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.


EMC purchase of Graphite Systems was a wetware buy

EMC’s purchase of Graphite Systems was a wetware acquisition, a simple acquihire, according to sources close to the matter. EMC didn’t want the hardware or the software: it wanted the wetware – the people – because what they were developing was so similar to DSSD’s own technology of an ultra-fast, solid state storage array …
Chris Mellor, 01 Oct 2015

Straight from the horse's mouth: It's October 7 for Pure's IPO

Pure Storage has told us something quite interesting: "Pure Storage will be listing shares for our initial public offering at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, 7 October." One of the most eagerly awaited initial public offerings will take place on Wednesday next week with several companies anxious to see how well the …
Chris Mellor, 30 Sep 2015

Western Digital sells strangely limited 15 per cent stake to China

In a transaction said to be unconnected to the HGST-WD merger – still becalmed by Chinese watchdog MOFCOM – Western Digital is selling a 15 per cent stake to a subsidiary of China-based Unisplendour Corporation (Unis) for $3.8bn. Western Digital said: “Unis is a respected, publicly-traded Chinese company. It has been trading …
Chris Mellor, 30 Sep 2015

Tucci’s terrible dilemma: Unlock EMC value without destroying the Federation

Comment War could break out in EMC's investor ranks any day now as the standstill agreement between EMC's board and activist investor Elliott Management runs out this month. Elliott wants the federation structure or status changed so that hidden investor value inside EMC can be unlocked for investors' benefit. This means the potential …
Chris Mellor, 30 Sep 2015
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

Blood in the boardroom as Imation ejects from tape media business

Clinton Group execs in charge at struggling Imation have started restructuring the business to make it a tastier dish, discarding its tape media business, selling off property assets and starting a Nexsan array business restructuring exercise. Activist investors at the Clinton Group deposed Imation’s existing board chairman …
Chris Mellor, 29 Sep 2015

EMC/DSSD swallows Graphite Systems, begins technology digest

EMC’s DSSD unit bought a stealth-mode startup developing an ultra-high performance flash array in August this year. DSSD is developing a flash array connected to servers via a high-speed NVMe fabric interconnect operating at PCIe buys speed, and with the flash logically resident in the accessing servers’ memory address space …
Chris Mellor, 29 Sep 2015

Peaxy offers a vision of the future – and it’s a silo-melding data lake

Data management and storing startup Peaxy aims to provide a Big Data analytics tool that locates and gives you access to data where ever it is. Well, okay, that all seems a bit of a yawn. We’ve all experienced file virtualisation software, that moves files around storage locations leaving stubs behind. Did someone mention …
Chris Mellor, 29 Sep 2015

Red alert: Pure Storage IPO could maybe hit as early as next week

A well-informed storage industry source with close ties to startups suggests that Pure's IPO could happen as early as next week – yes, the one beginning Monday, October 5. We expected it to be delayed to mid-2016 to allow Pure to get better quarter-on-quarter growth numbers. But our insider said companies these days don't file …
Chris Mellor, 29 Sep 2015
Rings of a distant star

Where VSAN doesn't shine: Sources explain EMC's ScaleIO purpose

EMC introduced its scale-out ScaleIO Node virtual SAN a couple of weeks ago, with hybrid flash-disk and all-flash server chassises. It overlaps as a product with EMC-owned VMware's VSAN, and therefore EMC's EVO:RAIL implementation of that, and also competes with scale-out all-flash arrays. Discussions with sources have …
Chris Mellor, 29 Sep 2015

NetApp slims down latest controller, beefs up channel efforts

NetApp has announced a slimmed down top-end array, cutting the controller box size in half. It is a 6U-sized version of the AFF8080 EX, NetApp's most powerful AFF8000 system. The 8000 series product line previously started with the 3U AFF8020, passed through the 6U 8040 and 8060, and peaked with the 12U (2 enclosures) AFF8080 …
Chris Mellor, 28 Sep 2015

Diskicide – the death of disk

How might disk death in the data center come about? These are the notes used at a Tech Unplugged event in Amsterdam on September 24, and they present a scenario in which data center disks could stop spinning. Is it a sensible scenario? Read on. I try and connect the dots in the industry, the dots being the myriad individual …
Chris Mellor, 28 Sep 2015
Don Basile in 2013

Look out, Silicon Valley – Don Basile is back to kick ass and chew gum

Ex-Violin Memory CEO Don Basile has emerged as an investor in Cumulus Logic. It’s great to have one of the most colorful people in storage back on the scene. Cumulus Logic is building a cloud-based multi-tenant real-time analytics platform. It is a stealthy startup founded in 2014 by Iqlas Ottamalika, its CEO, who was a …
Chris Mellor, 25 Sep 2015

We want flying space cars and robo-butlers, and Pure Storage wants $450m in IPO cash

Flashy all-flash-array startup Pure Storage wants $450m in cash from its looming stock market debut. This would value the company at $3.1bn, giving its venture-capital backers a return of up to 6.6x on $470m in total funding. In an amended S1 filing with US financial watchdog the SEC, Pure Storage has priced its IPO shares …
Chris Mellor, 25 Sep 2015
Raising _Lazarus_from_the_dead

What's in the water coolers at Falconstor? Now it's being paired with Kaminario's K2 box

Kaminario, with its capacity-rising, price-dropping K2 3D TLC flash array, is evaluating using Falconstor-sourced migration software. Together with other deals, this looks like FalconStor-Lazarus is coming back to life. Version 5.5 of Kaminario’s K2 array, as well as adding Samsung 3D flash chips, also added native snapshot- …
Chris Mellor, 25 Sep 2015

Radian inflicts shingles on poor, unsuspecting Flash drives

Radian Memory, startup pusher of faster SSD software, claims its SSD-managing software can work with host-managed shingled disk drive software to make an SSD-SMR disk combination quite exciting. We'll see. Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) disk drives gave higher capacity than normal drives by overapping wide write tracks, …
Chris Mellor, 24 Sep 2015
Iris flowers

Will the Iris (Hatzenbichler-Durchschlag) flower at FalconStor?

Storage software supplier FalconStor has hired itself an EMEA marketing director to help get its FreeStor messages out there. Iris Hatzenbichler-Durchschlag comes from heading up DataCore's EMEA marketing organisation and contributed to developing DataCore from a startup to a leading software-defined storage company, with …
Chris Mellor, 24 Sep 2015

Thanks for the memory: XPoint put under the analyst microscope

Semiconductor market researcher Jim Handy of Objective Analysis has produced an 80-page report looking into what XPoint memory is, how it could be used and what its prospects are. XPoint memory was unveiled by Micron and Intel in July to general amazement. The pair claimed it was 1,000 times faster than NAND, ten times denser …
Chris Mellor, 23 Sep 2015
management regulation2

SimpliVity saddles up the lawyers, sues rival Springpath

Hyper-converged startup SimpliVity is suing hyper-converged startup Springpath for allegedly wrongfully using its patented technology. Both vendors supply hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) systems. SimpliVity sells packaged hardware and software, including an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) of its …
Chris Mellor, 23 Sep 2015

Policing the data hinterlands beyond the corporate firewall

Comment For Code42, the answer to the universe and everything is getting more interesting as it moves from protecting business users’ PCs and notebooks to providing data access security and monitoring tools. The US backup company has undergone recent C-level management changes, including making Joe Payne its CEO in July, and its focus …
Chris Mellor, 23 Sep 2015

SolidFire not a shiny object chaser

Comment The best situation for an all-flash array is to be built from commodity flash components and be at a WAN arms-length from servers; that’s SolidFire CEO Dave Wright’s view. SolidFire’s SF9605, SF4805, and SF2405 arrays run the Elements OS, now in its 8th major release. The systems have a clusterable, scale-out design, …
Chris Mellor, 23 Sep 2015

Backblaze beats Bezos: Backup biz boasts bettering AWS bit bucket

Backblaze, the disk reliability statistics-publishing cloud data-centre operator, says it has the world’s lowest-cost cloud storage, beating Amazon and others, with its B2 Cloud Storage offering. The company is known for its personal and business software that enables Windows and Mac users to back up their files to a Backblaze …
Chris Mellor, 22 Sep 2015

What the Zeus? Nexenta beats VSAN, Nutanix and SimpliVity

Comment IT biz Northern Backup has replaced Hitachi, Dell and HP SAN arrays with Nexenta storage, which it chose ahead of VMware VSA, Nutanix and SimpliVity alternatives because Nexenta storage was both cheaper and faster. Calgary-based Northern Backup was started up in 2004 and offers offsite back-up, managed hosting and support …
Chris Mellor, 22 Sep 2015

Samsung sneaks out its TRIM, SMART SSD model – using 3D Magic

A new, thinner and faster SSD from Samsung, using the M.2 form factor, is hitting the retail market next month. Sammy has taken its 850 PRO SSD with its 2.5-inch form factor and SATA interface and implemented the same 3D V-NAND 32-layer MLC flash in a smaller PCIe M.2 2280 form factor, and given it an NVMe driver. The result …
Chris Mellor, 22 Sep 2015
Unicorn. Detail from Domenico Zampieri fresco in Rome

Storage unicorn nonet graces list of $1bn+ tech startups

It’s got to be a bubble, don’t you think? How is it sustainable that we have 145 startups, each valued at over a billion dollars? Nine of them are storage startups, by the way. TechCrunch has compiled a table of 145 startup unicorns – companies valued at more than a billion dollars. Uber tops the list at $51bn, with total …
Chris Mellor, 22 Sep 2015

Huawei, whoa: New beau to grow Dorado dough

Huawei is using FalconStor's FreeStor software to enhance the appeal of its Dorado all-flash arrays in China. FalconStor, which is expanding its presence in the Middle Kingdom, is presenting at Huawei's Cloud Congress 2015, the largest IT conference in China. The two are also showing off Huawei's OceanStor Dorado2100 G2 and …
Chris Mellor, 22 Sep 2015

Parrish has vanished: NetApp chief marketeer leaves the parish

In comes a new chief technology officer; out goes a chief marketing officer: it looks like the Kurian effect is starting to show at NetApp. The storage biz's chief marketing bod Julie Parrish has left the company, just a short while before its big Las Vegas-based Insight event. In a statement, NetApp said: "Based on a mutual …
Chris Mellor, 21 Sep 2015

NetApp gets a new CTO – after saying it wouldn't get a new CTO

NetApp has recruited an ex-Symantec CTO to be its new CTO, replacing the retired Jay Kidd. Mark Bregman was CTO and an EVP at Symantec from July 2005 to August 2011, and held the same titles at Veritas from September 2004 to July 2005, being Veritas EVP Product Operations from February 2002 to September 2004. He was with IBM …
Chris Mellor, 21 Sep 2015

Are Seagate and NetApp in denial or in de hot seat?

Comment Seagate and NetApp are telling analysts that news of their doom is somewhat premature, if not downright rubbish. They are not going to be toast, but some startups are heading that way. The scuttlebutt says performance disk drives are being replaced by flash (SSDs) and NetApp is being killed by all-flash array and hybrid array …
Chris Mellor, 21 Sep 2015

Elephant-sized Infinidat array gets calf that starts small, grows BIG

Moshe Yanai's Infinidat high-end enterprise array is getting added file support, better disaster recovery and an entry-level system. The InfiniBox F2000 entry-level box is an 18U rack enclosure with 250TB of usable capacity with 3TB disk drives or 330TB with 4TB drives. The original and ongoing InfiniBox F6000 offers up to 2PB …
Chris Mellor, 21 Sep 2015
Crossbar array schematics

D-round VC ReRAM cash comes crashing down on Crossbar

Resistive RAM memory tech startup Crossbar has snagged $35m in D-round funding to push the commercial ramp of its non-volatile memory (NVM) technology. Hong Kong-based Tyche Partners, China-based Oriza Holdings and unknown and possibly Hong Kong-based VC Cheerful Link joined all of Crossbar’s existing investors in the round, …
Chris Mellor, 18 Sep 2015
Nimble Storage array

Nimble flashes the all-flash array as ‘intense’ consolidation period approaches

Comment Hybrid array supplier Nimble is going to introduce an all-flash array, joining other hybrid vendors in riding two horses at once, against a background of coming intense supplier consolidation in the storage industry. Nimble, Tegile and Tintri are the three main new-style hybrid disk/flash array vendors taking business away …
Chris Mellor, 18 Sep 2015

Man the lifeboats! Datos IO develops tech to recover next-gen DBMS

Datos IO is a new database recovery startup which claims it's reinventing recovery for next-generation databases. It's new, being co-founded in June 2014 by CEO Tarun Thakur – who has Data Domain, Veritas and IBM Research on his CV – and Dr Prasenjit Sarkar, previously a master inventor in IBM Research. Of the 23 employees, …
Chris Mellor, 18 Sep 2015
Grain silos

Storage silo unification from file sharer ownCloud

Interview We came across what seemed like just another file sync and sharer, and sighed. Yet checking ownCloud's product out showed there was a lot more to it than that, which made us curious. So we asked Markus Rex, its CEO and co-founder, some questions to find out more. His answers certainly filled in the background and scope of …
Chris Mellor, 17 Sep 2015

Mangstor gets a nice chunk of go-to-market B-round money

NVMe flash card and fabric flash array startup Mangstor has gained $10.2m in B-round funding to build out its market-facing infrastructure worldwide, and head towards a 2016 IPO. The company has MX6300 NVMe PCIe flash cards, using its own firmware/hardware controller technology, and NX6320 flash arrays using these cards and …
Chris Mellor, 17 Sep 2015

EMC releases yet ANOTHER rack-scale server SAN

EMC's ScaleIO Node is a super-scalable server SAN that presents EMC and its users with interesting product positioning decisions compared to EVO: SDDC (EVO: RACK that was), VxRack, VMAX, VNX, VSAN, and VSPEX Blue. Joe Tucci's company, which wants to reduce internal product competition, says its ScaleIO Node scale-out server …
Chris Mellor, 17 Sep 2015

Avere's SwiftStack S3 hack tack

Avere can fix object storage's slow access problem, and is using Amazon's S3 to have its FXT box speed up SwiftStack. Object storage is not renowned for high performance access, not being on a par with filers and SANs. Avere's traditional schtick is to speed up filer data access. IO is supercharged with multiple levels of …
Chris Mellor, 17 Sep 2015

Synology systematically soups up filer software

Synology has radically improved DSM, the operating system of its NAS (filer) products for smaller businesses and home users, boosting virtualisation, performance, protection, and package features, and even adding Apple Watch support. V6.0 gets 64-bit support, meaning enhanced performance. Future DiskStations and RackStations …
Chris Mellor, 17 Sep 2015

Nexenta catches micro-services bug, slings its Edge into containers

Nexenta is supporting containerised servers by having its NexentaEdge product nodes run as microservices along with application microservices on any scale-out Linux server cluster. NexentaEdge is scale-out block and object storage. Containers are a more efficient form of server virtualisation, having thinner "wrappers" than …
Chris Mellor, 16 Sep 2015
Free Robot Hugs by Ben Husmann

PernixData offers dollops of free software … you’ll upgrade later, ya will, ya will

PernixData, the distributed ESXi hypervisor cacher, has announced three new developments: FVP 3, a FVP free option, and a VM management tool called Architect to optimise storage IO. FVP 3.0 provides vSphere 6.0 support, an HTML5-based user interface, and adds Pernix Plus, anonymised data collection from customers’ systems to …
Chris Mellor, 16 Sep 2015
Fritz Pfleumer with his magnetic tape recorder

LTO issues mighty seventh-generation 15TB tape format

LTO, the world’s most popular tape format, has a 15TB generation-7 Ultrium specification available for drive and media manufacturers. Linear Tape Open (LTO) represents a trio of technology provider companies: HP, IBM and Quantum. It works with them and tape suppliers like Fujifilm to develop tape media and drive specifications …
Chris Mellor, 16 Sep 2015
Cloudian Samurai

Cloudian's Samurai S3-clad object storage warriors

Japan-based object storage startup Cloudian has marched into the scale-up and scale-out storage space in a big way with Samurai – its internal name for NFS/S3-accessed HyperStore software running on seriously chunky hardware building blocks. HyperStore is a distributed object storage technology, with an on-premises element as …
Chris Mellor, 15 Sep 2015

Workforce DECIMATION: QLogic fires up its pink slip printer

Prepare for pink slips. Following lousy results and the CEO leaving, server and storage biz QLogic has announced a restructuring program – with sacked bodies seemingly being the only feature. Available here, the brief SEC filing states: On 2 September, 2015, QLogic Corporation (the “Company”) approved a restructuring plan …
Chris Mellor, 15 Sep 2015

Hazelcast and C24 waste no time, emit Hypercast after conjoining

Hazelcast has birthed Hypercast, the combined solution that "resolves the compromise between balancing query speed or data capacity", after conjoining with C24 Technologies. Hazelcast is an in-memory software supplier using a grid of servers, while C24 provides integration objects for financial services messages usimg SWIFT, …
Chris Mellor, 15 Sep 2015
Toshiba MQ03ABB300

Is Toshiba mulling asset sales? HDD, TV businesses in the frame

Comment Toshiba is in trouble and could be about to exit the PC and disk drive businesses. The company is still suffering badly from a massive accounting scam, which overstated profits for seven years, and it has just reported a lousy quarter with losses of $91m. Masashi Muromachi became Toshiba’s new president (chief executive) in …
Chris Mellor, 14 Sep 2015

DSSD hires ex-Violin player as hardware engineering veep

EMC’s flash racking developer DSSD has hired an ex-Violin Memory guy to be its veep of hardware engineering, EMC has now confirmed to The Register. The all-flash array startup has now hired Kevin Rowett, who was SVP of engineering and an advisor to Violin Memory from the beginning of 2010 to October 2013. He joined DSSD this …
Chris Mellor, 14 Sep 2015
Bang by Guian Bolisay

Bucks bringer-inner Box beats street, brings home bacon, makes loss

Cloud storage provider Box easily beat its estimated revenue target for its second quarter, with double-digit growth over the year, and lifted its estimated full-year revenue number. Losses also deepened however, but at a lower annual rate of 33.6 per cent, and shares rose 2.66 per cent to $14.27 as investors patted CEO Aaron …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2015

Seagate layoffs SHOCKER: 1,000 heads to be laid under the axe

Disk drive maker Seagate has two per cent of its workforce destined for the exit door. It’s announced a restructuring plan which means 1,050 people are going to have a pink slip shock. Seagate expects to save $113m by doing this. It has seen two quarters of declining revenues and profits. While investors, who have seen …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2015
(c) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. TM Danjaq, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Atlantis: The DSSD, data centre disk killer rising from the deep

Interview Atlantis, the VM-accelerating DRAM cacher that’s moved into hyperconverged storage, has its eye on CrossPoint memory – the 3D XPoint stuff 1,000 times faster than NAND – as a way of cementing disk into a data centre coffin. It also aims to use it to pre-empt DSSD. CrossPoint memory was announced by Intel and Micron in July as …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2015

Panzura plants file system atop VMware's vCloud Air

VMware's vCloud Air now has a file system layered on top of it, courtesy of cloud storage and data protection specialist Panzura. This latest cloud service from VMware is an object storage in the cloud service using either parent EMC's ViPR with the ECS object storage product underneath, or Google's cloud. Panzura provides on …
Chris Mellor, 10 Sep 2015

Caringo has a Swarm of FileFlies to carry off old files

NetApp and Windows file server users can have old files bled off to Caringo’s object storage vaults with its Filefly for Swarm product. This is a “save money” pitch with old, low-access-rate files removed from expensive primary storage, and fed to a lower-cost commodity hardware-based system running the Caringo Swarm software …
Chris Mellor, 09 Sep 2015