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.

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HDS gets busy, finds itself in the VSP family way

We've learnt that HDS' high-end VSP G1000 storage array is sprouting siblings, with G200, G400, G600 and G800 products popping up under the high-end G1000 in the line up. The G1000 high-end system was announced 11 months ago, in May 2014. Now we have four more members which could be seen to be affecting the entry-level US 100 …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2015
SanDisk_updated_PCIe_flash_range_video

SanDisk goes nuclear with its Fusion flash card range

SanDisk has announced third-generation ioDrive PCIe and mezzanine flash cards, claiming up to a fourfold price performance improvement, with up to a 61 per cent list price reduction over the previous generation Fusion ioDrive 2/Atomic product. Fusion-io and its ioMemory technology was bought by SanDisk for $1.1bn in June last …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft is BEATING Amazon's cloud revenues. Er, how?

Microsoft's cloud revenues are beating those of Amazon's AWS. That's if analyst-haus Stifel Nicolaus's data is correct. Back in 2012's third quarter Microsoft commercial cloud revenue was $254m, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) ahead at $530m. In the first quarter of 2015 AWS revenues totaled $1.566bn, with Microsoft nudging …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2015
Monty Python foot UHDTV

Wikibon takes Fusion-io founder's FaME to logical conclusion

The Wikibon consultancy has taken an idea put forward by Fusion-io founder David Flynn and formulated a flash-as-memory-extension concept (FaME). The concept involves getting rid of external IO for IO-bound applications by running them and their data entirely in logical memory. Instead of having data stored on disk, which is …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2015

Hadoop ODP: No thanks says MapR, and Cloudera isn't impressed either

Hadoop disty MapR has kicked the Open Data Platform into touch, saying it only benefits competitor Hortonworks and provides a way for Pivotal to get out of a hole. The ODP was set up in February, with the aim of Linux-ising Hadoop with a tested reference core for the software. Cloudera, one of the three leading Hadoop …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
Violins

Violin playing marketing Love songs with new CMO

All-flash array maker Violin has finally got over chief marketeer Eric Herzog's abrupt departure on the eve of a massive product announcement, and has appointed a new CMO, Amy Love. According to her LinkedIn entry, she comes to Violin via BizEthos, with a spell at NetApp prior to that, joining in May 2011. At NetApp she was VP …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
POwered_Wheelchair

Revenue jumps, but FalconStor still wobbly on its feet

The sickly software-defined storage child that was FalconStor is not yet a strapping adolescent, but is at least on the way back to full health. First quarter 2015 revenues were a startlingly high $19.9 million, coming from a quarterly revenue band of $12-$15 million over the previous eight quarters. The year-ago quarter’s …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
disk head crash

Disk drive shipment numbers set to spin down

Disk drive shipments have a negative CAGR, and will fall by 3.7 per cent between 2013 and 2020, said spindle motor maker Nidec. Within that, traditional enterprise drive shipments will decrease by 17.6 per cent, PC drives will drop 8.1 per cent, consumer electronics drives by 6.9 per cent and external drives by 0.4 per cent, but …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
Mountain. Pic: Henry Hemming

EMC dives into Iron Mountain's cloudy backup lair

Backup, replication and DR services are being offered to EMC customers by backup bods Iron Mountain, thanks to it hosting Data Domain and Avamar replication targets in its data centres. Iron Mountain is a tape and paper archival storage service based in an old iron mine in Livingston, New York, used for growing mushrooms when …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
NCI_Report

NetApp’s Raijin deal was driven by simple value for money

Comment NetApp is supplying Data ONTAP storage for use on an Aussie supercomputer (Raijin), which already uses DDN storage, and we wondered about the whys and wherefores of adding three new hardware platforms and two new operating systems. ”The DDN storage in Raijin is used for fast scratch space, and our global data file system (gdata …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
True humility - the Curate's egg

EMC's curate's egg sees revenues waiting for new product take-offs

EMC’s first quarter results were like the curate's egg; good in parts, but hit by currency problems, job cuts and unsatisfactory core storage revenues in others. First-quarter 2015 revenues were up 2 per cent to $5.6bn, compared to $5.5bn a year ago, with EMC II (the core storage biz) revenues disappointing. The top-line number …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
Aster_fraud_Detection_Sphere

Teradata's Aster shows how the flowers of fraud bloom

Comment Teradata’s Aster Data software is a lens through which data scientists can create visualisations of Big Data. Sounds dull, right? Not when you see the beautiful flowery images it creates. The images are simply astounding and you can drill down through them, clicking on points and paths, to get at the underlying raw data. Here’s …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015

ExaGrid giving rivals plenty of jaw-jaw

Harken to this, deduping back-up-to-disk system users: "ExaGrid’s largest system can take in a full backup that is 40 per cent larger and has an ingest rate that is six times faster than the EMC Data Domain 990, at half the price." That's ExaGrid CEO (and virtual chief marketing officer) Bill Andrews talking, and he's got a …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2015
WD floods 1

Teradata bulks up its universe, joins data warehouse to data lake

Teradata is widening the use of its data warehouse and analytics by orchestrating access to more data silos and logically combining them, joining data lakes to data warehouses, so to speak. Teradata_Unified_Data_Architecture This is all part of Teradata's Unified Data Architecture push Teradata is the leading data warehouse …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2015
Playground_slide

Whee! IBM storage hardware revenues just keep sliding and sliding

IBM's storage hardware revenue decline has continued, according to its 2015 first quarter results. IBM's earnings statement said: "Revenues from System Storage decreased eight per cent (down two per cent, adjusting for currency)." Remember, this is just the storage hardware business, ignoring storage software products, and if …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2015
UK_Met_Office

Seagate rides on Cray's tails as supercomputer sales spike

Seagate supercomputer storage sales are rising, as Cray has won four supercomputer deals where the Sonexion 2000 storage is actually OEM'd ClusterStor arrays from Seagate's acquired Xyratex business. Seagate's overall business results may be lacking some lustre, but the Lustre-using ClusterStor side of its business is shining …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2015
Two dollars

Netlist gets derisory $2 award following Diablo IP theft trial kerfuffle

Despite Netlist showing that Diablo had a vulgar joke internally at Netlist's expense, it has lost its IP theft jury trial against Diablo and now seems to be in a bit of a mess. The background to this flash-on-DIMM-socket brouhaha is here and we can now add a little more to it. First of all, Netlist did win something: an award …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2015
Virtual machine servers. Pic: Bob Mical

Want to super scale-out? You'll be hungry for flash

Scale-out flash arrays sound excessive but they are really not. After all, we can understand scale-out filers, adding node after node to store rapidly growing file populations. Use cheap and deep disk for the data, with flash stashes used to hold the metadata and locate files fast. When the files are large then sequential access …
Chris Mellor, 21 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, 21 Apr 2015
Raijin supercomputer

NetApp nails 11PB Oz supercomputer storage deal

NetApp is supplying ONTAP FAS, E-Series and EF-Series arrays to boost data capacity and access for Australia's NCI Raijin supercomputer. NCI is Australia's National Computing Infrastructure organisation and the Raijin system "is a Fujitsu Primergy high-performance, distributed-memory cluster." It comprises: 57,472 cores (Intel …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2015

Seagate's third quarter results looking lacklustre as profits tumble

Seagate has reported year-on-year declines in third-quarter revenue and profit, as notebook enhancements went unnoticed. Third fiscal 2015 quarter revenues were $3.3bn, 3 per cent down on the $3.4bn recorded a year ago and 11 per cent lower than the second full-year 2015 quarter's $3.7bn. Profits were $291m, 26 per cent down on …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2015
Qumulo QC208

Qumulo gets fat appliance alongside skinny fast one

Qumulo – the start-up building a better-than-Isilon scale-out NAS and staffed by Isilon vets – has launched a capacity-focused hardware product to complement its fast skinny one. Qumulo’s QC24 is a 1U appliance focused on performance, with 24TB of raw disk and 1.6TB of raw flash capacity (2 x 800GB eMLC SSDs) per node with the …
Chris Mellor, 20 Apr 2015

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
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