Hard Drive Shortage May Affect DVR Availability and Pricing

December 19th, 2011

If you are a regular follower of the news, you will know about the major floods that have inundated parts of Thailand.  Unfortunately, some of the areas that experienced the heavy flooding contained factories that manufactured electronic goods that are regularly consumed here in the United States.  One example of a product that is now in short supply because of these terrible floods is the hard disk drive.  Western Digital is a major manufacturer of hard drives and this is a picture of one of their factories in Thailand:

Flooded Western Digital Hard disk Factory in Bang Pa-In (close to Bangkok), Thailand

As you can see, things are looking a little soggy there.  So, why is this important?  Hard drives are used in almost every computer and in many other electronic devices.  If you have a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to record video from surveillance cameras, that DVR has a hard drive in it.  If you are using a server or Network Video Recorder (NVR) for your video surveillance system, it would have a hard drive in it too.

Right now, DVRs, NVRs, and video servers are still readily available.  However, there is concern from some of our manufacturing partners that the supply of hard drives may become really tight throughout the next year as the impact of the flooding ripples through the supply chain.

As DVRs, NVRs, and video servers get old, the hard drives are often the first parts to fail.  If you think about it,  your video surveillance system runs all the time and never takes a vacation.  So, the moving parts in the hard drive tend to fail after a certain amount of time.

So, while we do not want to cause alarm about hard drive shortages, it is something to think about.  If there is a shortage as predicted for 2012, it will become difficult to get replacement hard drives for DVRs and NVRs and it may become difficult to get new DVRs and NVRs until the supply can catch up again.

If you want to read more about the impact of the flooding on the hard drive supply, this is a link to an article in the New York Times.

-Scott Hightower, Verified Security