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.

Hortonworks dishes out Hadoop for HDS: Mmmm, open source with big vendor gravy

HDS will offer open-source data muncher Hadoop to the enterprise after doing a deal with Hortonworks. Hadoop distributor Hortonworks has signed an agreement with HDS to jointly promote and support the software. HDS can now deliver Hortonworks' Data Platform (HDP), Hadoop in other words, to its enterprise customers. Hortonworks …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2015
Exablox node stack

Exablox is pretty sweet - but not great for restore applications

Comment One of the best places to find business storage products reviewed is Storage Review, which has just reviewed the Exablox NAS-headed object storage system for small and medium businesses. We wrote about Exablox and its RAID-less, deduping, highly scalable OneBlox technology here, saying the product looks like an Isilon cluster on …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2015
earth view of the wind over the North Atlantic at sea level

Flash die supply dry? Not us. We've got a deal with Micron - Seagate

+Comment The winds of flash change are gusting strong - Seagate and Micron have signed a strategic agreement concerning next-generation SAS SSDs and strategic NAND supply, initially. Seagate's EVP for electronic solutions, Phil Brace, issued a quote saying: “This agreement enables Seagate to secure a strategic supply of NAND flash memory …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2015
IBM 'through-silicon via' stacked chips

DDN purrs, rubs itself around Big Blue's legs, snuggles up to POWER

Intel CPU-using DDN has joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, which is focussed on the use of IBM's competing POWER processor design. DDN, which supplies storage arrays for HPC, big data and enterprise use, says that, by working with the foundation it will help partners and customers drive HPC infrastructure technologies further into …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2015

Look who's SAP happy: HDS eyes up French techies at Oxya for lunch

Hitachi Data Systems intends to acquire Oxya, a SAP technical services and hosting outfit. Oxya, founded in 1998, is an international business headquartered in Paris, France, and has operations in Belgium, China, the UK and the US. It offers technical SAP services, hosting and outsourcing, and has had a relationship with HDS …
Chris Mellor, 12 Feb 2015

ONTAP isn't putting NetApp ONTOP

Opinion NetApp's third quarter results were poor but NetApp revenues have been flat or falling for a couple of years now. Management doesn't seem to view this as a deep-set problem requiring deep-set answers. In the earnings webcast, NetApp's management said the Q3 revenue fall was due to foreign exchange (FX) and sales execution issues …
Chris Mellor, 12 Feb 2015

What goes up but must come down? NetApp's customer invoices

Analysis Decline is setting in: NetApp's revenues are showing a distinctive downturn – and the latest quarterly numbers confirm the trend. Sales in the third quarter of 2015, which finished January 23, added up to US$1.55bn, which was 3.73 per cent down on the year-ago quarter's US$1.61bn. It was just half a per cent higher than Q2's $1 …
Chris Mellor, 12 Feb 2015
QXS_5600_bezel

Quantum stuffs disks in a StorNext box, says: Go ahead – stick a 4K in it

Quantum, having obtained fast file access for its video workflow customers with StorNext metadata controllers, now needs to keep on giving them gobs and gobs of online file capacity as workloads get bigger and bigger. Users in the media and entertainment business are coping with 4K and 8K video workflows with projects involving …
Chris Mellor, 11 Feb 2015
US_Iowa_firing

Storage firms drop 'A bombs' on the backup biz

The backup battleship product news blitz continues with broadsides from Actifio, Arcserve, Asigra and Avere, all involving the cloud. How the hell does anybody keep up with this barrage of backup news? Actifio Actifio is a file copy reduction startup which has been getting involved in disaster recovery. The technology involves …
Chris Mellor, 11 Feb 2015
Bloody Serial Killer Shower Curtain

For EMC, it’s all about the rack-scale flash

Comment EMC has two big engineering projects on the go, incorporating flash-based DSSD and virtual SAN ScaleIO, both looking to provide rack-scale storage. DSSD is an acquisition EMC made in May last year, and is working on a design using PCIe-accessed flash as the persistent storage tier. The idea is to have racks full of flash for …
Chris Mellor, 11 Feb 2015

Big data, come to BIG DADDY: HDS gobbles upstart Pentaho

Hitachi Data Systems is snapping up Pentaho for its big data integration and predictive analysis technology. Here's a quick look at Pentaho's history: Oct 2004: Founded by Doug Moran, James Dixon (CTO), Richard Daley (chief strategy officer) and Marc Batchelor (chief engineer) 2005: $5m A-round 2006: $8m B-round 2008: $12m C …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2015

Not just Imation's imagination: That sinking feeling is real

+Comment Imation has turned in another quarter of revenue decline and losses and a full year of shrinking revenues. Its management is talking about strategic options and unlocking value with a financial advisor – which sometimes means selling off non-performing assets, though we couldn't say it does in this case. Let's get the numbers …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2015
Kaminario K-Blocks

Hey channel dudes, says Kaminario, we REALLY want to flog more kit

Kaminario, needing to enlarge its sales, is launching its first channel programme to increase its market points of presence. With its iSPC-1 benchmark-topping K2 all-flash array, Kaminario is facing steadily increasing competition selling to enterprises as EMC (XtremIO), Pure Storage, Solidfire and IBM (FlashSystem) chip away at …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2015

Seagate’s EVault joins the backup providers swarm

+Comment Seagate has a new backup target appliance (BTA) that can shoot data to a private, public or partner cloud, as well as having 65TB of usable storage capacity. Why in a mature market are there so very many suppliers? It announced 50TB (3U) and 100TB (4U) EBA (Enterprise Backup and recovery Appliances) appliances last September and …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2015
Elastic_Storage_Archive_concept

Does your storage look like it's held together by elastic tape? Oh, you're using IBM kit, too, huh?

Comment Elastic Storage, IBM's rebranded GPFS, is a parallel filesystem offering high-speed access to shedloads of data. That's a long way from accessing data in a tape archive. Yet Elastic Storage can do this too: build and access a tape archive. It's done by hooking up Elastic Storage and the Linear Tape File System (LTFS). We wrote …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2015
Volcano erupting

Listen up, VMware admins: If the array won't support it, VVOL won't help you...

Comment VMware's VVOL allows VMware admins to manage storage arrays through the API – but it doesn't necessarily mean they get to use all the VVOL data services. PernixData's Tech Evangelist Frank Denneman told us: "The interesting bits in the VVOL announcement are the supported 'Data Service' capabilities. As VVOL is an API, you can …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2015
Hitachi Ultrastar A7K2000

Hitachi's storage revenues: Not brilliant, but high-end gear helped – analyst

Analysis Hitachi pulled in more storage revenues in the last 2014 quarter than in its previous and year ago quarters, at least in local currency, but its mid-range was weak – implying its high-end Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) arrays did the business, says an analyst. Hitachi owns HDS, which sells Hitachi storage in every territory …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2015
Doomsday clock

This optical disc will keep your gumble safe for 2,000 YEARS

It’s been a long time coming, but then it will be a long time staying. 1,000 years, if the engineers are right. Millenniata’s 100GB Blu-ray disc will hold data for that long and more. We first wrote about the M-DISC technology and its laser-burnt surface pits back in August 2011. Now Verbatim and Millenniata have a 100GB M-DISC …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2015
Giant impact, common at the end of planet formation

Pure Storage bearhugs its latest flood of ex-EMC sales bods

Comment Pure Storage is continuing to recruit sales high-flyers with EMC experience, and not just in Europe where it lured EMC’s UK boss James Petter to become its EMEA VP. Mike Sakalas is joining Pure as its Australia country manager. He comes from being CEO of reseller Southern Cross Computer Systems (SCCS). His CV records stints at …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2015
David Scott of HP

HP’s Mr 3PAR, David Scott, is retiring

Sources close to the situation tells El Reg David Scott, head of HP’s storage business and former boss of 3PAR, is retiring in March. David Scott was CEO of 3PAR when HP bought it for $2.4 billion in September 2010 after a hard-fought bidding war with Dell. It gave HP the storage answer to replace the failing EVA SAN array …
Chris Mellor, 06 Feb 2015

Brocade reels in app delivery controller biz from Riverbed

Riverbed is making more progress in selling off non-core assets with Brocade intent on picking up its SteelApp application delivery controller. Under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management, network optimisation supplier Riverbed is going private and selling off non-core assets, like SteelCore, to improve its …
Chris Mellor, 06 Feb 2015
Ultrastar He6

Helium HDD prices rise way above air-filled spinning rust

A 6TB Helium-filled drive from HGST costs $120 more than a traditional 6TB drive from Seagate. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, interviewed Seagate’s CFO, Pat O’Malley, and noted afterwards that Seagate estimated an approximate $30/drive extra cost versus traditional air-filled drives. Rakers notes the “HGST (WD) …
Chris Mellor, 06 Feb 2015
HAF

Storage BLOG-OFF: HP's Johnson squares up to EMC's Chad Sakac

Comment An HP exec has taken exception to an EMC president’s blog about all-flash arrays. EMC’s Chad Sakac blogged that: AFAs are not right (at least not yet) for workloads that require "classic enterprise array" data services like huge at scale replication (think tens of thousands of objects replicated, extreme replication topologies …
Chris Mellor, 06 Feb 2015

Chief marketeer walks at Violin Memory

Updated Violin Memory has lost its chief marketing officer on the cusp of a major product launch. Eric Herzog has resigned to go to a Fortune 500-class large competitor to Violin for what has been described as an "amazing" amount of money. Herzog joined Violin from EMC in March 2014, and worked on the startup's marketing, with social …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2015

Sonos revamps Wi-Fi speaker app, admits: 'We made things worse'

Sonos has upgraded its streaming Wi-Fi speaker app to meet customers’ pleas and is indulging in the Blue Note blues for jazz buffs. Sonos Blue Note Play:1 It’s the 75th anniversary of jazz specialist Blue Note Records and Sonos has jumped onto the marketing opportunity offered by that. It’s bringing out a Blue Note radio …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2015
Step into my office...

SAN-tastic? VMware blesses StorMagic's skinny ROBO HA

StorMagic has a two-server virtual SAN product which VMware is now endorsing as the best virtual SAN for remote office/branch office environments – instead of its own vSAN software - where the customer needs a two-server set-up. SvSAN provides high-availability and bullet-proof simplicity with two servers instead of the three …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2015

Are virtualisation and the cloud SNUFFING OUT traditional backup software?

Comment Five years ago, you might have said that Symantec, EMC and other mainstream suppliers dominated the enterprise backup market with their products – Backup Exec, Net Backup, Networker, TSM and others. But this is no longer the case. Server virtualisation and the cloud have ripped gaping holes in the market and newer and smaller …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2015
Surfer

Nutanix is out in front - but can it stay ahead of the burgeoning pack?

Comment Hype-converged server/storage product startup Nutanix has got itself 1,200 customers and reached a $300m/year run rate - it says. That’s based on results from its second quarter which finished at the end of January, meaning $75m in bookings for the quarter. It says more than 50 customers have bought more than a million bucks- …
Chris Mellor, 05 Feb 2015

Isilon brains trust flock to data-tastic upstart Qumulo

Storage startup Qumulo, founded by ex-Isilon execs, wants to get rid of the digital dumpsters it says are littering the file storage landscape by building a scale-out filesystem suitable for the flash age. It believes future storage will be software, using low-cost commodity hardware, functioning as an intelligent collaborator …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2015
Richard_Edelman_At_Davos_2015

Edelman PR dumps its storage bods for Nasuni-Microsoft Azure combo

On-premises file storage array suppliers better not use Edelman PR, because it’s put its world-wide storage into Microsoft’s Azure cloud, front-ended by Nasuni gateways. Here we are with an on-premises VMware Virtual SAN 6 and vSphere 6 VVOLs announcement frenzy going on. Edelman says “nuts”* to all that and has its users in 68 …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2015

RSA boss packs his fishing rod and heads for the hills

Art Coviello is retiring from his exec chairman role at the top of RSA, EMC's security business, leaving behind an acquisition that never bought in big bucks for the T Rex of the storage world, and was blighted by NSA backdoor revelations in 2013. RSA is known in the security world for its SecurID tokens and the fact that its …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2015

Microsoft pulls Netlist's flashDIMMs into cloudy server embrace

Microsoft has picked Netlist flashDIMMs for a new server platform in its cloud, although it has not made any volume purchase orders yet. FlashDIMMs are non-volatile memory DIMMs, sold as NVault products by California-based Netlist. Such flash memory is faster to access than PCIe card flash. which, in turn, has a lower latency …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2015
Bang by Guian Bolisay

EMC pulls out VSPEX: I'll hyper-converge you in a minute

EMC has marched into the Nutanix/Simplivity hyperconverged appliance area with VSPEX BLUE, its partner-built EVO: RAIL product. VSPEX is EMC's reference architecture template for building converged systems, similar in intent to NetApp and Cisco's FlexPod. It contrasts with VCE, which builds converged server/storage systems …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2015
Vmware cloud logo

Six-starved storage bods rush to support vSphere and VVOLs

VMware’s storage interface dominance over hardware and software storage suppliers has never been more evident than in the rush by storage firms to support its v6.0 vSphere and Virtual SAN products announced yesterday. Virtual SAN v6 adds features that storage array and software suppliers are keen to support such as: All-flash …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2015

Tintri smooching VMware’s VVOLs, vIO and vROPs

Tintri loves its hybrid arrays working with VMware and is enthusiastically supporing VMware’s latest vSphere version 6 announcements. In this vSphere 6 love-fest Tintri’s VMstore hybrid arrays; Support vSphere v6.0 Support the VVOL (Virtual Volumes) APIs Integrate with the vROPs management tool suite Supports VMware …
Chris Mellor, 03 Feb 2015
Dog using a satnav, Mark Robinson

Flash chips for flash cars: SanDisk dives under your bonnet

SanDisk has made its flash products car-friendly, devising SD cards and embedded flash drives (EFD) that auto-makers can stuff into their infotainment systems. The iNAND embedded flash drives store up to 64GB of data, not much by data centre standards, and the little beggars should cope with rough driving conditions better than …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2015

Flashy Pure opens kimono for VMware's vCenter

Convergence rules. Pure Storage is making its arrays better citizens in the VMware world by better integrating its admin services with vCenter. Forget Purity, so to speak. VMware vCenter admins can drive Pure Storage replication, snapshots and provisioning though Site Recovery Manager and a Pure plug-in. Pure Storage’s …
Chris Mellor, 02 Feb 2015

QLogic hits all-flash bullseye, doubles profit

QLogic is smiling, and so it should, with revenues and profits growing, and all-flash arrays, where it has host server connectivity dominance, blooming too. The glory days might just be coming into sight again. Revenues for its full-year 2015 third quarter were $140.2m, 10 per cent higher than the previous quarter, and a chunky …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2015

Emulex ends seven-quarter run of losses

+Comment After seven straight quarters of losses, Emulex has made a $4.3m profit in its second financial 2015 quarter – but that performance might not be repeated next quarter. The profit was better by far than the $4m loss a year ago and the $700k loss in the previous quarter. Revenues were $111.1m, above guidance but still 9.7 per cent …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2015
Noctilucent_clouds

Quantum adds cloud tier to StorNext

Quantum has added cloud storage to its StorNext file virtualisation package, embedding it in the workflow process as just another tier. StorNext presents a single namespace file storage resource to its users, be the files on primary disk, secondary (Lattus object) disk, or tape (archive). The idea is that StorNext is embedded in …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2015

EMC reports mixed results, fingers axe: 'Reduction in force' planned

+Comment Storage giant EMC has announced its plans to lay off an unspecified number of staffers in Q1 and said in an SEC filing that it would record restructuring charges in the range of $130m to $150m. In the final few months of last year, EMC increased its revenues by $1bn, quarter on quarter, with Pivotal and VMware growing strongly, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015

Cloud storage upstart boasts of swollen biz, hires the CFO who sold Archivas

Comment Cloud storage gateway startup Nasuni reports that it experienced 300 per cent growth in 2014* and has just recruited a CFO who helped sell the founder's previous company – Archivas – to HDS for $127m in 2007. Nasuni has recruited Scott Dussault to be its combined CFO and COO, saying he's experienced at scaling a company for fast …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015
Stormy Dover. Pic: Phil Houghton

CommVault CEO: Quick, throw me some more sales reps

Data protection and archiving vendor CommVault is in a profits hole and management hasn't been able to stop digging yet. Profits of just $3m in its third full-year 2015 quarter were only two per cent of revenues, after being 4.3 per cent in the previous quarter and five per cent a year ago, when revenues of $153.3m were slightly …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015

Shouty investor Elliott looms over software veteran Informatica

+Comment Elliott Management, the activist investor with its hooks into EMC, appears to have settled on Informatica as its next likely target for shareholder gains glory. It's the usual deal of building a holding (eight per cent in this case), analysing the company's business, speaking to the board, and then writing a letter to management …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015

Spinning rust into gold: WD profit grows ... though sales dip

+Comment Western Digital sold 61 million drives in its latest quarter, 2.1 million less than a year ago, but made $30m more profit, and it out-shipped and out-earned rival Seagate – CEO Steve Milligan's men must have ear-to-ear grins on their faces. The company’s revenues, including its WD and HGST operations, for Q2 in its fiscal 2015 ( …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2015
US army land warrior

NexGen polishes guns, prepares to face hybrid array legions

Analysis Hybrid array startup NexGen is starting out afresh having been spun out of SanDisk, and now faces the full competitive force of hybrid competition from both mainstream array vendors and the up-and-coming trio of Nimble, Tegile and Tintri. What are its chances? NexGen was an iSCSI-based hybrid flash/disk array startup which used …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2015
Mare_Byrd_land Antarctica

X-IO fights global hybrid warming, keeps ISE age going

X-IO has overhauled its hybrid ISE array line with third generation technology and given it a top-end ISE 780 model with boosted performance. ISE (Integrated Storage Elements) are sealed 3U rack enclosures containing SSDs and Seagate disk drives with clever Seagate diagnostic software enabling drive failures that would cause …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2015
Amtrak Acela train

NetApp embiggens E-Series flashbox: Gee, a benchmark... thanks

NetApp has doubled the speed and capacity of its all-flash E-Series arrays, and won an SPC-1 benchmark record in the process. The new EF560 is an E-Series all-flash array that builds on the existing 25-month-old EF550 to raise its sustained IOPS number from the 400,000 or so at EF550 launch time in November 2013 to past 650,000 …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jan 2015
Larry Ellison on stage at the launch of Oracle's X5 engineered systems range

The firm that swallowed the Sun: Is Oracle happy as Larry with hardware and systems?

Oracle-Sun anniversary One Sun swallow doesn’t make a hardware summer, and while it certainly hasn’t for Oracle, it is far from being in a hardware winter for the firm. Oracle's gulp of Sun Microsystems on 27 January 2010 – five years ago today – has resulted in a generally flagging Sun hardware product business and the growing Engineered System …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jan 2015

Seagate belches, chomps down another greenback burger

Seagate’s second quarter revenues for 2015 rose 4.8 per cent over the year to $3.7bn while profits more than doubled to $933m, up from $428m a year ago. Last quarter’s revenues were higher, at $3.8bn, yet profits were $381m. This meant they made up just 10.1 per cent of its revenues compared to 25.2 per cent profit in the latest …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2015