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.

Mirantis: OpenStackers, it's us or Amazon...

Open Stacker Mirantis CEO, Alex Freedland, has given out an anti-Amazon message: “Our outstanding growth is reflective of the huge market opportunity we have in front of us. As AWS continues disrupting the $150 billion dollar cloud infrastructure market, OpenStack will rise up as the only viable open source alternative.” It’s …
Chris Mellor, 11 Feb 2016
Mammatus clouds by Craig Linsday, CC 3.0 licence

Tier me up, tier me down: Cohesity adds cloud spill trays to on-premises array

Converged secondary storage startup Cohesity has added public cloud tiering, encryption and replication to its clustered storage arrays. The company wants its hyper-converged C2000 hardware and OASIS software to be a single storage platform for all of an organisation’s secondary data. V2.0 of OASIS adds: Hardware-accelerated …
Chris Mellor, 11 Feb 2016
Leatherman

VMware adds dedupe tool to VSAN penknife: You don't need no steenkin' array

VMware has updated VSAN, its virtual SAN software, to version 6.2, adding data protection stuff to catch up with Nutanix and Simplivity hyper-converged infrastructure appliances. VSAN combines the direct-attached storage in vSphere server nodes to create an aggregated and shared storage resource called a virtual SAN, doing …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2016
Starbucks Dabbsy

Three storage upstarts hit back at doom, gloom 'n' layoffs news

Amidst the six-way storage startup staff lay-off gloom, another three companies* are going the other way. Exagrid, owncloud and Simplivity are showing the storage market still has a thirst for great products. Wake up competitors, and smell the coffee. Actifio, Atlantis, Coho Data, DataGravity, Panasas and Tegile have all laid …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2016

Coho Data leaps aboard layoffs train: Another startup cuts jobs

Coho Data, the storage startup with the clever storage array that can also compute, has joined the craze and laid off a load of unfortunate staff. We understand Coho Data held a staff reduction exercise in the second half of last year, and this has been followed by a second one at the start of this year. The storage startup …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2016
Hot air baloon, image: Shutterstock

SwiftStack's multi-modal 'we're so much better than you' FUD play

Comment If you want a Swift-compliant object storage system, then SwiftStack is the best you you can get. So says, er, Swiftstack itself. The Swift-compliant object storage startup told The Register this when it briefed us on how its open source software was different from, and better than, competing object storage products. …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2016

HPE beefs up entry MSA with a bit of flash

HPE has added SSDs to its entry-level MSA array, re-priced some SSDs, and brought out a new, denser filer, all intended to help customers with limited budgets. It says its latest MSA Storage options "enable the most affordable dual-controller hybrid flash array from a major vendor."* The MSA 1040 can now have SSD media to …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2016
Violin Memory VIMM

Violin Memory offers starter kits to tempt flash storage virgins

Violin Memory has two flash array starter bundles to give enterprises "an easy and affordable way" into all-flash array performance. Both are based on the high-end FSP 7700 all-flash array, which can provide, Violin says, two million IOPS. The Scalable Starter Kit has: Two Violin FSP 7700 Modular Scalable Array Controllers …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2016
apple with ladybird

DataGravity CEO, on layoffs: A little pruning doesn't hurt

Comment Fresh fruit blosssoms on new wood and a little pruning doesn't hurt. So said John Joseph, DataGravity's president and founder as he discussed the recent headcount reduction. First of all, John said of the downsizing: "I don't think it's a sign of a lack of success." DataGravity entered the market with a revolutionary concept …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2016
Claw hammer

Actifio CEO talks about growth, quietly sacks bunch of staff

Copy data reduction startup Actifio has laid off some staff, the fifth storage startup we've heard about this month to do so. We heard about a RIF of 10 – 15 per cent of the company, with sales, professional services and engineering affected, and more than 40 people affected overall. On being asked about this, co-founder and …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2016
Toilet roll printed with fake US $100 bills

Imation: Data storage? No, come to us for, er, investment advice

Analysis Activist investor-controlled Imation is setting up an investment advisor subsidiary and putting $20m into an offshore investment fund controlled by the activist investor controlling Imation. In an 8-K SEC filing, Imation stated its management "approved a plan to establish a registered investment adviser as a wholly-owned …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2016

Imation flogs off IronKey to Kingston

Imation has unravelled one of ex-CEO Mark Lucas's recovery strategy acquisitions and sold the IronKey business to Kingston. It's also received a non-compliance listing notice from the New York Stock Exchange; its valuation not being high enough. Lucas bought IronKey and its secure flash drive hardware as part of a …
Chris Mellor, 08 Feb 2016
3D NAND Technologies

Toshiba and Samsung both ponder opening new 3D flash fabs

+Comment Financially troubled Toshiba is building a new 3D flash fab while Samsung is delaying an expansion of its 3D NAND fab capabilities. With 3D NAND, layers of non-3D, or planar, flash are built atop one another, to increase a flash chip’s capacity without increasing its footprint. As the cost/bit of 3D NAND progresses to …
Chris Mellor, 08 Feb 2016
Calgary_Stampede

Big hybrid iron swinger Infinidat bigs up its own growth

Infinidat, Moshe Yanai’s attempt to re-invent monolithic arrays in hybrid array, super-reliable form, had a good final 2015 quarter and wants everyone to know it's growing while competitors are lagging. To put this in context, in the third quarter of 2015 Infinidat had 61 per cent quarter-over-quarter growth and a 255 per cent …
Chris Mellor, 08 Feb 2016
Gravity image

DataGravity falls to Earth, cuts exec post, lays off staff

DataGravity has laid off the director of DataGravity Labs and other staff, and is the fourth storage startup to lay off staff this month. Its Discovery Series arrays are said to be data-aware and combine primary storage, data protection, data governance, search and discovery functions into an integrated appliance. It “ …
Chris Mellor, 08 Feb 2016
Dragster

Don't Fedex your tapes, people! We're so fast it's SANdulous – WANrockIT

Bridgeworks says it can make communicating with offsite tape libraries vastly faster than physically shipping tapes, and vastly cheaper if you are using a remote Fibre Channel SAN or site-to-site replication before transmitting data to the tape library. The basic pitch is: "Don't do this. Send your data direct to a SCSI tape …
Chris Mellor, 08 Feb 2016

Hyper-converged softie biz Atlantis axes staff

Hyper-converged software supplier Atlantis has cut its staff numbers. This follows on from Panasas and Tegile trimming their head counts last week. Atlantis supplies software that started out using DRAM caching to accelerate virtual desktop instances in its ILIO product. This code evolved into its USX form to accelerate any …
Chris Mellor, 06 Feb 2016
New Rackspace datacenter in Crawley, UK

EMC creates a Star Trek holodeck ... and uses it to simulate a data center

EMC can now simulate the interactions going on inside a data center using virtual servers. A data center is one of the most complicated structures on the planet. However, this is not because it necessarily has more physical components than any other complex piece of infrastructure, like a petrochemical refinery for example. …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2016
Lamb Stew

Asigra becomes an Oracle reseller

Backup software supplier Asigra is shipping its software with Oracle's ZFS Storage Appliance hardware. The software is Asigra's Cloud Backup, which is agentless and multi-tenant. It's also NIST FIPS 140-2 certified. The ZFS appliance hardware had notched up a billion dollars-worth of sales by October last year. Some 15,000 …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2016

Go and whistle, IDC. The storage world's going to hell in a handbasket

Comment Data volumes are growing like crazy and yet there's a case to be made that 2016 is going to be a tough old year for storage, and could be an annus horribilis* and not an IDC prediction-fuelled glory year. Really? Yes, really. Try this argument on for size. South America is in a dreadful economic state. Brazil is over-spent …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2016
sale_648

Crossroads preps pesky product portfolio selloff

Crossroads has finally abandoned any pretence of being an archival systems products company any more and has signalled its product portfolio is up for sale. Its latest quarterly results showed what many would call a derisory products business, with revenues of just $1.8m and a loss of $538,000, the latest in a string of …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2016

Pure as the driven CEO: El Reg chats to Scott Dietzen on taking the flash array high road

Analysis Scott Dietzen is leading Pure Storage along the flash array high road, determined not to cede any advantage at all to flash array rivals and driving Pure to stay in the flash market forefront by investing for growth. He's been in the CEO chair at Pure for five and a half years now, and three months post-IPO sees the firm …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2016

Swiss rolls into HPE: Micro-Veeam clone Trilead gobbled

HPE has bought Switzerland-based Trilead, according to Trilead's home page. Trilead's VM Explorer is a backup product for VMware's ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V users. It comes in Free, Pro (£520.00 / US$790), and Enterprise (£990.00 / US$1,460) editions. The latest release introduced automatic backup testing, cloud backup, a …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2016
Nile_Delta

Yes or no: D@RE is a bonkers name for EMC's enterprise encryption

With ECS v2.2, EMC has improved its storage efficiency, searchability and security, we're told. EMC's ECS (elastic cloud storage) is a software-defined, object-based cloud storage platform that can scale up to exabyte levels. The company launched ECS, previously known as Project Nile, in May, 2014. ECS 2.2 adds three things …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2016
Screaming kid

Teradataaaaargghh! How to go from years in the black right into the red

Data warehouser and analyzer Teradata is suffering still. It's made a full-year loss as fourth-quarter 2015 revenues continued a multi-quarter tumble. Sales were $719m, down 6 percent year-on-year, and full year revenues of $2.53bn were down 7 per cent year-on-year. The fourth quarter net income was a profit of $41m, 65.3 per …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2016

Flash array biz Tegile swings axe on staff

Exclusive Today we learned hybrid and all-flash array supplier Tegile has sacked half its staff in the UK, and all its staff in the Netherlands. It had only just recently opened its Dutch office. Rob Commins, Tegile’s veep for marketing, told El Reg: “First and foremost, we had an excellent fiscal 2016 that we just wrapped up on January …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2016
Off_shore_drilling_rig

The fracking oil price drop whacked Panasas – who's next in energy IT?

NAS appliance maker Panasas was forced to restructure after falling oil prices caused its customers in the energy sector to spend less on its technology. That's why executives fled the building, and why other staff have been let go. CEO Faye Pairman said Panasas has a long-standing strategy of diversifying into vertical …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2016
Phoenix

Druva shows us its DRaaS and it's full of BADness

Druva is adding Disaster Recovery (DR) functionality to Phoenix, its converged cloud-based data protection system for enterprises. Phoenix provides backup and archival of both physical and virtual server environments direct to the (AWS) cloud. It can now provide backup, archive and DR all at once. A differential backup is …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2016

Xitore slings 4 million IOPS box under its arm, strides out into the light

Flash DIMM startup Xitore is exiting stealth before it has raised a dime and is looking for funding. The company was started up in March 2014 by CEO Mike Amidi and CTO Hossein Hashemi. Amidi has worked at STEC, SMART, Netlist, and WD, where he was director of the program management office in the Solid State Storage BU. At …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2016
Business people move through revolving door. Photo via Shutterstock

All is not well on Mount Panasas: Five execs eject amid refocus

Exclusive Panasas – the privately owned hybrid scale-out NAS appliance supplier – has suffered exec exits and is refocussing, but so far won't say what its new strategy is. We contacted the firm after hearing rumors from a senior industry source about IP sales, but it was unable to respond until February 4. We did pick up hints of some …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2016

Lawyer flings class action sueball at EMC over Dell merger

A hopeful New York law firm has filed an amended class action complaint on behalf of EMC stockholders, asserting the Dell-EMC merger prospectus “contains materially false and misleading statements and omissions of material fact.” The GrantLawFirm, a solo practice by Lynda J. Grant, says it filed the complaint on behalf of all …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2016
Pentaho_chord_visualisation

Big daddy HDS shows off fruits of Big Data slurpee Pentaho

A refreshed HSP 400 series, HDS’ scale-out analytics appliance, has native integration with the Pentaho Enterprise Platform. HDS slurped up Pentaho in February 2015 to acquire big data integration and predictive analysis technology. The software amalgamates multi-source data from, for example, Hadoop (Cloudera, Hortonworks and …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2016
Wall St bull image via Shutterstock

NetApp Hitz out at critics over the flashy SolidFire buyout deal

Comment NetApp co-founder Dave Hitz has blogged about the closing of the Solidfire deal and castrated any misleading bull* about NetApp’s flash strategy. Hitz says he admires Solidfire’s architectural design, writing: “SolidFire’s architectural choices are elegant and made for a reason. (This is the geeky paragraph, so skip on if it …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2016
Supreme Court Building

They've reached it: Crossroads' stock price crashes to just $0.25

Crossroads Systems’s share price has collapsed to $0.25. It was $3.65 in March 2015, following full fiscal 2015 results showing a fifth loss-making year of declining revenues. Why is it still afloat? In its final quarter of financial year 2015, ended Oct 31, the archival software systems shipper saw revenues of a derisory $1. …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2016
Mike_Munoz

PernixData scoops new head of sales from Nimble

VMware distributed hypervisor cacher PernixData has recruited Mike Munoz to run its sales organisation as Chief Revenue Officer.* Munoz is stepping into a hot seat vacated by Ted Stinson back in July 2015, and he has a great CV: VP Sales at Nimble Storage – Feb 2010 - Nov 2014 Divisional VP Sales, Data Domain – 2004 - 2010 …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2016
DVD it in many colours

IBM's Spectrum Scale gets see-through cloud tiering

IBM's Spectrum Scale parallel file system offering is going to support direct integration of Cleversafe, SoftLayer cloud, and Amazon S3 object storage. Cleversafe, SoftLayer and S3 become target stores for Spectrum Scale data in the same way, IBM says, as any local disk store. It's at pains to stress that this is not a gateway …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016
suicidal_clown_shutterstock_ORIGINAL SIZE_DO_NOT_USE

See that fist punching through the clouds? That's Veeam's, that is

You've got to have sympathy for Veeam's competitors. Ratmir Timashev's storage upstart pulled off another slam dunk quarter to close 2015. As Barracuda looks for a sale, Seagate sells off EVault, and Veritas flails helplessly, Veeam rockets on, telling everybody it has: A 22 per cent increase in total bookings revenue to $ …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016
Sunset in Niger, a tree silhouetted against a sunset in the Sahara desert. Photo via Shutterstock

IBM blesses Catalogic's ECX copy data management

Catalogic has finally managed to get IBM on board its in-place ECX copy data management train. Big Blue and Little C are saying that the following IBM arrays are supported with ECX: Storwize hybrid arrays SAN Volume Controller FlashSystem V9000 SoftLayer – with ECX helping to reduce wasteful and redundant data storage in …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016
Cloudian Samurai

Cloudian's better at Amazon S3 than anyone else, apparently

Comment Object storage startup Cloudian says it's the most S3-compliant of all object-storage vendors, and this really, really, really matters. We had our ears bent by Cloudian's sales VP, Jon Ash, about this, after asking why on Earth it mattered. First of all, it needs pointing out that there is no industry standard for Amazon S3, …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

Embattled Barracuda Networks looks for buyer – report

Barracuda Networks, with its back against the wall after a string of poor quarters and collapsing stock price, is reportedly looking for a buyer. According to Bloomberg, Barracuda engaged with Morgan Stanley to look for a buyer some months ago. The company provides data protection and security products for small and medium …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016
Gridstore HCA

Backers fling cash at Gridstore for Hyper-V hyper-converged development

Gridstore, the Hyper-V-focused hyper-converged appliance startup, has snagged a $19m funding C-round. It also has a new chairman of the board and director plus three execs to help it push ahead. The funding comes after an $11m B-round in 2013 and comes from Atlantic Bridge Capital along with current investors: Acero Capital, …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016

Lawyers cast fishing nets in class-action Seagate seas

Hear that siren? It's an ambulance chaser. Seagate is facing a class-action lawsuit from lawyers representing one pissed-off Barracuda disk drive user – and they want more people to join in. Acting on behalf of one Christopher A. Nelson of South Dakota, the lawyers say the drives failed more often than they should have been …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016
Battleship broadside

Syncer and (flash) shipper feeling chipper: We're going great guns

Private equity-owned file sync 'n' sharer Syncplicity and flash array shipper Kaminario both say they are doing well. Syncplicity was sold off by EMC to Skyview Capital last June, and focuses on enterprises and their mobile device users, paying attention to security needs. CEO Jonathan Huberman says Syncplicity's new bookings …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2016
EMC Cork's DSSD D5 unit

We've just stepped out of our time machine, and we can reveal ... EMC's new kit for early 2016

Analysis EMC has new storage products coming in both external shared array form and in its converged and hyper-converged systems lines of products, using new VSAN capabilities. These will be announced over the next two quarters and will change the shape of EMC's product lines. We think we now have an overall view of what the mainstream …
Chris Mellor, 01 Feb 2016

How Symantec scuppered Veritas sell-off six ways to Sunday

A champagne bottle's crack, a splash, and cheers rang out as the good ship Veritas was launched on the banks of Symantec's river – sent off to steam the data storage seas own with a new owner: the Carlyle Group. It's had an inauspicious launch: Symantec had to cut the price tag for Veritas by $800m due to "uncertainties" and a …
Chris Mellor, 01 Feb 2016
Mangstor NX6320

Here's to Hu: QLogic beats expectations as it waits for new CEO

Storage connectivity card and ASIC supplier QLogic had a much better third quarter than expected as interim CEO, also chief financial officer, Jean Hu delivered higher revenues and a profits recovery. The revenue number was $122.7m, 18.6 per cent more than the previous quarter, and higher than the guidance issued for the …
Chris Mellor, 01 Feb 2016
Labelled_XPoint_Diagram

Micron's Xpoint excavations: More murmurings about PCM

Comment Once Intel Micron Flash Technologies (IM Flash) co-CEO Guy Blalock revealed that XPoint memory uses chalcogenide glass as its storage medium, people have been wondering if XPoint really is, contrary to Intel and Micron denials, phase-change memory (PCM). With PCM the state, or phase, of the chalcogenide material changes from …
Chris Mellor, 01 Feb 2016

Seagate’s triple whammy: Disk numbers, costs, and flash

Peak disk has passed and Seagate has a triple problem set: disk build numbers; costs and pricing; and what to do about flash. Revenues for Seagate’s second fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Jan 1, were $2.98bn, down 19.4 per cent on $3.7bn a year ago. Net income was $165m, representing an 82.3 per cent fall on Q215's $933m. …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2016
Cheshire Cat

Intel and Micron's XPoint: Is it PCM? We think it is

Does 3D XPoint memory use phase change memory (PCM) technology or not? After IMTF co-chair Guy Blalock said XPoint uses a chalcogenide material, like Phase-Change Memory (PCM), your storage correspondent sent a mail to Intel and Micron saying: “According to my understanding phase-change memory is a non-volatile, chalcogenide …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2016
Iguazu_falls

The Quantum of solace: Well, at least the scale-out storage revenues were up

Quantum unsurprisingly saw declining revenues in its third quarter, hit by general storage market weakness and tape pricing falls which offset scale-out storage revenue increases. Revenues shrank 10 per cent annually to $128m in its fiscal 2016 third quarter ended Dec 31, 2015. They rose 9.4 per cent on the sequential compare …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2016