Last year, the data center/server business was negatively affected by four natural disasters which demonstrated how fragile the IT supply chain can be. These disasters include:
- Flooding — Thailand, home to a large part of the world’s hard drive manufacturing industry, suffered major floods in 2011 which inundated up to one-third of the capacity of those manufacturing sites, leading to increased costs of computer desktops, servers and other equipment such as storage peripherals.
- Typhoon – In Hong Kong back in September, the region was damaged by Typhoon Nesat. However, the disaster only impacted airfreight shipments of technology products for only a mere few days versus producing a true disaster.
- Tornado — In Joplin, Mo. in May, the area was affected by a tornado which tore out a huge section of the city and disrupted company operations throughout the city.
- Earthquake – In March of last year, a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan which led to disruptions to the world’s semiconductor supply chain for months after the disaster.