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.

EMC said to be ditching Documentum business

EMC-Dell deal EMC’s Documentum business may be up for sale, as part of a non-core asset-ditching process during the Dell-EMC coming together. Bloomberg cites people familiar with the matter in a report claiming EMC will spin off Documentum while Dell will sell Sonicwall and Quest as a way of helping to lower the costs of the Dell-EMC …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2016
Harry Potter

Axellio! X-IO conjures up hyper-converged PCIe monster

Comment X-IO Technologies' Axellio* is a rackmount hyper-converged server/all-flash storage platform that will be sold through OEM, ODM and system integrators – and it provides an almost unbelievable combination of performance and density. The company has been working on the technology for two years, developing a third product line, …
Chris Mellor, 06 Apr 2016
Person icing a cupcake with pink icing from a pipette. Photo by Shutterstock

Zstor bakes NVMe external array access into new line, serves up delicious flash for all

German storage supplier Zstor has fabricated its external shared NV-Series array with RDMA access, giving accessing servers the same response as internal NVMe SSDs – more than 10,000 times faster than Fibre Channel SAN array access. The all-flash product is built using Mangstor NVMe SSD and fabric technology based on Ethernet …
Chris Mellor, 06 Apr 2016
Terry Jones and John Cleese perform the Monty Python Whicker Island sketch

SimpliVity slips Hyper-V into its hyper-converged party

The “V” in SimpliVity now stands for Hyper-V as well as virtualisation, with the startup adding Microsoft hypervisor support to its existing vSphere and KVM use. Its OmniStack is a hyper-converged product, combining and integrating compute, network and storage with ASIC-accelerated X86 server base hardware, and, up to now, the …
Chris Mellor, 06 Apr 2016
ISE componentry

X-IO whacks up its ISE disk capacity by 50 per cent

X-IO has unveiled higher capacity scale-out modular ISE drive arrays, which have 50 per cent more disk storage than their predecessors. The hybrid flash/disk 700 series sees the 755 (43.2TB disk; 3TB flash) slotting in above the current 750 (28.8TB disk; 1.6TB flash), and the new range-topping 790 (43.2TB disk; 6.4TB flash) …
Chris Mellor, 05 Apr 2016
ClusterStor_L300_bezel_detail

Seagate joins hands with Intel, adds tasty IEEL to its pie and mash

Seagate is helping to unify the Lustre parallel file system software world by incorporating Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre (IEEL) into its ClusterStor arrays. Lustre is open source parallel file system software based on Linux, and some 40 per cent of the world’s fastest installed supercomputers use it. Seagate has its …
Chris Mellor, 05 Apr 2016
Horse_racing

Hyper-converged prospects? Thanks to firm-gobbling habit and OEM deal, Dell has 3

EMC-Dell deal Dell has three horses in the hyper-converged system race: VMware’s VSAN colt, EMC’s ScaleIO mustang and OEM’d Nutanix’s filly. Come 2017, VMware and EMC should be inside Dell and eyes will look quizzically at the Dell Nutanix OEM deal. Specifically, Dell says it has the broadest hyper-converged stable offering available from …
Chris Mellor, 05 Apr 2016
Memory_storage_latency_spectrum_2

Memory and storage boundary changes

Analysis Latency is always the storage access bête noire. No one likes to wait, least of all VMs hungry for data access in multi-threaded, multi-core, multi-socket, virtualized servers. Processors aren't getting that much faster as Moore's Law runs out of steam, so attention is turning to fixing IO delays as a way of getting our …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2016

Brocade stirs up a Ruckus, swallows wireless kit maker for $1.5bn

Brocade is buying Ruckus Wireless for cash and shares, valuing Ruckus at around $1.5bn, and giving it entry to the growing enterprise wireless networking market. The deal has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors. Ruckus stockholders will get $6.45 in cash and 0.75 shares of Brocade common stock for each share …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2016
ScaleIO_Node_bezel

The kid is not VSAN: EMC buffs up ScaleIO for high-end types

EMC has buffed up its ScaleIO virtual SAN software. Hopkinton positions ScaleIO as virtual SAN software for higher-end data centres than subsidiary VMware’s VSAN virtual SAN software, and also for customers using Hyper-V server virtualisation, which VSAN does not support. ScaleIO scales out to more nodes than VSAN, we’re told …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2016
VCE VxRail

EMC's virtue is its VCE, but Cisco and NetApp's Flexpods slightly floppy

IDC’s Converged Systems Tracker for 2015’s fourth quarter shows EMC’s VCE unit is doing very well, Flexpod reference architecture systems are limp, and hyper-converged system growth is properly perky. Over all the converged systems market grew revenue 8.5 per cent year over year to $3.1bn in 2015’s last quarter. Within this …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2016
Huawei_HQ_PR_shot

Chinese red bull (Huawei) attracted to Big Data and big network streams

Comment We get a chance to assess Huawei and its Enterprise IT business with the publication of its 2015 accounts, which show it grew its enterprise IT revenues 44 per cent year-on-year to $4.3bn. Huawei said its “enterprise business experienced rapid growth in the public safety, finance, transportation, and energy sectors.” In …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2016
Toshiba NAND wafer

NetApp ain't all that: Flashy figures show HPE left 'em for dust

After the news that EMC had topped the all-flash array revenue charts, we learn, courtesy of new Gartner numbers, that HPE also left NetApp for dust. Gartner kindly sent us their original numbers; we obtained the numbers we used in our previous story second hand. These new numbers show that HPE did considerably better in the …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2016

Sphere 3D keeps business ship afloat atop sea of red ink

+Comment Overland Storage's – oops, sorry – Sphere 3D's ability to walk on water, otherwise known as floating on red ink, continues unabated with its fourth quarter and full calendar year 2015 results. Tape and disk data protection vendor Overland Storage was bought by Sphere 3D in December 2014. Much has been made of its Glassware …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2016
Micron_P300_SSD_detail

Micron turns $900m profits into a $97m loss. Only took 12 months

Micron revenues plummeted for the fifth quarter in a row and it made a loss after eleven successive profitable quarters. What's up with the boys from Boise, the USA's memory and NAND powerhouse? Revenues for the second quarter, ended 3 March, were $2.93bn, 29.7 per cent down on a year ago, and 12.3 per cent less than the first …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2016
3D_glasses_wearing_audience

Intel flops out 3D flash SSDs – and says they're the densest ever

Intel has introduced its first 3D NAND SSDs, updating three planar NVMe SSDs with four new models, and claiming to have the industry’s highest density 3D NAND. The existing DC P3500, P3600 and P3700 products use 20nm MLC flash technology, with the P3500 and P3600 dating from June 2014 and the P3700 being introduced in …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2016
Innov8_detail

Seagate intros Innov8: A USB-powered 8TB external hard drive

Seagate has introduced an 8TB external drive with no need for its own power cord. Like 2.5-inch external drives which abandoned power cords ages ago, the 3.5-inch innov8 draws power from its host through its USB C wire. Seagate says it uses Ignition Boost Technology “which eliminates the need for a power adapter on an 8 TB …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2016

HPE adds power-fail-protected NVDIMM tech to servers

HPE's ProLiant Gen9 servers now support Persistent Memory, non-volatile memory, enabling customers to expand in-memory app usage and get faster analytics and database processing by avoiding disk and SSD IO. HPE says it will provide up to two-times-faster SQL Server database logging performance and up to four-times-faster SQL …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2016
Lenovo_RD450_detail

Nexenta wins Lenovo as server partner

Lenovo and Nexenta are developing combined System X X86 server/DAS/NexentaStor software offerings, joint go-to-market strategies, and Lenovo service and support. Lenovo is the third-largest server shipper worldwide. Nexenta’s NexentaStor offers open source storage software offering file and block access scalable out to …
Chris Mellor, 30 Mar 2016
K2

Pure Storage's coming high-end array: We have the details

We can tell you a few more juicy details about Pure's coming high-end array, and we're deducing that SolidFire has a product capacity refresh coming. What we knew was that the new range-topper would boast up to 1.5PB usable capacity using 4 and 8TB 3D NAND modules (SSDs). It would have always-on QoS, support thousands of …
Chris Mellor, 30 Mar 2016
Sonos Sub

Sonos' chief product officer takes a hike after two years

Perhaps he disagreed with the voice-control strategy? Whatever the reason, Sonos’ high-profile chief product officer, Marc Whitten, has streamed right out of the company he joined two years ago, in March 2014. Whitten goes after Sonos restructuring and layoffs announced a couple of weeks ago, as Sonos CEO John Macfarlane …
Chris Mellor, 30 Mar 2016
Red_Hat_fedoras

SanDisk's InfiniFlash looks in its closet, pulls out a Red Hat to wear

SanDisk and Red Hat have formed an alliance: the crimson cranial-covering company’s Ceph Storage software will be offered as the preferred Ceph software by SanDisk for its InfiniFlash box. SanDisk's year-old InfiniFlash all-flash array box offers 512TB of capacity in a 3U box with the hardware powered by Ubuntu Linux, and …
Chris Mellor, 29 Mar 2016
Analyse_this

Speedier Splunk-ing: NetApp SANtricity eases your analytics flow

NetApp says the latest version of its E-Series all-flash and disk arrays, along with its SANTricity operating software, makes data analytics apps such as Splunk run faster. Hadoop and NoSQL database apps are accelerated, quite dramatically under certain circumstances, in the new release as well. The E-Series disk drive and EF …
Chris Mellor, 29 Mar 2016
Godzila

Apeiron reckons it's the Godzilla of upstart flash arrays

Storage upstart Apeiron's array is a Godzilla of all-flash arrays, delivering up to 3PB of capacity, 120-plus million IOPS and less than three microseconds' latency from a rackful of its ADS1000 array built from separate, scale-out, compute and storage nodes. Apeiron Data Systems has boldly stepped out from behind the stealth …
Chris Mellor, 29 Mar 2016

NetApp dropped the ball by letting EMC gobble Data Domain

IDC has published its quarterly confirmation that EMC’s Data Domain is crushing the competition in the purpose-built backup appliance market. The analyst outfit’s Worldwide Quarterly Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Tracker for 2015’s fourth quarter lists the top five vendors’ revenue amounts and shares for both the 2015 and …
Chris Mellor, 29 Mar 2016

Load DynamiX ties knot with Virtual Instruments

Load DynamiX, a storage workload monitoring and simulating company, and Virtual Instruments, a Fibre Channel/Ethernet tapper and monitoring business, are merging after the tapper ran out of meaningful growth room. The merged entity will be called Virtual Instruments (VI), and Load DynamiX (LDX) CEO Philippe Vincent will be its …
Chris Mellor, 29 Mar 2016
Spruce Goose

Coho CTO on Pure's FlashBlade: Oh-ho, that's a no-go no-no

Comment Andy Warfield, Coho Data's cofounder and CTO, thinks Pure Storage's FlashBlade design is misconceived. Warfield says Coho's engineering team went down a very similar route, found it to be wrong, and refocussed elsewhere. What happened was that, in 2013, the team thought it a good idea to build the densest network-integrated …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2016
question_marks_648

When Strongbox bought Strongbox: Behind the Crossroads sale

Have you heard of ETI-NET? We hadn't either, yet it counts EMC as a customer for its data protection services, has more than 2,000 product installations worldwide, and it prompted the Strongbox archival product sale by Crossroads. The sequence of events leading to the StrongBox sell-off has now become clearer. We understand …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2016

Violin Memory CEO and board member splash $180k on firm's shares

Violin Memory CEO Kevin DeNuccio has spent $37,500 to buy 75,000 shares of Violin at an average $0.50 share price, demonstrating his visible commitment to the company. He had previously bought 125,000 shares in two transactions since 2013. The first one, for 50,000 shares at $3.08/share, has so far lost around 80 per cent of …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2016
Burj_Khalifa sideways

Pure Storage to punt out supersized FlashArray system

Pure Storage’s Accelerate event in San Francisco earlier this month previewed a coming high-end FlashArray//m system with more than three times the usable capacity of the current range-topping m70. The new system will arrive later this year and give Pure a five box line-up, unless one of the current//m products is dropped. A …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2016
LTO-2 tape cartridge

Riddle me this: What grows as it shrinks? Answer: LTO tape

The LTO (linear tape-open) organization has released a tape shipment report showing capacity shipped grew almost 18 per cent from 2014 to 2015, while unit shipments have been declining since 2008. The LTO organization basically looks after the LTO format and represents the interests of the LTO Program Technology Provider …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2016
Arkivum_datacentre

Brit upstart Arkivum: We're the smart AaaS you're looking for

Arkivum, a UK-based data storage startup, is offering its AaaS: Archive-as-a-Service. It's competing successfully with public cloud and large-scale on-premises tape libraries by offering escrow-based guaranteed storage in its cloud. It was started up in 2011 as a way of productising a service technology developed at the …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2016
Sunset

Ex-archiver striver Crossroads: Time to sell all the products

Crossroads Systems has sold its StrongBox archiving products business to StrongBox Data Solutions, Inc. of Canada for just $1.85m in cash. That's just $50,000 more than last quarter's $1.8m revenues, from which Crossroads recorded a $538,000 loss. In the prior three quarters of its fiscal 2015 year, losses had exceeded …
Chris Mellor, 23 Mar 2016
The_incredible_hulk

DDN's GRIDScaler gets bigger scale-up and scale-out muscles

DDN has updated its scale-out/up filer GS12K array to the GS14K, saying it's the industry's fastest and most flexible scale-out filer. GS stands for GRIDScaler and it is a scale-up/scale-out storage system for HPC workloads which uses GPFS (General Parallel File System), now called Spectrum Scale by IBM. A companion EXAScaler …
Chris Mellor, 22 Mar 2016
Handing over dollars picture via Shutterstock

A tiny Violin plays as EMC tops all-flash array revenue chart

EMC with XtremIO is striding out in front of the pack in the all-flash array market, according to Gartner and Stifel Nicolaus numbers. Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, provided vendor all-flash array revenue share numbers to his clients, adding his Pure Storage ones to a Gartner report. The tabulated numbers cover the four …
Chris Mellor, 22 Mar 2016
Toshiba_flash_fabs

Toshiba storage keeps eye on flash as Group sheds jobs, sells divisions

Toshiba is doubling down on flash memory as a revenue growth engine to help climb out of the financial poo, while also aiming to get dollars spinning out of its disk drive business. In a reconstruction plan revealed on Friday, the troubled Japanese tech giant said it would develop its 3D memory products faster and develop …
Chris Mellor, 22 Mar 2016
Vader

EMC mulled a Pure Storage buyout amid patent sueball tennis

Three months before EMC bought DSSD in May 2014, the storage goliath was thinking about buying Pure Storage. EMC even admitted in emails that its rival would always win out in head-to-head proof-of-concept de-dupe battles. This is according to internal emails disclosed during EMC's patent infringement lawsuit against Pure …
Chris Mellor, 22 Mar 2016

EMC drags Pure to court again, claims FlashArray rips off dedupe patent

First, EMC dealt Pure a $14m blow when a court ruled that Pure's FA-300/FA-400 arrays infringed one of EMC's patents. Now the storage giant is suing Pure again – this time over the upstart's newer FlashArray//m systems, which also allegedly infringe the aforementioned data-reduction patent. EMC wants an injunction against its …
Chris Mellor, 21 Mar 2016
WAves

Druva boxes clever

Druva has extended its base in end-point data protection to cover cloud apps Box, Google Work and Office 365. If you're working on your mobile smart device and desktop, Druva's inSync product will protect your data on that device. Now, if you are using Box, Google Work (Google Drive, Google Docs and Gmail) or Exchange Online …
Chris Mellor, 21 Mar 2016
data centre

Lenovo gets friendly with hyper-converged vendors, and not just one or two...

Whomever it needs to partner with to sell a server inside a hyper-converged appliance, Lenovo seems eager to partner with them, dancing with virtually every hyper-converged body. In the UK we’ve been reminded by a Lenovo staffer of the following hyper-converged and software-defined storage alliances: Nutanix as a Lenovo part …
Chris Mellor, 18 Mar 2016
NetApp_1240_Crossman_Avenue

Google buys NetApp ... buildings

NetApp is selling eight office buildings in Sunnyvale to Google for $250m, with the option to lease back the space. The details are in a NetApp 8K form filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The sale is expected to close by April 22, and NetApp has the right to lease some of the properties on terms to be agreed …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2016
Seagate_8TB_HDD_trio

Seagate – or rather, its Kinetic Ethernet drives – have seen the light

Seagate appears to be working on possibly adding an optical interconnect to its Kinetic Ethernet disk drives, which organize data in key:value stores. These drives provide a straightforward object-based access protocol, which is said to simplify the storage software stack needed by servers. PETRA, the Photonics Electronics …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2016
scott_dietzen_cropped_648

Don't take this the wrong way, Pure Storage – are you the next NetApp?

Comment Back in 1992, NetApp was founded and competed with Auspex in the file storage array market. It overtook Auspex and grew and grew, entering the Fortune 500, becoming a storage platform company and a multi-billion dollar revenue corporation. No other startup has managed that feat since. Could Pure Storage be the first one to …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2016
Fly_swatter

Pure swats away EMC patent punch, mulls $14m verdict appeal

Pure Storage has been given a mild slap on the wrist for infringing part of an EMC-owned patent describing deduplication. Mountain View-based Pure was accused of trampling over five EMC patents covering dedupe and RAID technology back in November 2013. The dispute went to a Delaware district court, and then to a jury trial …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2016
management management3

SanDisk stockholders book a table, prepare for Western Digital gobble

SanDisk shareholders have voted in favour of Western Digital buying their company. At SanDisk's special stockholders' meeting today, 98 per cent of the votes were in favour of the sale to WDC. WDC shareholders, via more than 90 per cent of the votes cast, have separately approved WDC issuing more shares (common stock) to help …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2016
Biggest black hole

DataGravity axes gear, sheds staff as it pulls away from black hole

+Comment The DataGravity array is no more as Paula Long reorganizes her company and axes some of its workers. This follows on the layoffs we heard about in February in which the staff roster was downsized from 120-strong. Long and John Joseph founded the New Hampshire biz in 2012 around a concept of data-aware storage: a DataGravity …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2016
shutterstock_183801788_container ship

Judging by these numbers, Dell can't wait for EMC to turn up and unload its storage

Dell's storage revenues are declining while its servers and networking figures increase. Of course, when Dell buys EMC, that'll sort out Dell's storage numbers. The figures were revealed in a filing submitted by Dell to US financial watchdog the SEC on March 11. The dossier includes revenues for its Enterprise Systems Group ( …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2016
Antares launch

Pivot3 bags $54.6m. What'll it do now? Try to take over all-flash hyperconverged world

+Comment Ageing startup Pivot3, fresh from buying all-flash and hybrid array startup Nexgen has taken in a whopping $54.6m of fresh funding. It's a mix of equity and bank financing and takes its total funding, since being founded in 2003, to almost a quarter of a billion dollars – $247.04m by our reckoning – with this latest financing …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2016
FlashBlades_950

Good-on-paper FlashBlade: We've seen the hardware, we've touched the blades

Backstory It's not vapourware, this scale-up Ethernet cluster-in-a-box that Pure calls FlashBlade, but it's sure not hurrying to market. Announced yesterday, March 14, it's expected to be generally available by the fourth quarter, although we understand Pure engineers could take until the end of the year to finally clear it for GA. The …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2016
Lenovo_Think_Server_RD_Series

Lenovo pulls back duvet – oh em gee, it's Maxta

China's Lenovo has picked Maxta software to build a hybrid flash/disk hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) for the Chinese market. Maxta and Lenovo have a strategic partnership and have developed the appliance over "many months of joint development and customization to meet the needs of [Chinese] customers." The …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2016