Support Due on
REUTERS / KEREK WONGSA
Bangkok residents flee flooding that, among other things, forced hard disk drive
manufacturing plants to shut down.
Consumers Face Hard Drive Price Hikes
FLOODS IN THAILAND are wreaking havoc on manufacturers of hard isk drives. While HDD vendors are expected
to keep computer makers — their largest
customers — supplied with inventory, the
consumer retail market is likely to be hit by
shortages and price increases, analysts said.
Two research firms, IHS iSuppli and IDC,
have predicted that the overall shortage due
to the flooding will reach 25% to 28% over
the next six months.
Western Digital, the largest hard drive
producer, will likely be hurt the most: IDC
predicted that up to 75% of its production lines
will be temporarily shut down. Western Digital
and Toshiba have already announced temporary shutdowns of their Thailand factories.
For its part, iSuppli said fourth-quarter
hard drive shipments will drop by 28%, to
125 million units, from 173 million units in
the third quarter.
IBM mainframes will soon be able
to manage Windows applications,
bridging one of the last major divides in data centers.
IBM had already announced that
it intended to deliver that capability
with its zEnterprise 196 mainframe,
but it recently said the Windows
management function will be available on Dec. 16.
There are many Windows-based
applications, including ones made
by IBM, inside most data centers;
they typically interact with mainframes to access data. Historically,
all Windows software has had to be
But now, IBM has promised, the
security and speed of mainframe
environments that include Windows
systems will be improved. It will be
possible to connect systems on a
private network, thus avoiding some
network hops and enabling the use
of integrated management tools.
Joe Clabby, an analyst at Clabby
Analytics, said the new features
should reduce the labor required to
run mainframe environments that
have multiple operating systems.
added, “if you can
manage this as a
ture, it saves money.”
Greg Lotko, business line execu-
tive in IBM’s System z division, said
the addition of Windows support
“is really recognizing that the world
— PATRICK THIBODEAU
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