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.

QLogic hits all-flash bullseye, doubles profit

QLogic is smiling, and so it should, with revenues and profits growing, and all-flash arrays, where it has host server connectivity dominance, blooming too. The glory days might just be coming into sight again. Revenues for its full-year 2015 third quarter were $140.2m, 10 per cent higher than the previous quarter, and a chunky …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2015

Emulex ends seven-quarter run of losses

+Comment After seven straight quarters of losses, Emulex has made a $4.3m profit in its second financial 2015 quarter – but that performance might not be repeated next quarter. The profit was better by far than the $4m loss a year ago and the $700k loss in the previous quarter. Revenues were $111.1m, above guidance but still 9.7 per cent …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2015
Noctilucent_clouds

Quantum adds cloud tier to StorNext

Quantum has added cloud storage to its StorNext file virtualisation package, embedding it in the workflow process as just another tier. StorNext presents a single namespace file storage resource to its users, be the files on primary disk, secondary (Lattus object) disk, or tape (archive). The idea is that StorNext is embedded in …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2015

EMC reports mixed results, fingers axe: 'Reduction in force' planned

+Comment Storage giant EMC has announced its plans to lay off an unspecified number of staffers in Q1 and said in an SEC filing that it would record restructuring charges in the range of $130m to $150m. In the final few months of last year, EMC increased its revenues by $1bn, quarter on quarter, with Pivotal and VMware growing strongly, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015

Cloud storage upstart boasts of swollen biz, hires the CFO who sold Archivas

Comment Cloud storage gateway startup Nasuni reports that it experienced 300 per cent growth in 2014* and has just recruited a CFO who helped sell the founder's previous company – Archivas – to HDS for $127m in 2007. Nasuni has recruited Scott Dussault to be its combined CFO and COO, saying he's experienced at scaling a company for fast …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015
Stormy Dover. Pic: Phil Houghton

CommVault CEO: Quick, throw me some more sales reps

Data protection and archiving vendor CommVault is in a profits hole and management hasn't been able to stop digging yet. Profits of just $3m in its third full-year 2015 quarter were only two per cent of revenues, after being 4.3 per cent in the previous quarter and five per cent a year ago, when revenues of $153.3m were slightly …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015

Shouty investor Elliott looms over software veteran Informatica

+Comment Elliott Management, the activist investor with its hooks into EMC, appears to have settled on Informatica as its next likely target for shareholder gains glory. It's the usual deal of building a holding (eight per cent in this case), analysing the company's business, speaking to the board, and then writing a letter to management …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015

Spinning rust into gold: WD profit grows ... though sales dip

+Comment Western Digital sold 61 million drives in its latest quarter, 2.1 million less than a year ago, but made $30m more profit, and it out-shipped and out-earned rival Seagate – CEO Steve Milligan's men must have ear-to-ear grins on their faces. The company’s revenues, including its WD and HGST operations, for Q2 in its fiscal 2015 ( …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2015
US army land warrior

NexGen polishes guns, prepares to face hybrid array legions

Analysis Hybrid array startup NexGen is starting out afresh having been spun out of SanDisk, and now faces the full competitive force of hybrid competition from both mainstream array vendors and the up-and-coming trio of Nimble, Tegile and Tintri. What are its chances? NexGen was an iSCSI-based hybrid flash/disk array startup which used …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2015
Mare_Byrd_land Antarctica

X-IO fights global hybrid warming, keeps ISE age going

X-IO has overhauled its hybrid ISE array line with third generation technology and given it a top-end ISE 780 model with boosted performance. ISE (Integrated Storage Elements) are sealed 3U rack enclosures containing SSDs and Seagate disk drives with clever Seagate diagnostic software enabling drive failures that would cause …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2015
Amtrak Acela train

NetApp embiggens E-Series flashbox: Gee, a benchmark... thanks

NetApp has doubled the speed and capacity of its all-flash E-Series arrays, and won an SPC-1 benchmark record in the process. The new EF560 is an E-Series all-flash array that builds on the existing 25-month-old EF550 to raise its sustained IOPS number from the 400,000 or so at EF550 launch time in November 2013 to past 650,000 …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jan 2015
Larry Ellison on stage at the launch of Oracle's X5 engineered systems range

The firm that swallowed the Sun: Is Oracle happy as Larry with hardware and systems?

Oracle-Sun anniversary One Sun swallow doesn’t make a hardware summer, and while it certainly hasn’t for Oracle, it is far from being in a hardware winter for the firm. Oracle's gulp of Sun Microsystems on 27 January 2010 – five years ago today – has resulted in a generally flagging Sun hardware product business and the growing Engineered System …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jan 2015

Seagate belches, chomps down another greenback burger

Seagate’s second quarter revenues for 2015 rose 4.8 per cent over the year to $3.7bn while profits more than doubled to $933m, up from $428m a year ago. Last quarter’s revenues were higher, at $3.8bn, yet profits were $381m. This meant they made up just 10.1 per cent of its revenues compared to 25.2 per cent profit in the latest …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2015

Analyse THIS: Facebook alumni upstart Interana inhales MORE cash

+Comment Why the hurry? Interana, an analytics startup co-founded by ex-Facebook engineers just got a 250 per cent rise in funding, $20m, less than four months after its initial $8.2m A-round. Index Ventures led this round, in which new investors AME Cloud Ventures, Harris Barton and Mike Olson, chief strategy officer at Cloudera, …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2015
XtremIO front panel

EMC: Kerr-ching! $430m XtremIO gulp's paying off... Hello, $1bn a year

EMC president Chad Sakac says the XtremIO will be the fastest product in EMC’s history to reach a billion dollar run-rate. A new release is coming to keep the momentum up. XtremIO was bought by EMC for $430m in May 2012, at which point it did not have a shipping product. The first product was announced a year later, May, 2013. …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2015

Right, we've bagged IBM’s X86 server biz... now what? – Lenovo

Now that Lenovo has IBM’s X86 server business, it’s able to freely participate in partnerships with storage suppliers. Does it view storage as a market into which it can expand? Although not a storage vendor in the mainstream array sense Lenovo does have a number of storage product lines: PX2-300D and PX4-400D NVR video …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2015
CPUs in a FatTwin

Official: Whiteboxer Super Micro is a $2bn server company

+Comment Commodity server vendor Super Micro has reached a $2bn run rate with its latest quarter's results. In Q2 fiscal 2015, the three months that ended 31 Decemer 2014, revenues jumped 41 per cent year-on-year to $503m, as profits grew to $31.24m, 134 per cent up the same period in fiscal '13. Super_Micro_Quarterly_Revs_to_Q2_fy2015 …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2015
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

Kaminario swallows $15m – ONE MONTH after last cash gulp

Comment Not content with raising $53m in a E-round of funding at the end of November, flash array performance king Kaminario raised another $15m at the end of December. The startup’s K2 all-flash array business has now raised a total of $143m, getting close to Solidfire’s $150m but a long way behind Pure Storage’s $470m. King K got the …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2015
management regulation1

All-flash case rehash: Modus vs Nimbus lawyers off to DC

Modus, a customer of all-flash array startup Nimbus Data, has failed to have Nimbus’ suit against it for breach of contract dismissed. The case is being heard in California’s Northern District court and concerns, Nimbus alleges, Modus buying a flash array from Nimbus and not paying the full balance for the equipment. A filed …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2015
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Seagate's spinning rust most likely to crash, claims backup biz

Online backup bods Backblaze have found Seagate hard disks fail much more than other suppliers, although recent improvements have redressed the situation. In a blog the Backblaze blogger Brian Beach says: “As of December 31, 2014, we had 41,213 disk drives spinning in our data centre, storing all of the data for our unlimited …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2015
Headshot of Trojan horse

HDS embiggens its object array by feeding it more spinning rust

HDS has bulked up its HCP object storage offering with an erasure coding capacity tier, remote office and mobile access to objects, filer data stores and OpenStack support. Why? Preparations for the coming Internet of Things, we think. Hitachi's Content Platform (HCP) is the central object storage facility in a 3-part offering. …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jan 2015
Ghost Recon Future Soldier

Netlist and Diablo set for legal jaw-jaw, not a war-war

Somebody has been knocking a few heads together, it seems. Netlist’s flash tech shipping injunction stopping Diablo Tech’s business with SanDisk could be lifted – if settlement talks set for 12 February are successful. Court documents for the case (Netlist, Inc v. Smart Modular Technologies, Inc) reveal that settlement …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jan 2015

Big Blue weeps as another 8% slips off its storage scales

Comment When is Big Blue's storage slide going to end? IBM's latest quarterly and full year fiscal 2014 results show an unabated fall in storage hardware revenues, with an eight per cent annual decline to $864m in the fourth quarter of 2014. It's a huge number, but back in fiscal 2011 the same quarter recorded $1.2bn in storage hardware …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jan 2015
Megaphone

Nimble CEO lifts lid on sales veep saga. It ain't pretty

Nimble Storage and Eric Mann, its now ex-senior vice president for worldwide sales, parted ways because of travel overload and an exec team misfit, at least according to the company's CEO. Hybrid array vendor Nimble attended a Needham investor conference last week. A listen to the webcast of the conference reveals that Mann’s …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jan 2015
Man wrinkles his eyes in an expression of pain, annoyance or dsicomfort

ULLtraDIMM dam plus inventory oops smacks SanDisk’s Q4 growth

+Comment The expansion of SanDisk’s business nearly stopped in its latest quarter, with revenue growth stalled and profits down as it lost a major customer, experienced troubles in its supply chain and the ULLtraDIMM injunction took hold. Just a temporary setback guys, nothing to see here, move along folks. The consumer and enterprise …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jan 2015
Emulex_results_Q2fy156

What's that, Emulex? A profit? Just over the horizon?

Emulex CEO Jeff Benck unveiled a ray of sunshine with surprisingly good preliminary revenues for its latest quarter. The company ships Fibre Channel HBAs and Ethernet connectivity products and is locked in combat with QLogic in the HBA and converged network adapter markets. Emulex is expecting $110m to $111m in revenues for its …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2015
Tintri

Tintri gazes hungrily at Japan after nailing Fujitsu OEM deal

Hybrid array startup Tintri has bagged Fujitsu as its doorway into the Japanese market. Fujitsu has its in-house ETERNUS DX arrays, classic dual-controller gear, and 50PB scale-out array for big data. The Japanese company has announced its ETERNUS TR line, with TR820, 850 and 880 models aimed at the VDI market. They feature …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2015
Red Dead Redemption

Yep, we'll judge WHOLE DARN storage config. Problem with that?

Behold. The benchmarkers have brainstormed a fresh filer performance measure – SPEC SFS 2014. It looks at end-to-end filer performance instead of looking at component levels, as did the previous SPECsfs 2008 measure. SPEC SFS 2014 stands for the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation and its Solution File Server 2014 test. …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jan 2015
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Qubole rains down analytic insights from Hadoop cloud

Comment A whole new generation of storage software application startups focussed on Big Data is growing furiously in front of our eyes. Engineers involved with Google, Facebook and other big data-using, web-scale services pioneers have seen that where Facebook, Google and others lead enterprises are going to have to follow. Relational …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jan 2015
Gun and dollars

Hyperconverged IDC shamans mumble mantras over market

The MarketScape wizards at IDC have pounced on the hyperconverged systems market for their latest escapade, putting Nutanix well ahead of Simplivity. The two are in the leaders' section of the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Hyperconverged Systems 2014 Vendor Assessment which plots suppliers in a 2D space defined by strategies (low …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2015

Nimble gives Mann severe kicking while he's down

Comment Nimble's w-w sales VP Eric Mann resigned abruptly a few days ago and the firm has released an unflattering statement about his departure. "Eric Mann made the personal decision to leave Nimble acknowledging that he underestimated the level of personal and professional commitment required to build and lead a high-performance sales …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2015
Source: Simply Smile Photography by Georgia Stephenson

S3-lover Cloudian's hybrid object store gets Amazonian backend

Comment Object storage startup Cloudian is expanding into Big Data analytics via a tie-up with HortonWorks. Its product HyperStore uses distributed object storage technology and presents an NFS-accessed storage resource for mid-to-large enterprises and regional service providers. It has a local on-premises component with an S3- …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2015

It's Friday. The pub is looming. IDC tells us 'bottoms up'. We'll drink to that headline

IDC has released a flash-based array study saying it's used a (and we quote) "bottoms-up approach." We'll raise a glass to that notion. The study, Worldwide All-Flash Array and Hybrid Flash Array 2014–2018 Forecast and 1H14 Vendor Shares, looks at revenues and raw terabytes shipped with flash-based arrays - all-flash arrays ( …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2015
axe_channel_teaser

SAN upstart Coraid AXING staff, struggling to survive – sources

+Comment Multiple sources have told us that Etherdrive storage SAN startup Coraid is floundering and staffers are losing their jobs after the firm spent over $100m trying to launch itself as a viable business. The UK service office has no staffer answering calls, Coraid in Australia gives out a recorded message asking for your number. " …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jan 2015

Nimble loses sales Mann as veep exits

Four months after joining from NetApp, Nimble's worldwide sales veep, Eric Mann, has walked, citing personal reasons. Mann joined Nimble last September, coming in with fellow NetApper Mark Parrinello, veep of Americas sales. At NetApp, Mann was SVP and general manager for Americas sales. He was with EMC before NetApp, heading …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jan 2015
Super street fighter illustration - copyright Capcom

Defiant Diablo appeals FlashDIMM dam court order

Defiant Diablo Technologies is appealing* against the court order barring it from shipping any MCS flash DIMM products to customers such as SanDisk. MCS is Diablo’s Memory Channel Storage technology which enables flash memory to be fitted into dynamic memory (DRAM) sockets (DIMMs) and so provide faster-than-PCIe flash card …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2015
Quantum_StorNext_Foundation_Pro

Shrinking tape, dedupe dumps... PAH! Just scale up scale-out – Quantum

StorNext scale-out storage is now a bigger business for Quantum than its deduplicating disk arrays. Quantum’s preliminary third fiscal 2015 quarter results show revenues below guidance at $142m but profits as predicted at $7m as it manages its shrinking tape automation business well. The OEM tape automation business shrank 31 …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2015
Gone fishing

DDN chap throws in towel, taps on Accenture’s door

DDN EVP and CTO Jean-Luc Chatelain has left and joined Accenture as managing director for analytics. At DataDirect Networks Chatelain was responsible for Strategy and Technology, having joined in February 2011. He is a proponent of modern Big Data analytics, thinking that the old Extract-Transform-Load (ETL)-style of Business …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2015

Grow, grow, Grohe, you gloat. Well done that sales team. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, profit is just a dream

Blink and you’ll miss it: Barracuda made a microscopic loss of $36,000 in its latest quarter. That's just 0.1 per cent of its $70.4m revenues. This is a company growing sales by 17 to 20 per cent in each quarter compared to the year before – nothing dramatic but more than respectable. Barracuda Networks sells data protection and …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2015
channel_teaser_exit

Atlantis Computing: CEO left due to 'personal reasons'

Comment Atlantis CEO Jason Donahue stepped down for personal reasons with no business-related issues at all, says the firm, which adds that it has set up a partnership with Citrix using its virty storage booster software USX. Chetan Venkatesh, Atlantis’ founder and new CEO after Jason Donahue left just four months post-appointment, said …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2015

Dell muscles into all-flash for small biz with $35k 4TB array

Dell is shipping a go-faster version of its $25k entry-level all-flash array for $35k. The basic SC4020 AFA single-tier configuration has six 480GB read-intensive SSDs, 2.8TB raw capacity, for an advertised street price of $25,000, $8.83/raw GB. A flash-optimised multi-tier config has faster write performance. It has six 200GB …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2015

IDC on marketscape mayhem: EMC asked us to ignore Atmos

Following our comment on its marketscape on Friday, analyst IDC has explained that EMC had asked it to include its new ECS product in the object storage marketscape, thus requiring the analyst to ignore Atmos. The 2014 marketscape chart showed EMC’s relative market share much diminished compared to the 2013 chart. We said on …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2015
Toshiba MQ03ABB300

Toshiba tosses out uber-slim THREE TERABYTE HDD

Toshiba has launched a 3TB small-form-factor hard drive, which must set some sort of record, surely. Its MQ03ABB300 – what sexy names these suckers have – is a 2.5-inch disk drive with four platters each holding 750GB. That makes the drive 15mm thick (high in HDD parlance) and suitable for external drive use. Tosh's latest …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2015

Virtually yours: Citrix swallows Sanbolic

Server/desktop virtualisation supplier Citrix has acquired storage virtualisation software startup Sanbolic. No price was revealed. Sanbolic’s Melio software turns a set of servers’ direct-attached and network-attached storage into a virtual storage resource pool. Citrix will combine it with XenDesktop, XenApp and XenMobile …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2015
Scylla_and_Charybdis

SanDisk's flash chip nightmare: How I'd escape black hole if I was in charge

Comment Apparently let down by a component supplier allegedly shipping technology it has no rights to, SanDisk now finds itself facing a FlashDIMM sales shutdown – just as the server world realizes that DIMM flash is much faster to access than PCIe flash and wants more of it. As detailed here, Netlist has won an injunction preventing …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2015

Activist Elliott gets two seats on the EMC board

EMC - currently under attack by activist investor Elliott Management, which is wanting it to sell off VMware - has granted Elliott two board seats. The EMC board has been expanded from 11 to 13 seats to make room for the two, Jose Almedia (chairman, president and CEO of global healthcare company Covidien), and Donald Carty ( …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2015

Lenovo, Huawei could face SanDisk FlashDIMM dam – analysts

SanDisk could be stopped from shipping its FlashDIMMs for Lenovo, Huawei and Supermicro servers if analysts' interpretations of a Netlist court-awarded injunction are correct. SanDisk’s acquired SMART business unit supplies ULLtraDIMMs, flash dies fitted to DIMM sockets - flashDIMMs - which are based on MCS (Memory Channel …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2015
Alarm clock

Atlantis Computing CEO stands down

+Comment After just four months as Atlantis Technology CEO and president, Jason Donahue has left, and has been replaced by founder and now ex-chief technology officer Chetan Venkatesh. The company's management page now has Venkatesh listed as chief. Atlantis has RAM-using server and VDI virtualisation software technology products called …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2015
channel_teaser_exit

Hauling DRaaS: Unitrends CEO off to consulting job

+Comment Virtual server backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) startup Unitrends has lost one CEO and hired a new one. Mike Coney, CEO since November 2009, has been thanked for his valued service and Unitrends wishes him well in his next endeavour. Coney now describes himself as a CEO consultant. This CEO change follows on …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jan 2015

'IDC, why did you play down EMC?' IDC: WAAAAHHHH

Comment When IDC produced its new object storage marketscape there were significant changes compared to the year-ago marketscape chart. Notably EMC’s presence was much reduced, which we pointed out, mentioning “the fading presence of EMC, where ViPR and Isilon object storage has not, apparently, built on the surge established by Atmos …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jan 2015