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.

Photographic plate image of the colliding galaxies NGC 6769, 6770, and 6771.

Data Dynamics chap lifts curtain on anti-fluster cluster thruster tool

Comment There's no need to get in a fluster over clusters. Data Dynamics reckons it has a better tool to migrate NetApp's non-clustered array users to the joys of clusterdom; having separate NetApp arrays function and be managed as one. The move to clustered Data ONTAP (CDOT) from the original ONTAP operating system — 7mode — has proved …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jun 2015
Pilot_oxygen_mask

Breathe normally: Oxygen coming to Solidfire's flashy folk

How quickly yesterday's revolutionary product becomes a solid everyday reality. At least, that's how it seems even as all-flash arrays have yet to conquer the hearts and minds of the broad mass of disk array-using customers. So it is with Solidfire, whose first product was released in late 2012. It is now bringing out its eighth …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jun 2015
Containers_at_port

Catalogic gets Dockerised with NetApp and VMware support

Catalogic has hustled out a flagship product update extending its copy data management to all VMware and NetApp ONTAP environments and supporting Docker. Copy Data Management (CDM) aims to save disk space by identifying duplicate and unwanted copies of data and helping you get rid of them. It also helps build automated data copy …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jun 2015

Prelude to Foundation: Startup FDS builds next silo-melding platform

What we need is an all-singing, all-dancing, virtualising storage foundation that is software-defined, crafted for hyper-scale, offers file, block and object access and embraces the cloud. Yeah baby! What we need is what startup Formation Data Systems is developing: Foundation XV. Co-founder and CEO Mark Lewis has blogged: I …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2015
Nutanix_XCP

Nutanix hyper-converges upwards with bells, whistles and KVM

Comment In the name of server and storage efficiency, Nutanix has added KVM hypervisor support, erasure coding and new management to its hyper-converged systems, and promised VVOL-type integration, container and file-serving support. The aim is evidently to increase scale-out X86 server node, storage and admin efficiency, and top-level …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2015
Stack_road_interchange_in_Phoeniz_AZ

Solidfire joins the rush to Cisco-flavoured Open Stackery

Solidfire has joined the million other suppliers partnering with Cisco and its UCS servers with a converged OpenStack system reference architecture. Its AI for OpenStack – with AI standing for Agile Infrastructure and not Artificial Intelligence – joins another AI for OpenStack using Dell servers and networking and an AI …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jun 2015
roof_shingles

HGST shimmy shimmy shingles its way to a 10TB spinning rust drive

HGST has cracked the 10TB barrier with a shingled helium drive for active disk archives. Think of it loosely as a shingled He8. Like the He8, the Ultrastar Archive Ha10 is a helium-filled drive in which platters spin with less friction and vibration than in an air-filled drive. The same physical drive enclosure can hold more …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jun 2015
Bloody Serial Killer Shower Curtain

Let's kill off the meaningless concept of SW-defined storage

Comment Software-defined storage has become a meaningless and useless concept. It doesn't tell you anything useful beyond the vague idea that software drives the hardware. Well, yes, when virtually every storage hardware product you use is based on commodity hardware then it would, wouldn't it? I met a person the other day who said …
Chris Mellor, 09 Jun 2015
Hedvig Ulrika Taube, also Countess von Hessenstein, official royal mistress to King Frederick I of Sweden

Hedvig flutters in carrying $18m in fresh VC greenbacks

Software storage startup Hedvig has gone and got itself an $18m Series B funding round just two months after its A-round, suggestive of a sudden change in its priorities. The company, founded by Avinash Lakshman in 2012, aims to bring Facebook-style scale-out storage and its commodity component economics to enterprise data …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jun 2015
Horse_racing

HP will stomp EMC's disks into the dust, babble storage mystics

HP could overtake EMC in disk storage revenues – if IDC-revealed trends continue. Networked storage array revenues are shrinking while server-SAN and hyper-scale storage revenues grow strongly, IDC said in its latest worldwide disk storage tracker. Total worldwide disk storage revenues in the first 2015 quarter were almost $8. …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jun 2015
question_marks_648

The blandness – or madness – of King George of NetApp

Analysis So you are King George Kurian of NetApp and it’s your first day on the Iron Throne vacated by your ousted predecessor, Tom Georgens. You summon your courtiers, ask them what they see and why Tom G had to go - and then you decide what you see. What do you see? You see that the board put you in place and they can fire you as well …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jun 2015
Violin Memory VIMM

Violin posts yet more crappy results as it swaps out sales veep

Violin's revenues underwhelmed in its latest quarter as sales execution issues and a collapse in older product sales contributed to another big loss. Revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 were a depressing $12.1m, 41 per cent lower than Q4 of fiscal 2015 and 33 per cent lower than the $18.1m reported in the first quarter …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jun 2015
Storm_That_VSAN_hill

How to storm the virtual heights of SAN

Platoons are easy to manage, nimble and fast-moving, but regiments need a host of logistics operations to bring them to the battle point. Virtual SANs (Storage Area Networks) comprised of a few nodes are simpler to buy and operate than a full-scale SAN with its network connections, HBAs, thousands of LUNs (logical unit numbers …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jun 2015
craft_brewery

Everyone's at it: Backup folk spaff out tsunami of cloudy, flashy gear

The artisanal world of back-up product creation continues to blast out refinements, with product announcements from Arkivum, CommVault, Unitrends and Veeam, as well as cloud filer product news from Sphere 3D (previously Overland Storage). Arkivum has a pair of tape-based archiving products; Arkivum/1+1 and Arkivum/OnSite and …
Chris Mellor, 02 Jun 2015
StoreServ_20000_rack_detail

HP pings out a super souped-up all-flash StoreServ system

HP is introducing a new top-end 3PAR StoreServ 20000 all-flash array family, lowering flash storage costs, federating systems, and flash-optimising its software. The ASIC-accelerated StoreServ product family now consists of: 20850 high-end and all-flash array 20800 converged (disk/flash) array 10000 converged (flash/disk) …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jun 2015
Bride_to_bathouse

Pure Storage pushes all-flash array purification

Pure Storage is announcing a fresh all-flash array family with capacity and performance boosts, updated cloud and analytics-based support, as well as enhancing its upgradability business model. FlashArray//m is the hardware, Pure1 the cloud and analytics support facility, and Evergreen the upgraded upgradability scheme. Given …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jun 2015
CloudSpeed_Eco_Gen_2

SanDisk speeds up CloudSpeed Eco, raises capacity

SanDisk has souped up its CloudSpeed Eco SSD for cloud service providers, doubling its capacity and raising throughput, courtesy of a process shrink. CloudSpeed Eco Gen 1 was introduced at the end of March last year as a cost-effective SSD for cloud service provider use. It was built using a 19nm chip process and held up to …
Chris Mellor, 01 Jun 2015
Sunset

Red-inked Crossroads goes straight on with rights issue

Comment Crossroads Systems, which makes StrongBox archiving and Sphinx virtual tape systems, as well as the smaller RVA tape verification product, is looking poverty-stricken as it goes for a rights issue to replenish its coffers. Sphinx virtual tape OEM revenues have been falling for several quarters and StrongBox LTFS archiving …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2015
Datacore CEO George Teixeira and chairman Ziya Aral

DataCore conducts its SANsymphony a little more... allegro

DataCore has updated its virtual SAN SANsymphony product, adding OpenStack and Veeam support and making it go faster. The PSP1 update to v10 SANsymphony was introduced last November. Six months later, a PSP2 update introduces: Support for OpenStack Cinder (block storage server) New Virtual Desktop Services – highly available/ …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2015
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

Chip chef Avago gobbles up Broadcom for $37 BEEEELLLION

As rumored this week, chip designer and supplier Avago is buying chip designer Broadcom in a cash-and-stock deal worth $37bn (£24bn). Broadcom is probably best known to Reg readers as the biz behind the BCM system-on-chips found in the Raspberry Pi and various other gizmos. The combined biz will rename itself Broadcom Ltd as it …
Chris Mellor, 28 May 2015
Cirrus_clouds

NetApp name-changes SteelStore to AltaVault

NetApp's marketing droids have renamed its acquired SteelStore product AltaVault, showing obeisance at the high altar of cloud storage. The Sunnyvale company bought SteelStore from Riverbed for $80m in October last year, before it was gobbled up by private equity. The product provided cloud back-up gateway functionality with a …
Chris Mellor, 28 May 2015
CD

Sony sees the cold light of optical archives, buys ex-Facebooker's upstart

Sony is buying ex-FaceBook open compute project exec Frank Frankovsky’s optical storage startup to boost its optical archive prospects. Frankovsky’s idea was to use racks of enhanced-capacity optical storage disks for archiving cold data. The system would have better throughput than existing optical storage systems. He started …
Chris Mellor, 28 May 2015
Grip_Pack_950

My Passport Grip Pack blooms with new colours … and more storage

WD has refreshed its My Passport line of portable disk drives with fetching Grip Packs — colourful edge protective bands providing a big jump from 2TB to 3TB max capacity. The seventh generation of My Passports offer 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB capacities. The PC version, My Passport Ultra, comes in four colours — blue, dark red, …
Chris Mellor, 28 May 2015
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

Mutant upstart Nimble embiggens revenues – and losses, too

Hybrid array storage start-up minnow Nimble Storage saw revenues grow strongly in its latest quarter, though not enough to trouble mainstream storage vendors. Revenues in its first fiscal 2016 quarter, ended April 30, were 53 per cent higher than a year ago at $71.3m, with a net loss of $29m: it was $19.6m a year ago. …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2015
Intel and Micron's 20nm, 128Gb NAND chip

Tegile scores VC cash to splash on flash growth dash

Tegile has landed itself a massive $70m D-round of funding to pay for global expansion of its hybrid/all-flash array business. Founded in 2010 with a $2.l5m A-round that year, Tegile took in a $10m B-round in 2012, and a $35m C-round in 2013. Total funding now stands at $117.5m. In comparison, fellow hybrid array startup Tintri …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2015

Pre-IPO Tegile looking at flash tiering, scale-out and the cloud

+Comment Hybrid and all-flash array startup Tegile has got itself an interesting roadmap to extend its hybrid array tech and expand sideways into adjacent storage markets. Tegile is one of three busily growing companies touting built-from-the-ground-up hybrid array software. Nimble Storage has made the IPO jump into being a self- …
Chris Mellor, 26 May 2015
Roughly 150kg of gold

EMC coughs up the readies for cloud management software supplier

EMC is buying Virtustream in a seemingly billion-dollar-level transaction, as part of an effort to build a managed cloud services business. Virtustream sells xStream cloud management software for public, private and hybrid clouds, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and managed services to its customers. It says its xStream …
Chris Mellor, 26 May 2015
antique_cash_register_648

SanDisk opens for business with point-of-sale terminal SSD

SanDisk has built an SSD for point-of-sale terminals, digital signage and surveillance gear, saying it’s better than disk drive use. Tablet, notebook and PC OEMs could use it too, so long as they don’t need more than 256GB. The idea is to price the SSD “on a par” with disk drives, while pointing out that the Z400s outperforms …
Chris Mellor, 26 May 2015
US cashpoint. Pic: Tax Credits

Rubrik deluged with a bucket full of B-round dollars

Rubrik has gotten itself a $41m B-round funder just months after its $10m A-round. The company aims to disrupt the back-up and recovery market dominated by EMC, IBM and Symantec (Veritas). Its backup-to-the-cloud r300 Series Appliance is now generally available and described as using hyper-converged technology and offering a …
Chris Mellor, 26 May 2015
Alberta_Prairie

Boring old Brocade just sits there making money. Damn them

Brocade's second quarter fiscal 2015 revenue was $547m, up two per cent year-on-year and down five per cent sequentially, as is Brocade's seasonal pattern. Net income was $77m, monstrously better than the $14m loss it announced a year ago. That loss was due, Brocade says, to a non-cash goodwill impairment charge from the …
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2015
MDS_9396S

Cisco strengthens its hardware-defined networking products

Cisco has introduced a new Fibre Channel fabric switch to better connect virtualised servers to all-flash arrays, seeing a rise in back-end array connection port-counts and speed needed to satisfy all-flash array IO demands. It's also bumped up its mainframe FICON connect speed and spread 40GbitE support across its Nexus …
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2015
Fluffy grey ragdoll cat relaxes next to laptop.

HP storage revenues declining as the dithering continues

Comment HP storage revenues went backwards in its second fiscal 2015 quarter. The revenue from newer converged storage systems (3PAR, StoreOnce, StoreAll, etc) rose 5.3 per cent over the year to $356m (from $338m), but traditional storage revenues (EVA, MSA, tape) slumped 18.3 per cent to $384m (from $470 million). Overall storage …
Chris Mellor, 22 May 2015
SEO

NetApp's customers resisting Clustered ONTAP transition

Customer resistance to complex Clustered ONTAP migrations caused a slowdown in hardware sales at NetApp, with revenues clearly shrinking. Fiscal 2015 fourth-quarter revenues declined 6.6 per cent year-on-year from $1.65bn to $1.54bn. Net income was $135m, down from $197m (32 per cent). The full-year revenues told the same story …
Chris Mellor, 21 May 2015
bear_cub_with_salmon

Coho Data spawns all-flash MicroArray with fresh funding help

Storage service array startup Coho Data has nearly doubled its funding and got itself a new product to boot. A nice thirty million dollars has been injected into the company in a C-round led by March Capital Partners, along with Intel Capital, HP, Andreessen Horowitz and Ignition Partners. It's interesting that both Intel and HP …
Chris Mellor, 21 May 2015
Atomic_explosion_cloud

Imation CEO voted off board in proxy war bombshell

Imation's CEO has been provisionally voted off the company's board, as shareholders supported the activist investor Clinton Group in its view of Imation's alleged leadership failures. This AGM proxy vote result still has to be certified, but that looks a formality. The Clinton Group said Imation's long revenue decline and …
Chris Mellor, 21 May 2015
Rows of washing machines in shop aisle

Dell inserts Hyper-V smarts into its DL backup boxen

Dell has added two new back-up appliances to its range, top-and-tailing its existing DL1000 product and adding neat features such as virtual standby VMs. The DL series range is for small and medium businesses and are PowerEdge servers running AppAssure software. The 1U DL1000, with 2TB-3TB of capacity, was announced in July 2014 …
Chris Mellor, 21 May 2015
Nexenta_logos

Nexenta flies over the Edge into the object storage bearpit

Nexenta's hypercale block and object storage software has hit the streets, pitting Nexenta competitively against all the other object storage suppliers. NexentaEdge was introduced last August and now it's generally available, two quarters later than its then-schedule. We're having it described as "the first software-only scale …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2015
Mohne_Dam_Breached

Cunningham exits EVault, pauses, then takes controls at Springpath

Comment Hyper-converged systems are set to pour through the breach established by Nutanix in the networked storage dam. Terry Cunningham – the man who ran EVault before Seagate bought the cloud back-up biz in-house – has joined start-up Springpath, following a funding round, and aims to capitalise on Nutanix' groundbreaking work …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2015

Healthy Drobo set free by Connected Data to go it alone

Drobo, maker of simple-to-use personal data storage robots which you populate yourself with disk drives, is being spun-out by owner Connected Data, with an investment group buying the business. The firm was originally called Data Robotics but changed its name in 2011 to the name of its Drobo* product, which amassed a large and …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2015
Woman packs up contents of desk. Image via shutterstock

NetApp consciously uncouples from 500+ staff

We're hearing NetApp has laid-off up to 512 staff world-wide in a cost-cutting exercise before its full-year results come out later today. There are reports that some 200 staff are going from its Research Triangle Park facility in North Carolina. WRAL TechWire says 15 per cent of the RTP facility have received pink slips, …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2015
udp_7000_648

Arcserve boxes clever, takes back-up appliance down a price division

CA spin-out Arcserve has an updated back-up appliance for the mid-market that should be faster, easier, better-priced and more capable. It says the UDP 7000 Appliance is for small, medium and mid-market customers, and is a simple yet powerful all-in-one product. UDP stands for Unified Data Protection and the appliance features …
Chris Mellor, 20 May 2015
Dell chairman and CEO, Michael Dell

Nutanix CEO nixes Cisco buy rumours, swears allegiance to Michael Dell

Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey has nixed rumours of Cisco buying his co-founded hyper-converged server/storage/networking startup. The rumours were started by senior research analyst Jared Rinderer of Equity Capital Research Group. Pandey says Rinderer's analysis is off the mark. Pandey, who has consistently said he wants to take …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2015
Exablox node stack

Toshiba pumps 'use-more-Ethernet-drives' cash into Exablox

Scale-out object storage startup Exablox has received a $7m investment from Toshiba to add to its existing $16m pot, taking total funding to $45.5m. Toshiba, actually Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) joins Dell Ventures as a strategic investor in Douglas Brockett's firm. The initial $16m in the C-round came …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2015
key

Toshiba flings covers from Key Value disk and device stores

OpenStack Summit Industry leader trailer Toshiba America is demoing direct-addressed Ethernet disk drives for scale-out object storage at the Vancouver OpenStack Summit, and it's developing hybrid flash/disk array tech using the drives. Direct-access Ethernet drives bypass the conventional server IO stack with applications writing directly to …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2015
OpenStack

Maxta polishes OpenStack credentials with Kilo support

Maxta is polishing up its OpenStack credentials by adding Kilo support, service quality policies, and call-home diagnostics to its hyperconverged software-led systems. Hyperconverged systems refer to integrated, typically virtualised, servers and storage, and some networking, that are bought and operated as single systems. They …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2015
Broom

QLogic escapes HBA flat trap with Ethernet and add-on services

QLogic, a storage networking adaptor vendor, is escaping the sagging Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) revenue trap by focussing on fast Ethernet and adding in-line data reduction, availability and encryption services. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, sees QLogic ramping up its 10GbitE products, with 25/50/ …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2015
grateful_dead_1970_648p

Violin acknowledges Valley's hippy roots with Grateful Dead gig lottery

In a move calculated to appeal to the aging hippies who now run Silicon Valley, Violin is entering readers of its marketing white paper-type docs into a Grateful Dead concert ticket sweepstake. Marketing head Amy Love said that with "the directional relevance of being 'Grateful that Disk is Dead', we are enabling our customers, …
Chris Mellor, 18 May 2015

Can Barracuda become the big fish in a small cloud?

Interview It was a rare surprise when Bill (BJ) Jenkins left his position as boss of EMC's Backup Recovery Systems division to become CEO of Barracuda. Barracuda? That was in late 2012 and since then Barracuda has grown, with annual revenues from full-year 2012 to 2015 increasing steadily: $161m, $199m, $234m and $277m in successive years …
Chris Mellor, 18 May 2015
Apple

CommVault cloudifies its offering with expanded product range

Cloud is upsetting the back-up apple cart and CommVault, already suffering from this, aims to move its software faster to the cloud. Four product announcements are the start of this. CommVault's cloudy foursome consists of: Cloud Gateway – Software which extends the protection tier from on-premise to the cloud Cloud Disaster …
Chris Mellor, 15 May 2015

Reader suggestion: Using HDFS as generic iSCSI storage

Comment El Reg reader Greg Koss reckons the Hadoop filesystem can be used to build an iSCSI SAN. Er, say what? Here's his thinking: we could use Hadoop to provide generic storage to commodity systems for general purpose computing. Why would this be a good idea? Greg notes these points: Commodity storage pricing is roughly $60/TB in …
Chris Mellor, 14 May 2015