The data center business in 2011 was rocked by at least four natural disasters which showed just how frail the IT supply chain can be:
- Floods in Thailand, home to much of the world's hard drive manufacturing industry, this Fall inundated up to a third of the capacity of those plants, driving up the costs of desktops, servers, and storage equipment.
- Typhoon Nesat pummeled Hong Kong in September, but fortunately disrupted airfreight shipments of IT products for only a few days instead of producing a true disaster.
- A huge tornado which hit Joplin, Mo. in May tore out a huge swath of the city and disrupted business IT operations for much of the area.
- The massive March 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami which struck Japan disrupted the world's semiconductor supply chain for months afterwards.