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.

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
Team_NetApp_Endura

NetApp cyclists part from storage firm... go to Bora Bora

NetApp's sponsorship of the European Endura professional cycle racing team is no longer, er, on tap. The team formerly known as Team NetApp Endura will rebrand after gaining a new sponsor in the form of Germany's BORA, which makes cooker surfaces and cooker extractors. Team NetApp Endura was formed for the 2013 season, …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2014
Cray Sonexion

Cray heaves out even mightier, Lustre-ous Sonexion 2000

Cray has updated its scale-out, parallel access, Lustre-using Sonexion array with what it calls the "2000" product - providing 50 per cent more capacity and performance than the previous 1600 product in the same footprint. The 2000 delivers in excess of 45GB/sec bandwidth to a Linux cluster using Cray Cluster Connect, and has …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2014

ANOTHER red-ink-spattered quarter for Overland Storage

Comment Data manager Overland is still making losses (bigger ones more recently) with profitability like a mirage forever receding into the distance, despite having acquired Tandberg Data as a way of cutting its operating expenses and expanding its markets. Revenues for its 2015 first fiscal quarter were $22.9m, double the $10.6m …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2014
Beer taps

NetApp to put Amazon’s cloud ONTAP for thirsty customers

NetApp is continuing its strategy of trying to get ONTAP more integrated with Amazon's storage cloud by having it manage data in Cumulo Amazonius, and back up data to said cloud with the recently acquired SteelStore product. Cloud ONTAP is the latest ONTAP iteration, and is a software-only storage appliance built on the NetApp …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2014
SpectraLogic TeraPack

Tape vendor sueball match over: SpectraLogic and Overland down rackets

Tape Library vendor SpectraLogic has announced that it has beaten off a patent lawsuit from Overland Storage. Overland had claimed Spectra was infringing its IP. Instead the US Patent Office has ruled the IP had been present in an earlier IBM tape library. The firm said the patent in question is U.S. Patent No. 6,328,766, which …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2014
SF9010 5-node

All-flash fight looms as SolidFire nabs former Bocada CEO

All-flash array startup SolidFire has recruited Nancy Hurley as product marketing veep, giving it a triumvirate of marketing execs, as competition with the industry's big boys looks set to intensify. Hurley was former CEO at Bocada, a data protection level reporting company, which she left in June 2013, after she and the board …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2014
Fraud image

Don't like droopy results, NetApp? Develop server-side SAN

+Comment NetApp's second-quarter revenue number have confirmed its recent overall decline, with the storage and data management company trying to recover from several recent quarters of revenue falls. NetApp_Revenues_To_Q3fy2015 NetApp revenues to Q2 full year 2015 with polynomial trend line showing decline A curve showing a long …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2014
Quantum_StorNext_Foundation_Pro

PRAISE the $DEITY! Quantum preaches the joys of StorNext for religious video folk

Who would have thought that house-of-worship video-makers would be a worthwhile market for the storage industry? It is for Quantum's low-end version of its virtualised file management StorNext product. Praise the Lord!* Church video workgroups using Apple's Xsan filesystem now have the Promised Land of moving images in reach, …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2014
Independence Day

Structural storage industry changes green light Cisco

Structural changes in IT and storage technology are green lighting opportunities for Cisco as it has no legacy storage products holding it back and server-led storage opportunities are growing and growing. William Blair analyst Jason Ader has issued a note called "Day of Reckoning for IT Infrastructure Is Near" which talks of " …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2014
ULLtraDIMM_front_and_back

Ex-IBM x86 server chap joins flash-in-the-DRAM upstart

+Comment IBM x86 server veteran Alex Yost has joined Diablo Technologies as president and will manage the product lines and marketing. Yost spent 18 years at IBM, rising to be its VP for Strategy and Alliances for the x86/Pure Systems product lines, before Lenovo bought the x86 server business. According to his new firm, he was …
Chris Mellor, 12 Nov 2014
EXtreme_Pro

FLASH better than DISK for archiving, say academics. Are they stark, raving mad?

Comment An academic paper claims flash could be better than disk for archiving. So just how did this unlikely result come about? The SSRC* paper, An Economic Perspective of Disk vs. Flash Media in Archival Storage, was published earlier this year, at the 22nd IEEE International Symposium on Modelling, Analysis, and Simulation of …
Chris Mellor, 12 Nov 2014
Humpty_Dumpty

Through the Looking Glass: Vulture pecks at software-defined storage

Comment Trying to pin down a definition of software-defined storage (SDS) is like using a dictionary written by Humpty Dumpty, where words change their meaning from day to day. Every storage marketing person on the planet thinks SDS is a good thing and their storage product exemplifies its benefits and minimises its disadvantages. So we …
Chris Mellor, 11 Nov 2014
SOURCE:  http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1412135

Kryder's law craps out: Race to UBER-CHEAP STORAGE is OVER

Analysis Kryder's Law says disk storage will keep on getting cheaper. Yet it is increasingly looking like it won't, which has baleful implications for cloud storage and archiving. Like Moore's Law, Kryder's Law is (a) not a law, merely a wonderfully apt observation for a prolonged but not eternal period of time, and (b) borne of an …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2014
Tintri_T800

Tintri takes on hybrid storage startup rivals with VM-eating array

Hybrid storage upstart Tintri has just brought out fifth-generation hybrid arrays that support 75 per cent more virtual machines and come in a three-box line-up covering a wider range of needs than the two-box T600 model roster. There are three main players in hybrid storage startup game at present: Tintri, Nimble Storage and …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2014
The launch explosion, captured in a Sea Launch video

Wipro uses Nexenta to blast its way out of the hardware prison

Comment India-based systems integration biz WiPro is using Nexenta storage in preference to Dell, EMC, IBM and NetApp, as a key to break hardware lock-in. Is Nexenta crossing the chasm from SMB land to become an enterprise storage software supplier? Wipro is using NexentaStor software as the basis for a cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2014
cloud

Avere: Cloud storage needs caching too. Why? Because latency...

Comment Avere has a software-only cloud storage gateway that runs in Amazon's compute cloud (ECC) and feeds its compute instances faster with data from storage clouds or on-premises storage arrays. At first glance, this seems decidedly odd. Why would you need a cloud storage gateway, a thing that relies on data caching locally to avoid …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2014
Tegile_all_flash_array

Array with you: Hybrid upstart Tegile kicks out new flashers

Tegile has continued encroaching into all-flash array territory with two new products, and is attacking Pure Storage's FA-450 product directly in its market positioning. The T3600 and T3700 models fit above and below the existing T3400, with all three below the T3800. Overall the T3000s function as performance-focused …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2014
Tesla_roadster_900

High-end SAN clan Dot Hill outshone by software biz Veeam

Software-shipping upstart Veeam had results that seemingly far outshone those of old-school hardware OEM supplier Dot Hill. Dot Hill, which supplies disk arrays to its OEM customers, continued its tortoise-like crawl towards growth and profitability with another quarter exhibiting slow progress. Its third fiscal 2014 quarter …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2014

Down in the Dell, Compellent and EqualLogic are stirring

Dell is punching out new products like a featherweight fighter determined to defeat opponents with speed and agility, as well as hitting power. It's added new systems to both its Compellent and EqualLogic arrays within its Dell Storage line and announced an XC converged server/storage system. An all-flash configuration of the …
Chris Mellor, 06 Nov 2014
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