Most everyone learns about supply and demand in school. For anyone who who’s tried to buy hard drives lately, you are probably wondering why the usual 40% year-over-year decline in capacity cost did not materialize. Typically, hard drive prices go down because newer high-density drives keep coming out, providing more capacity for the price, plus driving cost reductions in existing drive models. But if supply decreases and demand remains unchanged, then it leads to higher equilibrium price and lower quantity. We’ve talked about how severe flooding in Thailand about 6 months ago was disruptive to the supply chain for hard disk drives worldwide, resulting in much smaller supply to meet steady demand. After all, you have to put data somewhere, and no one wants to get rid of data to make more space. For me, the toughest thing is the time associated with choosing what to delete, though others may need to keep data for compliance or other business reasons.
How is Drobo able to help? With our BeyondRAID technology, any 3.5 in SATA drive can be used in a Drobo automatically. The sophisticated way we virtualize the storage enables maximum utilization of storage capacity across different drive sizes, vs. being limited to the size of the smallest disk in a RAID group. Most vendors force you to buy their drive or to select from a very small list of approved drives, which limits choice and thus drives cost up. For the best level of service, Drobo has detailed drive recommendations to help you choose the best type of drive from all available vendors.
The market has begun to rebound some, and there are even new desktop-grade SATA drives with 4TB capacities which Drobo already supports. As desktop-grade, we can recommend them in our 4-bay and 5-bay products. Drobo has been able to offer our Business products with drives bundled in the past 6 months at the same price they were before the floods, making it a great deal for users needing capacity. The best of both worlds, flexibility to choose your drives, and a great deal on drives if you want to buy with drives.
In the Drobo B1200i, we also support the use of solid-state drives or SSDs. The flooding disaster did not impact SSDs and new products coming to market have been positive on supply of SSDs or users. Drobo recently announced a partnership with OCZ Technology to use its Talos SAS SSD Series products in the Drobo model B1200i. With innovative automated data-aware tiering, the B1200i delivers a level of automation and technical sophistication that is easier to use and less costly to deploy than typical enterprise solutions.
Net = Supply matters, not just the availability of hard drives but the availability of storage capacity for protecting critical data. Drobo is a great help in both areas: you can choose the right drives for your specific use case among the broadest supply and once you add them to the Drobo, the drives automatically increase the supply of storage for what matters most, your data.