Chris Mellor

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Chris Mellor covers storage and allied technology areas for The Register. After experience working for DEC, Unisys and SCO, he became an IT journalist writing for a variety of print publications. He edited the UK's first storage print magazine and then moved into the online world writing for IDG's Techworld, then started up the Blocks & Files blog, which was bought by El Reg.

He has written many sportscar buying guides, a few mountaineering guides and drives a car that's faster than he is.

Seagate logo

If you work on Seagate's performance drives, time to find another job

+Comment As expected, Seagate's revenues totaled $2.6bn in the three months to April 1, the third quarter [PDF] in its fiscal 2016, down 21 per cent year-on-year. And as anticipated, it made a $21m loss – its first loss in many many quarters and way down from the year-ago's $291m profit. On Friday, as the results for Q3 were published …
Chris Mellor, 30 Apr 2016
Connected Data Transporters

Nexsan in transports over added sync and share

Nexsan has added acquired Connected Data’s Transporter file sync’ and share technology to its NST file storage array, called the combined product UNITY. Nexsan is the renamed Imation, and it acquired Connected Data and its Transporter product in October last year. Transporter provides private cloud file synchronisation and …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2016
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Coho Data OpenStacked

Coho Data has a Cinder driver for its DataStream product. The Coho Cinder driver is part of OpenStack Mitaka, released earlier this month. Coho says that, with its DataStream Cinder API, organisations can build OpenStack block storage infrastructure that dynamically scales both performance and capacity as application needs …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2016
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IBM goes to WANdisco

IBM is OEM’ing WANdisco’s Fusion data replication product. It will be sold as a standard IBM-branded component of IBM storage and analytics products, covering Hadoop or non-Hadoop, and on-premise or cloud environments. IBM will have access to the Fusion Software Development Kit enabling IBM self-sufficiency in extending the …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2016
Small truck skids towards side of road as wheel comes loose. Photo by shutterstock

WD’s revenue wheels have fallen off. Profits are sinking, too

WD is experiencing global disk drive cooling as the slowing PC jetstream and flash El Nino jointly disrupt the HDD environment. But that's enough in the meteorological metaphor line. WD revenues fell 21 per cent year-on-year to $2.8bn in WD’s third fiscal 2016 quarter, which closed April 1. The quarter-on-quarter compare …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2016

Chomp! Barracuda gets its bite back after turning a profit again

The sum of $83.7m exceeded Barracuda’s revenue estimates for its fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Feb 29, 2016. It was a 16 per cent rise year-on-year and a 4.5 per cent rise quarter-on-quarter. There was a $3.2m net profit, pleasing after five straight loss-making quarters. The full year revenue number was $320.2m, 15.4 per …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
SanDisk Z410

SanDisk's enterprise flash sales are embiggening nicely

SanDisk enjoyed fatter revenues on an annual compare in its first quarter, driven by higher enterprise product sales. First 2016 quarter revenues of $1.37bn were three per cent up the $1.33bn recorded a year ago and, as expected, seasonally down on the final 2015 quarter’s $1.54bn by 11 per cent. There was a profit of $78m, a …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
data centre

X-IO and Pivot3 enter mutual back-scratch deal

X-IO is going to add Pivot3 hyper-converged products to its customers and provide IP, software and engineering services to Pivot3. Here's the juice. We know X-IO is offering Nexsan's E60 arrays as a cold storage tier to its customers and partners. Now it's allying itself with hyper-converged and hybrid array startup Pivot3 in …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016

VMware cloud gros fromage packs his bags and takes a hike

At some point you have to say this is starting to look like a rout. VMware EVP Bill Fathers is taking a hike, no longer content to be general manager of the cloud services business unit. Father's responsibilities will be shared between two cloud co-general managers, Allwyn Sequeira and Laura Ortman, who will report to VMware …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
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Seagate releases helium

Volume ship has started for Seagate's top helium-filled drive. Seagate is shipping its 10TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD in volume, having finally caught up with WDC’s HGST brand capacity-wise. It says it has the industry’s lowest power and weight numbers for 10TB drives. The drive is shipping to Ciara and Supermicro. Huawei …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
SanDisk Z410

Alphabetti spaghetti: SanDisk adds SLC cache to TLC SSD

Acronym alert: SanDisk has upgraded its Z400 PC SSD by changing it from an MLC drive to a TLC one with an SLC cache, doubling its capacity as well making it faster. The Z400 SSD used 15nm MLC (2 bits/cell) flash when it was introduced a year ago. SanDisk has kept the 15nm NAND but changed it to TLC (3bits/cell), upping its …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
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Rubrik encrypts box

Rubrik has an enhanced-security version of its r300 backup appliances. The 2U r528 appliance has encryption at rest and in-flight, with FIPS 140-2 Level 2 certification. There are several key management options, and what Rubrik calls “physical tamper evidence”. It uses self-encrypting HDDs and SSDs. There are two X86 nodes …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
IBM_FlashSystem_900

IBM bungs deduplication in FlashSystem arrays

IBM launched three new all-flash array products, including an all-flash DS8888 monolithic array. It says the three products each have a minimum latency of 250 microseconds, and use IBM's proprietary format flash drives, called MicroLatency modules. Big Blue says the MicroLatency technology transfers data within the flash …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
Douanier_rousseau_hungry_lion_art

You're only young but you're going to die: Farewell, all-flash startups

Comment Following news of its restructuring there will inevitably be layoffs at X-IO’s Colorado Springs facility. We hear that the company is working to get staff employment with other companies. The situation is fast-developing and X-IO’s concern is its employees and not the media, so we'll hear more later. Our interest here is not …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2016

X-IO adds archive storage tier: ISE and iglu get cold storage

Nexsan, the renamed Imation, has signed an OEM agreement with X-IO Technologies whereby X-IO will add Nexsan’s E60 storage array to its product portfolio as a capacity disk tier. The E60VT is a 480TB to 1.44PB array with 60 disk drives in a 4U unit. It can combine flash and disk drives, and features power-down operation, …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2016
Amazon's Dr. Matt Wood, speaking at AWS SFO Summit 2015

SwiftStack adds load balancing and goes further up the Amazon

SwiftStack is adding load-balancing to its open source object storage, deepening its S3 integration and adding native file access support. The latest version of SwiftStack, v4.0, has four new capabilities and three future ones coming: It has load-balancing across its nodes which, SwiftStack claims, reduces a need for …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2016
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Fast NVMe flash box

ESG testing finds Apeiron NVMe networked array as fast as DAS NVMe flash. An ESG test (PDF) comparing access performance to a PCIe switch/40GbitE networked Apeiron ADS 1000 flash array and the same flash installed as DAS in the test server configuration found that "the ADS1000 delivers performance equal to or better than …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2016
Axellio hardware

X-IO spinning off Axellio line into new biz

Exclusive X-IO Technologies is spinning off its Axellio flash array tech into a separate company as it prepares to stop investing in a market share bun fight with the existing ISE and iglu products. The company has sold in excess of 8,000 ISE flash and flash/disk arrays, and iglu storage data services products, to more than 1,500 …
Chris Mellor, 26 Apr 2016
HDS VSP Front Panel

Filer funfest: HDS buffs up its VSP product on four fronts at once

HDS has added native NAS, VVOLs, analytics and cloud tiering to its big iron VSP G-series array. The company has an all-flash F series version of the VSP, plus a new all-flash HFS A series product HDS has had a separate BlueArc-based NAS product for some time. The HNAS 4000 series offers between two and eight nodes and its …
Chris Mellor, 26 Apr 2016
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Trouble at t'spinning rust mill: Disk drive production is about to head south

+Comment A sea change is looming in the disk drive industry as drive spindle motor maker Nidec reduces its total disk drive demand number. Nidec is a Japanese company and has the largest market share of any such manufacturer. It foresees demand for about 400 million units in 2016, down 13 per cent from its previous October 2015 …
Chris Mellor, 26 Apr 2016
Garden_gate

Time to quadruple our cloud gateway capacity, CTERA etc etc

CTERA has upped the capacity of its storage appliance fourfold, stripped off the hardware to provide a bare-bones virtual edition, and re-engineered its central software to be more cloud-centric. CTERA launched its cloud storage gateway and NAS (network attached server) product in 2009, with the cloud part being back-end …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
data centre

It's a good time to be in hyper-converged, eh, Pivot3?

Pivot3's had its highest-ever revenue growth rate in 2016's first quarter. The company hyperconverged appliance company bought Nexgen, an all-flash and hybrid array starup spun out of SanDisk, earlier this year, and gained $54.6m in funding. Now we see why the VCs were excited about Pivot3's prospects. Pivot3 saw a greater …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
Terry_Pratchett_disk_world

Amazon tips spinning rust into its Elastic Block Store offering

Cloud king Amazon has added two disk-drive-based storage options to its EBS (Elastic Block Store). There is a Throughput-Optimised HDD (st1) volume and a Cost HDD (sc1) volume. The sc1 volume is for low access workloads, coldish data, with a price of $0.025/GB/month while the st1 volume is for frequent data access to Big Data …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
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SolidFire's OpenStack play

NetApp's acquired all-flash array supplier, SolidFire, has released a Python SDK to make it easier to integrate its array with third-party app software. This is expected to enhance its use in the OpenStack environment. The SDK supports Python 2.7 and 3.3, and should reduce the amount of unique and template code needed to …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
Cinders

NexentaEdge gets persistent for Docker containers

Nexenta has upgraded its NexentaEdge scale out block and object store to add persistent storage to Docker containers, and support native block device services, so hyper-converged OpenStack Nova nodes can run directly on a NexentaEdge cluster. NexentaEdge includes additional performance optimisations for all-flash and hybrid …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
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Veeam releases results

Virtual software firm Veeam has claimed it grew by 26 per cent in the UK and Ireland in Q1, with total customers in the region reaching 13,752. It also boasted of 24 per cent year-on-year growth in total bookings revenue. Veeam’s global customer count is up to 193,000. There was a 75 per cent year-on-year increase in total …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
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Blade server beats racks

Huawei's FusionServer E9000 blade server has set three SPEC world records. The SPEC CPU2006 tests measured the performance of the 2-socket E9000 based on Intel's Xeon E5-2600 v4 CPUwith up to 22 cores, and 20 per cent more performance than the preceding E5-2600 v3. The scores were 74, 1790, and 1120 in the SPECint_base2006, …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
Lightning

Flexi-Plexistor's software-defined memory roadmap

Comment Startup Plexistor's SDM software is said to run any application at near-memory speed by using caching and tiering. It has a file system that covers DRAM, NVDIMM-N (byte-addressable flash DIMMs fully mapped to memory space and accessed at cache-line granularity), NVDIMM-F (block-addressable flash DIMM on memory bus), forthcoming …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2016
man crying, image via Shutterstock

What the world needs now is... not disk drives

Analysis Flash goes the PC and notebook disk drive. Dramatic and persistent disk drive sales declines heralds changes at WD and Seagate as their disk drive job engine slows down. With PC sales falling and notebook/tablet flash use climbing the outlook for disk drive manufacturers on the desktop, sofa and kitchen table is looking bleak …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2016
K2

Dell looking at higher debt mountain to buy EMC

Dell is facing its EMC acquisition debt mountain growing yet higher because the Wall St bond market will need higher interest payments to fund the deal. That could highlight product overlap costs to ex-money man David Goulden who will run the new Enterprise Systems Group, covering its servers, storage, networking, converged …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2016
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DDN upgrades MediaScaler

DataDirect Networks has upgraded its MediaScaler game to v2.0 to deliver 42GB/sec throughput for 40 concurrent uncompressed 4K streams on a single system. There are four 40 Gigabit ports on each MEDIAScaler controller. It supports 4K, 8K UHD, HDR and IMF data formats, and has NVMe and SAS SSD media integrated by a PCI-e …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
Micron_16nm_NAND_wafer

Goodbye: XPoint is Intel's best exit from NAND production hell

Analysis 3D XPoint memory represents a door way to non-volatile profits for Intel and a passage away from NAND production, which is bedevilled by over-supply from costly fabrication plants with high costs. This idea starts from a simple question: how is Intel’s flash business doing? Not well, according to a financial analyst. In its …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

EMC results: It'll all come out in the post-Dell deal wash

+Comment EMC saw many pockets of growth in its first fiscal 2016 quarter’s results but overall revenues declined because core legacy product revenues fell, as did RSA and the enterprise content business. These declines more than offset the impressive growth rates of newer products. In the EMC earnings call, CEO and chairman Joe Tucci …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
Amazon_Snowball_Case

Amazon gets new courier

Commvault now supports Amazon’s Snowball service. Amazon Snowball is the quaintly named US geo service (global availability - end-2016) where you send up to 80TB of data on a hard drive to Amazon and so enjoy courier-net (UPS, FedEx, etc) bandwidth which is vastly more cost-effective than some network pipes. You can request …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
open_door_648

Druva fills luggage with cash, heads to Japan

Startup Druva has taken in fresh funding to pay for expansion into Japan. The company's InSync products protect corporate end-points – notebooks and the like – and it has lately expanded to protect cloud apps. It has set up a subsidiary in Japan, building on existing reseller and MSP deals, and opened an office in Tokyo. NTT …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
3d_XPOint_structure

Storage with the speed of memory? XPoint, XPoint, that's our plan

Analysis Since the virtual dawn of computing, storage – where data puts its feet up when it's at home – has been massively slower than memory, where data puts on its trainers and goes for a quick run. That massive access speed gap has been getting narrower and narrower with each storage technology advance: paper tape, magnetic tape, …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
TFinity_ExaScale

SpectraLogic debuts big, bad exabyte-tastic temple of tape

SpectraLogic has announced the largest tape library in the world, the TFinity ExaScale Edition, with an exabyte of capacity in a single footprint storage system using current media technology. It is also the industry’s first tri-mode library, with support for LTO, IBM TS1150 and Oracle T10000 A, B, C and D format tape drives …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2016
BOLIVIA, UYUNI, 17 SEPTEMBER 2014 - Internet and mobile communications in Uyuni, Bolivia, South America - pic via shutterstock

Cashman steadies ship: EMC revenues shrink, profits fatten

EMC saw a slight revenue decline year-on-year in the first 2016 quarter, with Latin America a trouble spot. Revenues of $5.5bn were 2 per cent down year-on-year from $5.6bn. However profits, of $268m were 6.3 per cent higher year-on-year EMC’s first quarter is seasonally weaker than its fourth quarter and, indeed, the fourth …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2016
L200_Slim

Toshiba notebook disk drive slims down. You like that, gamers?

Toshiba has thinned is L200 500GB internal drive, shaving off 26 per cent of its thickness, so it takes up less space in notebooks and gaming consoles. The L200 Slim, with its 7mm z-height, has the same 500GB capacity as the thicker L200 with its 9.5mm z-height. It also sports the same 92g weight, but it only has an 8MB buffer …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2016
WDC_Golds

WD rust-proofs spinners with Gold offering

WD has set up a new data centre nearline disk drive brand, Gold, with three drive capacities matching and topping the Re brand’s capacities. The spinning rust folk have released 4, 6 and 8TB, 3.5-inch Gold drives with a mix of technologies. The 8TB Gold drive is a helium-filled drive for example, while other two are air- …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2016
Claw hammer

Delphix appoints new CEO – but hasn't filled vacant CTO spot

Structured data copy virtualising startup Delphix has appointed Chris Cook as president and CEO, with founding CEO Jedidiah Yueh become executive chairman of the board. Why? Cook has been president and COO of New Relic since September 2011, joining from CA where he held exec-level positions since 2005. He was a sales VP at …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016

Sail on SpectraLogic's BlackPearl, right up into the cloudy glory

SpectraLogic has added replication and a cloud gateway to its BlackPearl disk and tape storage combo. Where large-scale content providers need to store their relatively unstructured content (videos, etc) on a tiered disk and tape system for fast front-end disk access and low-cost long-term back-end tape, then BlackPearl …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
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WDC archive box cert

HGST's Active Archive array is certified as a NetBackup target by Veritas. The box uses disk drives in an array that can scale out from 672TB to 28PB, uses S3-compliant object storage and erasure coding. WDC says says TCO tivals traditional tape and [public] cloud infrastructures. ® Register Vulture logo - grey
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3

Video folk, you'll love the 96TB, 2.6GB/sec LaCie 12big HDD

Seagate's LaCie external storage drives unit has come up with a video editing workstation user's wet dream: 96TB capacity and 2.6GB/sec throughput from a Thunderbolt 3-accessed desktop tower. The 12big Thunderbolt product features: 12 drives bays and 8TB, 7200rpm drive support RAID 5 and 6 support from RAID hardware …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
The CST-100 descends by parachute with airbags deployed. Pic: Boeing

Oh dear, IBM. Storage isn't looking like a cash cow any more, is it?

IBM's storage hardware revenues continue falling as growth businesses stay submerged under the declining ones. In its first quarter of 2016 results, IBM's storage hardware revenues were, at $433.5m, six per cent down year-on-year, continuing the now familiar trend. This was a billion-dollar-a-quarter business in the fourth …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
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Gridstore sacked CEO

Gridstore fired its CEO because board wanted company to grow faster. Hype-converged appliance startup Gridstore has explained that it fired its CEO after he mysteriously left the firm in February. An email from the company said: "Gridstore closed out a record year in 2015 in both revenue and customer acquisition and launched …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
Big cloud, image via Shutterstock

Quantum of solace: Mega cloud signing to end years of hurt?

Quantum says it has won a major cloud storage deal that could help reverse years of falling revenues. It's also announced a new chief financial officer: Fuad Ahmad will take over from Linda Breard. Breard became Quantum's chief beancounter in January 2011, and resigned in January to pursue another opportunity. Ahmad gets an …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
Gridstore HCA

Gridstore boss George Symons ejects, leaves hyper-upstart headless

Gridstore CEO George Symons left the company in February after almost three years at the helm, with no successor appointed. The Mountain View, California, biz is a hyper-converged infrastructure startup focussing on Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor. Symons is no longer listed as CEO on the company's website and, indeed, no CEO …
Chris Mellor, 18 Apr 2016

Here, let me FXT that for you: Avere's baby NAS gear gets an upgrade

NAS accelerator and cloud storage gateway shop Avere has finished rolling out its FXT 5000 series refresh: its entry-level 3200 has been upgraded to the 5200 with boosted performance and capacity. Back in January the FXT 5600 and 5400 replaced the 4850 and 3850, but left the FXT 3200 untouched. These systems can accelerate …
Chris Mellor, 18 Apr 2016

Gartner's broken out its crystal ball again. Huawei's object storage bods won't be happy

Comment Gartner's gurus have ranked the top twelve object storage suppliers in a Critical Capabilities report, with Cleversafe at the top and Huawei last. The report states: "Object storage is pervasive as the underlying platform for cloud applications that we consume in our personal lives, such as content streaming, photo sharing and …
Chris Mellor, 18 Apr 2016