that will disappear relatively quickly as SSD prices tumble and sizes increase.

    I'd guess that 2 years and we'll see near enough price parity between SSDs and HDDs and as such why would anyone buy slower disks?

    At sizes like 120GB/160GB, the price ratio is 1.9:1 now, per GB
    At the other end (large disks), the price ratio is around 10:1.

    Compare that to prices in 2005, where the ratio was 33:1!

    So, as far as I can see, the companies are using the floods to build up significant cash reserves. They could then either use them to buy an SSD competitor, or develop their own.
    Or retire.

    One thing is for certain. They won't be concerned about the welfare of the workforce in Thailand, (or Hungary, or anywhere else they have previously capitalised on cheap labour).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naughty_Nigel View Post
    Why do I get the feeling that WD/Seagate are run by a bunch of bankers?

    If these companies were serious about maintaining supply they would set up plants in other parts of the world to provide redundancy (rather like a RAID array), but they put all of their eggs in the Thai basket because that is cheapest, and because they can simply put prices up whenever the supply chain is interrupted to maximise profits.

    This is yet another case where bad management decisions [that would sink many other businesses] result in maximum profits.

    Perhaps they will now move hard drive production to Bangladesh so they can be guaranteed flood disruption every year?
    up to a point isnt the point of any company to make as much money as they can?

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