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.

Sandisk_Infiniflascard

Nexenta, SanDisk hop into bed, one thing leads to another – now they've got a 512TB flash brat

Nexenta and SanDisk are integrating the latter's dense InfiniFlash JBOF with the former's NexentaStor to build a half-petabyte-in-3U all-flash array starting at $1.5/GB raw. At these prices disk may not be dead, but it's heading for the mortician's parlor. Tegile has an IntelliFlash product using the same hardware, and says it …
Chris Mellor, 02 Sep 2015

Damn well knew it! Seagate has helium drives in its labs

Seagate told analysts on Wednesday it is crafting its own helium-filled drives in its development labs, and is months away from shipping them as products. Helium gas has lower friction than air, and HGST is using this gas inside its sealed He8 and He10 disk drive enclosures to provide 7-platter drives. The platters can be …
Chris Mellor, 02 Sep 2015
Flash Gordon

Tegile looking at some really flashy fabric

Tegile, which has just launched a 2-tier IntelliFlash HD all-flash array, has plans to ramp up its capabilities dramatically. The system provides 512TB of flash in a 3U enclosure. Tegile chief marketing officer Narayan Venkat said that the system will be at the 1PB level in a year's time, meaning a rack could hold 20PB in …
Chris Mellor, 02 Sep 2015

If VMware is a sun, here are the storage worlds we've spotted orbiting it

VMworld 2015 Behold the storage sun king – VMware is the center of a storage solar system with planets and asteroids orbiting around it in belts: the EVO, VSAN, and VVOL orbital zones. Fresh activity has been detected by telescopes on planet Register using its snark-o-scope. In the VSAN zone we find Nexenta doing a deal with VMware whereby …
Chris Mellor, 02 Sep 2015
server room

Snap out of the snapshot habit, says mutant upstart Reduxio

Surprise! Freshly uncloaked hybrid flash/disk array startup Reduxio says backup snapshots are a problem and its BackDating technology solves that problem. Admit it; you are surprised, aren't you? Reduxio is an Israeli startup, in the sense that its research and development is based there, although it is headquartered in …
Chris Mellor, 01 Sep 2015
Seagate_8TB_HDD_trio

Seagate births 8TB triplets and a 2TB mobile nipper

Who says spinning rust is finished? Seagate has rolled out 8TB triplets and a 2TB mobile nipper, using shingled recording on its 8TB Kinetic. The three 8TB disks use ninth generation perpendicular magnetic recording, and represent a 33.3 per cent capacity uplift on the existing 6TB technology that Seagate uses in its 3.5-inch …
Chris Mellor, 01 Sep 2015

What sounds like a silly yoga-fitness-dance craze, and lost $325m in value in 8 years? Zimbra

Email and collaboration biz Zimbra has lost 93 per cent of its value in eight years, and has been bought by Synacor for just seven per cent of the price Yahoo! paid for the company in 2007. Scott Dietzen, currently the CEO of Pure Storage, was the president and chief technical officer at Zimbra from March 2005 to October 2007 …
Chris Mellor, 31 Aug 2015

Hedvig, Druva, IBM, Catalogic, Nutanix, Arcserve bang storage drums at VMware's rave

VMworld 2015 There's been a whirlwind of supplier announcements in the run-up to VMworld, which takes place between August 29 and September 3 in San Francisco. We've covered the main storage ones already, but a backlog of others built up. So here, for your delectation, is what the sexy sextet of Arcserve, Catalogic, Druva, Hedvig, IBM, and …
Chris Mellor, 31 Aug 2015
Claw hammer

Muted HAMR blow from Seagate: 4TB whizzbang drive coming 2016

Analysis Seagate R&D bigwig Jan-Ulrich Thiele says the first Seagate prototype drives built with heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) will arrive in late 2016 and have just 4TB capacity. For comparison, Seagate has just announced 8TB drives using existing perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) tech. Having the first HAMR drives with …
Chris Mellor, 31 Aug 2015
Google Cloud logo

VMware unleashes vCAOS on the world

VMworld 2015 VMware is launching a cloud object storage service based on either the public Google cloud, or EMC ViPR for a private cloud alternative. It's called vCloud Air Object Storage, which amusingly acronymizes to vCAOS, not to VMware's liking we would think, and is intended for multi-petabytes of unstructured data. …
Chris Mellor, 31 Aug 2015
Platform9

SolidFire's flash boxes pull into Platform9

Has the OpenStack loco got enough of a head of steam to leave the station? No one knows yet, but here is more evidence of suppliers rushing to support it: SolidFire's all-flash arrays can be integrated into Platform9's Managed OpenStack OSaaS – OpenStack-as-a-Service – offering. With Platform9's software, virtual servers can …
Chris Mellor, 31 Aug 2015

Startup BlueData in the green after pocketing millions from Intel et al

Big data startup BlueData has to get bigger pockets; it’s just trousered $20m in C-round funding from Intel Capital, existing investors and a secret strategic investor. That takes total funding to a modest far-from-unicorn-status $38m and the cash will be used to “accelerate our momentum in the Big Data market.” The company …
Chris Mellor, 28 Aug 2015
Miss Piggy

Violin's breakeven within reach, but revenues still falling

It's like looking at a drawing of an iceberg when you know the bulk of it is under water; Violin Memory's revenues and net income I mean. Look at all that red ink below the profit waterline! Violin_revs_to_Q2_fy2016 Violin Memory's revenue and net income history In its latest, second, fiscal 2016 quarter Violin's revenues …
Chris Mellor, 28 Aug 2015
DataSphere_diagram

Primary Data's DataSphere storage silo-masking software revealed

Primary Data, Fusion-io founder David Flynn's startup, is unveiling its DataSphere product: universal data access software that masks multiple hardware and multiple vendor silos, to provide a single virtualized data sphere containing different tiers of data. We'll start with a conceptual diagram and then explain the bits as we …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
Noah's Ark

Tegile's new faster fatter flash box flings self at big data analytics

Tegile is, or rather was, a hybrid flash/disk array startup alongside Nimble Storage and Tintri. All three have been growing furiously, offering near-flash array speed with disk economics for bulk data. There are four products in Tegile's hybrid array line-up: T3100 with 96GB of controller memory and 26TB–170TB of raw …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
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VMware' s VSAN to support flashDIMMs and NVMe

VMware's VSAN is going to support faster flash hardware and is getting replication, stretch cluster and Oracle RAC support. VSAN (Virtual SAN) is VMware's implementation of creating a SAN from combining the direct-attached storage on servers running its ESXi hypervisor. VSAN is used in its EVO: RAIL hyper-converged …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
StoreServ_20000_rack_detail

HP's 3PAR trifecta soups up entry-level, AFAs and software

HP has replaced its 7000 series 3PAR StoreServ array with a gen-5 ASIC-based StoreServ 8000, starting at $19,000. It's also added a top-end 20800 starter config, a lower-cost 20000 all-flash product, and enhanced its StoreServ OS. The new all-flash array (AFA) products will increase the competitive heat on IBM, EMC, Pure …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
dragster_648

DDN: Quicker storage access passes HPC buck to CPU makers

Comment At a DDN user group meeting in Frankfurt earlier this year, Alex Bouzari said high-performance computing (HPC) exhibits an enduring tug-of-war between compute and storage. The co-founder and CEO of DataDirect Networks – which makes fast-access and capacious storage for supercomputing and HPC – speaks from the storage side of …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
Benchpress

If anyone’s going to benchmark the IoT, it’s us, says TPC

The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) has set up a working group looking at the Internet of Things, with the aim to possibly develop hardware and software benchmarks. The TPC is well-known for its server and storage benchmarks, and has committees looking at virtualisation, data integration and big data issues. …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
Clear_blue_Sky

ClearSky: Keeping your premises free of unwanted clouds

Interview Dump your on-premises SAN and fly to the cloud via an all-flash on-ramp: that's the message from startup ClearSky Data. Enterprises should access all their data, throughout its lifecycle, via a fully-managed service and, implicitly, hit the eject button on their on-premises data-storage equipment. ClearSky was founded by CEO …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
storm_warning_648

Deja vMware: 'Virty biz to buy its parent EMC' rumor just won't die

Rumors that VMware will buy EMC – which owns 80 per cent of VMware – are back from the dead. And just in time for VMworld 2015, to be held next week in San Francisco. The last time around this particular block, we heard that EMC could buy up the 20 per cent of VMware it didn't own – or VMware could buy EMC in a so-called …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2015
Bradley_Wiggins_Tour_de_france

Velostrata gets you on yer bike to the compute cloud

Interview/Analysis Velostrata sounds like a bicycle brand. In fact, it's a compute cloud-bursting startup marrying on-premises storage with public cloud compute and has burst onto the scene from its Israeli base, apparently out of nowhere with $14m in A-round funding. We’ll get to its history later: first the technology. Velostrata claims it …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2015
spacex_launch_648

Nimble Storage revenues soar as mainstream rivals experience droop

Nimble Storage had another successful quarter in terms of revenue, beating its own estimates: the figure of $80.1m in its second fiscal 2016 quarter was 49 per cent higher than a year ago, and 12 per cent more than the previous quarter. Nimble_revs_to_Q2_fy2016 Nimble generated losses of $30.1m, 15 per cent worse than the $ …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2015
Containers

ExaGrid growing in parallel, adds global GRID back-up to appliance software

ExaGrid's growth is a reminder that Data Domain is not having everything its own way in the deduping back-up-to-disk market. V4.9 of ExaGrid's appliance software has global deduplication across all NAS shares and appliances in a scale-out GRID, along with parallel Oracle database back-up. Global dedupe means customers can …
Chris Mellor, 25 Aug 2015
Container-ship

Coho Data containering in the dock – now with added Google, Splunk

Coho Data storage arrays will be able to run Docker containers directly on the storage nodes and use Google’s Kubernetes interface for configuring and deploying microservices. Startup Coho Data says its customers can now run new data-centric services and apps directly adjacent to stored data or, putting it another way, “allow …
Chris Mellor, 24 Aug 2015
Ben_Fathi

Seventh bigshot flings self out of EMC Federation window

Enough already, the EMC/VMware exec exodus is getting too long: VMware CTO Ben Fathi has just quit, and that makes seven. The day after VMware’s chief mouthpiece Chuck Hollis announced he was going to be the social media oracle at Oracle, VMware’s chief techy follows him out of the door - but not to Oracle. His destination is …
Chris Mellor, 24 Aug 2015
Disney_world

Crossing the Rubrikon: Rubrik sets out its rules of engagement

Startup back-up software-killer Rubrik has got itself a second major release of its system, plus a new cloud back-up cloud gateway. Rubrik delivers a hyper-converged style appliance to enterprise customers. This runs the Converged Data Management (CDM) software and enables users to cross the Rubrikon, slipping the surly …
Chris Mellor, 24 Aug 2015
spacex_launch_648

Scality funding approaches escape velocity

Object storage startup Scality has picked up $45m in D-round funding and is heading for a 2017 IPO. This takes total funding to $80m and here is the funding sequence: Scality_funding Scality funding rounds It's a nice, steady and also modest sequence of rounds, by today's unicorn standards. This latest round includes new …
Chris Mellor, 24 Aug 2015
roof_shingles

Shingled drives get SpectraLogic archive down to 9 cents/GB

Spectra Verde DPE is a Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR)-based NAS disk platform for high-density bulk storage at costs as low as 9 cents/GB raw. Shingled drives have sets of overlapping write tracks with side-by-side narrower read tracks to increase density. The downside is that a whole set of write tracks have to be …
Chris Mellor, 24 Aug 2015
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

QLogic CEO is out, search for successor underway

QLogic's president and CEO Prasad Rampalli has abruptly left the building to "pursue other opportunities" in the time-honoured euphemism used by company boards when axing a senior exec. Rampalli joined QLogic in February 2014, stepping into the CEO's hot spot months after prior CEO Simon Biddiscome had been released. CFO Jean …
Chris Mellor, 22 Aug 2015
Glass_house

NetApp's glass-house-stone-throwing exercise

Comment Innovation, eh. Don't we all love it? But what is it? This thought was spurred by reading a blog by NetApp's Matt Watts, UK-based director for technology and strategy, in which he criticized Pure Storage for not being innovative. Pure started with a good product ... but from that initial product how much incremental …
Chris Mellor, 22 Aug 2015
Lion

Nimble gets Leonard the channel Lion King

Flash storage vendor Nimble has secured the services of one of the grand old men of the industry with the appointment of Leonard Iventosch as vice president of worldwide channels. Iventosch is renowned for his channel expertise, with an 8-year stint at NetApp followed by 5 years at EMC/Isilon, EMC buying Isilon in 2010. He …
Chris Mellor, 22 Aug 2015
Handing over dollars picture via Shutterstock

Steady she goes at Brocade

Sustained Fibre Channel revenues were the bedrock of Brocade's latest results - again. In its third 2015 quarter, ended August 1, Brocade reported revenue of $552 million, up one per cent year-over-year and on a sequential basis. Net income of $91.7 million represented a 5.4 per cent year-on-year and a 19 per cent bounce …
Chris Mellor, 21 Aug 2015
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HP storage results borked by bleeding currency rates

With its latest results, HP's third-quarter storage revenues went down 2 per cent on the annual compare, not being pulled up by industry standard servers' revenue which rose 8 per cent. But at constant currency – ignoring foreign exchange rate changes over the year – they rose 7 per cent. The Enterprise Group's revenues were $ …
Chris Mellor, 21 Aug 2015
Boarders take over a ship

Imation now fully under activist investor's control

Imation's progress towards its uncertain future of big changes has taken another step forward, as an activist investor took the board chair after getting the CEO ejected from his directorship. The Clinton Group – disgusted with Imation's downward revenue spiral and deepening losses – instituted a proxy war, which saw CEO and …
Chris Mellor, 21 Aug 2015
VSP_G400

HDS fills in the available blank space in VSP range

HDS has released the last new mid-range member of its VSP data centre disk array range, the G800, with its configuration perhaps indicating a high-end refresh is coming. The G800 was announced in April with its availability revealed in a Mike Nalls blog with no formal announcement. Nalls is an HDS senior product manager. …
Chris Mellor, 21 Aug 2015
K2s

Kaminario gets triple vision with 3D 3-layer flash

Kaminario is joining Dell in the all-flash array (AFA) war with a capacity-rising and price-dropping K2 array using the same Samsung 3D TLC flash drives. The new, sixth generation – as we see it – K2, actually v5.5, offers an average price of under $1/GB usable, half that of the gen-5 product introduced in May 2014. Dell’s SC …
Chris Mellor, 20 Aug 2015
tintri_t500_front_648

Tintri adds tincture of all-flash array to its range

Hybrid array upstart Tintri has launched its first all-flash array (AFA) along with a VMstack Converged Infrastructure for its channel partners to build and sell. The sub-millisecond-latency VMstore T5000 joins the three existing T800 hybrid array products with Tintri’s OS, now at v4.0, running across all five and providing a …
Chris Mellor, 20 Aug 2015
Job cuts jpeg

NetApp falls into loss-making territory as yearly revenues drop 10 per cent

No wonder Tom Georgens had to go; NetApp’s first fiscal 2016 quarter showed a $30m loss, it’s first for several years. Revenue of $1.34bn was 10 per cent down on the year ago’s $1.49bn, and 13 per cent down on the immediately preceding quarter. A year ago, profits were $88m. In the prior quarter they were $135m ... and now …
Chris Mellor, 20 Aug 2015
BacksmithGrind

Pure Storage's 'disingenuous' financial figures still out there

Comment In a November 2014 blog, Pure Storage CEO Scott Dietzen wrote ... The last few weeks have been particularly chock-full of news and announcements, culminating this week with Gartner releasing its updated Market Share Analysis: SSDs and Solid-State Arrays, Worldwide, 2013 ... Analysts play a crucial role in the market and have …
Chris Mellor, 20 Aug 2015

Datameer draws dollops of hype-free Hadoopy dosh

The money pouring into Big Data storage and analytics startups has just been boosted by another $40m. Datameer – a Hadoop-based, spreadsheet-style analytics tool and service company – is the lucky recipient. The funding is its fifth round since being started up in 2009 and takes total investment up to $76.8m: not a lot, really …
Chris Mellor, 20 Aug 2015
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WD unleashes bigger, badder, Black and revved, rapido Red Pro

WD has upped its 3.5-inch Black and Red Pro drives to the 6TB capacity level, adding 5TB and 6TB variants to the existing product ranges, which previously topped out at 4TB. The Black drive is a 3.5-inch drive for desktop, workstation and gaming use. The 5 and 6TB capacity products get doubled cache at 128MB and can be up to …
Chris Mellor, 19 Aug 2015
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Cisco, HP, NetApp, SimpliVity and Springpath

Comment This storage business is as frenetic as a party of hyperactive speed daters, with partnerships hinted, forming, parting, lifelong relationships coming, Tinder-style quickies over in a flash and conspiracies galore as the players sprint between the tables. We recently heard that Cisco is going to top its love affair with …
Chris Mellor, 19 Aug 2015
Lenovo_RS140_server

Enchanted Lenovo uses StorMagic spells for hyper-convergence

Lenovo and StorMagic are offering three hyper-converged configurations from Arrow partners that are channel-integrated, pre-tested and ready to plug-and-play for less than $5K. The entry level is a two-node cluster (without hypervisor) starting at $5,000, significantly less than Nutanix, SimpliVity and EVO: Rail hyper- …
Chris Mellor, 19 Aug 2015
channel_teaser_exit

EMC management trio jump ship to competitors

Three executives are leaving EMC, and that points to tensions inside the storage kingpin. Isabelle Guis, a product marketing VP and head of cloud strategy at EMC, joins Egnyte in September to become its chief strategy officer. Egnyte is a file sync 'n sharer for enterprises, now saying it's involved in adaptive enterprise file …
Chris Mellor, 18 Aug 2015
Jumping_Corinth_Canal

DSSD bridges access latency gap with NVMe fabric flash magic

EMC’s DSSD aims to bridge the gaping access latency chasm between networked arrays and PCIe server flash cards with its DSSD array hooked up to servers across an NVMe fabric. This form of externalised PCIe fabric networking is likely to be the future of all networked all-flash arrays, as it gets rid of existing network access …
Chris Mellor, 18 Aug 2015
California

WD storage technology exec defects to rivals Seagate

Matt Rutledge, WD’s now former SVP for storage technology, has defected to Seagate, having left his position at WD in June, and joined Seagate in August to become its SVP for client HDD, said a source familiar with the circumstances. He is a 20-year WD veteran, having joined in November 1995. As such, he has lived thought WD' …
Chris Mellor, 18 Aug 2015
Saturn_rings

Dell reselling Scality's RING for multi-petabyte data munching

Dell is offering Scality object storage using its servers, storage hardware, and networking products. What makes this of greater interest is that Dell tried selling object storage before, with a DX6000 object storage product set started up in 2010. This was based on OEM’d Caringo software and the line was closed down in April …
Chris Mellor, 18 Aug 2015
management intelligence

Yellow and blue circles, red arrows added to Gartner's Magic Quadrant

Here’s something to delve into; a look at the changes in Gartner’s integrated systems Magic Quadrant between 2014 and 2015. Gartner produced its latest integrated systems magic box of tricks last week and we thought it would be interesting to take the image and plot last year’s positions on it, which is exactly what we have …
Chris Mellor, 18 Aug 2015
Seagate STCT200 dual bay NAS box

Seagate and pals form key-value hard-drive Kinetic gang

Three disk-drive giants and eight other IT suppliers have set up an alliance to promote directly-addressed object-storage – hard drives that store data in the form of keys and values, in other words. The eleven have formed the Kinetic Open Storage Project (KOSP), which has joined the Linux Foundation as a collaborative project …
Chris Mellor, 17 Aug 2015