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.

Imation to fork out $11m in patent suit

A jury has found that flash-flinger Imation must pay $11m damages to ioengine for patent infringement. The US patent in question is number 8,539,047 (the ’047 Patent entitled Apparatus, method and system for a tunnelling client access point). A company called ioengine, which owns the patent, involving secure USB devices, had …
Chris Mellor, 28 Feb 2017
SanDisk's_Barcelona_flash_drives

So. 256GB. 3D NAND. MicroSD. SanDisk. $199. Any further questions?

MWC SanDisk has slapped a price sticker and availability date on its 256GB 3D NAND flash chip that'll be packaged into A1-class microSDXC cards, as well as USB sticks and other formats. The new microSDXC card will be known as the Extreme microSD card with A1. Unveiled on Monday at the Barcelona MWC, it is an A1-class device with …
Chris Mellor, 28 Feb 2017
Thanks, I suppose. Woman contemplates unwanted gift. Photo by Shutterstock

Nimble offers AWS and Azure cloud-wrapper

Nimble Storage claims Azure and AWS clouds aren't ideal for enterprise transaction apps but says it can fix that by wrapping them inside Nimble Cloud Volumes for a $0.10/GB/month starting price. Nimble says it'll provide customers with its Cloud Volumes, which come with six nines (99.9999 per cent) measured storage …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2017

Dell offers crunch-in-a-box set of Edge teeth to Internet of Things things

Dell has developed the Edge Gateway 3000 Series of boxes so IoT customers can do some data analysis at the edge of their IoT network, to make real-time local decisions about the operations of IoT-monitored machinery and reduce bandwidth needs for data transfer to a central site. These embedded systems have been developed from …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2017
Arnie Total Recall

Splitsville: Toshiba prepares to lose its memory

Toshiba confirms its memory business will be separated from the main Toshiba business in preparation for a part or majority stake sale. The memory business, which is part of Toshiba’s Storage and Electronic Devices Solutions Company, includes Toshiba’s SSD operation (development, manufacturing and sales) but not its image …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2017
Nimble_AF_Series_table_competition

Nimble gets, well, nimble about hyperconverged infrastructure

Interview After thinking that stand-alone external storage array vendors might need to get into the hyperconverged market, we received a tip that Nimble Storage was thinking that too. So we asked Nimble's CEO, Suresh Vasudevan, a few exploratory questions. Here's the result. El Reg: How does Nimble view the roles of shared external …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2017

Oh my god, it's nearly Monday. Here's some storage news bytes to brighten your weekend

Sunday storage sum-up It's been one of those overwhelming-tidal-waves-of-news weeks. Here's an attempt to catch up. Amazon Web Services has added a new Elastic Block Store feature it calls Elastic Volumes and is making it available for all current-generation EBS volumes attached to current-generation EC2 instances. AWS says you can increase …
Chris Mellor, 26 Feb 2017
Brocade_G620

Brocade SAN sales butchered by hyper-converged upstarts

It was a double whammy. Brocade saw hyper-converged infrastructure eat into its SAN networking sales as Broadcom acquisition-caused uncertainty drove IP Networking sales downwards too. Revenues were $581m in Brocade’s first fiscal 2017 quarter, up by a sliver from the $574m reported a year ago but down 12 per cent from the …
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2017

Symbolic IO reveals tech bound to give server old guard the willies

Analysis Symbolic IO has rewritten the server hardware and operating system rule book with its its computationally defined storage (CDS) and says apps like database queries run 60 times or more faster on its system. If these claims are real then server suppliers like Cisco, Dell, HPE and others are in for a mighty market shock as one …
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2017
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Managed file transfer peeps Axway gobble sharetakers Syncplicity

French managed file transfer (MFT) company Axway has bought file sync and share supplier Syncplicity. EMC sold Syncplicity to Skyview Capital for an undisclosed sum in June 2015. Now Skyview has sold it to Axway in an all-cash transaction, again for an unrevealed amount. Axway, which has more than 11,000 customers in 100 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
Free range chicken and farmer photo via Shutterstock

Become a blockchain-secured space farmer with your hard drive

Startup Storj (pronounced storage oddly enough) has an open source, distributed cloud object storage platform using blockchain technology and end-to-end cryptography across a peer-to-peer network to secure files. The network consists of the internet and a shared community of “farmers”, users who rent out their spare desktop …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
Trophy. Image via Shutterstock

OK, hyperconverged is the new black. But who's winning at it?

A consultancy reports that Nutanix, Simplivity and VMware lead the SDS/HCI market, while Microsoft, Cisco and HPE lag behind. Interesting... now that HPE has bought SimpliVity it must be a top 2 player and could be numero uno (it is). But lead in what? Certainly not in sales units or revenues; this is mainly a product …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
Tosh_Q300s

Tosh doubles 64-layer 3D flash chip capacity with a bit of TLC

Toshiba has introduced its first 64-layer 3D NAND device that doubles the capacity of its 256Gb product to 512Gb using a TLC (3bits/cell) design. That means a die holds 64GB. Sample shipping started this month and mass production is slated for the second half of the year. Both enterprise and consumer SSD products are expected …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
Chains image via Shutterstock

Highway to HBLL: The missing link between DRAM and L3 found

A new cache is needed between memory and the tri-level processor cache structure in servers in order to avoid CPU core wait states. That's the point of a Last Level Cache chip designed by Piecemakers Technology with help from Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan and Intel. As data travels from slow storage to a …
Chris Mellor, 22 Feb 2017
Oxford campus photo by shutterstock

Hopping the flash stepping stones to DIMM future

Analysis Up until very recently the main thrust of data access and storage technology development was to make the media faster, hence the move from disk to flash, and flash technology developments to increase capacity. But the opportunity to make further advances is closing and attention is turning to removing the final obstacle to …
Chris Mellor, 22 Feb 2017

Tosh in deeper financial doo-doo as banks crank up the pressure

Toshiba is looking to raise almost $9bn (‎¥1 trillion) by selling off a majority stake in its memory chip business, according to Reuters, and so repair its finances, which have been devastated by cost overruns in its US nuclear power business. That is costing it around $6.3bn but Toshiba's banks want it to raise more to cover …
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017
Little girl looks at camera with an "I told you so" attitude. Photo by Shutterstock  Release Information: Signed model release filed with Shutterstock, Inc

These snapshots are Purely Cohesity

After announcing an initial backup integration between Pure's all-flash array and Cohesity's converged secondary storage a year ago, the two have now gone further with snapshot-level integration. Cohesity converges secondary data storage storage silos with its SW which runs on its own hardware or as a SW-only Virtual Edition …
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017
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Suffering ceepie-geepies! Do we need a new processor architecture?

Backgrounder Do we need a new processor architecture? Graphcore says that machine learning computation is different from existing computational types, and will be broad enough in its usage for – as well as accelerated significantly by – a dedicated processor architecture. If UK-based Graphcore is right, then its IPU will join CPU and GPU …
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

The stunted physical SAN market – Dell man gives Wikibon forecasts his blessing

Analysis Current thinking among vendors with hyper-converged and converged infrastructure offerings is that physical SANs are in decline and their market is shrinking. Chad Sakac, Converged Platforms Division president at Dell EMC, is the latest high-profile prognosticator to push this view. The Wikibon consultancy first talked about …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017
SimpliVity_Omnicubes

Surprise! HPE says nothing about ProLiant server hardware for SimpliVity OmniCubes

Analysis HPE has closed its SimpliVity acquisition and publicised software porting and migration plans but hasn't said anything about SimpliVity hardware moving to a ProLiant server base. The second-largest hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) startup was bought for $650m, and so SimpliVity's hardware added to HPE's two-horse …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017

Yee-haw! It's the Friday storage round-up

Not every story is NetApp making a hyperconverged product, or Oracle possibly canning tape products. Here's a roundup of several pieces of news that are nevertheless significant. We wrote about data management startup Komprise some time ago. It tells us it released its product last year, has partnerships with NetApp, EMC, …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017

Hyperconverged market gets hyper-competitive as new riders enter field

Analysis The hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) market has become hypercompetitive as the two-horse race between Dell and Nutanix has been blown open with HPE/SimpliVity, NetApp and Cisco chasing them. Three things happened this week: Cisco's boss Chuck Robbins said of its HyperFlex product: "We certainly would like to …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Close up of tangled tape

Did Oracle just sign tape's death warrant? Depends what 'no comment' means

Oracle's StorageTek (StreamLine) tape library product range will be end-of-lifed, El Reg has learned. StreamLine boxes are high-end libraries, generally for enterprise use, competing with equivalents from IBM (buoyed by mainframe tape use) and SpectraLogic. Both IBM and Oracle have their own proprietary tape formats as well as …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
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What does a complex AI model look like? Here's some Friday eye candy from UK biz Graphcore

Pics Brit chip startup Graphcore has produced sexy images of its graph processing. We wrote about Graphcore scoring $30m A-round funding in October. The processor designer came out of two years in XMOS-incubated stealth mode at that time, and was founded by CEO Nigel Toon and CTO Simon Knowles. XMOS is a fabless semiconductor …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Cloudian_HS_4000_Bezel

Enterprise IT storage – where being fat and very dense is, um, a good thing. Right, Cloudian?

Cloudian is now touting a fat HyperStore 4000 alongside its HyperStore 1500 appliance. Both boxes are compatible with Amazon's AWS S3 APIs. The new 4000 comes in a 4U box with two compute nodes inside. There are 35 hot-swap 3.5-inch disk drives per node, and the same four hot-swap SSDs and 10GbitE networking as with the HS …
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017