Region safe for now from disk shortage

Middle East customers should for now be safe from the current global storage server disk drive shortage, but that may change when bigger capacity drives arrive on the market, a senior executive at EMC said last week.

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By  Peter Branton Published  February 20, 2005

Middle East customers should for now be safe from the current global storage server disk drive shortage, but that may change when bigger capacity drives arrive on the market, a senior executive at EMC said last week. EMC is one of a number of companies to acknowledge that supplies of certain types of disk drives are running behind market demands, with HP and IBM reporting similar problems. The scarcity of the drives will affect server shipments, according to IDC, which predicts that the server delays will continue through to the second quarter of this year. Qais Ghairabeh, channel sales manager, EMC Middle East, acknowledged the disk drive dilemma but assured IT Weekly that customers are spared from the problem. “We are not feeling it here as yet. I don’t expect it to have that much of an impact in the Middle East because the demand that we are looking at right now is basically opportunities that we’ve been covering for quite some time, and we are already well prepared for them,” said Ghairabeh. EMC is still offering servers with 36Gbyte, 73Gbyte and 146Gbyte disks. Supply is stable and Ghairabeh said he does not see the region facing any shortages. However, when the new upgrades arrive, which are expected to have 320Gbyte capacities, a shortage may occur, Ghairabeh admitted. “The market takes a little while to accept the new upgrades that are being launched, and this is where the shortage in supply may exist — when customers will still want the old disks and we won’t be able to provide them. This period takes between 30 to 60 days, but we’re hoping that by then the worldwide problem will be solved before we feel the impact here,” he said. Local deals take time to be approved and that has helped EMC to forecast and stock ahead of time, he said. “Usually our deals take quite some time to materialise. Once they become visible to us, we forecast them to our factory. Our factory already stocks ahead of time for the deals that are visible to us in the meantime.” Ghairabeh said the company has stocked up on supplies based on forecasts and customers’ demands.

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