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.

OSNEXUS_QuantaStor_license_manager_screen

OSNEXUS: Storage upstart that funded itself before gaining angel wings

Take one ambitious Citrix engineering director who wanted to start his own storage company, sprinkle in $2m of angel funding and seven years later you find a IBM SoftLayer-blessed 20-person startup competing with DataCore. Nexenta and $100m+ funding, and other VC-backed software-defined storage vendors. How did that happen? …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2016
Micron_16nm_NAND_wafer

Etch a stretch: 3D NAND layer cake flop leads to 'string stacking'

Backgrounder Adding 3D NAND layers is butting up against aspect ratio limitations in the chip production process, which will limit the number of layers. String stacking is a technology that could provide an escape from this aspect ratio trap. Samsung is shipping 48-layer 3D NAND, its third generation product; that’s the equivalent of 48 …
Chris Mellor, 06 Jul 2016

Euro researchers more loyal and cheaper than Silicon Valley folk

Comment Classic and enterprise HPC storage supplier DDN Storage has opened up a Research and Development centre in Paris to help grow its European business. Its experience exposes the strengths and weaknesses of the European IT skills and startup scene, it says. The centre has 25 staff and should double that by the end if 2017. DDN …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jul 2016

Data sprawl killer updated

Catalogic’s copy data management ECX product now supports EMC Unity arrays, Amazon S3 and has Oracle and SQL integration. ECX v2.4 software is claimed to be a copy-data sprawl killer. It has added Oracle and SQL app-aware integration and better integration with popular DevOps tools. It is an “In-Place” copy data management ( …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jul 2016
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DRAM and blast it: Micron staff face axe after flash woes

Micron made a loss of $215m in its latest quarter, job losses are coming, and the Seagate eSSD partnership hasn’t taken off. Its fiscal third 2016 quarter revenues were $2.9bn, compared to $3.85bn a year ago and $2.93bn a quarter ago, when it made a $97m loss. Things have gotten a whole lot worse since then on the price-mix …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jul 2016

Sources: Nutanix poised to gobble PernixData

Exclusive Four independent sources say hyper-converged poster child Nutanix is buying hypervisor flash-cacher PernixData, thus gaining crucial technology to speed up its appliances. A Nutanix spokesman told us: "No comment." A PernixData spokesperson added: "We are not commenting at this time." A PernixData insider told The Register: " …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2016
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StoreServ's ASIC architect must have one heckuva crystal ball

StoreServ arrays use special hardware, an ASIC, to accelerate storage array operations, and this is redesigned for each major generation of the arrays. The current design is generation 5. Siamak Nazari is an HPE fellow and StoreServ architect, and is heavily involved in the design of the forthcoming gen 6 ASIC. An ASIC design …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2016

IBM storage has a new boss: The same one it had six years ago

IBM has a new storage boss, Ed Walsh, Storage Division General Manager, replacing interim GM Greg Lotko who keeps his VP development slot in the unit. Walsh had been CEO and president of copy data management company Catalogic since July 2014. He joined Big Blue for the first time in 2010 when it bought Storwize, a storage …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2016
Lady eating a sandwich checking her mobile phone

Violin's reverse stock split

To avoid NYSE delisting because its stock price has been less than $1.00 for too long, Violin's board has approved a 4:1 reverse stock split. The struggling all-flash array pioneer has also gained a new board member, Bruce Grant, who has bought a 14.5 per cent stake in the company – comprising approximately 15 million shares …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jul 2016

Cassandra props GridGain

In-memory compute platform GridGain has added Cassandra support in v1.6 of its GridGain Professional Edition. As well as native support for Apache Cassandra, there is a new ODBC driver, deadlock-free transactions, and a new hosted web management console. Cassandra database users should see faster performance compared to disk- …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2016
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Seagate to cut 1,600 jobs

Disk drive maker Seagate is spinning out 1,600 staff, three per cent of its head count, as it looks to save £100m a year. The company had 46,673 employees at the end of May, down from 53,062 a year ago. The layoffs should be finished by the end of 2016. Seagate is lowering its disk drive manufacturing capacity in the face of …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2016
Elastic Storage

Amazon twangs its Elastic File System at on-premises filer rivals

Amazon has made its Elastic File System (EFS) available, opening up an assault on on-premises filers. EFS was first announced at the AWS summit in April last year with a preview coming later that year. It’s now available as a fully-managed service. Customers can make a few click choices in the AWS Management Console to have …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2016
red shoes. Photo by shutterstock

Oh, Red Hat. Contain yourself and your 'new innovations' talk

Red Hat Summit Red Hat is going full tilt after bringing containers and traditional Linux apps together under its management with a raft of announcements. The company has launched: A Linux container operating system via Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host. Red Hat OpenShift container development and …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2016
The Incredible Shrinking Man

Permabit offers deduplication to Linux masses – almost

Permabit has moved beyond OEMs, making the latest release of its dedupe technology available as a Linux software package so that ISVs, professional services folks and systems integrators in its Hybrid Cloud Professional Services partners programme can use it. Previously it was available to OEMs in Albireo (dedupe) and Virtual …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2016
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Atlantis retreats to core VDI software and appliance market

Atlantis Computing, the software house that produced a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) offering and then expanded into general virtual server acceleration and on into hyper-converged appliances, is scaling its product line back to workspace software and hyper-converged appliances, with consequent job losses. Its current …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2016
Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev

Veeam poster boy and CEO Ratmir Timashev steps down

It's all change at the top of virtual server backup biz Veeam: Co-founder and current chief Ratmir Timashev is stepping back from day-to-day ops by letting exec veep William Largent grab the controls. Veeam said co-founders Andrei Baronov and Timashev, who becomes president, will remain "strategic" to the company but this will …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2016
Man with head in the cloud

Single silo in the cloud, looking to mingle: Axcient takes on Cohesity, Actifio

DR-as-a-Service supplier Axcient has extended its offering to provide a single silo in the cloud for five secondary storage workloads, taking on vendors such as Cohesity and Actifio. Axcient CEO Justin Moore said: “Axcient Fusion [replaces] all non-production IT infrastructure with one elastic, cloud-converged platform. ... we …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016
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WDC's SanDisk flashes its vSphere speed-up creds to world+dog

Western Digital Corporation’s SanDisk unit has VAIO-compliant flash caching software and hardware for vSphere servers. This announcement represents WDC inheriting a two year SanDisk-VMware partnership to make use of SanDisk’s acquired FusionIO PCIe flash hardware and software. There are two products: FlashSoft 4 software for …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016
Man in a suit drinking tea out doors reading from his tablet

WANdisco: IBM's our OEM

Big Blue's Big Replicate is little WANdisco's big OEM deal. IBM is now OEM'ing WANdisco's Fusion replication technology to provide continuous availability, streaming backup, uninterrupted migration, hybrid cloud and burst-to-cloud and data consistency across clusters any distance apart. The software features active …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016
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Data Platform refreshed

Cohesity Data Platform 3.0 delivers improved data centre performance for Cohesity's converged secondary storage offering, says the firm. Its Data Protect v3.0 extends data protection coverage from virtualised environment to physical servers. App-aware Windows backups and app-consistent backups for Microsoft SQL Server mean …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016
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Never-never chip tech Memristor shuffles closer to death row

Comment Martin Fink’s HPE Labs has been dangling the Memristor in front of us for years. With Fink retiring and HPE Labs losing its independence, becoming part of Antonio Neri’s Enterprise Group, inventing far out blue sky stuff will likely shift to devising technologies that can be realistically productised. The Memristor cannot. The …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016
Harry Potter

All right, pet? Getting owlish about Hedvig

Comment Trying to position Hedvig's software-defined storage in a market function way is next to impossible as the software is so flexible. And that could be a brilliant position for Hedvig to be in. The startup's distributed storage platform can provide storage for traditional workloads, new-style containerised workloads, hyper- …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016
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Hyperconverger Springpath pivots to OEM channel. Yes, we said pivots. What of it?

Hyperconverged software startup Springpath is on a Cisco express hurtling to assault the market and bring UCS server-based HyperFlex systems to prominence. Springpath CEO Terry Cunningham joined in May 2015, coming from running EVault, the cloud backup service unit of Seagate, which Seagate folded back into its own …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2016
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Three men and a container engine: Let's commoditise this baby

Backgrounder Portworx Enterprise hits general availability in July to provide containerised storage for containers. The software runs on commodity servers, captures and aggregates their storage into a virtual SAN providing scale-out block storage, then provides storage for containers, at container granularity, and with a global namespace. …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2016
backdoor_648. Pic via Shutterstock

NetApp loses Lee Caswell to VMware

NetApp's flash marketeer, Lee Caswell, has resigned and joined VMware. A NetApp statement said: “Lee Caswell has decided to leave NetApp. We are grateful for Lee’s contributions to NetApp and wish him success in his new ventures. As we continue our market momentum — including our recent leadership position in flash as …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2016