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SSDs and the supply chain woes of 2022

I didn’t want to miss a small story from last week and quoting from Tom’s Hardware.

Kioxia (formerly Toshiba) and Western Digital have reported that unspecified contamination issues have impacted several of their joint NAND production factories. Western Digital says the problems impact up to 6.5 exabytes of flash memory, but Kioxia has yet to give an estimate of the impact. Given the severity of the disruptions, TrendForce predicts a 5 to 10% price increase for flash in the second quarter of this year, ultimately impacting SSD and NAND flash-based products. However, this prediction only accounts for Western Digital’s lost production capacity and could increase when Kioxia releases firm estimates of the impact on its own production. 

And, in that vein, CDW has indicated they believe supply chain issues will continue this year.  As reported in CRN, a question from an analyst about the supply chain was given this response.  

“As we look forward into 2022, we don’t really see any meaningful end in sight,” Al Miralles, CDW’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, said. “I would say, as we think about kind of our interactions and what we hear and observe from a partner and product perspective, maybe there’s a silver lining there that some of the transparency has improved. So there’s a better line of sight of lead times and where things stand, but I’m not sure that we would translate that into any indication that things are going to get better in the near term. 

Why do we care?

The supply chain isn’t getting any better – not this year, and flash drives even as a specific problem about to hit in the next quarter.

Technologists are used to an on-demand ordering mentality, made even ingrained by the cloud’s ability to scale up instantly on-demand.    With hardware supply chain issues, that instant delivery of technology physically is going to be impacted.

It’s a reality for 2022, regardless of it being a long-term trend or not.    How much will customers bristle?  That could be telling – and a more material shift to supply chain management.   Those planning projects should incorporate this into planning.