Chris Mellor

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
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.

Try-before-you-buy software. Back in vogue for the storage giants?

Comment Nexenta, Nutanix and Unitrends are all giving away software. Why? And EMC has just open-sourced its ViPR controller, while Coraid’s AoE technology is also being made open source. Free storage software seems to be in the air. Nexenta Nexenta’s NexentaStor 5 Community Preview will be introduced at the Citrix Synergy conference …
Chris Mellor, 13 May 2015

There's little spending on Big Data, object storage and OpenStack

A DataCore survey has shown little spending on sexy storage products in the Big Data, public cloud, object storage, and OpenStack areas, arguing software-defined storage (SDS) gives a faster payback. DataCore asked 477 IT professionals currently using or evaluating software-defined storage technology about their 2015 spending …
Chris Mellor, 13 May 2015
Douanier_rousseau_hungry_lion_art

CTERA's cloudy gateway gets sync 'n' share bolted on

Life in the cloud storage gateway jungle gets tougher and tougher as cloud file sync 'n' sharers invade the storage gateway space. CTERA is taking on the file sync'ers directly. It's combined its cloud storage gateway with file sync 'n' share for business users in central, branch and remote offices, covering access from desktops …
Chris Mellor, 12 May 2015

Gartner: Dell nowhere to be seen as storage SSD sales go flat

Well, here's another nail in the coffin for traditional storage arrays; Gartner claims array SSD sales were up just one per cent year-on-year, while server flash sales grew 51 per cent. EMC leads the AFA players, while Cisco and Dell are nowhere. Total enterprise SSD revenue is 2014 was $5.77bn, up 30 per cent year-on-year. …
Chris Mellor, 11 May 2015
Wall of Spam. Pic: freezelight

Delphix hires anti-PR bloke Silicon Valley Watcher as head of PR

Gearing up for an IPO, copy data virtualiser startup Delphix has hired veteran blogger Tom Foremski as its communications editor, a CFO and corporate comms head. Delphix categorises its software as providing data-as-a-service (DaaS) and it makes production data available to test and dev', as well as other purposes without the …
Chris Mellor, 11 May 2015
Phoenix

Druva Phoenix is heading ROBO-wards via the public cloud

Comment It's not the end after all. End-point backup 'n' sharing biz Druva believes it can extend its end-point expertise to remote offices. Its business is end-point backup and file-sharing, protecting data on business users' laptops, tablets, desktops and smart-phones with the InSync software product designed to minimise resource use …
Chris Mellor, 11 May 2015
See_saw

Who's the fat kid on the storage see-saw? We think it's All-Flash

Analysis We're in a kind of phoney war right now as all-flash arrays, hybrid arrays and hyper-conveged arrays fight for mind-and wallet-share. The storage world is in stasis whilst customers work out what to do with the onslaught of SAN/filer alternatives coming their way. What are the suppliers doing to cover the various ways customers …
Chris Mellor, 08 May 2015
Ocean yacht

Dot Hill sails along with the glass indicating profit set fair

Dot Hill is getting the trade winds behind its sails. The OEM disk array supplier continued its comeback with another quarter showing annual revenue and profits growth as new OEM customers like Teradata and Quantum took its arrays to market. The company reported $61.1 million revenues for its first 2015 quarter, 27 per cent …
Chris Mellor, 08 May 2015
PS6610

Drama in the dingly Dell as it embiggens its data centre range

Dell has dug a deeper bottom level for its SC Compellent arrays and piled up a new peak for its PS series EqualLogic arrays, expanding and enhancing both product ranges while still having an overall convergence strategy. SCv2000 SCv2000 In your mental landscape, place Dell SC (Compellent) arrays as the enterprise multi- …
Chris Mellor, 08 May 2015
Buffalo_bills_Riders

How NVMe tamed the cowboy world of the flash card

It all started with flash devices upsetting the cosy disk world. Flash was faster than disk at responding to IO requests, if not at streaming data, and the easiest way to put flash drives, solid state drives, into servers and storage arrays was to use disk drive bays and interfaces such as SAS and SATA. This was practical but …
Chris Mellor, 08 May 2015
Ziggurat

MAID to order: Inside Facebook's cold-storage data ziggurats

Analysis Facebook is storing old photos in special cold storage halls, Zucky ziggurats housing racks filled with MAID (massive arrays of idle drives) using erasure coding and anti-bitrot scanning to increase storage density and lower power costs while providing faster-than-tape access. Some two billion photos are shared every day on …
Chris Mellor, 07 May 2015

Teradata tumbles off Wall Street pedestal, buys back paper

Big data and data warehouse shop Teradata has fallen from Wall Street grace with a Q1 revenue and profits miss. First quarter 2015 revenues of $582 million were 7.3 per cent down on the year-ago quarter's $628 million. The $22 million net income was 63 per cent less than the $59 million recorded a year ago. In the prior quarter …
Chris Mellor, 07 May 2015
Barracuda

Barracuda: It's like the IKEA of backup and security

Comment Barracuda, the backup, file copy and security supplier, has a laser-like focus on the mid-market and aims to offer Walmart pricing with Nordstrom quality and features (that's IKEA pricing with Heal's quality for UK readers). It's not a bleeding edge company, aiming instead to move into a market when best-of-breed products have …
Chris Mellor, 07 May 2015

Cash-happy Quantum is poised to enter the HPC market

Quantum's confirmed fourth quarter and full fiscal 2015 results were better than the prelim numbers, with full year net income the highest in more than five years, and it's aiming to move into high-performance computing storage. Q4 revenues were $147.8m (the preliminary figure was $145m) with net income of $12.9m (prelim: $12m …
Chris Mellor, 07 May 2015
Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

CommVault struggles to get the wheels back on its growth engine

A hard rain's a-gonna continue to fall as CommVault's uphill struggle shows a fourth fiscal 2015 quarter revenues fall. The US sales mix-up is being corrected and the appliance business is growing, but just when they're not wanted foreign currency problems pop-up. Fourth quarter FY2015 revenues were $150.7 million, 4 per cent …
Chris Mellor, 07 May 2015
U-boat

Dive! Dive! Dive! Imation submarine barrels down toward rocky seabed

The good ship Imation is like a World War Two submarine facing attack, with the captain yelling out "Dive! Dive! Dive!" - because diving is what all its revenues are doing. First quarter 2015 revenues were $155.4 million, 13 per cent down on the year-ago's $178.9 million, and a staggering 21 per cent down on the preceding …
Chris Mellor, 06 May 2015
Photo of HP Enterprise office

Merging HP and EMC – hold on, wait, hear us out. The cap is still on the bottle of crazy pills

Comment Does an EMC-HP merger make more sense now than last year when the two titans' inability to agree on a price put a stop to the idea? HP could join the EMC Federation as a servers-and-networking business, and stand alongside EMC II (EMC Information Infrastructure, aka storage), VMware (virtual server software), and Pivotal (big- …
Chris Mellor, 05 May 2015
Copperhead

EMC to open-source ViPR - and lots of other stuff apparently

Surprise, surprise; snake-charmer EMC is open-sourcing its ViPR Controller product. ViPR is software storage controller tech that separates the control and data planes of operation, enabling different data services to be layered onto a set of storage hardware products - such as EMC's own arrays, Vblocks, selected third-party …
Chris Mellor, 05 May 2015
Atlantis_butch_bezel

Atlantis kicks its flashy upstart brethren right in the price tag

Atlantis has a software-defined, butch-bezelled, all-flash hyper-converged appliance radically cheaper than EVO:RAIL, Nutanix and SimpliVity alternatives, even the hybrid flash-disk ones. Its turnkey HyperScale product is a development of its ILIO VDI and USX VMware VM-accelerating products, which use RAM caching to speed data …
Chris Mellor, 05 May 2015
Trex skull

EMC touts X-brick's hit house: 320TB all-flash cluster and XtremIO v4

EMC World 2015 EMC has doubled the capacity of its XtremIO all-flash array X-bricks – and increased the cluster count taking it up into higher-performing application areas. X-brick raw capacity doubles from 20TB to 40TB while the cluster node limit rises from six to eight, meaning there are 16 N-way active controllers. The previous maximum raw …
Chris Mellor, 04 May 2015
SAP HANA

Pure Storage flashes SAP credentials for HANA platform

Pure Storage is flashing its SAP Credentials in the enterprise with news it’s certified for HANA, the in-memory database for SAPpers. Formally, Pure’s FlashArray 400 Series is certified by SAP as storage for its HANA platform, meaning HANA offers database, transaction, query and analytics processing in-memory, with no need to …
Chris Mellor, 01 May 2015
FAme_the_Musical

If flash storage achieves FaME, will it live forever?

Data access latency has topped the IT sin charts lately and networked flash arrays have been replacing disk drives, doing away with those drives’ rotational delays. Anything that keeps applications in multi-core virtualised servers running, and not waiting for data while somebody accessing a web commerce page gets impatient and …
Chris Mellor, 01 May 2015
NetApp_AFA_FAS8080_SPC_1

NetApp's all-flash FAS array is easily in the top, er, six SPC-1 machines

NetApp has published an all-flash FAS8080 EX SPC-1 benchmark report [PDF]: 685,281 IOPS, $2.68/IOPS, and 1.23-millisecond response at 100 per cent load. This is the fifth-fastest SPC-1 result in our files in IOPS terms. NetApp_AFA_FAS8080_SPC_1 Top SPC-1 performance (IOPS) results with NetApp's FAS8080 EX in the fifth slot ( …
Chris Mellor, 30 Apr 2015
Xeon E7 die

HDS turns its back to ASICs: Storage vaults to rely on x86 sans magic

With its greatly expanded VSP G-line of products, Hitachi Data Systems has opened a path to a single converged enterprise storage array platform – and has done so by eliminating proprietary hardware dependencies. The high-end VSP G1000 has a handful of ASICs for hardware acceleration and a PCIe backplane with similar custom …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015
Umbrellas

Oh, hey, look – it's the hardware storing all your medical records

Hitachi has whipped out a data-center outage tool, a health data storage product, and an analytics center of excellence – and put them under a social innovation umbrella. What gives? Hitachi and HDS is turning itself into a kind of amalgam of GE (General Electric) and EMC. The three new products are: Hitachi Live Insight for IT …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015

Zoom in on HDS' Hyper Scale-out Platform kit

The Hitachi Hyper Scale-Out Platform – announced on Tuesday – is a single system for ingesting, accessing and analyzing big data-type information. Its architecture differs from typical Hadoop systems in that it avoids NameNode resource contention. The hardware in the 2U rack-enclosure HSP 400 node is this: Two Intel Xeon E5- …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015

NetApp CTO Jay Kidd resigns and retires from the industry

NetApp CTO Jay Kidd has decided to finish his corporate career and is retiring. Kidd said in a yet-to-go-live blog that "NetApp is a company that has world-class innovation, great people, impeccable ethics, and a culture that suits my personality and values exceptionally well". He wanted to complete his corporate career there …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015
UNicorn

Infinidat decloaks, bulging with a BILLION greenbacks

Symmetrix inventor and serial startup whiz Moshe Yanai has another startup exiting stealth; Inifinidat, which has a funding round and high-enough VC valuation for it to be a unicorn. Infinidata was started up in 2010 by ex-XIV vets with Yanai as a board member and, we’d guess, angel investor. It is kind of re-inventing XIV, both …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015

Tax shouldn't be taxing – unless you're Barracuda Networks

Barracuda Networks reported a satisfyingly chunky revenue rise for its final 2015 quarter and full year, ended February 28, but losses dove unexpectedly deep due to taxation manipulations. Revenues for the fourth fiscal 2015 quarter were US$72.2m, up 19.7 per cent on the year-ago's $60.3m, and 2.6 per cent higher sequentially. …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015

How do you sell fewer hard drives but make more profit? Let's ask ... Western Digital

Western Digital's third quarter of fiscal 2015, ended April 3, raked in sales of US$3.55bn – that's 4.1 per cent down on the year-ago quarter, and 8.7 per cent less than the previous quarter. It banked a profit of US$384m; that figure was US$375m a year ago, so that's a 2.4 per cent gain. WD recorded a profit of US$460m in the …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015

How do you really know if a storage array will perform for you?

When you have an existing storage array infrastructure with a variety of server apps about to hit the array, how do you know if array technology upgrades or even a new array will work as well or better than the existing kit? Do you trust your vendor and generalised performance data: It does 450,000 IOPS? This version is 1.3 …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2015
wheat_harvest_648

HDS conference product splurge sees it lining up for data harvest

With a cornucopia of announcements, HDS is extending its VSP high-end technology down range, as well as introducing new UCP models, a Hyper Scale-Out Platform and infrastructure management software tools. This full house of news was announced during the HDS Connect conference at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas, with an ITaaS meme: …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2015
Panic button

Imation board and CEO get desperate ahead of May 20 AGM

Fearing the worst – that they might get booted off the board in a proxy vote war – Imation's CEO and board have written a second letter to shareholders, appealing for their support in a vote at the company's AGM on May 20. They criticised the Clinton Group and its ideas strongly, declaring: Clinton is seeking to remove three of …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2015
schoolchildren_kids_victorian_cropped

HDS gets busy, finds itself in the VSP family way

We've learnt that HDS' high-end VSP G1000 storage array is sprouting siblings, with G200, G400, G600 and G800 products popping up under the high-end G1000 in the line up. The G1000 high-end system was announced 11 months ago, in May 2014. Now we have four more members which could be seen to be affecting the entry-level US 100 …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2015
SanDisk_updated_PCIe_flash_range_video

SanDisk goes nuclear with its Fusion flash card range

SanDisk has announced third-generation ioDrive PCIe and mezzanine flash cards, claiming up to a fourfold price performance improvement, with up to a 61 per cent list price reduction over the previous generation Fusion ioDrive 2/Atomic product. Fusion-io and its ioMemory technology was bought by SanDisk for $1.1bn in June last …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft is BEATING Amazon's cloud revenues. Er, how?

Microsoft's cloud revenues are beating those of Amazon's AWS. That's if analyst-haus Stifel Nicolaus's data is correct. Back in 2012's third quarter Microsoft commercial cloud revenue was $254m, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) ahead at $530m. In the first quarter of 2015 AWS revenues totaled $1.566bn, with Microsoft nudging ahead …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2015
Monty Python foot UHDTV

Wikibon takes Fusion-io founder's FaME to logical conclusion

The Wikibon consultancy has taken an idea put forward by Fusion-io founder David Flynn and formulated a flash-as-memory-extension concept (FaME). The concept involves getting rid of external IO for IO-bound applications by running them and their data entirely in logical memory. Instead of having data stored on disk, which is …
Chris Mellor, 27 Apr 2015

Hadoop ODP: No thanks says MapR, and Cloudera isn't impressed either

Hadoop disty MapR has kicked the Open Data Platform into touch, saying it only benefits competitor Hortonworks and provides a way for Pivotal to get out of a hole. The ODP was set up in February, with the aim of Linux-ising Hadoop with a tested reference core for the software. Cloudera, one of the three leading Hadoop …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
Violins

Violin playing marketing Love songs with new CMO

All-flash array maker Violin has finally got over chief marketeer Eric Herzog's abrupt departure on the eve of a massive product announcement, and has appointed a new CMO, Amy Love. According to her LinkedIn entry, she comes to Violin via BizEthos, with a spell at NetApp prior to that, joining in May 2011. At NetApp she was VP …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
POwered_Wheelchair

Revenue jumps, but FalconStor still wobbly on its feet

The sickly software-defined storage child that was FalconStor is not yet a strapping adolescent, but is at least on the way back to full health. First quarter 2015 revenues were a startlingly high $19.9 million, coming from a quarterly revenue band of $12-$15 million over the previous eight quarters. The year-ago quarter’s …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
disk head crash

Disk drive shipment numbers set to spin down

Disk drive shipments have a negative CAGR, and will fall by 3.7 per cent between 2013 and 2020, said spindle motor maker Nidec. Within that, traditional enterprise drive shipments will decrease by 17.6 per cent, PC drives will drop 8.1 per cent, consumer electronics drives by 6.9 per cent and external drives by 0.4 per cent, but …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2015
Mountain. Pic: Henry Hemming

EMC dives into Iron Mountain's cloudy backup lair

Backup, replication and DR services are being offered to EMC customers by backup bods Iron Mountain, thanks to it hosting Data Domain and Avamar replication targets in its data centres. Iron Mountain is a tape and paper archival storage service based in an old iron mine in Livingston, New York, used for growing mushrooms when …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
NCI_Report

NetApp’s Raijin deal was driven by simple value for money

Comment NetApp is supplying Data ONTAP storage for use on an Aussie supercomputer (Raijin), which already uses DDN storage, and we wondered about the whys and wherefores of adding three new hardware platforms and two new operating systems. ”The DDN storage in Raijin is used for fast scratch space, and our global data file system (gdata …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
True humility - the Curate's egg

EMC's curate's egg sees revenues waiting for new product take-offs

EMC’s first quarter results were like the curate's egg; good in parts, but hit by currency problems, job cuts and unsatisfactory core storage revenues in others. First-quarter 2015 revenues were up 2 per cent to $5.6bn, compared to $5.5bn a year ago, with EMC II (the core storage biz) revenues disappointing. The top-line number …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
Aster_fraud_Detection_Sphere

Teradata's Aster shows how the flowers of fraud bloom

Comment Teradata’s Aster Data software is a lens through which data scientists can create visualisations of Big Data. Sounds dull, right? Not when you see the beautiful flowery images it creates. The images are simply astounding and you can drill down through them, clicking on points and paths, to get at the underlying raw data. Here’s …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015

ExaGrid giving rivals plenty of jaw-jaw

Harken to this, deduping back-up-to-disk system users: "ExaGrid’s largest system can take in a full backup that is 40 per cent larger and has an ingest rate that is six times faster than the EMC Data Domain 990, at half the price." That's ExaGrid CEO (and virtual chief marketing officer) Bill Andrews talking, and he's got a …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2015
WD floods 1

Teradata bulks up its universe, joins data warehouse to data lake

Teradata is widening the use of its data warehouse and analytics by orchestrating access to more data silos and logically combining them, joining data lakes to data warehouses, so to speak. Teradata_Unified_Data_Architecture This is all part of Teradata's Unified Data Architecture push Teradata is the leading data warehouse …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2015
Playground_slide

Whee! IBM storage hardware revenues just keep sliding and sliding

IBM's storage hardware revenue decline has continued, according to its 2015 first quarter results. IBM's earnings statement said: "Revenues from System Storage decreased eight per cent (down two per cent, adjusting for currency)." Remember, this is just the storage hardware business, ignoring storage software products, and if …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2015
UK_Met_Office

Seagate rides on Cray's tails as supercomputer sales spike

Seagate supercomputer storage sales are rising, as Cray has won four supercomputer deals where the Sonexion 2000 storage is actually OEM'd ClusterStor arrays from Seagate's acquired Xyratex business. Seagate's overall business results may be lacking some lustre, but the Lustre-using ClusterStor side of its business is shining …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2015
Two dollars

Netlist gets derisory $2 award following Diablo IP theft trial kerfuffle

Despite Netlist showing that Diablo had a vulgar joke internally at Netlist's expense, it has lost its IP theft jury trial against Diablo and now seems to be in a bit of a mess. The background to this flash-on-DIMM-socket brouhaha is here and we can now add a little more to it. First of all, Netlist did win something: an award …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2015