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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.

Violin VIMM

Violin strings up cheaper instrument: 17.5TB flash box for $100k + change

Violin Memory has built a 6000-series entry-level all-flash array, calling it the 6100. The upstart hopes it will land some punches in the larger mid-market than its high-performance enterprise base. The 6100 uses the same 19nm MLC flash chips as the 6200, and has three capacity points: 17.5TB, 26TB and 35TB. The 6200 runs up to …
Chris Mellor, 07 Aug 2014
ZAdara_storage

Cloudy startup drops unified storage array into YOUR data centre

Cloudy storage startup Zadara can now drop a unified storage array in your own data centre, with you paying for its use and maintenance on a pay as you go scheme. It's essentially a "serviced storage array" (like a serviced office). Zadara has gone into acronym overload with this new VPSA OPaaS SAN and NAS product. Let's go …
Chris Mellor, 07 Aug 2014
Samsung SSD845DC EVO

Ain't NAND grand? Samsung unveils next-gen SAS SSD

Samsung has followed its 2012-era SM1625 SDD with the SM1623 model, and promised next-generation SAS SSDs are coming in the near future. What can it mean? The S1625, using 2Xnm-class NAND (29-20nm cell geometry) topped out at 600GB capacity. The 1623 uses 1Xnm-class geometry (19nm - 10nm) and reaches 800GB capacity. Its …
Chris Mellor, 07 Aug 2014

Cost-cutting pays off for Symantec as profit lifts

Software security, data management and protection behemoth Symantec has cashed in on hacking fears with an upswing in product sales, giving itself a revenue and profits lift. Revenues for its first fiscal 2015 quarter, which finished on 4 July, were $1.74bn, up a mere 1.5 per cent on a year ago, and a more flattering 6.4 per …
Chris Mellor, 07 Aug 2014
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

EMC boots Egnyte from partner list after SHOCK software claims

Top marks for chutzpah. Enterprise storage biz Egnyte is saying its software turns EMC VNX arrays into better file-sharers than EMC's own Syncplicity software does. EMC, meanwhile, says it has not "tested or validated" the product's integration with VNX and has terminated Egnyte from its Tech Connect programme as a result. …
Chris Mellor, 07 Aug 2014
Zadara array

Who is Zadara and what does it mean by a Virtual Private Storage Array?

Storage upstart Zadara supplies a VPSA, a Virtual Private Storage Array, to managed and cloud service providers. What is a VPSA? It is a 4U rackmount node containing dual x86 controllers and three types of storage media: 200GB SSDs, 600GB 10K rpm SAS drives and 7.2k rpm SATA drives storing up to to 5TB each. There are 36 drive …
Chris Mellor, 07 Aug 2014
ULLtraDIMM_front_and_back

Supermicro adorns servers with bright and shiny ULLtraDIMMs

Supermicro is using fast flash access ULLtraDIMM technology from SanDisk to enable its Green SuperServer and SuperStorage platforms to access data faster. An ULLtraDIMM is flash memory interfaced to a memory DIMM connected to a computer's main CPU-Memory bus instead of the PCIe bus, which avoids the latter's longer latency …
Chris Mellor, 07 Aug 2014
Nutanix cloud appliance

Compute+storage upstart Nutanix reveals $200m-plus run rate

Nutanix, the converged compute+storage box-shifter is shifting more boxes and says it has reached a $200m annual revenue run rate 11 quarters after starting shipments. Its VCP (Virtual Computing Platform) has been bought by 800 customers in 43 counties – the country total was 30 in January. The firm adds that more than 16 …
Chris Mellor, 06 Aug 2014
Tosh_surveillance_5TB_900

Not a load of Tosh: 5TB 'surveillance drive' from Toshiba hits shelves

Toshiba has wrung another market slot-filling product out of its 5TB disk tech – a surveillance drive. The company has two existing 5TB disk drive products. There is the MC04ACAnnnE bulk storage drive spinning at 7,200rpm for servers and arrays with cloud-scale needs. It has a 6Gbit/s SATA interface and an 800,000 hours MTBF …
Chris Mellor, 06 Aug 2014
Samsung 3D V-NAND SSD

Samsung: We've slashed programming time with 3-bit vertical NAND

Korean flash foundry king Samsung has announced the entry of 3-bit (TLC) flash in its V-NAND product line at the Flash Memory Summit. The product has 32 layers of TLC NAND, TLC being triple-level cell as opposed to the bulk of today’s business NAND products which use MLC or 2-level cell with 2 bits per cell. TLC NAND is both …
Chris Mellor, 06 Aug 2014

IBM furtles all-flash biz bruiser FlashSystem

IBM has upped its all-flash array FlashSystem capacity to an effective 1.6PB by baking in SVC/Storwize features – including real-time compression. The FlashSystem V840 release 1.2 is built from three 2U rackmount boxes: an AE1 storage enclosure (as used in the 840) and two active-active AC1 control enclosures. The storage box …
Chris Mellor, 05 Aug 2014

HGST brings PCM to flash show, STUNS world+dog with 3 MILLION IOPS

In a terrific demo of the wrong technology for the Flash Memory Summit, HGST is showing a PCIe-connected Phase Change Memory device running at three million IOPS with a 1.5 microsecs read latency. Phase Change Memory (PCM) stores binary digits as differing resistance levels by changing the state, or phase, of the chalcogenide …
Chris Mellor, 05 Aug 2014
FlashMAX_III

HGST refreshes $685m flash tech: Go-faster FlashMAX PCIe card

HGST claims it has doubled the price/performance of its FlashMAX PCIe flash card, lowering the maximum capacity and moving to gen-3 PCIe from gen-2. These cards came to HGST when its parent, Western Digital, bought Virident and its FlashMAX II PCIe flash product line in 2013 for $685m. Now we have the updated FlashMAX III line …
Chris Mellor, 04 Aug 2014
Pernix Data novel

Diablo locks down 'key' memory channel storage patent

Diablo Technologies, the supplier of flash latency-lowering Memory Channel Storage IP to SanDisk/SMART, has been awarded a patent, U.S. patent No. 8,713,379, entitled a “System and method of interfacing co-processors and input/output devices via a main memory system”, which t describes as a "key technology". The new patent …
Chris Mellor, 04 Aug 2014
SanDisk X100 SSD

Is SanDisk about to become the big daddy of enterprise flash?

The hottest enterprise flash products company these days is SanDisk, and it has a great chance of becoming the most important non-volatile memory supplier of all – the EMC of enterprise flash. There are four basic reasons: It has a thriving and growing enterprise flash business It has bought Fusion-io in May giving it a …
Chris Mellor, 04 Aug 2014
Splash! by Nino Barbieri licensed under CC 3.0 Unported

Bombs away: BiTMICRO dives into enterprise PCIe flash pool

BiTMICRO has entered the enterprise PCIe SSD market with the MAXio E-Series SSD with the best capacity-per-watt among all PCIe SSDs, using less than 30W when active. It has 1.5TB or 3TB of raw capacity and does random reads and writes at 240,000 and 100,000 respectively. The sequential read and write bandwidth numbers are 1.1GB/ …
Chris Mellor, 04 Aug 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Hey, what's inside those Imation Nexsan arrays? Whoa, bundles of cash?

The pace of revenue decline at storage biz Imation is lessening – but the loss-making continues: its second quarter results show storage media revenue falls outweighing storage array and security product revenue rises. Net revenue for the quarter, ending June 30, was $178.6m, down 15.6 per cent from a year ago but flat compared …
Chris Mellor, 01 Aug 2014
Bill_Veghte

HP storage revenue downturn? It's just a 'kink', says exec

HP's first calendar 2014 quarter storage revenue downturn was a blip, according to the global head of its enterprise group – though analysts at IDC may not agree. Bill Veghte, exec veep and GM of HP's Enterprise Group, was speaking about the calendar Q1 numbers that co-incide with HP's second fiscal quarter. He told us the …
Chris Mellor, 01 Aug 2014
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