Ever since hard drives were conceived, they have been improved and their prices have steadily gone down. This trend was disrupted when in 2011, Thailand sustained heavy floods and damage to its hard drive industry hiked the prices.
Thailand is the key supplier of regular hard drives that are most popularly used around the globe. Back in 2011, the country was hit with extensive floods, wrecking a lot of destruction. The hard drive industry also took a hit, resulting in a throttled supply of the drives and an almost instant hike in their prices.
To put things in a clearer perspective, one gigabyte of storage space cost more than $1 million in 1981. In 2011, the price was down to a mere $0.05/GB. Backblaze, which offers online backup and storage services, cites how in September 2011, it was able to add every new GB for $0.044.
But once the Thailand floods commenced, the company had to go on a backfoot and shell out more money. The company couldn’t wait for the prices to come down because that would have disappointed new and existing customers, wanting more online storage. So from $0.044 per GB, BackBlaze went as high as $0.064 to continue purchasing hard drives. Since the company added 50 petabytes between 2011 and 2013, the hike of a mere $0.02 per byte translated to a huge $1 million in additional storage expenses.
The company has now revealed that if the historical decline of hard drive prices continued, it would have spent $1.78 million in total new storage costs between 2011 and 2013. Rather, BackBlaze had to cough up $2.31 million due to the unexpected crisis.
Thankfully, the hard drives prices have finally come down to the pre-crisis months. It will take a while before they dip further down, with industry pundits citing that this won’t be happening before we are well into 2014. While the likes of BackBlaze shouldered the additional costs and didn’t charge their customers more for the unexpected situation, other companies simply turned off new sign-ups until things got better. If you were affected by the hike in the prices of hard drives in any way, be sure to let us know in the comments section.