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.

Lightning

HP gives StoreServ a speed boost with flashy cachey spit'n'polish

HP is beautifying hybrid flash/disk StoreServ (3Par) arrays by adding deduplication, flash cacheing and faster writes. Deduplication, branded Thin Deduplication, was added to its all-flash 7450 StoreServ array in June. Now it's been extended to all hybrid flash/disk StoreServ 7000 and 10000 arrays, helping get rid of duplicated …
Chris Mellor, 06 Nov 2014

PRE-SPLINTERED Symantec's Q2 revenue slips, net profit rises

Symantec has reported mixed second quarter results, with revenue down one per cent on the year, but net profit rising by the same amount. The company saw revenue of $1.62bn for its second fiscal 2015 quarter, compared with revenue of $1.64bn a year ago (a fall of one per cent), and $1.74bn in the previous quarter. Net profit of …
Chris Mellor, 06 Nov 2014
Openstack log

OpenStack's success depends on IBM and HP's tech queens

+Comment OpenStack is the IT industry, sans Amazon, Google and Microsoft, coming together to craft an open-source cloud OS alternative to ... wait for it ... Amazon, Google and Microsoft. It is because the terrible trio's public clouds threaten to eat the enterprise data centre – supplying the IT industry's lunch, and dinner, and tea and …
Chris Mellor, 06 Nov 2014
Newsys_Kinetic_enclosure

Nexenta snuggles up to Seagate's spinning models

Nexenta has joined the ranks of Seagate Kinetic drive supporters by extending its object storage software to support Seagate’s direct-access spinners. The Kinetic drives use object-style access commands such as Get and Put, and have individual IP addresses with Ethernet capabilities embedded in each drive. The idea is that …
Chris Mellor, 05 Nov 2014
ETERNUS_CD10000

Fujitsu waves 50PB+ MONSTER at hyperscale storage freaks

Fujitsu has got itself a 50PB-plus scale-out array for very big data, the CD10000. Properly named the ETERNUS CD10000 Hyperscale Storage System, the box uses Ceph, open source software that presents file, block and object storage from a distributed cluster of object storage nodes across which data is striped. Theoretically, Ceph …
Chris Mellor, 05 Nov 2014
The cheese sent into space on the inaugural Dragon flight. Credit: SpaceX/Chris Thompson

Fusion-io co-founder turns techie for Primary Data: Biz gets new boss

Famous Fusion-io co-founder David Flynn has stepped back from the CEO role at his latest startup Primary Data. He becomes CTO and reports, nominally – it's not like Lance can fire him – to incoming CEO and Grande Fromage Lance Smith. Smith and Flynn have history, as Smith was the former Fusion-io president and COO, becoming …
Chris Mellor, 04 Nov 2014
IMation_Q3fy2014

Scalable storage outfit Imation SLIDES BACK after recovery

Analysis Formidably troubled storage outfit Imation, the company dragged down by delayed exits from the tape and optical media markets, has recorded a third quarter loss 76 per cent worse than last year on revenues just nine per cent down on the year. The third 2014 quarter saw revenues of $175m, compared to $178.6m a quarter ago and $ …
Chris Mellor, 04 Nov 2014
Gordan Ugarkovic's view of Saturn

Cloud-tailored Swift, RING jobs... Give it a REST, Scality. Oh good

Object storage startup Scality has added OpenStack Swift and block storage access to its RING storage software through a REST interface. Swift, for the uninitiated, is OpenStack's object storage interface. "Scality is serious about OpenStack. We have realised that it's more than open-source software, it is an interoperable …
Chris Mellor, 04 Nov 2014
Dark Souls II knighty knight

Tech invaders: Upstarts attack storage kingpins from all sides

Analysis The storage heartland is under attack from six armies, and each one aims to wipe out some or all of the core networked file and block arrays that form the bulk of the installed storage array base. These invading forces are exploiting weaknesses in block and file arrays centred on data access latency; expense; limitations in …
Chris Mellor, 04 Nov 2014
ClusterStor 1500

Why Seagate spent $374m on Xyratex: It's part of a cloud system

Comment Seagate has recruited an EVP for its cloud business and shone a light on where that business is going. Former Cisco bod Sri Hosakote joins Jamie Lerner's Cloud Systems and Solutions (CSS) group as an EVP and reports to Lerner, who joined in February this year. Both men are ex-Cisco, so Lerner has recruited a known quantity. …
Chris Mellor, 03 Nov 2014
Kinetic Terascale

WHOMP, there it is: Seagate demos Kinetic disk drive

Seagate is demonstrating its Kinetic disk drive at the OpenStack summit in Paris, claiming to have broad support for its proprietary, single-source technology. Kinetic is a disk drive directly addressed over Ethernet using Get and Put-style object storage commands using an open source API. The idea is that applications can …
Chris Mellor, 03 Nov 2014
Tyrion

A Game of Storage Thrones: Enterprise IT, meet gripping drama

A Game Of Storage Thrones is a fantasy enterprise IT novel set in the fictional continents of NASblockOS and ServerSANland, with many kings fighting for overall power. NASblockOS is a loose federation of warring kings slowly coming together to fight the common enemy in the North, the wild cloud things beyond the massive, 700 …
Chris Mellor, 01 Nov 2014
Openstack log

PureStorage flies flash arrays into OpenStack clouds

All-flash array startup Pure Storage has joined OpenStack, the open source cloud data centre OS body. OpenStack is an IT supplier and user industry consortium building a cloud-style operating system to deliver Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) from a data centre using co-ordinated pools of compute, networking and storage …
Chris Mellor, 31 Oct 2014
Amazon_rain_forest

DDN sails into Amazon clouds, adds Wonderful S3 for WOS

DDN has embraced the public cloud enemy, so to speak, by adding an S3 interface to its WOS object storage array. By adding this Amazon interface, customers who use the S3 protocol to access storage can now access DDN’s WOS array. This S3 API works alongside existing protocols supported by WOS, such as IBM’s GPFS (Elastic …
Chris Mellor, 31 Oct 2014
Swallow

Struggling tape bods Quantum a few quids in after good quarter

One swallow doesn’t make a summer but two certainly does indicate warmer weather is on the way. So too for Quantum, which has just made a profit – the first one after four quarters of losses. Quantum, that perennially struggling tape, disk and file management vendor, has just reported a positive second fiscal 2015 quarter ending …
Chris Mellor, 30 Oct 2014
Intel and Micron's 20nm, 128Gb NAND chip

Keep up with the fast-moving world of flash array storage

An all-flash networked array can do wonders in speeding up data accesses by applications running in connected servers. It is obviously best if the all-flash array is seamlessly integrated with your existing networked storage infrastructure. Suppliers of new integrated flash arrays say that getting the best use out of flash …
Chris Mellor, 30 Oct 2014
Hawk hits drone

SkyHawk array swoops down, 136TB claws extended

All-flash array startup and packing density expert Skyera has got itself a new version of its skyHawk array, encompassing a threefold increase in capacity. The first generation skyHawk was a 1U rack enclosure with 44TB of usable flash capacity inside it. Gen 2 skyHawk FS has 136TB (raw) and also delivers increases in data …
Chris Mellor, 30 Oct 2014
Claw hammer

Catalogic data copy sprawl smacker CEO Walsh talks to the Vulture

Interview Joining Actifio and Delphix in the general data copy management space Catalogic has launched its ECX product which classifies and catalogs existing copies instead of creating a master copy. The idea is that you get a better idea of the copies you already have and can re-use good ones, delete unwanted ones and generally manage …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2014
Memblaze

Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?

Chinese flash product supplier Memblaze has launched an almost memory-speed server flash card with a 14 microsecond latency - and up to 4.8TB capacity - for the hyperscale market and open compute project applications, according to a company statement. This is a variant of its existing PBlaze3 card. Speeds and feeds: 750,000 …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2014
chart

Return of the disk drive bigness? Not for poor old, busted WD

Western Digital has reported mixed numbers for its latest quarter, with a small revenue rise and a larger profits drop compared with the numbers it reported a year ago. Seagate reported sparkling numbers yesterday in comparison. For its first fiscal 2015 quarter, ended 3 October, revenues of $3.9bn were up modestly year-on-year …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2014
Mars

Has NetApp solved the TLC for biz puzzle? We look at its MYSTERY SSD Mars sauce

Analysis NetApp is pinning FlashRay's future on TLC flash, which everyone else says is not fit for enterprise use. We talked to NetApp to find out how and why it's apparently got hold of secret TLC sauce that no one else has. Let's reiterate that TLC NAND is a crap enterprise storage technology. It stores 3 bits per cell instead of MLC's …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2014

Whoa, back up a little CommVault: ANOTHER weak quarter?

CommVault has reported a depressing set of results as sales headcount and mid-market product and pricing strategy faux pas cause a stumble – another stumble, in fact, as first quarter results were poor too. Second quarter revenues of $151.5m were up seven per cent year-on-year but down one per cent on the prior quarter, with …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2014

Samsung wants a bite of flash cache, will eat Proximal Data – sources

Samsung is buying Proximal Data, a flash caching software company, people close to the situation told The Register, although no formal announcement has been made. Proximal was founded in 2011 by CEO Rory Bolt, who was involved with Avamar and heavily involved in selling it to EMC for $165m. The company provides AutoCache, which …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2014

EMC wolfs down cloudy upstart Maginatics, swallows 'protection' too

EMC is buying cloud storage gateway software biz Maginatics, as predicted, but also plans to buy startup Spanning, which makes cloud-to-cloud data protection technology. Maginatics is heading for EMC's Core Technology Division and the background about its products and capabilities can be read here. Spanning is based in Austin, …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2014
Spock

EMC goes full Star Trek, flops out Vblock-based Federation SDDC Edition

EMC has birthed another converged system called the Federation SDDC Edition. Star Trek rules in the cloud, okay. This is based on Vblocks with public cloud links. SDDC stands for software-defined data centre. EMC is calling this its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud - we'll acronymise it to EHC - and so it is: think Vblock Plus. EMC says …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2014
UCP for VMware

HDS flings cloud-in-a-box at EMC Vblock, NetApp FlexPod

HDS has started competing with EMC Vblocks and NetApp Flexpods with an offering its own managed, on-premises cloud-in-a-box. It has converged its server, storage and networking products into a Vblock-like product - Hblocks anyone? - and is using it for a managed on-prem cloud service, at a stroke providing across-the-board EMC/ …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2014
Flash Gordon

Mind the product overlap gap, cloud ONTAP... make way for FlashRay – NetApp veep

Ty McConney is a NetApp corporate veep for flash solutions, handling its EF flash array, all-flash fabric-attached storage (FAS) and FlashRay. We sat down at a press meeting and grilled him about all-flash arrays (AFAs) from NetApp. NetApp does have some AFA product overlap but, in McConney's words, "we'd rather have products …
Chris Mellor, 28 Oct 2014
Whitewater

NetApp buys SteelStore from Riverbed

NetApp has extricated Riverbed from some nasty Whitewater rapids that threatened to drag it under and pummel it on the rocks below. The big blue staple rode to the rescue by buying its SteelStore product line for U$80 million in cash. SteelStore is Riverbed's re-branded Whitewater cloud storage backup appliance technology. It …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2014
Cloud ONTAP

NetApp offers ONTAP as a cloud for all seasons

NetApp has updated its ONTAP operating system release into what it calls a data fabric spanning private, hybrid, and public clouds, and includes a SW-only Cloud ONTAP edition running in public clouds. NetApp is also offering new services for hybrid clouds. There's an Enterprise Transformation Workshop for Cloud, an Efficiency …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2014
OpenStack: If it were only as easy as this picture makes it seem

OpenStack upstart SwiftStack slurps up $16m from backers

Interview OpenStack-using startup SwiftStack has got itself $16m in B-round funding, raising the total cash invested amount to $23.6m. Why should we care? CEO Joe Arnold kindly told us. As a recap the business was started up in 2011 and has had a funding injection once a year since then, commencing with a seed round of $1.5m in 2012, an A …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2014
server room

Recovery-ware upstart Zerto: From Hyper-V to VMware and back again

In a blow against hypervisor lock-in, Recovery-ware startup Zerto has extended its VMware hypervisor-based technology to embrace Hyper-V, providing cross-hypervisor replication from VMware to Hyper-V or vice versa. Virtual machines can now be continuously protected by Zerto's changed block-level replication to a second server or …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2014
seagate 1in 12gb hdd

Disk drive BIGNESS is back: Seagate revenues and shipments surge

Growth has returned to the disk drive business if Seagate's latest quarterly results are anything to go by. The raw numbers paint the picture perfectly. First quarter fiscal 2015 revenues were $3.8bn, nine per cent up on an annual compare and 15 per cent higher than the previous quarter. Seagate shipped 59.5 million drives, up …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2014
Scott Dietzen before (L) and after (R) shaving his head

Pure Storage developing converged systems

Comment Pure Storage is set to build converged server and storage systems "to compete with commodity server hardware", said CEO Scott Dietzen, as the highly funded startup enters the next phase of its development. In a blog Dietzen wrote: The opportunity for Pure will be more about shaping the next-generation of cloud and web-scale …
Chris Mellor, 27 Oct 2014

Activist investors force Riverbed into climbdown over cash 'n' costs

Comment Another one bites the dust as activist investor Elliott Management forces networking biz Riverbed into a strategic review of its options. Despite announcing good second and third quarter results with increasing revenues and profits, Riverbed has had to bow to activist investors' concerns about shareholder value by initiating a …
Chris Mellor, 24 Oct 2014
Killer whale

Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer

Comment One of the oddest cloud storage offers ever has just been binned as Bitcasa bumps into reality. When sprats are competing with killer whales what do you expect? Back in 2011, startup Bitcasa offered Infinite storage for consumers in Bitcasa’s remote data centre, aka the cloud, for $10/month. The business case for this appeared …
Chris Mellor, 24 Oct 2014
Transporter_Genesis_bezel

Dropbox-but-with-an-actual-box firm touts new biz appliances

Private cloud firm Connected Data has birthed a business-class, private cloud/file sync 'n' share product based on its consumer Transporter product's base. Transporter is a mini-cooling tower desktop lookalike housing a hard drive with internet connectivity. Peer-to-peer networks of Transporters can share and synchronise files …
Chris Mellor, 24 Oct 2014
Allan_Kay_and_Dynabook_prototype

Pssst. Want to buy a timeshare in the clouds?

Comment Three questions: is baby turning into a monster? Are we desktop/notebook/tablet/smartphone users becoming the near-as-dammit slaves of social media and retail monopolists? Are these monopolists destroying jobs and impoverishing people faster than networked smart device and software technologies are creating jobs and enriching …
Chris Mellor, 24 Oct 2014
Storiant software

Upstart brags about cheaper-than-Amazon private cold data cloud

Storiant is an object storage startup which claims its customers can use its technology to store petabyte-scale data in a private cloud at a price below public cloud storage. How does it pull this trick off? It has a customer, Markley Cloud Services in New England, which it says stores 11PB of cold data in a Storiant silo – as …
Chris Mellor, 23 Oct 2014
Joe Tucci EMC

Hey, Joe. Give EMC the gun and SHOOT IT DOWN - before someone else messes 'round town

Comment What should we do about the EMC Federation and the coming retirement of its founder and architect Joe Tucci? Activist investors want it dismantled to provide more value for shareholders. Nobody sees a replacement candidate for Joe Tucci; someone who could hold the ring while the three strong and capable CEOs that run EMC …
Chris Mellor, 23 Oct 2014
Fujitsu_CS200c

There's a lot more to backup than you thought

If backup is too often an afterthought, have you considered its even poorer relation, archive. You haven’t? What a surprise. The fact is, businesses and their infrastructure depend upon common services for general efficiency, management focus and cost control. All organisations do, and it would be a nightmare if they didn't. …
Chris Mellor, 23 Oct 2014
EMC_REvs_To_Q3fy2014

EMC profits flatline as VCE joins the storage-tastic federation

For its third quarter EMC reported good numbers but the news is overshadowed by the expected VCE announcement and the activist investor pressure on the Hopkinton firm. EMC recorded a satisfyingly chunky nine per cent uptick in consolidated quarterly revenues for its third 2014 quarter – a round $6bn compared to $5.5bn a year ago …
Chris Mellor, 22 Oct 2014

VMware, Cisco, EMC lovechild to live in Big Daddy EMC's house

As rumoured, VCE, the three-way love child of VMware, Cisco and EMC, is to be absorbed into the EMC Federation this quarter. VCE builds and sells converged Vblock systems based on VMware’s virtualisation software, Cisco servers and networking and EMC storage. It is a startup and was jointly funded (until now) by Cisco and EMC. …
Chris Mellor, 22 Oct 2014
Panzura Quicksilver cloud storage controller

Panzura's cloudy gear hits others' WAN optimisation kit for six

Cloudy firm Panzura's cloud storage gateway is saving distributed projects businesses enormous amounts of time when opening shared project files, it claims. So much so that Panzura is now focusing on the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) market niche. Panzura FS is a global single namespace file system with …
Chris Mellor, 22 Oct 2014
The full Spanglish breakfast: mealy pudding, bacon, black pudding, sausages, fried egg, toast

Reg man has the cure for IBM storage: Just swallow 10 firms

Comment When you are walking on the Moon, far from home and Earth's tethering gravity then giant steps are what you take. When a product set becomes low or no-growth, then its tethering product gravity effect is weakened and you need to take giant steps to rebuild it ... which brings us to IBM. Witness its results. IBM's old certainties …
Chris Mellor, 21 Oct 2014
Andrew Warfield, Coho Data CTO

Reg Vulture grills Xen hypervisor daddy on latest storage upstart

Interview Like other storage startups, Coho Data has had to swim upstream* against prevailing storage orthodoxy. Its CTO and co-founder, Andrew Warfield, was one of the original authors of the Xen hypervisor, and we recently took the opportunity to ask him some questions about the firm's technology, product positioning and progress. Some …
Chris Mellor, 21 Oct 2014

Will EMC swallow cloudy upstart? These analysts seem to think so

Any move by EMC to acquire Maginatics — and the latter’s software-only cloud storage gateway — would be a “very smart buy”, according to analyst Ben Woo at technical consultancy Neuralytics, following speculation the storage giant is closing in on the startup. “Software defined storage is not just about on-premise [developments …
Chris Mellor, 21 Oct 2014
Menage_a_TRois

Two-timing HP snubs Scality's RING, organises object threesome

It’s a laugh a minute in the object storage business. Not content with reselling Scality’s RING object storage software alongside its own StoreAll product, HP is now two-timing Scality by reselling Cleversafe’s object storage software as well. It’s best to be sure – to be sure. Once again it’s HP’s hyperscale server group making …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO

IBM's storage revenues are continuing to slump, with the latest overall IBM results causing the abandonment of a long-term earnings/share goal. IBM's overall revenues for its third 2014 quarter were $22.4bn, down six per cent year-on-year and down 8.2 per cent sequentially. Net income was $3.5bn; it was $4.1bn in the previous …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014

Violin: Don't weep for Tier 1 storage... it'll soon be flashtastic

Comment Flash will replace all enterprise tier 1 storage, and shared arrays will prevail over server-side SANs, while network latency remains a solvable computer science problem, argues Violin Memory CEO Kevin DeNuccio. The market and technology shocks waves of cloud, virtualisation and flash are coming Violin's way, with the all-flash …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014
FabricCache from QLogic

QLogic: Healthy fibre boosted our bottom line

QLogic has reported second quarter revenues of $127.5m, up 7 per cent on the previous quarter, and 13 per cent on the year-ago period. The server storage and Ethernet interconnect business also reported flat year-on-year profits of $11m, but up a whacking 83 per cent from the first quarter. Second quarter growth was attributed …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014