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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.

MDS_9148s_vs_Brocade

House of the rising SAN: Cisco plonks physical 16Gbit/s kit on the table

Virtual SANs are all very well but physical SANs aren't going away – what with Cisco building out its 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel (FC) switching gear. Cisco has improved its storage area networking product set, plunging deeper into the 16Gbit/s FC switch space, thinking that physical SANs and networked block-access storage arrays …
Chris Mellor, 01 Aug 2014
Happy woman at a computer

Veeam's vigorous voyage vindicates virty servers' backup virtues

Ve have vays of making vast sums of loot! That's virtual server backup and data protection upstart Veeam for you, reporting 30 per cent revenue growth in the first half of 2014, and a customer count passing 111,500. The firm said the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 was the 26th one in a row with double-digit growth on a year- …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2014

Overland Storage and BDT end four-year-long patent spat

Overland Storage and BDT have terminated their four-year lawsuit in which Overland sued BDT for allegedly using its intellectual property unlawfully. Tape automation product supplier Overland commenced its action against German tape automation supplier BDT concerning tape media handling in tape libraries. It did so on a no win/ …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2014
WD Caviar Green 2TB

Disk daddy WD dishes out more drives, but profits dip anyway

For its final fiscal 2014 quarter WD revenues were flat at $3.7bn but profits declined despite the firm having sold a greater number of disk drives. SSD sales declined compared to the previous two quarters. The increased drive demand came from PCs, gaming devices and notebooks but, unfortunately gaming and notebook drives have …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2014
M.2-and M SATA form factors

Cold storage, Facebook style? Flash FPGA controller to knock your SoCs off, vows upstart

Startup NxGnData Stepping onto the flash controller stage from its stealth phase comes with an FPGA-based SoC promising hyperscale cold data storage using cheap, short-life TLC flash and in-situ processing. NxGnData NxGnData home page Its home page promises: In-Situ processing for computational data, EndExt with advanced …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2014

If we don't do better, we'll hand over BOARD CONTROL - Quantum

Quantum’s directors appear to have agreed to hand over board control to activist investor Starboard Value if “certain ... objectives” are not met in its fiscal 2015 year. Starboard currently has three directors on the nine-person Quantum board and will get a fourth at Quantum’s 2014 meeting of stockholders, when its nominee Dale …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jul 2014
A hammer and bent screw

Don't Hammer Bob's backup biz: At least sales are up

CommVault, the all-singing-and-dancing data management, enterprise backup and archive company, saw its revenues rise 14 per cent in its first fiscal 2015 quarter - but its profits fell by five per cent. Despite that, it still beat Wall Street's earnings estimates. Revenues were $152.6m compared to $134.4m a year ago, while the …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jul 2014

Texan firm buys disaster recovery bods Neverfail

UK business continuity specialist Neverfail has been acquired by US-based Artisan Infrastructure in a quiet and unannounced deal. Ex-Neverfail MD Martin Mackay said: ”I am not at liberty to give details but we have indeed been acquired by Artisan. They liked our product set a lot and this is good news for customers, partners, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2014
Taoviet iPhone

Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

With the ominous words “We take your investment in Sonos very seriously,” Sonos has killed off support for iOS v4 and 5 devices. Sonos makes software app-controlled Wi-Fi speakers that can play audio streamed from Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OSX devices. The iThings can play local audio files on the speakers or relay music/ …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2014
Napoleons_bed

VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?

After a first look into suppliers’ widespread support for VMware's VVOL, further explorations under the VVOL bedcovers have revealed Dell, IBM, Nexenta, Nimble Storage, Tegile and Violin have also joined the VVOL train. Here’s what they say about it. Dell Bob Fine, Dell’s storage director, said Dell is enthusiastic about VVOLs …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2014
borg_cube

Resistance is not futile: Here's a cookie sheet of luke-warm RRAM that proves it

Boffins devising Resistive RAM (RRAM) have found that using porous silicon oxide makes the devices easier to manufacture, longer lasting and less power hungry. The researchers, at Rice University, Texas, stumbled upon silicon oxide RRAM five years ago. The stuff works as computer storage by having differing resistance levels …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2014
Ultrastar_SSD1600MH

HGST polishes Ultrastar SSD whoppers, stuffs with denser Intel flash

HGST has refreshed its Ultrastar enterprise SSD line, using denser 20nm NAND to replace the previous 25nm flash, doubling capacity, upping read performance but lowering write performance a tad in the process. The starting point was a three-product Ultrastar SSD800 line-up, maxing out at 800GB and coming in MH (write-intensive), …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2014
Lightning

AWS hell no: Can Microsoft Azure sales beat Amazon's cloud?

There's a prospect coming into view of Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering passing Amazon's AWS in cloud revenues. Fancy that. Azure grew its commercial cloud services revenue 147 per cent on an annual basis in the second quarter of 2014, and has an annualised run rate of $4.4bn. So says financial analyst Aaron Rakers, the MD of …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2014

Arcserve on split-up with CA Technologies: 'We’re a startup now. We’re really hungry'

Arcserve execs are insisting that the business's recent spinout from software giant CA to Marlin should help it compete better in the market. While CA may have decided to invest the money from the sell-off of arcserve elsewhere, the data protection biz says its product has a bright future, as VP worldwide sales Chris Ross was at …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2014

Healthy Fibre biz fattens QLogic's bottom line... and not before time

It's a new fiscal year and a fresh first quarter for QLogic... and it looks like Q’s droopy revenue woes are set to end. It appears to have bottomed out, with numbers once again on the rise as Q starts growing again. Generally speaking, Q supplies storage access adapters and controllers for Fibre Channel and Ethernet. Revenues …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jul 2014
onQ_Appliance

Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang

Disaster recovery company Quorum uses a customer’s second site or its own cloud site to provide the user with backup and DR location for physical and virtualised server customers, and claims one-click recovery through its on-site onQ appliances. According to the biz, the highly available appliance “clones your servers right onto …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jul 2014
Play-Fi video

Audio tech upstart DTS takes on Wi-Fi speaker juggernaut Sonos

Audio tech supplier DTS is taking on Sonos’ wireless speakers with its Play-Fi tech, which it claims employs open and lossless audio technology. DTS doesn't make its own kit, but rather develops and licenses its technology to OEMs who sell consumer brands. The latest OEM to jump aboard the DTS ship is the Fine Sounds Group with …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jul 2014

Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN

Three Bulgarian engineers who co-founded a firm called StorPool – which builds a virtual SAN using the aggregated storage of Linux KVM servers – are aiming to expand the reach of their three-year-old project. Boyan Ivanov, CEO, Boyan Krosnov, chief product officer, and Yanko Yankulov, the chief tech officer, started the firm in …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jul 2014
Ocean yacht

Batten down the hatch- ... oh. Quantum's actually close to growth

It’s Quantum quarterly results time. The temptation is to immediately think same old, same old, but is its drawn-out recovery finally becoming visible? The top-line numbers don’t show it. First quarter fiscal 2015 revenues were $128.1m, almost $20m down on the year-ago quarter and a smidge up, just $100,000, on the previous …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jul 2014

EMC revenues are up. But, hey Joe, I heard you shot your profits down...

EMC sold a record $5.9bn of products and services in its second 2014 quarter, representing a stately five per cent year-on-year increase in sales - and a $400m boost over the first quarter of this year. EMC’s second quarter revenues are generally higher than its first quarter. Net income was $589m, 16 per cent down on profits a …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2014
IMFT 25nm Flash die

Hey Intel – that new Pro 2500 SSD looks awfully familiar

Intel has announced a Pro 2500 notebook SSD that appears to differ from the previous Pro 1500 by just three comparatively trivial specifications. The Pro 1500, released in Spetember last year, has a capacity range of 80GB to 480GB, while the Pro 2500’s range is, er, 120GB - 480GB... The Pro 1500 has a 41,000 random read IOPS …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2014
Dance Central

Tall, dark, but no stranger: Quantum polishes its DXi range

Quantum has refreshed its dedupe box operating system and run up a fresh and faster hardware box. The DXi range before this announcement consisted of the V-Series software-only product and four hardware and software products: V-Series: 1 - 24TB of usable capacity and up to 4.9TB/hour 4700: 5 - 135TB and up to 5.9TB/hour 6700 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2014
Fandango

The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware

A storage array access revolution is coming, says VMware as it releases its VVOL Virtual Volumes. These allow storage arrays to do a virtualised server's bidding and have storage pools and operations carried out in VMware virtual machine-centric ways. VMware has announced its beta programme for a forthcoming release of VMware …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
ARA_LIbertad

EMC boss Tucci’s last battle: Stopping a forced VMware selloff

With Joe Tucci, EMC head honcho, set to retire on February next year, the very last thing he wanted was an attack by one of the biggest, baddest activist investors of all: Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. Elliott has communicated to EMC that it has a $1bn investment in its shares and would like VMware spun off so that EMC …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
WD_Red_6TB_label

THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

In a move that will get well-heeled Drobo owners salivating WD has announced a 6TB Red drive costing just $299, setting the industry a new high water mark in the areal density stakes. This is a 5-platter drive, with 1.2TB/platter areal density, intended for NAS use, and coming in both 5TB and 6TB versions. It spins, we …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
The guts of a Unitrends hardware appliance

Dell and Unitrends both bulk up their backup

There’s feverish development in the SME backup market as Dell and Unitrends follow NAKIVO in fortifying their product offerings. Dell has added stuff to its SME AppAssure backup products with a new SW version and a new appliance, the DL1000. It’s also added the DR2000v to its deduplicating backup appliance range. The latest …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
IBM quarterly storage revenues

Clouds gathering above Big Blue's storage empire

The Big Blue IT colossus' storage revenues have carried on declining, with only FlashSystems showing growth, and stellar growth at that. Within the Systems and Technology segment of IBM's second quarter 2014 results, revenues from System Storage decreased 12 per cent - although flash storage grew more than 100 per cent. This is …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2014
NAKIVO

Nakivo: Yet another VMware server backup biz going bananas

Thirty-month-old startup Nakivo has erupted into view as an alternative to Veeam for VMware server backup, claiming more than 3,000 customers and a triple-digit growth rate. Nakivo Backup & Replication provides VMware server backup and replication to the SMB market with disaster recovery and business continuity features. It has …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014

Hybrid array startup Tegile plucks CMO from Violin

Hybrid array startup Tegile has hired a chief marketeer from the ranks of Violin Memory. Tegile is one of the three leading hybrid array suppliers, alongside Nimble Storage and Tintri. Narayan Venkat comes from a VP Product management and marketing role at Violin, which welcomed Eric Herzog in March this year. Herzog had moved …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014

Red Hat drops Calamari into pan: Now we're cooking with gas

Carmine headgear-sporting open-sourcer Red Hat has made a refreshed version of its Ceph Enterprise product available, adding the ability for it to manage high-access rate hot data and across the data lifecycle to cold archival data. Ceph is an open source distributed object storage system which Red Hat added to its armoury by …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014

Out of Luczo, Seagate? Revenues and profits are shrinking again

Seagate chairman and CEO Steve Luczo is watching his company's revenues and profits shrink for the second year in a row – Seagate’s immense disk business business is spinning more slowly these days. For its fourth fiscal quarter, ended 27 June, revenues were $3.3bn, 3.7 per cent down on last year’s Q4 and 3 per cent down on the …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014
LTFS EE

IBM's GPFS marries LTFS: You may now kiss the enterprise

IBM's General Parallel File System (GPFS) will soon “see” files on tape cartridges through an enterprise edition of LTFS, Big Blue's Linear Tape File System. LTFS comprises a self-describing tape format, with metadata on the material at a known location defining the tape’s file contents. LTFS supports LTO5, LTO6 or TS1140 tape, …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014
Nasuni filer performance

Cloud porch pooch Nasuni: Hardware is so yesterday, man

Nasuni, the agnostic cloud storage gateway enterprise storage-as-a-service provider, has revved up its software to v6.0 and added go-faster upgrades to its hardware. The product line is called The Nasuni Service and v6.0 features: Cloud-based global file locking Secure mobile access via Desktop Sync Expanded protocol access: …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2014
Flash_Writing_on_the_wall

Wham, bam, thank you NAND: SanDisk SSD sales soar

SanDisk sales are booming, based on its NAND foundry integration and well-executed move into enterprise storage. Record second quarter revenue of $1.63bn was 11 per cent up year-on-year. Net income was £274m, 4.6 per cent more than a year ago – with revenues growing faster than profits. SanDisk supplies consumer and business …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2014
The Lengberg compared with a 1950's longline bra. Pic: University of Innsbruck

Violin offers pay-as-you-GROW pricing on its Flashing WFA blades

The recovering one-time all-flash array market leader Violin Memory has announced a pay-as-you-grow pricing model and four extra Windows Flash Array (WFA) configs. Violin’s WFA is a 6000-series product running Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 on its two blade servers, which connects to an SQL Server 2014 box and provides fast …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Seagate_NAS_Pro

Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd

Small Office Home Office (that's SOHO to you) and SME NAS supplier Seagate, which also makes hard disk drives and SSDs, has launched a pair of ARM-based and Atom-based desktop 2- to 6-slot filers with a set of minor productivity apps and remote access. The Seagate NAS line is for use by up to 25 employees, has from two to four …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Google Lenoir datacentre with Oracle tape libraries

FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage

The analytical wonks at Wikibon have deduced that a combination of flash and tape is better than tape alone or disk and tape for storing archival data. The argument is based on tape being not only cheaper than disk, but actually faster than disk for streaming large files. It also relies on the cost of flash approaching that of …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Seagate_EVauilt

Seagate finally digests EVault – 8 years after swallowing

The EVault website has suddenly sprung a Seagate surprise on us, announcing “EVault is now part of Seagate” and it is “working under the Seagate brand.” What gives? The pop-up window says “Seagate will make a more formal announcement about this exciting development in September.” Seagate_EVault EVault website pop-up EVault’s …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
NPS_EQuinix

It was always Azure thing: NetApp floats boxen into Microsoft's cloud

NetApp is setting up a speedy connection to Microsoft’s Azure cloud so its arrays can have an Azure backend for scaling up capacity, archiving, DR and enabling workload moves. NetApp Private Storage (NPS) for Azure relies on a NetApp box in a managed services type data centre or colo centre like those Equinix operates. A …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Ejection_seat

Donahue grabs Atlantis double crown: Takes CEO and pres titles

Atlantis Computing, the ILIO VDI and USX VMware acceleration software company, has replaced its CEO. Jason Donahue will be taking over from Bernard Harguindeguy. Donahue becomes CEO and president and joins the board. Chetan Venkatesh, the chief technology officer and founder of Atlantis, said: “Jason Donahue is someone who …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

Virty server bones thrown: Gartner mages see Microsoft rising

Gartner’s server virtualisation magic quadrant shows virtualisation juggernaut VMware sitting at the top of the pack for the fifth year running, with Citrix down in the niche player dumps along with Red Hat. There are just two suppliers in the leader’s quadrant: VMware and Microsoft. Oracle is the only challenger and that by a …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2014
Three_Musketeers

Hybrid upstart Tintri: Legacy vendors? We're eating their lunch

Hybrid flash/disk array startup Tintri claims its business is growing and eating into the sales of traditional array vendors. Tintri’s VMstore provides storage resources for VMware virtual machines (VMs) without the sysadmin needing to know about LUNs and other traditional storage array abstractions. The arrays are VM-centric in …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2014
Swift video

What do we want? Swift storage policies! OpenStack: Yeah, fine

Thanks to new storage policy support, OpenStack's Swift v2.0 can now create storage containers with specific policies controlling their operation. OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing system: it includes compute, storage, and networking layers. Swift is the object storage component, with Cinder being the block storage …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2014
management cloud7

IBM shoots Elastic Storage into SoftLayer cloud

IBM is making its parallel access Elastic Storage available as a service on Big Blue's SoftLayer cloud. Elastic Storage is the rebranded GPFS (background here) and IBM says the Elastic Storage on Cloud (ECS) service provides: SoftLayer bare metal resources High performance data management InfiniBand link to and between …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2014
MQ_file_sync_large

Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...

As if it needed another boost to its marketing efforts, EMC’s Syncplicity can be seen on the right-hand side of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant enterprise file sync and share box with Syncplicity, a timely marketing boost coming on Amazon's entry into the market with its Zocalo service. Gartner MQ for enterprise file sync Click …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2014
Volcano erupting

Two years in the making: Sneak peek at VMware's future VVOL tech

VMware says its virtual volume storage technology – which has spent two years in development – is set to erupt onto the storage array landscape next year, causing profound changes for array controllers. Virtual volumes or VVOLs provide storage for VMware virtual machines (VMs) that currently need LUN (Logical Unit Number) or …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2014
Zocalo video

Amazon Zocalo rocks Box, socks DropBox, clocks Google Docs

Amazon has revealed Zocalo, its sync-and-share and managed storage for enterprise. This spells bad news for Box and Dropbox, and perhaps even Google Docs. Zocalo, we're told, features: A secure tool to share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, webpages, images, PDFs, and text files. Encryption of data in flight and at rest …
WAves

It's a boxless, super-flash, hyper-converged world: But what'll we do for BULK STORAGE?

Bulk secondary and tertiary data is going to the cloud. Not right now and not for everybody but the local ownership, operation and management of secondary data storage is costly and complicated and – slowly but surely – the cloud storage services are getting cheap enough and reliable enough to take over. CIOs will likely …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2014
StorSimple_8000

Who's that new kid making hybrid SAN kit? Yes, it's MICROSOFT

Microsoft's StorSimple is getting more Azurified with an 8000 series and tighter Azure integration and we can now report more about the two arrays. These 8100 and 8600 rackmount boxes are 2U and 4U high respectively and accessed using iSCSI over 10 and 1GbitE. They have inline deduplication, compression and thin provisioning. …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2014

Backers stump up 'Amazon' $20m to fund Avere's cloud ascension

Go-faster filer front-end box startup Avere wants to be a cloud storage gateway as well and has landed $20m in fourth rounding funding to grow its sales, marketing and international ops. The public cloud back-ending of storage arrays is becoming more prominent, with NetApp extending its ONTAP software to control data access for …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2014