Chris Mellor

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Chris Mellor covers storage and allied technology areas for The Register. After 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, moved onto IDG's Techworld, then started up Blocks & Files, a blog bought by The Register. He has written many sportscar buying guides, a few mountaineering guides and drives a car that's faster than he is.
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If 282-page doc on new NVMe drive spec is tl;dr, you're in luck

NVMe drives could last longer because of a feature in the new NVM v1.3 specification (282-page PDF). The spec's new features are: Sanitise to erase SSD-stored data – optional Virtualisation to assign SSD storage to virtual machines – optional Streams: optimise data placement to increase endurance for NAND-based SSDs – …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jul 2017

File sharers Dropbox latest US tech startup to stick toe in IPO waters

Dropbox looks set to follow fellow file sync and sharer Box with an IPO. Reuters reports Dropbox is hiring underwriters to prepare a stock market launch later this year. Three years ago Dropbox went through a private fundraising event which valued it at around $10bn. Whether this valuation holds today is questionable. When …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jul 2017

All the (IT storage) News That's Fit to Print

We have here another seven days' worth of scintillating storage news that didn't manage to make the daily news cut in this crowded week of June 26. Nutanix Three things. First, virtual server backup king Veeam is partnering with Nutanix and supporting all of its systems, except Acropolis HyperVisor systems, for which support …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2017
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Tintri IPO boots up after it tries turning itself off and on again

After pulling its IPO yesterday, all-flash and hybrid array startup Tintri repriced its shares at $7 to $8, down from the previous $10.50 to $12.50 range. It offered 8,572,000 shares at this price, lower than the original 8.7 million. That means it should raise $60m instead of around $110m, and the company’s valuation is …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2017
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

Ex-archiver striver StrongBox whips veil off data management kit

Analysis Data archiver StrongBox has moved into the data management space with StrongLink. StrongBox, more properly StrongBox Data Solutions (SDS), was bought out by CEO David Cerf from ETI-NET, which had bought Strongbox and Sphinx products from Crossroads. SDS says it is now solving storage management, data management and protection …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2017

DRAM! Micron rakes in dosh from bits and chips

Memory and flash chip-maker Micron had a massive third quarter as demand growth-driven revenues led to price rise-driven profits. Revenues for its third fiscal 2017 quarter were $5.6bn, 19.8 per cent higher than a quarter ago and a whopping 92 per cent higher than a year ago. As you might imagine profits were boosted, rising …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2017
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Control-C! umount! Ctrl-Alt-Delete! Tintri forcibly ejects from today's IPO

Oops, all-flash storage array startup Tintri intended to go public today – during what has turned out to be the busiest week for IPOs in over a year – but abruptly halted its IPO intention late yesterday. It's IPO interruptus. Will it rise again? Has the IPO merely been delayed or cancelled? Tintri is not saying. The latest …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2017
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Newly Google-emboldened Nutanix aims for data centre dominance

Nutanix is making a play to be a data centre control plane platform with a hybrid cloud game plan, buttressed by buddying up with the Google Cloud Platform. Sunil Potti, chief product and development officer for Nutanix, had a canned quote justifying this Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS-based game plan: “Multi-cloud IT strategies …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2017

Western Digital bares fangs in $1bn Toshiba lawsuit

Western Digital has hit back at Toshiba, its flash memory joint venture partner, which this week sued it in Japan for $1bn damages, alleging unfair competition and theft of trade secrets. Toshiba has also prohibited certain employees from accessing shared databases related to the three NAND flash-memory joint ventures operated …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2017
Internet Meme: text says Integrate all the Things

NetApp HCI: More converged than hyperconverged?

Analysis I have come to the conclusion that NetApp's new HCI system is more converged than hyperconverged: in essence the boxes just add compute nodes and networking to SolidFire (storage) nodes. HCI or CI? Let's row back a little and use IDC's definition of HCI as the starting point for our thinking. Hyper-converged infrastructure ( …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2017
Marching, image via Shutterstock

Modern Micron maestro Mehrotra marches merrily, maintains megahit masterplan

Sanjay Mehrotra, Micron’s new CEO, is setting a whirlwind pace to make changes at the relatively staid old chipper. WDC bought SanDisk, which Mehrotra cofounded and ran, in October 2015. Since being hired by Micron at the end of April this year, the ex-SanDisk CEO has: Recruited Sumit Sadana to be EVP and chief business …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2017

Toshiba, Western Digital put away lawyers long enough to play 96-layer 3D NAND game of Jenga

Just as we are getting used to 64‑layer 3D NAND chips, along come the warring flash joint-venture couple Toshiba and Western Digital. The pair say their JV has produced a 96‑layer prototype die, with Toshiba also introducing four-level cell tech. A 96‑layer 3D NAND chip has 50 per cent more layers than a 64‑layer chip, and …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2017
shutterstock_ledger_check

Atlantis Computing in urgent refinancing talks

Atlantis Computing is in middle of "delicate ongoing negotiations" seeking funding from investors. The Register’s Storage Desk has heard from two sources that admin, sales and marketing employees are being laid off, with engineering remaining for support. Another source claimed that staff had "not been paid for weeks". We …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2017
Vikings. Credit: History Channel.

Toshiba sues WDC for a cool billion bucks

Toshiba is suing WDC in a Tokyo court for ¥120bn ($1bn, £830m), alleging unfair competition. It alleges WDC has "interfered" with the bid process related to the sale of Toshiba’s Memory Corporation (TMC) business. The overall background to this tortuously complicated issue by the financially threatened Toshiba can be read …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2017
Intel_545s

Intel launches 64-layer 3D flash client SSD

Intel has hatched a new SSD, a 64-layer one, available in a lovely coincidence at etailer Newegg for $179.99. This is, Intel claims, the world’s first commercially available SSD using 64-layer 3D NAND, and is only shipping with a 512GB capacity. It has a 6Gbit/s SATA interface and its 4K block read/write IOPS are up to 75,000 …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2017
Steve Wozniak

A good time Woz had by all: We peeked our head into Primary Data and this is what we saw

Analysis Picture this. A little press conference with Primary Data at its headquarters in Los Altos, California, right in the armpit of Silicon Valley. CEO Lance Smith is briskly burbling away about his company, but us hacks are somewhat distracted. The Apple wizard that was, Steve Wozniak, Stephen Gary Wozniak, age 66, is sitting …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2017
UCS_S_SEries_chassis

Big Blue lures big biz object storage teams with VersaStack, COS

IBM has found a new route for its channel into enterprise data-intensive workloads, courtesy of its Cisco VersaStack deal. VersaStack is a reference architecture for converged infrastructure systems, built from Cisco servers and networking and IBM storage. This is a FlexPod-type system, with the channel selling pre-tested, …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2017
Toshiba_flash_fabs

Oh my Tosh: WDC submits fresh bid for Toshiba memory biz

WDC and KKR have submitted a fresh bid for beleaguered Toshiba's memory business, in competition with the preferred INCJ/Bain/SK Hynix bid. The memory business includes a joint venture between WDC and Toshiba to make flash chips at foundries in Japan. Toshiba is selling its memory business in an auction to recoup from company …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2017
Coraid_Etherdrive_cluster

Coraid's Coile resurrects storage biz, swears off VCs' filthy Valley lucre

Analysis Here's a resurrected startup that isn't a startup anymore and wants nothing to do with VCs, ever – Coraid. At a briefing on a Silicon Valley IT press tour in June, Coraid founder Brantley Coile explained the why and how of this, and talked about how he wants Coraid to develop. Back in May, 2015 we learned SouthSuite had …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2017
Broken optical disk

Dell drops optical drive price-fixing lawsuit against Hitachi

Dell has agreed to drop its suits against Hitachi and Hitachi LG Data Storage after previously alleging it had been part of a conspiracy to fix prices for optical disk drives. There has been no mention of any settlement. The cases were dismissed "without prejudice" with all parties having to pay their own lawyers. The cases …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2017
Pavilion_Data_Systems_appliance

Solving the NVMeF-JBOF-is-not-a-SAN conundrum

Interview An NVME over fabrics controller-less array is not a SAN because it can’t share data. That was the essence of Datrium CTO Hugo Patterson’s view. Jeff Sosa, head of products at stealthy startup Pavilion Data Systems, has views on this topic and what to do about it. El Reg: What do you think of the Datrium CTO’s view …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2017
VCE VxRail

Hyperconverged leapfrog: Dell EMC borg overtakes Nutanix

Dell EMC overtook Nutanix to become the leading hyper-converged infrastructure appliance shipper in 2017’s first quarter. Stifel analyst Aaron Rakers delved into IDC’s non-public numbers and revealed that Nutanix has a 23.3 per cent revenue market share whereas Dell EMC had 24 per cent. The numbers for the top vendors were …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2017
THree_snowflakes

The good kind of data sharing: Reg empties its storage news warehouse

Here's a storage news item garage sale. Come on in and check out our array of goodies; there's something for everyone. Acronis and Files Connect The vendor says its new release of Files Connect gives Mac users instant access to all available file shares and DFS resources plus with a lightning fast search functionality …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2017
Fast Cloud

No-mere-hype hyper-converged systems clock hyper-growth

Analyst firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker shows overall converged systems revenue for 2017's first quarter increased year over year but only because of bonkers growth in hyper-converged systems. The Tracker divides the converged systems market into four segments, and combines two of them in its published …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jun 2017
Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

Hey blockheads, is an NVMe over fabrics array a SAN?

Analysis What is a SAN and is an NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeF) array a SAN or not? Datrium says not. E8 says... maybe. A Storage Area Network (SAN) is, according to Wikipedia, "a network which provides access to consolidated, block level data storage... A SAN does not provide file abstraction, only block-level operations. However, file …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jun 2017

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