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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.

PAS16 enclosure

Panasas: Avoid lengthy RAID re-builds - use our dodgy-file tart-up tech

Storage biz Panasas has unveiled boosted hardware and software – and attacked the RAID rebuild problem by rebuilding damaged files instead of complete disks. The company is an HPC storage system supplier which is moving into technical computing/big data use cases in enterprises. It has more than 450 customers in 50+ countries …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jun 2014
Everest

US telco titan Verizon floats storage clouds over Himalaya

It looks like Verizon is parking its storage atop the cloudy peaks of Amplidata’s Himalaya object storage architecture. Amplidata, an object storage startup, says: “With Himalaya, users can easily store and manage zettabytes of data and trillions of stored objects, all under one global namespace using Intel-based commercial off …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jun 2014
CS400

Networked mutant flash-disk beast Nimble to smack flashy rivals with 'high-end' boxen

Nimble Storage is going to do a Tegile and have all-flash shelves in a new high-end product that will also undercut its main rival, fellow all-flash array startup Pure Storage, or so it claims. Tegile and Nimble both supply networked hybrid flash/disk arrays using operating software expressly designed to use flash optimally, as …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jun 2014
StoreOnce 6500

HP unveils federated backup that won't get your back up ... it hopes

Meg Whitman's mega firm is federating backup appliances to ease the pain of managing multiple silos and claims management overhead is reduced by 75 per cent through no more "physical mapping of backup jobs to individual backup appliances". The news came at HP’s Discover bash in Las Vegas, where it unveiled StoreOnce Federated …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2014

HP Simplivity buyout rumours: Could it be worth HALF a BILLION?

HP is said to be in talks to buy Simplivity, a startup whose main offering is the Omnicube converged server/storage/networking systems. The Omnicube is a so-called hyper-converged system, designed from the ground up to eliminate the data centre chaos of independent server, storage and networking products that have to be …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2014
Comparison between ThruChip Communications' ThruChip Interface (TCI) and through-silicon via (TSV)

Semiconductor boffin: 3D NAND don't need NO STEENKIN' TSVs

Chip analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis took exception to several issues raised in a recent 3D NAND story, and El Reg storage desk asked him a few short questions for clarification. He provided a few short answers that did just that - and here they are. El Reg: Are there TSVs (through-silicon vias – vertical electrical …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2014
StoreServ_7450

HP unveils enlarged 460TB 7450 all-flash array

HP has added deduplication to its 3PAR 7450 all-flash arrays. That means Hewlett-Packard – keen to not waste a byte, and provide deduplication for 3PAR file operations – is now at last able to reclaim duplicated bytes of information from chunks of 3PAR block storage. It calls this Thin Deduplication. Dedupe is just for the all- …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jun 2014
Stock ticker board

sTec flash founder cleared of insider trading charges

The wheels of SEC justice in the US grind exceedingly slowly and sometimes uselessly. Manouche Moshayedi, the founder and CEO of sTec, has just been cleared of insider trading charges filed almost four years ago. Since then sTec’s business has tumbled and it was bought by Western Digital for $340m – which was characterised as a …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jun 2014
LaCie Rugged

Compare Apple's and oranges: LaCie's hi-vis jacket-wearing disk is not for hipsters

Fancy a drive in a high-visibility jacket so it never gets lost and can withstand knocks, scrapes and drops of two metres? Then LaCie’s latest Rugged disk should be on your radar. This is the first update of the Rugged line since Seagate bought the French hardware biz. The new drive was designed by Neil Poulton; minimalist Apple …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jun 2014

Enterprise storage vendors cosy up to small businesses

The storage landscape is changing. The storage products and skills needed for a small firm have so far been very different from those needed in large enterprises. Yet we now have some storage vendors delivering enterprise-class products aimed at workgroups, while some enterprise buyers choose mid-range products to save money. …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jun 2014
IDC total storage Q1 cy2014

Is it THE END OF BIG DATA? Quarta Horribilis for high-end storage

IDC has just revealed one of the worst storage quarters for a couple of years as buyers went on a high-end storage strike. There's been a quite spectacular slump in the storage business in the first 2014 quarter, according to the beancounters' Storage Tracker. Notwithstanding the digital-universe-drowning-us-in-Big-Data …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jun 2014
Irista

Canon offers a cloud just for still photos, not anything else. Weird

Japanese camera and printer behemoth Canon has started up a cloud photo storage service called irista. We wrote about the service's pre-beta instantiation here. You can upload any size photo file, within the limits of your capacity entitlement obviously. You don’t get any editing tools and only stills are supported, not videos, …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jun 2014
CloudONTAP

Snooping on a NetApp event: New cloudy OS on its way

Social media can deliver multiple micro-glimpses of previously closed events, like a NetApp analysts event in San Francisco yesterday which revealed a new OS - Cloud ONTAP - and a coming Connect product for mobile access. Here’s what we discovered by mining a blizzard of tweets from attendees with the hashtag; #NetAppIAS14. It’s …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jun 2014
Dogs

Server-storage halfblood newbie Nutanix: We're taking on big dog VCE

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it’s the size of the fight in the dog - which brings us to converged server/storage system vendor rivals Nutanix and VCE. VCE is a bulging giant backed by Cisco, EMC and VMware, with annual revenues running at more than $1bn and more than 1,750 systems sold to more than 800 …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jun 2014
DataDirect SS8460 drive enclosure

We present to you: 840 fine, upstanding young disks stuffed into a rack cabinet – DDN

For maximum big data density, you basically need a rack full of disk drives and little else, and DataDirect has moved in that direction by stuffing up to 840 disks into a standard rack cabinet. The idea is that HPC and big data environments need as much capacity in a storage rack as they can get. DDN reckons it offers up to 40 …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jun 2014
Nuke blast

Facebook, are you listening? Fusion-io chucks 6.4TB 'Atomic' flash kit at world

PCIe-card flasher Fusion-io has a new piece of ioMemory hardware and is calling it the Atomic Series. This third-generation architecture product stores up to 6.4TB. The existing ioScale card stores 3.2TB of data. That’s made using 2Xnm class MLC NAND (29-20nm). Fusion says the new card is faster, maybe twice as fast as the …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jun 2014
Tegile

A night with Tegile’s flashy twins will set you back $1.6 MILLION

Hybrid array start-up Tegile has come out with a T3000 product twinset; a high-end flash/disk hybrid and an all-flash array, equipping it to compete with both hybrid and all-flash array products. It’s done this by upgrading the controller processors from four 4-core Xeon E5620s to four 8-core Xeon E5-2450s. This is a serious …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jun 2014

Good news for gamers who don't leave the house: SanDisk debuts 24/7 Extreme PRO SSD

Gamers are told to take note: SanDisk has souped its Extreme line of SATA interface consumer SSDs to the Extreme PRO – which has doubled capacity, slightly increased speed and an eye-catching 10-year warranty. Last year's Extreme II featured a maximum of 480GB of capacity, random read/write speeds of 95,000/75,000 IOPS (4K), …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jun 2014
FalconStor CEO Gary Quinn

'Member when we were running out of cash? Whew... thank goodness that's over – FalconStor

FalconStor is moving on from its near-death experience last year, when, according to CEO Gary Quinn, it had just six months of cash left. The new chief now plans to build on its recovery by returning the firm to its roots with a unified software product. He also spoke of the firm taking on EMC's VPlex and IBM's SVC with its …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jun 2014
Intel DC P3700

My my, Intel, that's one speedy NVMe flash card you have there

Intel has produced three blazing fast PCIe flash cards using NVMe – and that should upset the PCIe flash applecart nicely. Intel DC P3700 Intel DC P3700 NVMe is a standard way of accessing non-volatile memory, meaning host operating systems need only have a single standard driver instead of specific drivers for each supported …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jun 2014
hitahi t7k500 hard disk drive

PCIe hard drives? You read that right, says WD

WD will demo PCIe-connected disk drives at the Computex tech conference in Taipei, using a SATA Express interface. SATA Express has been enabled with partners, and is offered on Intel series-9 chipset motherboards. WD says it provides a route to faster speeds and lower power consumption. SATA revision 3.2 delivers 16Gbit/s. PCIe …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jun 2014
Musaic video

Kickstarter cup-rattling, light-dimming Internet of Stuff upstart takes on Sonos, Bose

Kickstarter-funded Musaic hopes to outsmart Sonos and beat Bose with speakers that play higher fidelity music across normal Wi-Fi, support Bluetooth and integrate with home automation lighting and security products. Wi-Fi is becoming the smart home network. Sonos, the streaming speaker king, takes advantage of that but …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jun 2014

Security stock slinger Symantec speeds up with latest Backup Exec

Symantec has announced the latest version of its Backup Exec software, with a newer product that's apparently "up to 100 per cent" quicker than its "challenging" older brother. The last major release was Backup Exec 2012 back in ... 2012. It was a controversial release, with many new and changed features and it has taken over 18 …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jun 2014
Endurance by Frank Hurley

No spinning rust here: Supermicro's cold data fridge is FROZEN

Fancy storing data until hell freezes over? Server house Supermicro has a cold storage product aimed at data that must be kept, can't be thrown away but is accessed only rarely: its SuperStorage Server with spun-down disks. According to Supermicro, the product "minimizes power consumption and reduces cooling requirements by …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jun 2014
Samsung gen 2 3D V-NAND SSD

Samsung, with this new 3D NAND SSD, you're really spoiling us ... or perhaps a rival?

We’re making it, but we’re not going to tell you much about it. That's more or less what Samsung has to say about its second-generation 3D V-NAND and the flash drives the tech is going into. As the name suggests, 3D V-NAND is made up of layers of flash cells stacked one on the other to increase storage capacity without …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jun 2014
Dell EqualLogic blade array in the M1000e chassis

Dell planning to blend Compellent and EqualLogic arrays

Privately-owned Dell plans to unify its separate Compellent and EqualLogic storage array lines within the next twelve months. This was revealed at a Dell analyst event attended by Stifel Nicolaus MD Aaron Rakers. Marius Haas, Dell’s chief commercial officer and Enterprise Solutions president reportedly said having both …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jun 2014
Rattlesnake

How to grill an EMC division chief

Just the other day we managed to get an email interview with EMC’s president of Data Protection and Availability, Guy Churchward, so El Reg's storage desk took the opportunity to ask him some of the questions about Data Domain that had been bugging us. El Reg: Why has EMC never provided global deduplication across Data Domain …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jun 2014
A class enjoying the early stages of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training.

'Failure is not an option... Never give up.' Not in Silicon Valley, mate

Consider these two things: "Failure is not an option," the famous words of the Apollo 13 mission controller in Houston, and a college speech by a US Navy SEAL commander in which he recommended that people never, ever give up. Yet Admiral McRaven would say that, wouldn't he – it worked for him. But he appeared to forget that it …
Chris Mellor, 31 May 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Nimble nearly nudging $200m: Claims all-Flash grunt with partial iron

Hybrid array high-flier Nimble Storage has upped its revenues by 110 per cent annually - but deepened its losses by 109 per cent, as it eschews profits for growth. In its first fiscal 2015 quarter revenues were $46.5 million compared to $41.7 million in the previous quarter and $22.1 million a year ago. The net loss was $19.6 …
Chris Mellor, 30 May 2014
Photo of the Starship Enterprise's sick bay

PCIe flash card world reshuffled: Violin Memory flogs Velocity

Violin Memory is recovering in sickbay after the flash array company amputated its PCIe card business through a sale announced today and flagged up its drooping revenues in the second half of its fiscal year. Revenues for its first financial 2015 quarter, which finished on 30 April, were $18.1m, 27 per cent down on the same …
Chris Mellor, 30 May 2014
The HP 3PAR StorServ 7000 series arrays

What's that you say? HP's going to do WHAT to 3PAR StoreServs?

Rumours circulating today suggest HP is going to add full data deduplication to its StoreServ (3PAR) storage arrays. Deduplication identifies and removes duplicated blocks to prevent space being taken up by repetitive content. With a flash array, this also helps to reduce the amount of data written to the silicon which prolongs …
Chris Mellor, 30 May 2014
SanDisks fifth generation 128Gbit TLC die

HP breaks ranks: Foresees data ARCHIVING on Flash

An unearthed HP presentation session shows HP is envisaging cold data storage, archiving, using flash. Here’s the TB4642 - Enabling the flash transformed data centre - session description extract; What will soon further ramp the adoption of flash are the superior storage densities offered by solid state drives as they expand to …
Chris Mellor, 30 May 2014
Atlantis USX and VSAN

Atlantis hopes to sink fangs into EMC's ViPR with boosting product

VDI startup Atlantis has moved on and now reckons its ILIO USX product plus VSAN can take on EMC's all-singing, all-dancing software-defined ViPR storage abstraction layer. A slide from an Atlantis presentation deck (see below) shows the ILIO USX product providing a software abstraction layer with separate control and data …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2014

Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

Driverless cars will solve congestion. Driverless cars will improve road efficiency; driving along closely behind each other in platoons. Driverless cars will stop you waiting at the kerb for a taxi. Yeah, yeah; it’s all drivel. The tech is wonderful, gee-whiz-that’s-great stuff, but there’s a few things that are unbelievably …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2014
LSI WarpDrive section

Seagate in surprise $450m LSI Flash gobble

Wow! Didn’t see that one coming; Seagate has scooped up the LSI flash business from Avago, rewriting the flash product supply business at a stroke, and speeding the concentration of flash product supply into fewer hands. Avago bought LSI in December 2013 for a cool $6.6 billion. Now Seagate will buy LSI’s flash biz, the …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2014
School of six finger threadfin fish

BLAM! IBM drags its NetApp OEM deal horse outside, gunshot heard

IBM has formally sundered its OEM relationship with NetApp, as we earlier suggested it would. Spokesperson Michael Zimmerman provided a statement, saying: Cloud and the explosion of data associated with social and mobile are increasing the demand for flexible storage solutions. This is driving a shift towards software delivery …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2014
Storage step 5

Loved-up shared storage silos in SHOCK SPLIT!

A previously uniform shared storage architecture is splintering apart as server virtualisation, dedupe, flash and the cloud shatter the old order – giving us five steps to heaven, or hell, depending on your viewpoint. The old shared storage order was a bunch of servers linked across a network to a storage area network (SAN) or …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2014
Terminator 2

IBM shows off phase-shift LIQUID METAL storage tech

Attendees at last week's IBM's Edge 2014 conference in Las Vegas heard all about liquid metal storage. But don't think of Terminator 2-style shape shifting – think state shifting instead. Yes, really. It was a bit of a throw-away as it was the last bullet point in a list of storage futures presented by IBM chief storage …
Chris Mellor, 28 May 2014
Shuffling cards

X-IO shuffles senior staffers – but this isn't an IPO prelude

Storage firm X-IO has changed its CEO and made some other board-level changes as well as having some engineers working part-time. Companies don't generally do this, so what's happening here? Incoming CEO Brian Owen has, in one way of looking at it, sidelined his incumbent CFO and HR head. CFO Ed Welch still holds his position, …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2014
John Morelli

Sphere 3D's mini microvisor: Drilling into touchy biz tech

I have just seen an Overland SnapScale DX2 scale-out filer storage array running Corel WordPerfect and serving it via the Glassware 2.0 product, also running in the DX2, to an iPad across a Wi-Fi network. What the heck's going on here? Overland Storage is merging with mobe-tech-enabling outfit Sphere 3D in an all-share …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2014
OCP WInterfell

HP: You know what's hot right now? Cloud* storage

Cloud storage is hot, according to Meg Whitman, HP’s CEO, who spoke of her "excitement" in the Q2 results earnings call. Whitman said: I'm very excited about some of the innovations that we'll be rolling out in the second half of the year from our server, [cloud]* storage, technology services and converged systems team. We're …
Chris Mellor, 25 May 2014
DRagon

Reg man pulls out telescope: Thar be magic quadragons... and lo, a new vendor

There is dissent in the flash array vendor ranks over Gartner gurus' magic quadrant. The all-flash array ranking quadragon has reared its head and breathed fire from its nostrils all over us puny Reg hacks. Thanks to a tipoff, we can now update our earlier list to add another vendor: Cisco Invicta EMC XtremIO HP 3PAR <——— …
Chris Mellor, 23 May 2014
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

Oof! Brocade posts a loss after taking $81m kick in the profits

After four quarters of profits Brocade has posted a $14m loss, due to a costly goodwill write-off as it exits a hardware business. Revenues for the quarter were $537m, down five per cent from the prior quarter’s $565m and the year-ago quarter’s $539m (down one per cent). Three months ago it made a profit of $81m; this time it …
Chris Mellor, 23 May 2014
Cirrus clouds

Toshiba pushes out 5TB spinner for cloudy types

Toshiba has produced a 5TB 3.5-inch disk drive for bulk storage and cloud-based workloads, its second 5TB drive (the first came out in February). The MC series drive seems to be based on its 5TB MG04 and shares the same 6Gbit/s SATA interface, 7,200rpm spin speed and 2TB, 3TB, 4BH and 5TB capacity points, using 1TB platters. It …
Chris Mellor, 23 May 2014

Hang on, lads. I've got a great idea, says NetApp as it teeters on the edge

NetApp revenues are not exactly flourishing, and the storage biz admits it's facing a decline. As the company reveals its end-of-year figures, will the cloud finish off NetApp, or give it a chance to really boost sales? Here are the figures [PDF] for fiscal 2014, ended 25 April: NetApp quarterly revenues 4th quarter, fiscal …
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2014
Cygnus constellation position

Permabit: Our flashy dedupe is everywhere, heh heh. Thanks Pure!

It's been a long haul but Permabit, which licenses its Albireo deduplication technology to storage-related suppliers, is finally seeing its fortunes rise. Wayne Salpietro, Permabit's marketing director, said: "We are seeing significant upswing in our activities, particularly with Tier 1 customers and prospects. We believe this …
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2014
Sonos phone and tablet app

Sonos turns up volume, slips out new Wi-Fi speaker control app

Streaming Wi-Fi speaker supplier Sonos has updated its speaker app so that it looks a little nicer and does more. Screen appeal on tablets is not so good, however, and it doesn't solve an existing Playbar surround sound issue. This software, known as the Sonos controller (v5.0), runs in iOS v6.0 or higher, as well as on Android …
Chris Mellor, 21 May 2014
X-IO ISE Station X

It's musical chairs at ISE bricks house as X-IO looks to 'post-nerd' future

X-IO, the perennially not-quite-making-it supplier of fantastically reliable HyperISE storage enclosures, has promoted its CEO to chairman, and appointed its vice chairman as the new CEO, in a move away from being a "nerdy storage supplier" towards a more profitable future. CEO John Beletic came on the scene in late 2011 and has …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2014
Kaminario K-Blocks

Kaminario shovels RAM, shiny new processors onto K2's peaks

Kaminario has updated its K2 all-flash array with new processors, more RAM, higher capacity SSDs and data reduction technology, claiming K2 is more efficient, scalable and cost-effective than either EMC's XtremIO or Pure Storage's FA-400 all-flash arrays. The fourth generation K2 product topped the SPC-1 random IO and SPC-2 …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2014

Storage faithful tremble as Gartner mages prep flashy array quadrant

Gartner's unveiling of all-flash array rankings in its Magic Quadrant – expected in July this year – has been eagerly anticipated. Which supplier is in which box? Who is included? Now sources who've seen a possible version of the flash MQ have shared their insight with El Reg – revealing some suppliers are in and others ( …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2014