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.

Claw hammer

Seagate: We'll bring down the HAMR in 2017. But will we give you SHINGLES?

Seagate has been talking about coming disk tech and expects to have a HAMR product in 2017. We have better visibility into Seagate’s view of the ending of the current perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) era. The ending is delayed by narrowing the tracks so as to cram more of them on a platter. This is called two-dimensional …
Chris Mellor, 08 Dec 2014
Cyberman on steps of St. Paul's

Step by flashy step: Toshiba clambers up to next gen SSD

Toshiba has introduced SSDs using second-generation 19nm NAND tech to double the maximum capacity of one, and have a higher endurance rating on the other. The HK3R2 is the second generation of the HK3R product technology, using the same basic 19nm MLC NAND but with a newer production process enabling a capacity increase to 960GB …
Chris Mellor, 08 Dec 2014
Grumpy cat

EVO: RAIL – Is NetApp sleeping with a SAN killer?

Comment Innovation rules, OK! NetApp's unlikely pairing of VMware's server-side SAN VSAN product with its networked ONTAP array was unorthodox, with VSAN being seen as a physical SAN killer. What is NetApp up to with its ONTAP EVO: RAIL system? NetApp spokesperson Amelia Vierra provided the answers to a set of questions we asked. …
Chris Mellor, 08 Dec 2014
Oracle_ZS4_4

Oracle refreshes RAM-crammed ZFS array line

After updating its old Pillar Axiom array line with the hybrid FS1 array a few months ago, Oracle has refreshed its ZFS array line with a bigger, faster generation and a quasi in-memory design. Larry Ellison's company announced the third generation ZS3 appliances back in October last year. Fourteen months later, we have the …
Chris Mellor, 05 Dec 2014

Overland Storage becomes part of Sphere3D

Overland Storage is merging with Sphere 3D; two loss-making companies hoping to come good by coming together. Overland has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Sphere 3D, and Sphere 3D Corporation will trade on Nasdaq. Both boards approved the deal as did Overland's shareholders; 99 per cent of the shares were voted in …
Chris Mellor, 05 Dec 2014
Permabit Albireo SANBlox

Permabit: Wham, bam, box of data shrink SAN... for NetApp E-Series only

Permabit has made its SAN data shrink box available to NetApp users. But don't get your hopes up - it's for the E-Series arrays. The Albireo SANblox appliance sits in front of a Fibre Channel-connected SAN array and dedupes and compresses the data flowing into it and, we hope, rehydrates the data on the way out. Permabit said …
Chris Mellor, 04 Dec 2014
Tornado_funnel

Violin Memory hires ex-Egnyter to add heat to global channel sales

Flash storage biz Violin Memory is hoping to pump up its channel sales volume by recruiting an ex-Egnyte channel sales VP to replace a guy who went to HGST. Jeff Nollette joins from Egnyte, where he spent seven months as its VP for Channels, helping to build a channel for that company's file sync and share product. Before that …
Chris Mellor, 04 Dec 2014
Sonos Sub

Sonos rattles begging bowl, hopes for $130m cash stream

Sonos, the Wi-Fi speaker streaming firm, is looking to raise $130m from investors, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing doc doesn't say what the cash is for and Sonos isn't saying either. It's facing increased competition as Bose and other mainstream speaker suppliers jump on the Wi-Fi …
Chris Mellor, 04 Dec 2014
HDD_head_stack

Seagate adds FIFTY PER CENT more capacity to new NAS drive

Seagate has increased the capacity of its enterprise NAS drive, lengthened its warranty, and increased the NAS box slot count. The existing Enterprise NAS drive holds up to 4TB, has a three-year warranty and is suitable for 1-5 bay NAS enclosures. The nice new one holds up to 6TB, has a five-year warranty, and is suitable for 1- …
Chris Mellor, 04 Dec 2014

NetApp goes for a ride on VMware's EVO: RAILs

NetApp will offer VMWare's EVO: RAIL hyperconverged rigs but with its networked FAS arrays. NetApp says its offering will have three main components: VMware EVO: RAIL NetApp Clusetred Data ONTAP NetAppFAS arrays It's designed for enterprise remote and branch offices (ROBO), also SMBs, with limited IT staff and apps in VMware …
Chris Mellor, 04 Dec 2014
Tom Reilly Cloudera CEO

Why Intel's Kings of Xeon handed Cloudera a $740m cash pot

Analysis Why did the Kings of Xeon bet so big on Cloudera, lobbing $740m at it earlier this year and pushing any IPO well into the future? Cloudera, founded in 2008, and distributing Hadoop plus analytics software for big data munching, was a well-funded startup with a string of investment rounds up until 2013. When CEO Tom Reilly came …
Chris Mellor, 03 Dec 2014

Storage for BUILDERS: No, it's not a roomy cupboard, it's Nasuni's BIM file bash

Cloud storage gateway startup Nasuni has added global file locking tuned for Autodesk's building design software and a natty little desktop gateway box. V6.2 of its Nasuni Service software has had its global file locking software developed to support the work-sharing features in Revit, which is Autodesk's Building Information …
Chris Mellor, 03 Dec 2014
Dark mountain. Pic: Stian Rødven Eide

Dig into Iron Mountain and you'll find Seagate and EVault

Cloud-based backup, recovery and disaster recovery (DR) services are being offered from an Iron Mountain data dungeon using Seagate kit and EVault software. Seagate is helping Iron Mountain move into the digital storage business again. Autonomy, in pre-HP days, bought the rusty heap's cloud archive storage business in 2011 after …
Chris Mellor, 03 Dec 2014
SpectraLogic T-Finity library

TAPE LIVES... virtually: SpectraLogic and Veeam twin old and new tech

Backup data source Veeam and backup data target SpectraLogic are getting into bed together, and offering combined old school tape/new school virtual server backup software. The arrangement involves Veeam's Availability Suite and Spectra's T-Series tape libraries and its near-line storage nTier Verde disk arrays. Veeam's …
Chris Mellor, 02 Dec 2014
K2

All-flash upstart Kaminario trousers $53m, spills scale-up secrets

Kaminario has picked up $53m in an E-round of funding, taking total funding to $128m and signalling the startup's backers are convinced its low cost/GB and scale-up/scale-out architecture will give it the growth goodies. In comparison, fellow all-flash array startup Pure Storage is the funding champion with $450m and SolidFire …
Chris Mellor, 02 Dec 2014
Hightall

Hightail buddies up with Cleversafe

File sync 'n' sharer Hightail has hightailed it from DDN to object storage supplier Cleversafe after facing a dramatic cost hike. The company started out as YouSendIt in 2004, enabling users to bypass email restraints on sending large files. It then moved on in 2012 to being a file-sharing site for enterprises, competing against …
Chris Mellor, 01 Dec 2014
VMware VSAN Concept

Loved-up 'frictionless' EMC bods slide ScaleIO into VMware kernel

EMC is going to extend its ScaleIO serverSAN product to function as a VMware kernel module to speed it up, thereby "twinning" it with VSAN in terms of VMware and ESXi integration. There is a new spirit of co-opetition and even co-operation inside the EMC federation these days after its CEO, Joe Tucci, openly admitted there had …
Chris Mellor, 01 Dec 2014
CPU_DIMM_Flash

NAND designs: Vendors hustle to get flash closer to compute

Multi-socket, multi-core CPUS are demanding entities: they have a gargantuan appetite for data which they suck up through a CPU-memory channel from DRAM, the server's memory. This access happens in nanoseconds, billionths of a second. Getting data from places beyond memory, such as PCIe server flash cards, SSDs directly attached …
Chris Mellor, 01 Dec 2014
The HP 3PAR StorServ 7000 series arrays

What's that rumbling sound? It's HP preparing to deliver truckload of storage products

Attendees at HP’s Discover event in Barcelona this week are getting a bumper crop of StoreServ hardware and software announcements, expanding the HW range and adding object access and better data protection. They'll hear about: Enhanced 7200, 7400 and 7450 StoreServ arrays New 7440c array Expanded data import sources …
Chris Mellor, 01 Dec 2014
Hitachi Accelerated Flash detail

Looking for a tip-top high-end storage array (and who isn't?) Gartner names its favorite

Gartner's latest Critical Capabilities for General-Purpose, High-End Storage Arrays report says HDS wipes the board with its VSP array while Fujitsu shines bright for OLTP. The report ranks a dozen high-end storage arrays against a variety of use cases and then provides an overall ranking. HDS, which is the leading vendor in the …
Chris Mellor, 28 Nov 2014
dropbox privacy security eye

Dropbox sees rival file-piles merely as dots in rearview mirror

A biz-research report says that cloudy pile-o-files Dropbox is currently walking away with the enterprise sync 'n' share market. The report (451 subscription required) shows a chart depicting Dropbox' dominance. The 451 organisation surveyed 1,000 users and found Dropbox led with circa 44 per cent, followed by Microsoft's …
Chris Mellor, 28 Nov 2014
IMFT 25nm Flash die

All-flash storage or will you settle for hybrid? How to decide

Remember thrashing? Back in the early days of server virtual memory systems, the amount of RAM was so limited that the operating system spent most of its time paging for data on its disks, leaving little or no time for processing applications. It happened because there was a gross mismatch between the number of applications, …
Chris Mellor, 28 Nov 2014
Lee_Westwood_bunker

HP's converged storage 'growth engine' stalls

HP's newer, converged storage offerings are selling less well than they did a year ago. In the storage golf tournament, HP has hit bogeys instead of a birdy for the latest hole. The company divides its storage into the traditional EVA, MSA, etc and newer converged storage, such as the StorServe 3PAR products. It provides revenue …
Chris Mellor, 27 Nov 2014
Suppliers_and_Silos

The SILO SPRAWL: So just how much virtualising software lipstick does it need?

Comment The more hybrid and heterogeneous data storage silos we have, the more we need single management focus. We're in an age of storage silo bloat; the darn things are multiplying, and we need a single pane of glass through which we provision, access, and manage disparate storage silos independent of storage type, access protocols …
Chris Mellor, 27 Nov 2014
GRAEF USA Rack

Do you spend ages wasting time because of a bulging rack?

Comment Behold GRAEF-USA's mostly empty rack; latency sucks, and getting files from the cloud generally means multiple round trip delays if large files are needed in remote offices and shared by project teams. But Panzura says it has cloud storage gateway tech that solves this problem and cites GRAEF-USA and a 2-site, $250K saving as …
Chris Mellor, 27 Nov 2014
DataCore CEO George Teixeira and chairman Ziya Aral

DataCore lifts baton, strikes up the 64th SANsymphony

Comment DataCore has updated its SANsymphony and Virtual SAN software products to reach 100 million IOPS and 64PB capacity. It's also getting into bed with Azure. SANsymphony builds a SAN from a cluster of servers, aggregating each server's storage into a central virtual pool. The company has built its product on virtual SAN …
Chris Mellor, 27 Nov 2014

Fat upstart Nimble embiggens revenues by 77% in ONE quarter

Nimble Storage is providing an object lesson in how to grow a startup after IPO, posting a 77 per cent jump in quarterly revenues – with revenue growth outstripping the loss increase rate. The firm saw revenues of $59.1m in its third fiscal 2015 quarter, compared to $33.4m a year ago and $53.8m three months ago. The net loss was …
Chris Mellor, 26 Nov 2014
SanDisk_PCIe-SSA_detail

SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016

Intel is well behind the curve with its 10TB flash drive, slated for 2016, claims a SanDisk enterprise storage bigwig, adding that the flash memory storage provider will have a 16TB drive by then. Brian Cox, SanDisk’s senior director in marketing for enterprise storage, said the company's 4TB drive technology would develop at a …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2014

C'mon, Brocade: QLogic's left the Fibre Channel game. Flat revenues again?

Analysis Brocade is a member of the flat revenue Earth society, with its mix of annual and quarterly Fibre Channel and Ethernet revenues hardly changing between last year and this year. Brocade’s fourth fiscal 2014 quarter revenues of $564m were up by one per cent year-on-year, up from $559m a year ago, and also up three per cent …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2014
Violin array flash cards

Don't fret: Flash array fiddler Violin sees revenue rise, losses dip

Violin has recorded rising revenues and lessening losses for its third quarter as the new CEO gets the flash array company barking louder in the data centre flash array dogfight. Violin_Q3fy2015_800 Kevin DeNuccio took hold of the CEO reins at Violin in February and the company has just reported results for its third fiscal …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2014
VNX-F with 120-slot DAE

EMC upgrading all-flash VNX with bigger SSD and drive box

Comment EMC's VNX-F range of all-flash VNX arrays will soon scale up to 172TB of usable capacity, with a less than $5/GB cost, using a new drive enclosure and higher-capacity drives. A data sheet (pdf) on EMC's website talks about the new SSDs and drive enclosure. These are block storage arrays, accessed by 1/10GbitE iSCSI, FCoE or …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2014
Kinetic Terascale

Belgian upstart to 'bridge gap' between object, block storage. Or that’s the plan at least

Interview Belgian startup incubator Cloudfounders is working to have a pool of Seagate Kinetic drives provide block storage for virtual machines, as traditional object storage can't cope? Er, what gives? What gives indeed with this Cloudfounders Open vStorage project. We asked Wim Provost, the product manager for Open vStorage, to answer …
Chris Mellor, 24 Nov 2014
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

HDS, HP leapfrog NetApp in the land of the MAGIC QUADRANT

The gnomic Gartnerites have promoted HDS and HP over NetApp in their 2014 general purpose array magic quadrant, with an explanation of the concept given here. NetApp, with its FAS8000, was second to EMC's VMAX in the year-ago MQ, but Gartner has leapfrogged HDS' VSP G10000 past it in the updated MQ, with HP's StoreServ 10000 …
Chris Mellor, 24 Nov 2014

Glasgow boffins: We can now do it, Captain. We DO have the molecular storage power

If the number of electrons on flash storage is getting too few for reliability then use molecules for bit storage instead, and that's exactly what Glasgow uni boffins have gone and done it. Smarty-pants at the university Schools of Chemistry and Engineering, working with Rovira i Virgili University, Spain, have created clusters …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2014
SolidFire_rack

SolidFire pipes Nitrogen OS 7 into all-flash hardware

SolidFire’s seventh-generation OS for its all-flash arrays introduces incremental improvements in multi-tenancy and data protection. The company introduced new entry-level and mid-range array products last month, and this is the software filling, so to speak, in the hardware sandwich. Element OS 7, dubbed Nitrogen, features: …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2014
IMTF flash

Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery

IMTF, Intel Micron Flash Technologies, a partnership between Intel and Micron, has a 3D MLC NAND technology, which will be used to build 10TB SSDs in two years. With 3D flash a die is made up from layers of ordinary or 2D planar cells stacked (as it were) one above the other. The news came in a webcast for Intel investors …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2014
HP cloud

HP, Symantec PAIR UP to fight off disaster cloud rivals

HP and Symantec are partnering to develop a cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offering using Symantec software and HP's Helion cloud. This DRaaS software will run on HP's Helion OpenStack-based cloud environment with HP providing the end-to-end service based on underlying disaster recovery facilities, …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2014
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

Gartner mages: And the Enterprise Archiving Magic Quadrant top spot goes to...

There's a new magic quadrant out. Gartner has awarded top position in enterprise archiving to – wait for it – HP, with Symantec second. Next up are three firms few have heard and at sixth spot is CommVault, rounding out the leaders' box. Why? The gnomes at Gartner say: "Enterprise information archiving offers IT managers in …
Chris Mellor, 20 Nov 2014

Pure: We've created the Everlasting Gobstopper of Storage – 'Forever Flash'

In recent months, as ever, we've seen a lot of "refreshments" on the storage scene. Violin Memory has refreshed its hardware and software. SolidFire and EMC XtremIO have refreshed their software. NetApp has introduced FlashRay, and Tegile and Skyera have introduced new all-flash arrays. And Pure Storage? It seems it has …
Chris Mellor, 20 Nov 2014
Primary_Data_GUI

Data-center upstart grabs Wozniak, jumps into virtual storage fight

A fresh startup called Primary Data reckons it will reinvent "file virtualization" for software-defined data centers – and thus take on EMC's ViPR and Quantum's StorNext. Primary Data, cofounded by David Flynn, made the boast as Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak announced he has left Fusion-io to join Flynn at Primary Data as chief …
Chris Mellor, 19 Nov 2014

Seagate connects Hadoop and Lustre in an open sourcery ceremony

Seagate has written a Hadoop connector for Lustre, meaning Hadoop-using systems can now fetch data from a Lustre parallel file system array, as part of a small contribution by the US data storage company to an open source world. The Hadoop on Linux Connector (HoLC) means that data stored on a Lustre system doesn’t need copying …
Chris Mellor, 19 Nov 2014
Maxta Index Logo

All-singing-all-dancing hyperconverged Maxta gets Cisco's blessing

Maxta has announced the launch of its MxSP, the first Cisco-certified hyper-converged system to run on UCS C-Series servers and support metro-distance clusters. But how can a storage software company supply a hyperconverged server/storage/networking/software system when all it does is create the storage software component? …
Chris Mellor, 19 Nov 2014
MSA 1040

It'll all end in tiers: HP tosses small biz another 3PAR-flavored bone

HP is adding some 3PAR-class storage services to its MSA entry-level arrays: automated data tiering, virtualisation and thin provisioning, and more, all via a firmware update. This continues a steady upgrading of MSA functionality. The MSA 2040 model is getting: Archive tiering that shunts cold data from fast SAS drives to …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
Love

EMC CEO Joe Tucci tries to win hearts and minds from VC backers

Analysis EMC is going to ask its shareholders whom they support: CEO Joe Tucci or hedge fund exec Paul Singer? At a Wells Fargo investment conference last week, Tucci outlined his thinking about EMC’s recent history, its future and an appeal to shareholders. Paul Singer’s Elliott Management is the activist investor trying to persuade …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
ClusterStor 1500

Seagate and SGI buddy up to flog HPC bigness to big business

Seagate has signed up SGI to resell its ClusterStor supercomputing and big data arrays. SGI will now resell the ClusterStor 1500, 6000, and 9000 products and the Secure Data Appliance (SDA) with its Kerberos network authentication protocol to enable symmetric-key cryptography. SGI competitor Cray OEMs ClusterStor arrays in its …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
An Olympic-sized swimming pool

SAN gang at Nimble jump in Fibre Channel pool, but how big will the splash be?

Becoming a little nimbler in the SAN market, Nimble Storage is adding Fibre Channel support to its CS-series hybrid flash/disk arrays. Up until now these products have supported block data access over iSCSI only. Adding Fibre Channel will, the company believes, triple its addressable market. The product range was refreshed in …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
Xeon E7 die

HPC bods boogie to 68 new Top500 hits at New Orleans show

SC14 The SC14 supercomputer show at New Orleans saw Intel getting its Xeon, Phi and Lustre hooks into many suppliers, IBM pushing its POWER credentials and ARM punching in there too. There was nothing dramatic, exascale computing not yet having been reached, but a lot of incremental improvements. The November 2014 Top500 list has 68 …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
ETERNUS_CD10000

Multi-petabyte open sorcery: Spell-binding storage

Mixing petabytes of data and open-source storage used to be the realm of cash-strapped academic boffins who didn’t mind mucking in with software wizardry. The need to analyse millions, billions even, of records of business events stored as unstructured information in multi-petabyte class arrays makes ordinary storage seem like …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014
Fight sticker

EMC daddy Tucci: YES, there has been too much internal 'friction'

EMC uber-CEO Joe Tucci has admitted that it has been a mistake to allow too much competition inside the federation, which must be music to activist shareholders' ears. The admission came at the Wells Fargo Tech, Media and Telecom Conference in New York last week. Wells Fargo EMC Tucci was asked: "Can you... talk about how you …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2014
USGI UV 2000

HPC bod SGI racks UV brains, reaches 30 MEEELLION IOPS

How does 30 million IOPS from a 32-socket server grab you? We've learnt SGI has taken its UV 300H server, used in its "UV for SAP HANA" product, and boosted its performance with 64 Intel DC P3700 SSDs, which use the NVMe interface. The team working on this includes SGI's acquired Starboard Storage engineers. Starboard was …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2014