Chris Mellor

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
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.

The_Tomb_of_the_Diver_Paestum_Italy

QLogic issues mournful prognosto ahead of next numbers

QLogic expects a significant shortfall in its latest quarter’s results compared to expectations set a couple of months ago and has issued preliminary numbers to warn the financial markets. The expectation was for $124 million to $132 million revenues. Instead the prelim number is $113 million, well down, and comparing poorly …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2015
Old_King_Cole

OCP supporters hit back over testing claims – but there's dissent in the ranks

Comment Open Compute Project aficionados did not like our story about its allegedly insufficient hardware testing procedures and said so, publicly and loudly. “Terrible journalism” whinged one, adding it was an attack on the entire open source movement. Is this fair? It seems a can of worms has been opened. Cole Crawford, the …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2015
Panasas

Petabyte punting Panasas pushes punchier performance product

Panasas has added performance heft to its scale-out ActiveStor HPC arrays and is going after the media and entertainment market, as its rendering and post-process work needs HPC-style storage. Panasas_ActiveStor_18_detail ActiveStor 18 rack The latest ActiveStor 18 (AS18) array is the successor to the AS16, which was …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2015
Gartner_MQ_Ent_backup_JUne_2015

Gartner, Gartner, on the wall? Who is the fairest IT backup biz of all?

Gartner geeks have issued another rapturous rectangle, otiose oblong, or even a queer quartet of spell-binding squares to do with enterprise backup software and integrated appliances. Yes, it's magic quadrant time again. There are four clear leaders: EMC, CommVault, IBM, and Symantec, with not a lot to separate them. In the …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2015
V_NAND_chips

Samsung's latest 2TB SSDs have big hats, but where's the cattle?

Comment Samsung’s 2TB SSDs have long warranties, but not much capacity for total lifetime data written. While being the largest consumer SSDs to date and having 5-year (EVO) and 7-year (PRO) warranties, the drives don’t actually have impressive numbers with regard to the total TB written over the life of the drives. The 2TB 850 EVO …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2015

Symantec selling Veritas to private equity firm – report

Symantec’s soon-to-be-split-off Veritas business is destined for private equity ownership, according to Bloomberg. The buyer is said to be the Carlyle Group and it will pay something between $7bn and $8bn for a business, which has forecast $2.6bn annual revenues. It’s been noted for some time that there is no CEO identified …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2015
Bread line

Latest in long line of wannabes steps up to helm X-IO

Analysis X-IO has just replaced its ninth CEO with its tenth, exec chairman Bill Miller. Having ten CEOs at one firm in 14 years suggests something deep and intractable in the problems-to-be-solved area. Here’s the firm’s CEO record: 1 – Co-founder Phil Soran from July 1995. He went on to co-found Compellent and sell it to Dell 2 – …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2015
Car_boot_sale

Cain says Veritas is in fine fettle as able Symantec preps for split

Data storage biz Veritas has announced five product releases and updates, and set out its product strategy as an independent operation during and after its separation from Symantec. Symantec EVP and chief product officer Matt Cain divided the products destined for Veritas into foundational and next-generation categories, with …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2015
fbservers_648

Open Compute Project testing is a 'complete and total joke'

Comment Facebook's Open Compute Project testing is sub-standard and doesn't follow well-established industry procedures, according to The Register's sources. The Open Compute Project (OCP) was formed in 2011 and involves the Facebook-initiated design of bare-bones computer equipment that can supposedly be built, installed and operated …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2015
Cuts to orange

Sync 'n' sod it: EMC might be shaping up to sell Syncplicity

EMC is set to sell is Syncplicity file sync'n'share business to a private equity firm, according to a Bloomberg report. Skyview Capital LLC is the aforementioned PE biz, and it says about itself: “We specialise in acquiring and unlocking unrealised potential within market-leading businesses across a variety of sectors.” …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2015
Cowboy_wranglers

TACC wrangles IBM GPFS on to DSSD for HPC LOLs

A data-intensive supercomputer in Texas is using more than half a petabyte of DSSD flash storage, along with IBM’s Spectrum Scale (GPFS) parallel file system, to provide massively fast random access to gazillions of small files. The Wrangler system is being built because traditional HPC systems are poor at dealing with small …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2015
Two dollars

EMC splashed a BILLION dollars buying just one flashy upstart

Top mergers and acquisitions lawyer Michael Ringler helped EMC splash a cool billion dollars buying a rack-scale flash array upstart, The Register can reveal. It was in May 2014 that EMC swooped down and bought the stealthy DSSD rack-scale flash array startup. DSSD was founded around 2010 by two top Sun engineers involved …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2015
SG_Guards

Catalogic brings rank and file into line with copy data cleanup tool

Undisciplined file copy creation spreads like a weed across data centres. You can deal with the problem in two ways. Firstly, dump all your secondary data into a fresh storage silo that makes virtual copies for everyone that needs them. Or you can use a tool to check out your existing infrastructure, identify the copy dross, …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2015
Boxing_gloves

SolidFire pulls off gloves for unholy storage ding-dong. Ding-ding!

Punchy all-flash array startup SolidFire has taken the gloves off in its competition with EMC, NetApp and Pure Storage by releasing competitive architectural comparisons singling out weaknesses in their products. You can get comparison docs vs NetApp all-flash FAS, EMC’s XtremIO and Pure Storage’s FlashArray by filling in …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2015

Storage upstart: Our flashy gear is WAY faster than slow old DRAM

A storage memory appliance to process massive Big Data sets in real-time is being developed by startup Levyx, with help from Toshiba and the reviving OCZ business in the flash department. Levyx was founded in 2013 by Reza Sadri, CEO, previously sTec’s chief technical officer, and Tony Givargis, a computer science professor at …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jul 2015
Facebookserveraisle

A looksee into storage upstart Hedvig's garage

+Comment Hedvig decloaked from stealth recently, saying it’s producing converged block, file and object storage for enterprises with Facebook/Amazon-level scale, costs and efficiencies. It does this through its DSP (Distributed Storage Platform) software, and The Reg was at a June 23 press briefing in Santa Clara to hear more. Founder …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2015
Sprint

NexGen releases goodies for next-gen software package

Reinvigorated hybrid array startup NexGen is pushing out quality-of-service (QoS) goodies for vCentre and VMware VMs, saying it will cut the need for vMotioning VMs from one server to another when performance slows. It comes with v3.5 of NexGen’s ioControl software, which marketing veep Chris McCall said: “Takes our user …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2015
Handcuffs

Nutanix vs VMware blog war descends into 'he said, she said' farce

Round two in the VMware-versus-Nutanix blog war has opened up with a full-frontal assault by a Nutanix exec, who claims Nutanix wants to be open about its performance advantages over VSAN, but is prevented from going public by VMware’s end user license agreements, or EULAs. In particular, Nutanix claims, EVO:RAIL sales are so …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2015
White boxes

The case against Open Compute Project Storage flotation

Interview Did you know there was a storage part of the Open Compute Project? If not, you do now. The Facebook-generated OCP aims to make good, basic hardware available for data centres at low cost, with no bezel tax and no unwanted supplier differentiation justifying high prices. Its main focus is servers, but that's not all, as there is …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2015
Avalanche

It's all downhill from here: Avalanche spins STT-RAM

Startup Avalanche is sampling an STT-RAM chip offering DRAM/SRAM speed, persistent storage, unlimited endurance and scalability beyond 10nm. The holy unified memory chip grail is to replace DRAM, SRAM and flash with a single chip tech, offering the benefits of each without the drawbacks. Thus NAND cannot scale down psst 10nm and …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2015
Easter_Island_Monoliths

Don't start reading the last rites for monolithic storage just yet

Monolithic storage arrays may well claim that rumours of their death have been exaggerated, but that doesn't mean that they aren't entering the digital care-home for the soon-to-be-departed. These boxes — the mainframes of storage — are magnificent beasts, like do-everything battleships of the storage wars in an era in which …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2015
DX8900_S3_detail

ETERNUS embiggens at peak of Mt Fujitsu (it's a drive array, not Tolkien)

Fujitsu's modular array line is being refreshed at the top end, with a third-generation ETERNUS DX8700 S3 product and a new DX8900 S3 array.   DX8700 S2 (2011) DX8700 S3 (new) DX8900 S3 (new) Max capacity 6.14PB 4.6PB 13.8PB IOPS 1 million Not known 4 million Max drive count 3072 1536 4608 Storage controllers 2 to 8 …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2015

DataDirect introduces its hyper-converged Wolf in Creek clothing

DataDirect is building WolfCreek, a 5 million IOPS converged compute and storage appliance, with vastly enhanced IO processing and 60GB/sec bandwidth. Ponytailed CEO and co-founder Alex Bouzari spilled a few WolfCreek beans at a Silicon Valley briefing on June 22. It sees storage and compute converging and its edge here is to …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2015

Radian Memory Systems decloaks, says it'll twin DRAM and flash

Stealthy upstart Radian Memory Systems is coming out at the Flash Memory Summit in August, and is developing storage memory software to be used in enterprise, hyperconverged, and cloud computing environments. Storage memory refers to the twinning of DRAM and non-volatile memory, meaning flash, in a single logical address space …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2015
Flash Gordon

Fireworks expected from Oracle at Flash Memory Summit

Comment Oracle is giving a keynote pitch at the Flash Memory Summit, indicating it's got something NAND-like up its sleeve. The pitch is being presented by long-time disk man Mike Workman, currently SVP for flash storage systems at Oracle. He was the CEO of Pillar Data – which was acquired by Oracle in 2011 – which built the Axiom line …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2015
Spinning_tops

Hello Tosh, got a downrated 6TB spinner? Yes, for slower workloads

Toshiba has introduced a downrated version of its MG04 6TB disk drive, suitable for bulk storage and cloud-based apps requiring less data transfer velocity than the standard model. This feat is accomplished by retaining most of the feeds and speeds, such as the 7,200rpm spin speed, but giving it a 6Gbit/s SATA interface instead …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2015
fat

The all-flash market will grotesquely distend in five years, says Gartner

Gartner thinks the all-flash array market will expand at a 37 per cent compound annual growth rate, embiggening from $1.43bn in 2014 to about $7bn by 2019. Storage notes from analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, reveal that and other interesting predictions: Gartner thinks no data centres use only all-flash arrays …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2015
taylor_swift_apple_648

Apple Music available on Sonos by end of this year

Apple’s streaming music service will be available on Sonos’ streaming Wi-Fi speaker set-up by the end of the year. Buzzfeed editor Jon Paczkowski received a message from Apple confirming the move and tweeted the news: Apple_Sonos_Bussfeed Paczkowski Apple Music on Sonos tweet Sonos confirmed this to The Verge. Sonos makes Wi …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2015
Distorting_Mirror

HP one of the fairest, claims Gartner's magic quadrant on the wall

Gartner has announced that HP has joined the leaders in its all-flash array magic quadrant, while Violin Memory, Nimbus Data and Cisco have been demoted, and Dell and HDS are excluded altogether from the MQ because of the research giant's peculiar classification criteria. The MQ classifies suppliers in what Gartner calls the …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2015
A proton carries the DIRECTV 12 satellite aloft in 2009. Pic: International Launch Services

Micron fires off some in-memory flash data rockets

Comment Micron’s Storage Business Unit (SBU) wants to shake up the server status quo with a dynamic upstart duo: in-memory app accelerating data processing rockets and instant access, cold data flash vaults. How it’s going to do that begins with its NAND chip development plans, which we learned about at a Silicon Valley briefing. It …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2015
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Micron blames dismal PC sales for EVERYTHING

Memory firm Micron's third fiscal 2015 quarter results were pretty poor - and the chief exec blames the slumping PC market. Revenues of $3.85bn were three per cent down on a year ago and eight per cent down sequentially. Net income of $491m compared poorly to the $806m reported a year ago and the $934m in the previous quarter. …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2015
Spinning_tops

Delphix gets a pat on the back in Gartner's latest tea leaves reading

Data virtualiser Delphix has had a Gartner boost by appearing in the leaders’ box of its Magic Quadrant report for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement. Delphix_MQ_chart Fellow data virtualiser Actifio was also placed in the MQ, as a niche player. The other four leaders are IBM, HP, Informatica and Solis …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jun 2015

NetApp cackles as cheaper FlashRay lurches out of the door

FlashRay lives! All-flash FAS is now a price/performance beast – which now comes with a substantial price cut. NetApp is doubling down on its 3-product all-flash arrays; the EF Series, All-Flash FAS (AFF) and FlashRay with its Mars operating system. Yes, FlashRay lives and has not been gobbled up and absorbed into the FAS …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jun 2015
silicon_valley_shutterstock_map_648

Komprise aims to kill data sprawl with virtualising software

Rubrik, Primary Data, Formation Data Systems, and Hedvig: all startups that want to provide a virtualising data abstraction layer above and across multiple storage silos to make storage access and management easier. Now you can add Komprise to this list. None have done it, yet. All are led by founding teams with track records …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jun 2015
A soldier aims an XM-25 smartgun. Credit: PEO Soldier

Cheeky upstart Mangstor hungrily eyes Fusion-io's pots of gold

Developer of flash storage solutions and startup Mangstor is developing PCIe flash cards usable both as direct and shared flash storage, with figures indicating SanDisk has some work to do if it wants to return Fusion-io to the top of the performance tree. The base MX6300 flash card technology uses non-volatile Everspin ST-MRAM …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2015
management mobile

Fujitsu shrinks SMB file transfer metadata traffic jams

Fujitsu has found a way round repetitive metadata ops that delay CIFS and SMB transfers from remote file-sharing sites. It's developing a WAN optimiser product using this software tech. File metadata is sent too many times in a transfer session, slowing data transfer. What Fujitsu engineers found was that, with a large number of …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2015
Breakwater at Portland Harbour

Breqwatr breqs hyper-converged mould with all-flash box

Breqwatr? What on Earth is a Breqwatr? It looks like someone is trying too hard to get attention with bad spelling.* In fact, it's a company making the Breqwatr Cloud Appliance, a turnkey, all-flash, scale-out, hyper-converged appliance for private cloud deployments. This BCA v2.0 product is built on OpenStack's Juno release, …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2015
PWX_image

Docker-ed vessel Portworx takes three Ocarina folk aboard

Startup Portworx is providing elastic scale-out block storage natively to Docker containers, so containerised apps can execute directly on the storage infrastructure and containers persisted and scheduled fluidly across machines and clouds. It says its PWX software product "enables the rapid deployment of stateful, distributed …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2015
WAtering_trough

Facebook SSD failure study pinpoints mid-life burnout rate trough

Facebook engineers and Carnegie Mellon researchers have looked into SSD failure patterns and found surprising temperature and data contiguity results in the first large-scale SSD failure study. In a paper (PDF) entitled A Large-Scale Study of Flash Memory Failures in the Field they looked at SSDs used by Facebook over a four …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2015
Mustard

Can Said Ouissal really cut Violin’s sales mustard?

Has Violin’s new worldwide sales head Said Ouissal got what it takes to lift sales at the recovering all-flash array company? He comes to the SVP position with no prior direct sales management experience, and told us he joined Violin in April last year to be SVP for product management and strategy. He came from Juniper Networks …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

Connected Data's Transporter private-cloud-in-a-box hooks up with the office NASties

Connected Data's Transporter stores and shares files over the network like a Dropbox-style private cloud. Now it can hook up with any supported NAS system, thanks to its Network Storage Connector. Transporter is a peer-to-peer sync'n'share storage device that doesn’t expose files to any public cloud, and thus avoids the need for …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jun 2015
Lord Tywin Lannister

John Fowler survives latest chapter of Oracle's Game of Thrones

The confusion over whether John Fowler will remain at Oracle, now that incomer David Donatelli has an executive vice-president role that includes Fowler's responsibilities, is over. Fowler is staying. Oracle spokesperson Deborah Hellinger has told The Reg "with John's continued focus on engineering and with the addition of Dave …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jun 2015
Beheading_Duke_Somerset

Donatelli's Oracle arrival leaves Fowler in corporate no man's land

An Oracle EVP has become a non-person after David Donatelli was appointed EVP for converged infrastructure at Larry’s Redwood Shores palace. Donatelli will be responsible for Oracle’s infrastructure offerings, including engineered systems, server, storage, networking and tape products, and help the company respond to customer …
Chris Mellor, 19 Jun 2015
wham_bang_648

All-flash array reports aren't all about all-flash arrays, rages Gartner

Comment Our earlier pop at Gartner's all-flash array methodology has generated a response from Gartner. Joe Unsworth from Gartner – the author of the Market Share report and co-author on the Solid-State Arrays magic quadrant – has been in touch. We said corrective glasses were needed to read the report. View what follows as corrective …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jun 2015
fatboy_slim_glastonbury_2013_648

Samsung spins up its latest rusty rotators for release

Seagate’s Samsung unit has spun out the lightest, thinnest, 4TB USB-powered 2.5-inch drive in the world, with its M3 and P3 portable products. The case is 0.78 inches thin and weighs 8.3 ounces. It is 1/10 of an inch thicker than Samsung’s 2TB drive. Inside is a Spinpoint M10P drive with 800GB/platter – impressive areal density …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jun 2015
Leatherman

Cohesity looking to consolidate ALL THE SECONDARY DATA

Flush with cash, startup Cohesity is aiming to "eliminate the current fragmentation and data sprawl", and run MapReduce analytics using a claimed infinitely scalable, Google File System-type platform. It has had such a massive $55m second funding round it's overflowing with cash, having now raised $70m in total since starting up …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jun 2015
Hazelnuts

Hazelcast adds amped-up caching to its in-memory tech

In-memory open source NoSQLer Hazelcast has announced a caching update to its product range, claiming v3.5 of its High Density Memory Store offers “100’s of GB of near cached data to clients for massive application scalability”. The near cache provides hundreds of gigabytes of in-memory data on a single application server, …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jun 2015
Stll_life_with_skull

Disk is dead, screeches Violin – and here's how it might happen

Analysis And in a flash, disk is dead. Well, actually, not that fast. But flash array flogger Violin Memory is convinced disk is dying in the data centre, killed by a series of NAND acronyms: 2D MLC, 3D TLC and, the final blow, 3D QLC. Is this view realistic? Even remotely realistic? It starts from a pair of observations by Violin …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2015
Testing Java

A testing time for storage – it's VMware from Nutanix, by a nose

VMware evangelist and blogger Chuck Hollis says Nutanix prices are vastly higher than VSAN prices for equivalent performance and functionality at least, so why pay more? It seems VMware sees Nutanix's hyperconverged products as the top competitor for its VSAN (Virtual SAN) product, so Hollis compared various VSAN configurations …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2015
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

VMware doubles the VM count for EVO: RAIL systems

VMware has pumped up the power of its hyper-converged EVO: RAIL nodes with more memory and storage, so they can run twice as many VMs. As detailed in a VMware blog, the latest node options look like this: Dual 6, 8, 10 or 12 core Intel Haswell or Ivy Bridge CPUs per node 128GB to 512GB of memory per node, up from 192GB VMware …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2015