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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.

Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN

Three Bulgarian engineers who co-founded a firm called StorPool – which builds a virtual SAN using the aggregated storage of Linux KVM servers – are aiming to expand the reach of their three-year-old project. Boyan Ivanov, CEO, Boyan Krosnov, chief product officer, and Yanko Yankulov, the chief tech officer, started the firm in …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jul 2014
Ocean yacht

Batten down the hatch- ... oh. Quantum's actually close to growth

It’s Quantum quarterly results time. The temptation is to immediately think same old, same old, but is its drawn-out recovery finally becoming visible? The top-line numbers don’t show it. First quarter fiscal 2015 revenues were $128.1m, almost $20m down on the year-ago quarter and a smidge up, just $100,000, on the previous …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jul 2014

EMC revenues are up. But, hey Joe, I heard you shot your profits down...

EMC sold a record $5.9bn of products and services in its second 2014 quarter, representing a stately five per cent year-on-year increase in sales - and a $400m boost over the first quarter of this year. EMC’s second quarter revenues are generally higher than its first quarter. Net income was $589m, 16 per cent down on profits a …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2014
IMFT 25nm Flash die

Hey Intel – that new Pro 2500 SSD looks awfully familiar

Intel has announced a Pro 2500 notebook SSD that appears to differ from the previous Pro 1500 by just three comparatively trivial specifications. The Pro 1500, released in Spetember last year, has a capacity range of 80GB to 480GB, while the Pro 2500’s range is, er, 120GB - 480GB... The Pro 1500 has a 41,000 random read IOPS …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2014
Dance Central

Tall, dark, but no stranger: Quantum polishes its DXi range

Quantum has refreshed its dedupe box operating system and run up a fresh and faster hardware box. The DXi range before this announcement consisted of the V-Series software-only product and four hardware and software products: V-Series: 1 - 24TB of usable capacity and up to 4.9TB/hour 4700: 5 - 135TB and up to 5.9TB/hour 6700 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2014
Fandango

The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware

A storage array access revolution is coming, says VMware as it releases its VVOL Virtual Volumes. These allow storage arrays to do a virtualised server's bidding and have storage pools and operations carried out in VMware virtual machine-centric ways. VMware has announced its beta programme for a forthcoming release of VMware …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
ARA_LIbertad

EMC boss Tucci’s last battle: Stopping a forced VMware selloff

With Joe Tucci, EMC head honcho, set to retire on February next year, the very last thing he wanted was an attack by one of the biggest, baddest activist investors of all: Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. Elliott has communicated to EMC that it has a $1bn investment in its shares and would like VMware spun off so that EMC …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
WD_Red_6TB_label

THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

In a move that will get well-heeled Drobo owners salivating WD has announced a 6TB Red drive costing just $299, setting the industry a new high water mark in the areal density stakes. This is a 5-platter drive, with 1.2TB/platter areal density, intended for NAS use, and coming in both 5TB and 6TB versions. It spins, we …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
The guts of a Unitrends hardware appliance

Dell and Unitrends both bulk up their backup

There’s feverish development in the SME backup market as Dell and Unitrends follow NAKIVO in fortifying their product offerings. Dell has added stuff to its SME AppAssure backup products with a new SW version and a new appliance, the DL1000. It’s also added the DR2000v to its deduplicating backup appliance range. The latest …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2014
IBM quarterly storage revenues

Clouds gathering above Big Blue's storage empire

The Big Blue IT colossus' storage revenues have carried on declining, with only FlashSystems showing growth, and stellar growth at that. Within the Systems and Technology segment of IBM's second quarter 2014 results, revenues from System Storage decreased 12 per cent - although flash storage grew more than 100 per cent. This is …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2014
NAKIVO

Nakivo: Yet another VMware server backup biz going bananas

Thirty-month-old startup Nakivo has erupted into view as an alternative to Veeam for VMware server backup, claiming more than 3,000 customers and a triple-digit growth rate. Nakivo Backup & Replication provides VMware server backup and replication to the SMB market with disaster recovery and business continuity features. It has …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014

Hybrid array startup Tegile plucks CMO from Violin

Hybrid array startup Tegile has hired a chief marketeer from the ranks of Violin Memory. Tegile is one of the three leading hybrid array suppliers, alongside Nimble Storage and Tintri. Narayan Venkat comes from a VP Product management and marketing role at Violin, which welcomed Eric Herzog in March this year. Herzog had moved …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014

Red Hat drops Calamari into pan: Now we're cooking with gas

Carmine headgear-sporting open-sourcer Red Hat has made a refreshed version of its Ceph Enterprise product available, adding the ability for it to manage high-access rate hot data and across the data lifecycle to cold archival data. Ceph is an open source distributed object storage system which Red Hat added to its armoury by …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014

Out of Luczo, Seagate? Revenues and profits are shrinking again

Seagate chairman and CEO Steve Luczo is watching his company's revenues and profits shrink for the second year in a row – Seagate’s immense disk business business is spinning more slowly these days. For its fourth fiscal quarter, ended 27 June, revenues were $3.3bn, 3.7 per cent down on last year’s Q4 and 3 per cent down on the …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014
LTFS EE

IBM's GPFS marries LTFS: You may now kiss the enterprise

IBM's General Parallel File System (GPFS) will soon “see” files on tape cartridges through an enterprise edition of LTFS, Big Blue's Linear Tape File System. LTFS comprises a self-describing tape format, with metadata on the material at a known location defining the tape’s file contents. LTFS supports LTO5, LTO6 or TS1140 tape, …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2014
Nasuni filer performance

Cloud porch pooch Nasuni: Hardware is so yesterday, man

Nasuni, the agnostic cloud storage gateway enterprise storage-as-a-service provider, has revved up its software to v6.0 and added go-faster upgrades to its hardware. The product line is called The Nasuni Service and v6.0 features: Cloud-based global file locking Secure mobile access via Desktop Sync Expanded protocol access: …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2014
Flash_Writing_on_the_wall

Wham, bam, thank you NAND: SanDisk SSD sales soar

SanDisk sales are booming, based on its NAND foundry integration and well-executed move into enterprise storage. Record second quarter revenue of $1.63bn was 11 per cent up year-on-year. Net income was £274m, 4.6 per cent more than a year ago – with revenues growing faster than profits. SanDisk supplies consumer and business …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2014
The Lengberg compared with a 1950's longline bra. Pic: University of Innsbruck

Violin offers pay-as-you-GROW pricing on its Flashing WFA blades

The recovering one-time all-flash array market leader Violin Memory has announced a pay-as-you-grow pricing model and four extra Windows Flash Array (WFA) configs. Violin’s WFA is a 6000-series product running Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 on its two blade servers, which connects to an SQL Server 2014 box and provides fast …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Seagate_NAS_Pro

Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd

Small Office Home Office (that's SOHO to you) and SME NAS supplier Seagate, which also makes hard disk drives and SSDs, has launched a pair of ARM-based and Atom-based desktop 2- to 6-slot filers with a set of minor productivity apps and remote access. The Seagate NAS line is for use by up to 25 employees, has from two to four …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Google Lenoir datacentre with Oracle tape libraries

FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage

The analytical wonks at Wikibon have deduced that a combination of flash and tape is better than tape alone or disk and tape for storing archival data. The argument is based on tape being not only cheaper than disk, but actually faster than disk for streaming large files. It also relies on the cost of flash approaching that of …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Seagate_EVauilt

Seagate finally digests EVault – 8 years after swallowing

The EVault website has suddenly sprung a Seagate surprise on us, announcing “EVault is now part of Seagate” and it is “working under the Seagate brand.” What gives? The pop-up window says “Seagate will make a more formal announcement about this exciting development in September.” Seagate_EVault EVault website pop-up EVault’s …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
NPS_EQuinix

It was always Azure thing: NetApp floats boxen into Microsoft's cloud

NetApp is setting up a speedy connection to Microsoft’s Azure cloud so its arrays can have an Azure backend for scaling up capacity, archiving, DR and enabling workload moves. NetApp Private Storage (NPS) for Azure relies on a NetApp box in a managed services type data centre or colo centre like those Equinix operates. A …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Ejection_seat

Donahue grabs Atlantis double crown: Takes CEO and pres titles

Atlantis Computing, the ILIO VDI and USX VMware acceleration software company, has replaced its CEO. Jason Donahue will be taking over from Bernard Harguindeguy. Donahue becomes CEO and president and joins the board. Chetan Venkatesh, the chief technology officer and founder of Atlantis, said: “Jason Donahue is someone who …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2014
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

Virty server bones thrown: Gartner mages see Microsoft rising

Gartner’s server virtualisation magic quadrant shows virtualisation juggernaut VMware sitting at the top of the pack for the fifth year running, with Citrix down in the niche player dumps along with Red Hat. There are just two suppliers in the leader’s quadrant: VMware and Microsoft. Oracle is the only challenger and that by a …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2014
Three_Musketeers

Hybrid upstart Tintri: Legacy vendors? We're eating their lunch

Hybrid flash/disk array startup Tintri claims its business is growing and eating into the sales of traditional array vendors. Tintri’s VMstore provides storage resources for VMware virtual machines (VMs) without the sysadmin needing to know about LUNs and other traditional storage array abstractions. The arrays are VM-centric in …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2014
Swift video

What do we want? Swift storage policies! OpenStack: Yeah, fine

Thanks to new storage policy support, OpenStack's Swift v2.0 can now create storage containers with specific policies controlling their operation. OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing system: it includes compute, storage, and networking layers. Swift is the object storage component, with Cinder being the block storage …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2014
management cloud7

IBM shoots Elastic Storage into SoftLayer cloud

IBM is making its parallel access Elastic Storage available as a service on Big Blue's SoftLayer cloud. Elastic Storage is the rebranded GPFS (background here) and IBM says the Elastic Storage on Cloud (ECS) service provides: SoftLayer bare metal resources High performance data management InfiniBand link to and between …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2014
MQ_file_sync_large

Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...

As if it needed another boost to its marketing efforts, EMC’s Syncplicity can be seen on the right-hand side of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant enterprise file sync and share box with Syncplicity, a timely marketing boost coming on Amazon's entry into the market with its Zocalo service. Gartner MQ for enterprise file sync Click …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2014
Volcano erupting

Two years in the making: Sneak peek at VMware's future VVOL tech

VMware says its virtual volume storage technology – which has spent two years in development – is set to erupt onto the storage array landscape next year, causing profound changes for array controllers. Virtual volumes or VVOLs provide storage for VMware virtual machines (VMs) that currently need LUN (Logical Unit Number) or …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2014
Zocalo video

Amazon Zocalo rocks Box, socks DropBox, clocks Google Docs

Amazon has revealed Zocalo, its sync-and-share and managed storage for enterprise. This spells bad news for Box and Dropbox, and perhaps even Google Docs. Zocalo, we're told, features: A secure tool to share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, webpages, images, PDFs, and text files. Encryption of data in flight and at rest …
WAves

It's a boxless, super-flash, hyper-converged world: But what'll we do for BULK STORAGE?

Bulk secondary and tertiary data is going to the cloud. Not right now and not for everybody but the local ownership, operation and management of secondary data storage is costly and complicated and – slowly but surely – the cloud storage services are getting cheap enough and reliable enough to take over. CIOs will likely …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2014
StorSimple_8000

Who's that new kid making hybrid SAN kit? Yes, it's MICROSOFT

Microsoft's StorSimple is getting more Azurified with an 8000 series and tighter Azure integration and we can now report more about the two arrays. These 8100 and 8600 rackmount boxes are 2U and 4U high respectively and accessed using iSCSI over 10 and 1GbitE. They have inline deduplication, compression and thin provisioning. …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2014

Backers stump up 'Amazon' $20m to fund Avere's cloud ascension

Go-faster filer front-end box startup Avere wants to be a cloud storage gateway as well and has landed $20m in fourth rounding funding to grow its sales, marketing and international ops. The public cloud back-ending of storage arrays is becoming more prominent, with NetApp extending its ONTAP software to control data access for …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2014
Redefine

EMC gives up the goods at storage shindig: VMAX3 speeds, feeds

EMC's been keeping quiet on the whole "how fast can this baby go" front when it comes to the VMAX3 range. But the storage vendor used its megalaunch – with its "Redefine Possible" tagline and futuristic look – to break its silence. So what's under the hood? EMC has extended VMAX to run more and different workloads. Each of “Gen …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2014
Tegile Zebi chassis

Tegile boots Dell array out of chemical biz. Dell responds: Tegile, who?

Hybrid array maker Tegile has kicked a Dell box out of chemical distributor Hawkins, the storage upstart claims, by replacing a Compellent array with one of its own systems. Tegile says this indicates the power of modern hybrid flash-disk arrays over traditional SANs. Tegile has also replaced a slow FlexPod system at another …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jul 2014
Isilon 3-node S200

EMC's new Isilon models are great little performers – but why no capacity increase?

EMC's Isilon has introduced two new go-faster products and a refresh release of its OneFS operating system, increasing performance and extending access protocol support – but not increasing capacity. The new models from the scale-out filer business offer a twofold performance increase, and there are two of them. In the high- …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2014
ECX

Catalogic swaps CEO for buyout veteran

Syncsort data protection spin-off Catalogic Software has changed its CEO less than 10 months after appointing Flavio Santoni as its first CEO. What lies behind this? Syncsort spun-off its data protection business in October, leaving behind a data integration business focussed on Hadoop and big data, and saying that was now its …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2014
C10K1800

HGST's tiny whopper: Just 2.5 inches, but we've packed in 1.8TB

HGST has gone and increased its 1.2TB Ultrastar drive’s capacity to 1.8TB, making it the highest capacity 2.5-inch drive available. The Ultrastar C10K1800 spins at 10,520rpm and has a 12Gbit/s SAS interface (the C10K1200 model had a slower 6Gbit/s one). HGST says the new drive writes random data 2.5 times quicker than the old …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2014
CA Technologies logo

Software giant CA Technologies dumps arcserve biz

CA Technologies has sold its arcserve data protection business to Marlin Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum. This is meant to enable CA to focus on its core technologies and get back to growth with software-as-a-service products. The arcserve product is possibly being discontinued because it will cost too much to develop, …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jul 2014
XtremIO array and 4 X-Brick nodes

EMC huffs, gives XtremIO a polish, shows off shiny data services

EMC's XtremIO all-flash array will benefit from new data services and models as the company spools up to take on Pure Storage, IBM and other flash array competitors. There is a new 5TB Starter X-Brick, lowering starter costs, and X-Brick clusters can scale out to six nodes with 12 active controllers. The Starter X-Brick can …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2014
VMAX3

EMC gobbles cloud upstart TwinStrata

EMC is buying startup TwinStrata and its cloud storage gateway technology, CloudArray. And the storage giant intends to provide public cloud access as an embedded data service for VMAX3 users. EMC's Information Infrastructure division – its core storage biz – has also announced new products for its flash, high-end enterprise …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2014
NIMBOXX intro video

A Google-style hyper-scale data centre... but WITHOUT the Google

Another startup has emerged on the hyperconverged system block: Austin-based NIMBOXX, which claims its customers can increase IO performance by up to 500 per cent. All and any companies can enjoy a Google-style hyper-scale data centre now, it claims. NIMBOXX_box NIMBOXX box The box, which it dubs “the atomic unit of the …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2014
Wayne Lam

Let the SAN shine: Cirrus Data Solutions plugs speedy solution

A startup founded in 2010 reckons it can speed up SAN data access tenfold using its in-fabric Data Caching Server appliance. Cirrus Data Solutions (CDS) is based in Jericho, NY, and its CEO is Wayne Lam, who co-founded FalconStor. The founding funding amount was $480,000. Paul Bjorndahl, VP of sales and marketing at CDS, said …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2014

IDC busts out new converged systems charts, crowns Oracle as Platform King

IDC's numerical navel-gazers have delved into integrated systems and found out that Oracle's engineered systems are crapping all over everybody else and FlexPod is winning out over VCE. The IDC quants separate out Integrated platforms, like Oracle's engineered systems, from Integrated infrastructures, like VCE's Vblocks. Here's …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2014
WD TV bix

WD adds Miracast support to feed-slinging tellybox gizmo

WD has updated its “sling your media to the TV” box and brought out the WD TV Personal Edition, adding Miracast support. It's a media player that, according to the bumf, "plays virtually any media file stored on USB and network storage devices or any computer on the home network." It supports file formats like MKV, MP4, AVI, …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jul 2014
A person measuring her waistline

Kiss my DRaaS: Actifio reckons its virty gear will shrink your storage

Actifio is using its copy data virtualisation technology to provide application recovery and test environment creation in a data centre or up in the cloud, and management at VM-level instead of storage LUN level. The Resiliency Director works with Activio's CDS and Sky products to do this. Actifio's CDS product makes a “golden …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jul 2014
cloud

Terror in Cloudland? CTERA trousers $25m investment

Cloud storage gateway hopeful CTERA Networks has closed a $25 million funding round. The cash will go towards building out its world-wide go-to-market organisation. The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from existing CTERA investors Benchmark Capital, Cisco, and Venrock. CTERA calls it a C-round but …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jul 2014

Simplivity drops sweet OmniCubes into channel's cup

Simplivity, the startup selling its hyper-converged server, storage and networking OmniCube, is expanding its global channel program with three membership tiers. Launched in 2013 (story here), the company's OmniCube product is called a v3.0 convergence system and Simplivity claims hundreds of customers around the globe and m0re …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2014
VMware VSAN Concept

Listen bud – crud FUD flood is dud, says Dell: 'We do support VSAN'

We've been in receipt of allegations that Dell is not committed to VSAN, which Dell roundly and strongly denies, saying it's competitor FUD. The allegations included such things as: Dell is shipping ancient LSI firmware that has a queue depth of 25 instead of 600. Performance is poor with a 30ms latency before you hit 400 (yes …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2014
Hitachi VSP All-flash array SPC-1 ranking

What makes a tier-1 enterprise flash array a superior beast?

Enterprise tier-1 storage arrays are a breed apart, focusing on providing fast access to vast amounts of data without either losing data or limiting access to it. This is in contrast to the broad mass of storage arrays, which have dual controllers and thus limit the amount of data they can store and the number of concurrent …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jul 2014