Chia – the giant leaf over the hard drive market

Have you noticed hard drive prices going up lately. Or they are just sold out? Find out why it is happening!

Has it affected your business in any way?

Here is a look-back to past year hardware shortages and current hard drive market situation.

History

Last year in general has been tough if you are buying computer hardware. Let’s have a broad overview. Do note that this is not scientific study but instead a personal recall of things happened and are happening now.

Webcams out of stock? Who would have thought of that? Everybody just needed them to study or work from home. Okay, this got solved over time.

Graphics cards out of stock and prices sky high? Did all people become gamers? No. Crypto currency prices started rising and it became profitable again to use graphics cards for mining. Burning electricity and turning it into virtual currency. The most prominent one being Ethereum. Crypto miners bought all the cards they could. And it is still going on.

This introduced a new paradigm – hardware scalpers. It is basically automated way of buying computer hardware at default prices at the second they become available. And later sell with 2x, 3x or even higher price.

How does the crypto currency mining work?

In a really general explanation it is a network where the participants have a proof of something. For Etherum it is “proof of work” that is done on graphics cards. So, a lot of cryptographic calculations are done by all the miners. In oversimlified way this ensures that all transactions are proven. If some participant would want to cheat, majority would automatically catch that. If bad actor would want to change the transaction in blockchain then it would require over 50% of computing power. But as there are so many participants, no single organisation can pull it off. And here it is, all the mining “work” is required for crypto currency blockchain security.

Bitcoin is the best known crypto currency. In the past it was also mined on graphics cards but then special purpose ASICs were built that are more power efficient. Soon after that it became unprofitable to mine Bitcoin on graphics cards because the cost of electricity was bigger than the profit on coins.

Chia

A new Crypto currency called Chia launched in March 2021.

Chia is also similar to other crypto currencies as it needs the proof of something. But it does not use “proof of work”. Instead, it uses “proof of space and time”. Here the important part is “space”. The space here means hard drives (hard disk, hdd). And they call it farming instead of mining. And the result of big interest in Chia farming, hard drives are bought all over the world and prices go up and availability is scarce. Some hard drive prices have already gone up more than 2x. 

For chia farming, most important parameter that people are looking, is the price per TB. So it affects the most affordable product lines more. But already enterprise drives are getting affected as well. 

SSD prices are affected as well because to start Chia farming one needs first to fill the hard drives. This needs really fast storage and often enterprise grade SSD-s are used for that. 

Be ready.

But what happens if your company runs out of space. You have big storage box that still has free hard drive bays but no hard drives to put there. In these times, cloud services can really help you out. For example, if you have Veeam backup and recovery software then you can extend your local storage with “scale out object storage”. We even have a manual for that and it is easy and quick to set up. You can just direct older backups to cloud to extend available recovery period instead of reducing it due to space running out.

But if you are using something more complex then you need time to prepare and test. My personal recommendation is to have always a small portion of data flowing to the cloud, so when you need it you can just increase the amount and your business continues despite of any storage crisis that may happen.

Do not worry!

Storadera has space for you. We have a healthy stash of drives ready for your data when you need it!

Sign up and be ready for the cloud storage!






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