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.

EMC buys cloudy Canuck security company CloudLink

EMC has bought CloudLink – a 20-person Canadian firm specialising in cloud data security software – for an undisclosed price. The software is SecureVM, which provides end-to-end data encryption for hybrid clouds, covering both at-rest and in-flight data for virtualised servers. It’s been an EMC Select Partner since 2013 and …
Chris Mellor, 17 Apr 2015
USB flash drive with NAND chip and controller chip

Flash dead end is deferred by TLC and 3D

Comment The arrival of a flash dead-end is being delayed by two technologies, both involving the number three – three-level cell (TLC) flash and three-dimensional (3D) flash – with the combination promising much higher flash chip capacities. As ever with semi-conductor technology, users want more data in the same space and faster access …
Chris Mellor, 17 Apr 2015
MICA aurora borealis probe small1

What's that coming over the Dot Hill, is it is a monster? Is it a sales monster?

SAN maker Dot Hill is lifting its revenue forecast for the quarter. Why’s that interesting? Because it confirms Dot Hill is climbing out of a deep ditch where it has spent the past four years hiding, and that the previous quarter’s sales increase wasn’t a one-off stunt. Summer really has arrived for Dot Hill. For the first …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2015

Pure Storage shoves channel growth ahead of IPO dream bid

All-flash array start-up and IPO’er-in-waiting (we think) Pure Storage has got itself a new channel programme and two channel-focused exec hires, to get partners selling more tier-1 storage replacing Pure product. It is implementing a two-tier pan-regional distribution model, an expanded technology alliance ecosystem for …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2015
Bloody Serial Killer Shower Curtain

Bloodied SanDisk preps for job cuts after market reading mis-steps

Comment SanDisk said its Q1 numbers were going to be bad, and bad they were, with revenue and profits drops due to an embedded component material screw-up and execs not seeing where the market was going. Job cuts are coming. What’s happened is that SanDisk fell short in the enterprise market, mis-read trends, and then discovered it …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2015
Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote

Samsung's PCIe flash card: Slim, speedy, and just nibbling power

Samsung has tweaked its SM951 PCIe flash card to give it an NVMe interface as well as a low-power standby mode. The NVMe SM951 features faster speeds than the AHCI-based version; 300,000 random read 4K IOPS vs 130,000 100,000 random write 4K IOPS (we believe) vs 85,000 2.26GB/sec sequential read bandwidth vs 2.15GB/sec 1.6GB …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2015
Fast_Ethernet_speeds_ADoption_650

2550100 ... An Illuminati codeword or name of new alliance demanding faster Ethernet faster?

An alliance called 2550100 has been announced by QLogic and others to deliver faster Ethernet faster – starting with 25GbitE to deliver better-than-10gig speed without jumping all the way to 40gig. There is a 2550100.com website, which lists 13 members, including DataCore, Finisar, HDS, Huawei, Lenovo, SuSE, QLogic (of course), …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2015
Log jam

Startups face logjam as the trickle towards the exit turns into flood

Comment The mass of storage start-ups is threatening to overwhelm the exit routes into the great, wide post-start-up world, dooming many to lingering deaths or outright failure. Remember Attrato, Copan, Coraid, Exafile, Nirvanix, Parascale, Starboard Storage and TrueSAN? Hopeful storage start-ups that failed to make it from the start-up …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2015
Delia Derbyshire edits on a Philips EL3503

DDN unveils filer boxes for all occasions at NAB 2015

DDN has launched two new filers: the MEDIAScaler for media workflows and a refreshed GRIDScaler for HPC-style workloads. Both were launched at NAB 2015, the National Association of Broadcasting Show in Las Vegas, where user attendees will typically work with large sets of often multi-component video files and need fast access to …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2015
HP_Z_Turbo_DRive_G2

HP flash splash at National Association of Broadcasters bash

HP has been flashing at the National Association of Broadcasters' event in Las Vegas, announcing desktop PCIe SSDs for media mavens to manipulate their massive files. The Z Turbo Drive G2 is a PCIe NVMe flash device using Samsung M.2 PCIe tech, which more than doubles the speed of its gen-1 predecessor, delivering "four times …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2015
Rows of washing machines in shop aisle

Just LOOK at this filthy Imation linen, screeches furious Clinton Group

The Clinton Group, wanting to have its own slate of Imation board members, has released an emphatic diatribe of a proxy vote presentation, designed to disgust investors with what it says are the value-destroying failings of the current board and CEO. The activist investor group pulls no punches, repeatedly saying that Imation's …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2015
Google_Avere_Cloud_Chocolate

Avere cuddles Google, continues with Amazon. Label that under ‘It's complicated’

It's double your dates time: Avere has evolved its FXT front-end filer accelerator into a cloud storage gateway, first with Amazon and now with Google. On-premises workloads and data sets can be pumped out from an on-premises NAS array through the FXT Edge Filer to Google's Cloud Platform. The Chocolate Factory has been adding …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2015
WD_Purple_NV

Purple strain? Purple gain: WD doubles cam count for spy drives

Western Digital has tweaked its Purple-branded hard drives for video surveillance to double the supported camera count. The 4TB Purple 3.5" disks were introduced in February last year, with a 6TB model hitting the market eight months later. They have a feature called AllFrame in their firmware that's supposed to reduce data …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015

Spectra reveals shiny necklace of BlackPearl partners

SpectraLogic's BlackPearl disk/object gateway-to-tape archives need front-end apps amended or developed to send data, prompting a raft of partnerships announced at NAB in Las Vegas. The company says BlackPearl-enabled apps using its DS3 (S3-based) API have direct access to its archive of media content stored as objects. These …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015
No Sale

Quantum not buying Dot Hill. Takes the OEM, master disti path instead

Contradicting rumours we heard that it was buying Dot Hill, storage biz Quantum, already a Dot Hill OEM, is taking on master channel distribution rights for the network array maker's products. Dot Hill manufactures storage systems for OEM customers such as Quantum and others, and has a focus on improving array performance with …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015
UNIX developers Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie working on a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer

Is hyper-convergence a good thing? Ask a mini computer veteran

Hyper-converged systems integrate compute, storage and networking into a single purchasable entity that is easier to deploy, operate and manage than traditional best-of-breed component systems. They are a step up from converged systems that integrated just storage and compute. That's the simple story – but the definitions are …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015
Sprinter

HGST says its NVMe flash card will manage 750,000 IOPS

How does damn near three quarters of a million random read IOPS grab you? HGST is at last shipping its NVMe Ultrastar SN100 PCI flash card, first announced seven months ago. The speeds and feeds look impressive, with HGST saying it’s the “industry’s highest-performing NVMe compliant SSD series.” The specs are: 1.6TB and 3.2TB …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2015
Tintri

Tintri gets all touchy-feely with latest OS update

A Tintri OS update has added drag-and-drop storage IOPS maxima and minima per virtual machine (VM) and latency source identification, for visually confirmed granular quality of service. Extra snapshotting and management features have also been added to the mix. With Tintri OS v3.2 VM-level, admin staff can use a GUI to drag and …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Symantec may flog off Veritas – but where's the CEO hunt at?

Symantec is being pressed to sell its Veritas storage unit to private equity instead of floating it as an independent publicly-owned business, according to reports over the weekend. Symantec intends to split itself into separate security and storage businesses as a way of re-igniting growth for both. CEO Michael Brown will run …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2015

Imation shareholders facing proxy FUD-flinging war at AGM

Proxy FUD poo is being thrown around at Imation. Activist investor The Clinton Group has its hooks into Imation and the Imation board is pleading with shareholders to reject Clinton's candidates at the May 20 AGM. The Clinton Group thinks five years of declining revenues and losses under CEO Mark Lucas and the current board is …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2015
Black_Pearls

SpectraLogic goes deep, man, with new storage gateway

Spectra Logic now has a deeper Deep Storage Gateway for its BlackPearl object-storing archival tape library set-up. Spectra's BlackPearl was announced in October 2013 and stores files as objects on tape with a BlackPearl caching product front end. Users' buckets (data as objects) are cached on flash and then written to tape …
Chris Mellor, 10 Apr 2015
Phoenix

Tale of the tape: A happy Easter present from Quantum

Quantum has announced excellent preliminary results for its fourth fiscal 2015 quarter, confounding expectations of a fourth-quarter revenue drop with a rise. Is its time in the tape trough of despond over? It looks like it could be. Revenues of $145 million were 15 per cent higher year on year and $10 million more than Quantum' …
Chris Mellor, 10 Apr 2015
Shipping_containers

Contain yourselves: Coho Data looks Docker up and down

Storage startup Coho Data thinks Docker containers could help its arrays run storage MicroServices directly on the array, like snapshotting, transcoding and deduplication. It is rethinking storage services and how they are carried out on its MicroArrays and their flash/disk or all-flash object store. These arrays use integrated …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2015
SAmsung_3D_NAND_process_950

Extensive 3D NAND drives very expensive to make

The flash industry is going to have to dig deep – really, really deep – to fund the fabs needed to build 3D NAND. Stifel MD Aaron Rakers bas been crunching numbers and comparing foundry capital costs for NAND over the next few years with those for disk drive fabs. The forthcoming flash fab costs are driven by the conversion to …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2015

Dot Hill ready for Internet of Things data ingest malarkey

Classic dual-controller drive array supplier Dot Hill has uprated its AssuredSAN array to deal with thousands of incoming variable data streams from the growing Internet of Things (IoT) sensor sources, and thus avoid data stream traffic jams. The AssuredSAN 6000 products feature: New 6004 storage array controller in dual active …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2015
Quantum_Artico_Arkivio

Quantum makes the leap into money-saving archiving

Quantum has added another layer to the onion that is its StorNext file management and archiving product set. It now has Arkivo software selecting primary storage files on a policy basis. It sends them for archiving either to a DXi deduped backup target, with an archiving partition, or to a new device, an Artico near-line NAS …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2015
ISE componentry

X-IO X-CFO X-Forwarded-For more time with her family

Sealed-box-of-storage-tricks supplier X-IO has lost its chief accounting financial officer. Carole Gottlieb has decided to resign after being head bean-counter since Ed Welsh went in June 2014. X-IO spokesperson Bill Miller told us: "Carole will be leaving X-IO. She has invested an exemplary level of effort and commitment to …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2015
channel_teaser_money_top

HGST's Active Archive System and the 'currency of the new economy'

What better thing for a disk drive company to do than announce a drive array to archive data and increase demand for its spinning disks? HGST has gone and done just that with its Active Archive System array, built using acquired Amplidata object storage tech. Object storage technology views files as objects, with the content …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2015
Invicta appliance

The Perez Peregrination: Invicta and the move to Dell

Comment The background to the peregrination of Paul Perez from Cisco to Dell throws up some interesting points related to the depressing setback of Cisco’s Invicta flash array program. Perez moved from being the VP and general manager of computing systems at Cisco, Mr UCS server in other words, to become the chief technology officer for …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2015
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

NetApp layoffs loom as biz 'operationalizes strategy', 'prioritizes investments'

NetApp is preparing to layoff employees in the wake of money troubles, The Register has learned. The numbers could run into the thousands. We understand CEO Tom Georgens sent a warning email to all employees in February suggesting redundancies may be necessary for the storage biz to hit its financial targets. NetApp's business …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2015
Roughly 150kg of gold

Private equity grabs Informatica for $5.3 BEEEEEELLION

Data management software player Informatica is now in the hands of private equity overlords, after an eye-watering $5.3bn buy-out was signed and sealed. It seems company execs were listening to activist investor Elliott Management, which owned 9.4 per cent of Informatica's shares, and some months back had called for the business …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2015
Deanerys Targeryen and dragon

Dell's scaly-headed file system gets bigger and bitier

Dell's scale-out NAS Fluid File System filer head software has had a major upgrade for v4.0, with more controller RAM and support for larger files in a bigger namespace. FluidFS comes with the FS8600 appliance which can scale out to four nodes. It is pitched against industry-leader Isilon, with Dell saying: "The new version of …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2015
Veritas_5330_NetBackup_Appliance

Backup Exec worships VMware's spanking new ESXi appeal

Proprietary backup software Backup Exec is now in its mid-teens, with v15 eying up VMware and its distinct six appeal, as well as cosying up to Amazon. The hybrid cloud rules, OK! The soon-to-be-split Symantec, with Veritas being the storage brand and company, said BE 15 supports the latest VMware enhancements on the source data …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Digital pathology and the big Cs (that’s ‘cancer’ and ‘cloud’)

Comment Have I got cancer? “Maybe," says my oncologist, “so I’m going to take a biopsy and we’ll have a look.” A small piece of my body, tissue from the potentially cancerous organ, is obtained through an incision, and sent to a pathology lab. A thin, thin slice is cut off, stained with revealing chemicals, and then checked by a …
Chris Mellor, 03 Apr 2015
Impalement

Nutanix looking for a way to burst VMware's bubble

Comment Rumours are circulating about a hypervisor built by Nutanix, and Nutanix open-sourcing its software; two intriguing moves. Why would Nutanix make these moves as VMware ratchets up its attack on hyper-converged vendors with EVO:RAIL? Start-up Nutanix is a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) supplier, widely-regarded …
Chris Mellor, 02 Apr 2015
E8 Storage Logo 648p

Ex-XIV execs expeditiously exit to expectant E8

Say hello to E8 Storage, a stealthy Israeli start-up founded by two XIV veterans. CEO and co-founder Zivan Ori was an R&D manager at IBM-XIV for five years up until 2013. He spent 16 months as chief architect at Stratoscale – another stealthy storage start-up – then left to set up E8 in November 2014. Co-founder Alex Friedman …
Chris Mellor, 02 Apr 2015
Marconi-Stille steel tape recorder

Tape thrives at the margin as shipped capacity breaks record

Shipped tape capacity passed 6.6 exabytes in the third 2014 quarter, a record. An HP backup, recovery and archive product manager, Simon Watkins, revealed this in a blog. As a man with lots of tape libraries in his set of products, you’d expect him to be pleased. The data came from the Santa Clara Consulting Group. Watkins …
Chris Mellor, 02 Apr 2015
DRagon

Permabit OEM deal de-stealths Chinese all-flash array maker

Permabit says it has a new Albireo dedupe software OEM, and in so doing has revealed a brand new all-flash array vendor, this one from China. Sihua Technologies is an iCDN content delivery and NeuStor cloud storage product provider to the Chinese market. It is based in Shanghai and Hangzhou, with an office in Cupertino. Sihua …
Chris Mellor, 02 Apr 2015
Oracle_ZS4_4

Oracle gets ZFS filer array spun up to near-AFA speeds

Oracle's ZFS filer array has virtually matched an all-flash array in the SPC-2 streaming storage benchmark and set a new SPC-2 streaming/price/performance record [PDF]. It introduced its ZS4-4 array in December last year, as a refresh of the prior ZS3. That was rated at 17,244.22MB/sec on its SPC-2 run with a $22.53 price/ …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2015
SC4020

Dell’s all-flash array receives benchmark boost

An all-flash Dell Storage Center array with six 480GB SSDs has the second-best price/performance score ever recorded in the SPC-1 benchmark. This benchmark measures random IO performance from a storage array, with an SPC-1 IOPS score. Dividing that by the list price provides the price/performance measure. Dell’s SC4020 was rated …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2015
Alation_data-graph

Metadata manipulation by Alation seeks needles in data haystack

A disparate bunch of Oracle, Apple and Microsoft guys have started up Alation, which makes metadata manipulations to present all of an enterprise's data to analysts and others so they can find stuff out. Alation, founded in 2012, has emerged from stealth having just gained $9 million of A-round funding, from Andreesen Horowitz …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2015
Gobi_flash_flood

Samsung takes Google into third dimension of flashy storage

It's a 3D flash flood: Korean 3D flash-furtler Samsung has landed Google as a customer, according to the Korean Times. The report says Google's data centres will use Sammy's 3D NAND, which the paper has previously reported will also be used in forthcoming MacBooks from Apple, and which we understand is also utilised by Amazon, …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2015
USPTO_seal

SanDisk, Netlist heading to court in patent brouhaha that won't end

After its ULLtraDIMM OEM supplier Diablo Technologies walked out of the jury trial against Netlist with a big "not guilty" stamped on its brow recently, it's now SanDisk's turn to fight a little Netlist court action. In the just-completed trade secrets theft trial, Netlist was convinced Diablo Technologies had effectively stolen …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2015
Brian_Pawlowski_at_Pure_Storage

Chief architect Beepy ready to take Pure’s flash somewhere new

Pure Storage is putting ex-NetApp FlashRay engineering head Brian Pawlowski into a chief architect role. Pawlowski, known as Beepy – BP, geddit? – left NetApp when his stand-alone, revolutionary, top-of-the-AFA-pack FlashRay project was demoted. He promptly joined Pure Storage, where his new responsibilities have been revealed …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2015
Roy Lichtenstein Wham! Bang!

Kaminario playing 3D flash chippery doo-dah with its arrays

Interview Twitter can be great. There we were, we storage twits, talking about 3D flash, when Kaminario CTO Shachar Fienblit got in touch to say Kaminario was using 3D flash already. That makes it the first enterprise storage supplier to go 3D NAND, as far as we know, and has an 800GB 3D NAND SSD in its set of flash media. We got in touch …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2015
David Donatelli

Oracle boat picks up ex-HP hardware man Donatelli

HP exec David Donatelli has followed Mark Hurd to Oracle, and taken up an exec veep position related to hardware, according to Business Insider, citing numerous sources. Donatelli was the EVP in charge of HP's enterprise systems business when Meg Whitman appeared as HP head honcho to replace the ousted Hurd. Hurd went to Oracle …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2015

Pure CEO dons cheerleader outfit, harangues world, dog

Comment Pure’s chief evangelist officer executive officer, Scott Dietzen, has blown Pure’s trumpet about its 2014 business. It’s a mighty blast: he has big lungs and he’s cheerleading his now 850-plus staff when he says the all-flash array (AFA) start-up, has: Recruited an additional 500 staff Grown revenue more than 300 per …
Chris Mellor, 30 Mar 2015
Octopus_Red_Hat

Red Hat explains its choice of scale-out storage hats

Which Red Hat scale-out storage product should you choose: Ceph or Gluster? Red Hat has brought Ceph – acquired with InkTank in May last year – up to its engineering standards and branded it Red Hat Ceph Storage, and is now touting it alongside its Red Hat Gluster Storage. Both Ceph and Gluster are open source, scale-out, …
Chris Mellor, 27 Mar 2015
Flood

All the flash world needs is more TLC, suggests report

Triple-level cell (TLC) flash is heading towards being nearly half of all flash shipments. A report from DRAMeXchange says TLC NAND flash will account for nearly half of the total NAND flash output in the fourth 2015 quarter. DRAMeXchange_TLC_chart The report author, Sean Yang, says TLC NAND is shifting from memory card and …
Chris Mellor, 27 Mar 2015
IMTF_3D_NAND_die

Everyone's getting flashy: Intel and Micron want to feed you their wafers

Four months after revealing their 3D NAND flash tech, Intel and Micron say they are now sampling product - the day after beleaguered SanDisk announced its 48-layer tech would enter pilot production in the second half of the year. As our IMTF (Intel Micron Flash Technologies) pair, the boys from Boise, said last November their …
Chris Mellor, 27 Mar 2015