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 slashes sales outlook as growth shudders to a stop

SanDisk expects the current quarter's revenues to be about $1.3bn, 14 per cent less than a year ago, with the flash business supposed to be a growth area. The execs must have been horrified when they heard. At the end of the poorly performing previous quarter it expected $1.40bn to $1.45bn, still down on the $1.51bn earned a …
Chris Mellor, 27 Mar 2015
Solidfire_front

Hey, you just picked up a Solidfire flash box? Dude, you bought a Dell

Dell is selling Solidfire's all-flash arrays to service providers. Although Dell flogs its own all-flash Storage Centre arrays, it has an agreement with Colorado startup Solidfire to push the latter's scale-out all-solid-state-drive arrays. Dell spokesperson Lon Levitan told The Register: Yes, it’s true. The SolidFire …
Chris Mellor, 27 Mar 2015
Tintri

This just in from our Chief SATA Officer: Tintri trio takes off to mystery startup

Hybrid storage array startup Tintri has lost three executives in one fell swoop to another upstart. The trio of leavers are: Edward Lee, who has been an architect at Tintri since Jan 2010 from being technical director and a principal systems analyst at Data Domain. Pratik Wadher, who was executive veep for engineering and …
Chris Mellor, 26 Mar 2015

Hedvig all set to Google-ise that enterprise storage

Start-up Hedvig aims to bring Google/Amazon cloud-style storage to enterprises, with a virtualised pool of storage aggregated from distributed silos. It’s just won seed and A-round funding to the tune of $12.5m and has a Distributed Storage Platform technology that early customers – like Intuit, Dovilo, Van Dijk and Paul …
Chris Mellor, 26 Mar 2015
George_Kurian

NetApp veep: 'We've shifted 750,000 all-flash arrays'. Er, really?

UPDATED Interview There has been a sea change in the FlashRay project, NetApp's ground-up all-flash array product development, with execs leaving and the project being absorbed into the overall ONTAP organisation. So we interviewed George Kurian, NetApp's product operations EVP, to find out about FlashRay's status and positioning, and NetApp's …
Chris Mellor, 26 Mar 2015
Kinetic_4TB_drive

SNIA examines standardised access to object-based disk drives

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has a tech workgroup looking at object-based disk drives, such as Seagate’s Kinetic product, and is aiming to standardise access. Seagate’s Kinetic disk drive has object-style Get and Put interfaces access over a direct Ethernet connection to the drive. HGST is developing its …
Chris Mellor, 26 Mar 2015
Whiptail XLR8r appliance

Invicta saddles up for another tilt at the 'acceleration' market

After having withdrawn its Invicta all-flash array (AFA) from sale last year, Cisco is trying to crack the AFA market again Cisco bought Whiptail and its Invicta flash array technology for $415 million in 2013, and wants to build it into a $1bn business. However, it withdrew it from sale in September 2014 after scaling problems …
Chris Mellor, 25 Mar 2015
Intel DC P3700

Coho: Hi ho, hi ho, let's go to Intel's dev chateau

Coho Data has bounced up into view again, joining an Intel development partnership focused on lashing together CPUs, SSDs and Ethernet switches. What gives? We talked about Coho’s scale-out DataStream platform, with its MicroArrays and bare-metal object store, here, in 2013. Although Coho may not like the term, these are hyper- …
Chris Mellor, 25 Mar 2015
Bees

Data Deposit Box shrinks the farm before the SWARM

An SMB backup-to-the-cloud biz has shrunk its rack real estate by 82 per cent, moving from paired Dell storage server boxes to a swarm of object storage boxes. Data Deposit Box, which started operations in 2002, has more than 60,000 customers for its service. An OEM deal meant that customer base could increase markedly, which …
Chris Mellor, 25 Mar 2015
HGST_He8_heads

Helium-filled drive tech floats to top of HGST heap

HGST has announced second-generation helium drive tech after shipping a million gen-1 Helium drives and upping field reliability by 15 per cent. These drives have enclosures filled with helium instead of air. This is only 14 per cent of the density of air, so platters spin with less friction, vibrating less and needing less …
Chris Mellor, 25 Mar 2015
Bubble ring in sunlight

Scality proffers its RING to the Land of the Rising Sun

V5 of Scality's RING object storage software is now generally available, and has automated installation to ease the construction of petabyte rings with hundreds of nodes. The software was first discussed six months ago, with the top-level items being Amazon S3 and EBS-like storage for files, objects and VMware and KVM virtual …
Chris Mellor, 25 Mar 2015
Electricity_Pylon

Cleversafe attempts to infiltrate the storage laws of power

Cleversafe founder and vice chairman Chris Gladwin says his company's software is much more power-efficient than other scale-out disk drive array software or all-flash arrays. Object erasure coding can stop RAID crippling the power budget. The object storage software Cleversafe sells uses erasure coding for data protection and …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2015

EMC grabs tutu, slips on ballet shoes, performs Tchaikovsky's SAN Lake

EMC is getting into big data hydraulic engineering with its Federation Business Data Lake, calling it an engineered system integrating components from EMC II, Pivotal, VCE and VMware. This is not an appliance – the 1PB version takes at least seven days* to implement – so you can assume it’s not cheap either. It combines big data …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2015
Rubik_cubes

Rubrik back-up killer emerges into daylight with $10m in funding

Rubrik, the enterprise data management start-up, has come out of stealth with $10 million funding – including Silicon Valley elite cash contributions – and an intention to knock over Symantec, EMC, CommVault and Veeam in the back-up space. Angel investors include: John Thompson, ex-Symantec CEO and current Microsoft chairman; …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2015
Audio Bomb

Quorum appoints rock guitarist to play CEO lead

Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) start-up Quorum has appointed John Newsom as its fifth CEO – the fifth in the eight years since it was founded. He is a guitarist in a rock tribute band in his spare time, so lets hope his lead as CEO is as good as his rock soloing. Quorum has one-click disaster recovery and hybrid cloud …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2015

Tachyon Nexus theorises on ultra fast storage

Any in-memory-focussed clustered system has to deal with failure at some point, and learn how to recover from, or tolerate, it. Replication is a common method but it slows down processing, especially in sequences of jobs in a pipeline. However, upstart Tachyon Nexus thinks it has found a way round that problem, and can go a …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2015
Fluffy grey ragdoll cat relaxes next to laptop.

Distribution of cream among EMC executive fat cats revealed

Fancy finding out how much EMC fat cats earn? Read on. Total compensation – meaning share options, salary and bonuses – for the top execs at EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II) in 2014 looked like this: Joe Tucci (EMC Chairman & CEO) – $11,203,318 David Goulden (EMC II CEO) – $10,531,257 Howard Elias (President & COO …
Chris Mellor, 23 Mar 2015
Pawlowski_and_Puritans

Mr FlashRay's QUIT: Brian Pawlowski joins flashy upstart Pure Storage

Pure Storage has pulled off the storage recruitment coup of the year and hired Mr FlashRay, NetApp SVP Brian Pawlowski. News broke on March 19 of Pawlowski’s departure, after 20 years at NetApp, with a business networking profile in his name saying he was becoming a VP at a new venture. According to The Register's sources, that …
Chris Mellor, 20 Mar 2015
management regulation1

Diablo-Netlist IP dispute set for jury showdown next week

Next week is decision time in the Netlist-Diablo trial. A jury will rule whether Diablo unlawfully used Netlist's IP in developing technology includedin SanDisk ULLtraDIMM faster-than-PCIe-flash storage products. ULLtraDIMM tech, which speeds server processing of data by lowering access latency, has been licensed to Lenovo, …
Chris Mellor, 20 Mar 2015
OceanStor_9000

Huawei releases scaly NAS. Rival's Isilon sales increase. Oh dear

Wannabe Isilon-beater Huawei is showing its scale-out NAS product, the OceanStor 9000, at CeBit, saying it's the first scale-out filer designed for six-layer 4K UHD program production and editing. This system was announced in August 2013 at Interop in Las Vegas and has made, it appears, little progress since then. On paper it …
Chris Mellor, 19 Mar 2015
channel_teaser_exit

FlashRay founder Pawlowski flees NetApp

Brian Pawlowski, the founding and lead tech head for NetApp’s wannabee high-flying FlashRay all-flash array, has left the company after a 20-year stint, and become a VP in a new venture. Beepy, as he is known, was an SVP and member of NetApp’s technical staff, and NetApp’s chief technology officer from August 2006 to May 2012. …
Chris Mellor, 19 Mar 2015
True 3D Technology

A day may come when flash memory is USELESS. But today is not that day

The era of flash memory is anticipated to run out of road in the 2020s and newer technologies involving resistance and electron spin are poised to take over, delivering higher capacities, greater speed and DRAM-style addressability. Some people ask if one of these new technologies could actually unify dynamic memory (RAM) and …
Chris Mellor, 18 Mar 2015
Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD

MacBooks slimming down with Sammy's new 3D NAND diet pills

The 3D NAND revolution starts here. According to reports, Apple has signed a deal with Samsung to use its 3D V-NAND SSDs in future MacBooks, expected some time in 2016. The Korean Times estimates the deal is worth billions of dollars. Instead of having a single 2D or planar layer (as most current MLC flash dies do) 3D NAND has …
Chris Mellor, 18 Mar 2015

China's make-your-own DRAM ambitions growing all the time

Comment The People's Republic of China is getting heavily into the DRAM foundry business, giving it its own semi-conductor manufacturing fabs and raising the prospect of NAND flash being the next technology to move inside the Great Wall. A bunch of Chinese investors, led by Summitview Capital, have bought Integrated Silicon Solution ( …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
Illustration of an atom

CERN turns to Seagate’s Kinetic system and says ‘it’s storage time’

Comment CERN, with its extremely high-tech, bleeding-edge Big Data wizardry, is waved around like a trophy by IT suppliers these days. Now Seagate has stepped up onto the CERN stage, wanting to get its Kinetic disk drives used to store Large Hadron Collider (LHC) data. Seagate has gone and signed a three-year deal with CERN to scoop …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
Rubrik_web_page

Stealthy upstart Rubrik: We'll make enterprise data 'beautiful'

We here at The Reg have come across Rubrik, an early-stage Californian storage startup still in stealth. The website talks about “the world's data management platform". Headquartered in Palo Alto, it defines itself as "the new standard for data management," and claims: "Rubrik is built by the same people who built Google File …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
EMC_Big_Data_Event

EMC pitches a total DATA LAKE immersion

Fancy monetising your Big Data assets? EMC is flagging up a Big Data event on 23 March dealing with "scaling Big Data across an enterprise", whatever that means. If you attend you will “learn to work with Big Data, monetise your Big Data assets and see a fast and flexible Big Data solution”. The invite video includes the logos …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
Drobo_B1200i

Drobo releases range-topping fatter, faster 12-bay bruiser

Drobo – the data robot company that almost two years ago merged with Connected Data – has updated its rack-mounted B1200i product, making it both fatter and faster. Drobos data storage robots are remarkably easy-to-use storage devices which you can self-populate with disks, and which protect data with a BeyondRAID scheme, said …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
Veritas_5330_NetBackup_Appliance

Storage biz gets down with da kidz, announces new update on Reddit

Comment A NetBackup update is coming from Veritas, according to a Reddit forum. Veritas hosted an AMA (ask me anything) discussion on 13 March which has been posted to Reddit. According to the postings, NetBackup 7.7 will feature more capabilities in these following areas: Cloud storage, with Google Cloud Storage Nearline mentioned …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015

HP reveals lucky seven new storage products in Vegas

HP GPC 2015 Pre-split and with a new head of storage starting HP has used its Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas to reveal a raft of storage announcements to maintain momentum while the new man gets his office chair warmed up. Here we have a large systems supplier flexing its muscles and releasing a related set of storage items to put …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015

Huawei and DataCore spawn a beautiful hyper-converged system

A hyper-converged server and storage system is coming as the offspring of a Huawei-DataCore deal giving channel partners of both an answer to Nutanix, Simplicity, and EVO: RAIL-type offerings. Basically it’s Huawei FusionServer servers running DataCore SANsymphony-V software with Huawei Oceanstor direct-attached storage made …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2015
Fujitsu DX200F

Fujitsu presents the mighty ETERNUS as new disaster-proof hero

Fujitsu’s ETERNUS DX200F all-flash array (AFA) is always up for it even in the face of catastrophes, the firm says. The DX200 all-flash array was announced in April last year, offering the same performance – Fujitsu said – as specially-designed flash architectures, but for less money, due to its standard system architecture: …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2015
VMAX3

EMC pulls on its DSSD boxing gloves and crooks a finger at Oracle

Comment What we're learning about EMC’s DSSD all-flash array project suggests it’s going to be the weapon of choice for the company in its war against Oracle's Engineered Systems. DSSD could well be the new VMAX – a truly enterprise-class reliable all-flash array, but not one with XtremIO and VMAX-class data services. XtremIO is meant …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2015

Barracuda CEO snaps up post on Nimble board

Barracuda’s CEO, “BJ” Jenkins, has joined hybrid disk array leader Nimble Storage’s board. Doesn’t the day job fill his time? He’s also Barracuda’s president, as if he’s not busy enough. A canned quote from him on his move said: "It's an exciting time to be in the storage business as innovation thrives and new industry leaders …
Chris Mellor, 13 Mar 2015
Crown Casino poker room

On-prem storage peeps. Come here. It's time for real talk. About Google

Comment Veritas, Symantec’s renamed and soon to be spun off storage biz, announced it’s supporting Google’s nearline cloud storage. Its Veritas NetBackup 7.7, now in beta with general availability planned for the summer, can back up data to Google Cloud Storage Nearline. Here’s Veritas supporting cloud disks as an archival target …
Chris Mellor, 13 Mar 2015
Toshiba_AL13SX_detail

One's speedy, one's a fat boy: WD and Toshiba spin out new HDDs

Toshiba has introduced a 12Gbit/s SAS disk interface AL13 series disk drive, doubling its interface bandwidth compared to previous models, while WD has launched a power-sipping high-capacity drive. Toshiba’s 2.5-inch, 15,000 rpm AL13SX capacities go from 300GB, through 450GB to 600GB. Obviously it's smaller and uses less power …
Chris Mellor, 13 Mar 2015

BOXing clever: Data biz embiggens sales - then its shares slump

Box, the freemium business data sharer, saw satisfying revenue growth and controlled losses for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter and full year, although it disappointed analysts, whose comments prompted a 17 per cent share price fall. Highlights: Q4 FY 2015 revenue was $62.6m, up 61 per cent from $38.8m a year ago Q4 FY 2015's …
Chris Mellor, 12 Mar 2015

Disk array devastation: New-tech onslaught tears guts from trad biz

An EMC chart shows a steep decline in legacy SAN drive array sales coming, with hyperconverged, software-defined and all-flash array storage growing to compensate. William Blair analyst Jason Ader attended the March 10 EMC Strategic Forum event and mailed clients a summary of what he learnt. EMC management quoted some IDC …
Chris Mellor, 12 Mar 2015
LaCie_Porsche_USB_C

LaCie snuggles up to Apple’s slim 12-inch MacBook with fat HDD

LaCie has an external drive that can hook up to Apple’s single-port MacBook. The anorexic MacBook announced yesterday has only one USB-C port that is used to feed it power and transfer data, with no possibility of connecting other USB devices – or any HDMI, or Thunderbolt devices at all. Seagate’s LaCie external storage biz has …
Chris Mellor, 11 Mar 2015
Cryptowall sucks kid

Diablo fingered in offensive ASCII art trial doc shock

Editing an image of redacted document included in the Netlist-Diablo trial appears to show a raised middle finger ASCII graphic. Michael Takefman is a chief architect for Diablo Technologies. In one redacted court document extract we have seen, a blacked-out graphic reveals a text representation of a middle-finger gesture when …
Chris Mellor, 11 Mar 2015
L'Entreprenant over the battle of Fleurus

Diablo & Netlist flash DIMM fight moves to trial by jury

The world of developing server storage flash DIMMs is holding its breath – with settlement talks having failed, Netlist’s legal action against SanDisk’s technology source, Diablo Technologies, has moved to trial by jury. Diablo is being sued for IP theft by Netlist in front of a Californian District Court* jury. Diablo had a …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2015
ISE_800

Whoa, bro – it's all go for cool crow X-IO's AFA show

X-IO's five-year warranty, maintenance-free sealed disk and disk+flash arrays have a new brother: the all-flash ISE. It’s sprinted right to the top of the SPC-1 price/performance benchmark charts. The ISE 800 comes in a standard 3U X-IO enclosure and uses X-IO’s Gen 3 architecture, which first appeared in the ISE 780 in January …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2015
Manish_Goel

HP scores ex-NetApp exec to replace Mr 3PAR

+Comment HP is appointing Manish Goel to head up its storage operation as a replacement for the departing David Scott. Scott retired on 6 March, and had the distinction of being employed by HP twice. After his first stint as an HP exec, he left to start up storage company 3PAR, which was then acquired by HP - with Scott put in place to …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2015
Frank_Denneman_500

PernixData chap: We are to storage as Alfred Nobel was to dynamite

Interview PernixData chief technologist Frank Denneman thinks distributed fault-tolerant memory technology (DFTM) is ushering in an era of nanosecond-scale storage access latencies that could fundamentally change applications and the way they access data. Application process run speeds could be reduced to a tenth of their present levels …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2015

Fine funding for SimpliVity: Firm flies high with $175m boost

Hyperconverged startup SimpliVity has scored $175m in a D-funding round, valuing it at a billion-plus dollars and taking total funding to, we think, $276m. So what’s got the VCs salivating? A big pay-out, obviously, but why? SimpliVity has developed its OmniCube, which first appeared in public view in 2012, and is "a 2U rack …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2015
Surveillance_video_cams

US sheriff’s department DOES need a petabyte class storage array

+Comment Profitability has been regained by privately owned DataDirect Networks, which produces storage arrays for supercomputers, the HPC market at large and the big data for enterprise market. DDN said its bookings had grown 16 per cent year-over-year in 2014. It gained more than 150 customers with more than 1PB of storage in the year …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2015

The SHOCKING storage truth: Everyone's buying spinning rust

Hyperscale data centre spending is driving disk storage system spending higher, but mainstream vendors aren’t benefiting as the hyperscalers are buying direct. It's a big change in buyer behaviour. This is the picture shown by IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker for the fourth 2014 quarter. The market …
Chris Mellor, 09 Mar 2015
An obese belly, dangling freely. Pic: Tony Alter

Woah there Dot Hill, that's one seriously fat sales boom

A five year slump is over and high-end SAN maker Dot Hill is back after posting monster fourth-quarter revenues. Full year revenues still have a way to go, though, before the firm beats its 2010 high point. $69.1m was the revenue number for the fourth 2014 quarter, 17.5 per cent up on the $58.8m recorded a year ago, and 5.6 per …
Chris Mellor, 09 Mar 2015
Clouds in blue sky

Nena-bothering stats tempt Ericsson into Cleversafe's arms

Cleversafe has got itself a great new reselling deal. Popular telco kit supplier Ericsson is selling a Secure Cloud Storage offering based on Cleversafe's object storage software. Ericsson thinks it can enable telcos to offer better cloud IT services if the worries of their large enterprise customers about data security and …
Chris Mellor, 06 Mar 2015
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

Analyse this! Gartner puts data warehouse leaders on the couch

The old data warehousing and business analytics dogs still bark the loudest, but Hadoopy newcomers are barking loudly on their tails. Gartner compared 17 analytics vendors in one of its magical quadrants and said Teradata, Oracle and IBM were top o’ the tree, with Cloudera, MapR, AWS and 1010data as challengers. Gartner states …
Chris Mellor, 06 Mar 2015