On March 19, California State Governor mandated a “Shelter in Place” order in an attempt to slow the pandemic spread of COVID-19 (CV-19). What was expected to last about two week has lasted over ten weeks as of this blog. Santa Clara County, one of the hardest hit with CV-19 cases, had one of the more restrictive “Shelter in Place” guidelines of the entire state.
In a matter of weeks, a significant percentage of the world’s workforce was working remotely. Through all of this, it brought to light the readiness of the server/storage infrastructure locally and around the world.
The server and storage companies geared up production and services to meet surging demand, and this resulted in a healthy demand for high-capacity nearline HDDs. Even during non-pandemic times, it would have been a challenge to ramp up output so quickly, but the CV-19 pandemic complicated matters tenfold. The HDD supply chain, was impacted, and this slowed HDD production during the initial stages of the pandemic.
Despite these challenging obstacles, the HDD industry was able to pivot production accordingly, and achieved record production and shipment of nearline HDDs in CQ1 2020. According to TRENDFOCUS, Inc., 17.19* million nearline HDDs shipped during the first calendar quarter of the year, besting the previous high by over 15%.
Even before CV-19, storage for the cloud market was on a solid growth path, but now, with cloud computing being the critical link to keeping the world’s economy functioning, TRENDFOCUS projects 2020’s growth of cloud storage to be more than double than the original growth projection. Demand for nearline HDDs has never been so healthy, and given Toshiba’s broad nearline product portfolio, the company is in solid position to meet growing market conditions.
Having employees work from home due to CV-19 proved to many companies that their business can sustain with a remote workforce and that an office environment is not absolutely required. The restrictions are slowly lifting, but even after all of the restrictions have been lifted and companies are given the “green light” to welcome back employees to the workplace, many companies may continue to offer the employees an option to continue working remotely. Employees commuting and working in one location, which was considered normal pre CV-19 may not be anymore, and the post CV-19 work from home scenario may become much more of the new norm.
*TRENDFOCUS, Inc. subscriber data reports are published quarterly.
Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.