COVID-19 has made network servers hard to find

Supply chain shutdowns have created network servers shortages, and delivery prices have risen from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

There's hardly an aspect of life that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic hasn't impacted. And one area of the IT world that is feeling the pinch in network servers.

The rapid shutdown of the component supply chain in China has put a crimp in server availability.

Heficed, a full-scope internet infrastructure provider headquartered in London, reports that the scarcity of network servers is felt on a global scale. "The sudden stop of operations in China had a drastic effect on the industry, immensely limiting the available hardware supply," says Vincentas Grinius, CEO of Heficed.

"We usually stock up for at least a few months in advance, which proved to be a vital decision, which allows us to maintain our operations on a pre-virus capacity. Other hosting providers aren't so lucky, as most of the storage facilities have been emptied clean, so you can't simply stock up on required resources," adds Grinius.

With China suffering problems, businesses started looking at other major markets, such as the United States. But that highlighted a new problem.

Delivery costs.

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"Delivery is no longer a rational choice," says Grinius. "Prices for shipping rose from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars: if you would compare it to our previous delivery expenses, costs jumped by at least a 150 percent."

How bad are things? According to Grinius, some businesses, particularly SMEs, may "fall victim to unpreparedness and lose their place in the market." It will ultimately come down to the individual company's ability to assemble the resources and adapt to rapidly changing market conditions.

The coronavirus outbreak, which has pushed an unprecedented number of people to work from home, has put a tremendous strain on the internet, which is unlikely to lessen anytime soon. Heficed suggests reducing the pressure on the network be lessened by utilizing the IP address market, and encouraged companies with unused IPv4 assets to consider IP address leasing, in turn providing more resources for ISPs and others in need of network infrastructure.

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