Feeds

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.

HDS VSP Front Panel

New HDS array: It's a G1000 Jim, but not as we know it*

HDS has updated its 2010 vintage high-end VSP array with the VSP G1000 and a new operating system, together providing the "highest performance and most available unified storage system in the industry," and claiming it's "the most reliable hardware on the planet." There are three mainstream high-end enterprise arrays; EMC's VMAX …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2014
New HP logo

HP's top-end array just TOPPED ITSELF

HP has announced the XP7, the successor to the high-end XP array. The XP, or P9500, is an OEM version of Hitachi's VSP array and Hitachi has announced the VSP G1000 follow-on product, which HP has manufactured as the XP7. HP says it is the "highest performing, full-featured, enterprise-class disk array." That means it's better …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2014
Ricardo Badalone

My software-defined life: Boss of MCS-flasher Diablo chats to the Reg

Diablo Technologies now licenses its Flash DIMM technology to SanDisk, which acquired the licence through buying SMART Storage. So far IBM and Supermicro have signed contracts with SanDisk to use its ULLtraDIMM technology in some of their X86 servers but its likely just the beginning. Just to complicate matters, IBM is selling …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2014
Marconi-Stille steel tape recorder

Enterprise storage will die just like tape did, say chaps with graphs

The Wikibon biz tech consultancy thinks that the era of networked filers and SANs is going to end with server SANs replacing them. SANs and filers will have largely died away by 2027, it reckons. The chart below shows the results from Wikibon's Server SAN Research Project 2014. Between 2012 and 2014 the storage market will have …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2014
Diablo chart 2

Diablo: Get a load of this, PCIe flash-floggers. It's DIMM fine stuff

Diablo has a devilish message for PCIe flash users and suppliers; we’re coming to get you with better, faster, more consistently performing technology. Diablo provides Memory Channel Storage (MCS) technology to SanDisk’s subsidiary SMART Storage. It’s OEMed on to Supermicro and also IBM (soon to be Lenovo) for its x86 servers as …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2014
WFA schematic

Violin, Microsoft slip Windows, SQL Server, apps, flash into box

Violin Memory has turned its converged server-storage 6000-series flash array into an engine for SQL Server which is capable of putting data directly into an app server's memory – thanks to a little help from Microsoft. The 6000-series all-flash array runs Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 on two integral blade servers. It connects …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2014
SanDisk 4GB Micro SDHC

SanDisk surfs cash tsunami on biz SSDs: Prelim nice, but DIMM?

SanDisk is on a revenue roll, with the first quarter of 2014 showing a 62 per cent profit rise on an annual compare, driven by rising enterprise SSD sales. For the first three months of the year [prelim report PDF], to March 30, SanDisk revenues were $1.51bn; they were $1.34bn a year ago, meaning a 13 per cent uptick, although …
Chris Mellor, 22 Apr 2014

El Reg drills into IBM: The storage biz's got that sinking feeling

With the tremendous noise of chickens coming home to roost, IBM's first quarter storage revenues carried on crashing down with depressed revenues. We covered IBM's overall results here and pointed out that IBM's poor hardware product-based revenues were dragging the overall results down. Within that segment, storage results were …
Chris Mellor, 17 Apr 2014
Red Hat Shadowman logo

Kids, guess where we're going for Easter? France for a 'software-defined storage experience'

Not only are HP and Red Hat together touting a software-defined storage experience, they're touting an "open software-defined storage experience", which must be better, because, er, it's open. The "experience" can be had at HP's Customer Centre, located in Grenoble, France. Up to three ProLiant SL4540 Gen8 servers, with as many …
Chris Mellor, 17 Apr 2014
Magic Carpet

Multi-hypervisor workload ... what? Just think of it as a virtual MAGIC CARPET

Zerto offers multi-hypervisor and cloud workload transformation and protection services – there, I’ve said it. But what does it mean? It means that Zerto is using knowledge gained from replicating virtual machines (VMs) at the hypervisor level to convert them from one hypervisor’s VMs to another. It is doing this because of the …
Chris Mellor, 17 Apr 2014
Streem

Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing

Cloudy upstart Streem is reinventing file sync'n'share by getting rid of the sync. Instead of throwing out everything but the kitchen sink, it’s just throwing out the sync - so to speak. On tethered or mobile smart devices, any files you create can be drag and dropped onto a Streem Drive icon which causes them to be streamed up …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2014
Whitewater

Granite becomes Steel: Riverbed rebrands its ROBO gear

Granite is an unchanging rock. The ROBO product of that name, however, has just been rebranded by Riverbed as SteelFusion, nominally tying it into Riverbed's Steelhead WAN optimiser products. The Granite product was pitched at removing servers from remote and branch offices and replacing them with a fast pipe to a central office …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2014
NUtanix logoi

Nutanix tries to lure in BIZ WHALES with fresh storage NOS

Nutanix is going up against some of the biggest tech vendors in the game with its turnkey, scale-out clustered, converged server+hybrid flash/disk storage box for enterprises. Its job is persuading customers to buy into its data centre future view and purchase its souped-up converged servers instead of separate servers and …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2014
Intel and Micron's 20nm, 128Gb NAND chip

Fusion-io: Ah, Microsoft. I see there's in-memory in SQL Server 2014... **GERONIMO!**

Microsoft has given SQL Server2014 an in-memory operation ability and server flasher Fusion-io has quickly jumped in to take advantage. Its ioMemory product can run the in-memory flavour of SQL Server and deliver, Fusion claims, ”up to 4x improvements in transactions per second and a significant reduction in data latencies in …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2014
Vulture

Fine print: Dell bod tells us the details of Fluid Cache for SAN

Fluid Cache for SAN is Dell’s technology to integrate server PCIe flash cards and networked SAN storage. We talked to Bob Fine, director of product marketing at Compellent to find out more about how it works. El Reg: Is Compellent's Storage Center (Data Progression functionality) loading data into the connected server's PCIe …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2014
Dromana bottles

Hic! Storage upstart DEY bought out by Australian wine merchant

Software-defined storage startup DEY Storage has been bought by CloudCentral, an Australian cloud service provider, which has had a DEY storage co-founder as a board advisor for a few months. And it's being bought by a winery. Are we making this up? No, but perhaps we might have drunk too deeply from the Hippocrene. Let's go to …
Chris Mellor, 16 Apr 2014
Mustang drag racer

Dell tanks up with hot Fluid Cache, drives databases twice as fast

Dell has extended its Compellent array's automated data tiering to place hot data in connected server's PCIe flash caches, nearly doubling database access speed, increasing user counts 6 X and lowering per user costs by 70 per cent. The news of the Fluid Cache for SAN product came at Dell's Enterprise Forum in Frankfurt. Marius …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2014
Violinist

Violin Memory fiddles with board, adds new director – music to Clinton Group's ears?

Violin Memory has announced a new board director and expanded the board from seven to eight seats to do so. The Clinton Group, the activist investor that's been yelling at Violin to sell itself, is now on-board and on-message. The new director is Vic Mahadevan, the ex-NetApp chief strategy officer. The canned quotes are full of …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2014
Whiptail XLR8r appliance

Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure

A recent report based on views gathered from resellers reveals Cisco reps are enthusiastically selling Invicta all-flash arrays as both stand-alone and UCS converged arrays against EMC's XtremIO and Pure Storage. William Blair's Data Networking and Storage Tracker findings are based on "in-depth interviews with 41 US and …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2014

Micron plumps STACKED SILICON BEAUTY with SerDes

Chip-making chappies Micron are going to use Avago SerDes technology for their Hybrid Memory Cube, indicating the firm's on track with the 3D cube's development. The Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) has layers of memory cells stacked vertically, with conducting tunnels running between the individual layers called TSVs - “through silicon …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2014
SQL Server 2014

Violin array comes with new SQL sauce

Violin Memory's Steve Willson gave part of the game away on March 24, with a TechNet UK blog post: Violin's new array runs SQL 2014 in memory. Willson wrote: SQL 2014's new in-memory computing takes several leaps forward in performance and control. Application designers can now control what data is permanently staged in memory …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2014
Dambuster_Mohne_dam_breach

Puff on a hybrid – next thing you know, you're hooked on a public cloud

I had a flash of inspiration today. Hybrid public-private cloud systems are becoming a gateway drug to pure public clouds. Why is this an arguable view? Let’s look to the ideas discussed within The Big Switch, written by Nicholas Carr. In his seminal book, Carr argues that a public IT utility provider will provide CPU cycles and …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2014
Tintri CEO Ken Klein

Budge up VMware, array upstart Tintri's ramming in Red Hat Linux KVM

Hybrid flash-disk array startup Tintri is adding Red Hat-flavoured virtualisation to its storage gear – which already supports VMware-powered virtual machines. Tintri will demonstrate support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization using Linux's Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) at the Red Hat Summit 2014, which will be held in …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2014
Easter Egg

Violin plays storage world like a fiddle, 140 characters at a time

Violin Memory's flash array fightback starts with a present from the Easter bunny: a whole new array. Violin, you will recall, lost CEO Don Basile after its IPO was followed by deepening losses and falling share prices. Incoming CEO Kevin DeNuccio has stabilised the ship, refocussed engineering and recruited new executives, one …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2014
cloud_channel

Cloud storage gateway firm: Selling to end users? Meh. We'll leave it to CSPs, et CTERA

A briefing from folks at cloud storage gateway upstart CTERA revealed there was more to the firm than Reg storage desk had thought. CTERA was founded by Liran Eshel and Zohar Kaufman after experience running a company in the SMB network security area and producing appliances. Eshel is CTERA’s CEO and Kaufmann its VP for research …
Chris Mellor, 10 Apr 2014
G-RAID Studio

G-Tech intros glossy HHD box: Because media 4Kers need external storage too

G-Technology goes for 4K workstation external storage at NAB with glossy curvy and black hard drive boxes plus a portable SSD to round out its product set. Digital media workstation users are the new elite and 4K workflows are the driver for higher capacity and higher-speed storage to feed the cylindrical cool for workstation …
Chris Mellor, 10 Apr 2014
Stuart Parkin of IBM

Brit IBM prof gets life-changing 'Tech Nobel' for work in spintronics

A Brit boffin at IBM’s Almaden Research Centre has won a Finnish prize for spintronics research which led to a thousandfold increase in disk capacity. The €1m (£824,400) Millennium Technology prize has been awarded by the Technology Academy of Finland to Stuart Parkin, an IBM Fellow at Almaden where he manages the …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2014

Cray flogs 1PB of TASty storage to German übercomputing boffins, leaves them in tiers

The North German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN) is buying more than 1PB of tiered Cray storage to hold archived scientific research data. HLRN (Norddeutscher Verbund für Hoch- und Höchstleistungsrechnen) is a joint project of the seven northern German states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2014

IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?

I’m a big fan of data networking blogger Greg Ferro, who writes under the moniker Etherealmind. Greg and I are really on the same page with regards to work/life balance but his latest thoughts on that topic struck a chord with me. Drawn from his latest blog post, the key part says: Why am I focused on work life ? After 25 or so …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2014

CDOT relatively crap for flash, hyperscalers crap for constant storage

Chief NetApp techie Jay Kidd had some strong words for the flash and cloud crowd at a Wells Fargo event for investors. Among other things, he covered Clustered Data ONTAP and flash and the customer spending slowdown. Not a great fit and a transitory slowdown were the take-away messages. The event was the Wells Fargo Tech …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2014

Open-sourcer Nexenta fires up V4 storage OS

Open source storage software supplier Nexenta has revved its NexentaStor OS to version 4.0, making it more enterprise-worthy by delivering more scalability, performance and reliability. But this is not the Edge unified file, block and object storage product discussed in January. The software-defined storage supplier clearly …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2014

WD unborks MYSTERY My Cloud borkage

WD has issued an update to its My Cloud, My Book Live and Mionet outage, saying Mionet customers may still be facing problems. The root cause is still not understood. Here's the text: Update: April 7, 2014 @ 9:30PM PST As of April 3, remote access to My Cloud and My Book Live personal cloud storage has been re-established. If …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2014

End of an era: NetApp chair Dan Warmenhoven has left the building

NetApp chairman and previous CEO Dan Warmenhoven has announced that he plans to retire in September. His chosen successor as CEO, Tom Georgens, becomes the new chairman. Georgens will be taking on the chairman’s duties at once. Here’s part of his canned announcement quote: “Dan's extensive experience has been instrumental to our …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2014

Snappy snaps: Veeam cuddles up to NetApp for storage selfie

Virtual server backup startup Veeam is integrating its Backup and Replication product with NetApp’s Snapshot, SnapMirror and SnapVault. Veeam backups up VMware and Hyper-V servers and virtual machines, but not storage arrays. It states: “Storage snapshots allow backups to take place during business hours without affecting …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2014
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

Furious MyCloud users descend on WD website as borkage continues

When a Western Digital president mass mails MyCloud users about the ongoing outage, you know it's a serious matter. Angry users generated 33 pages of complaints on WD’s community website after El Reg reported the MyCloud outage last week. Some users say that their devices are not visible while others complain of never-ending “ …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2014
LaCie 8big

LaCie bigs up 2big, 5big, 8big... WHOMP: Lands big data on your desk

Seagate sub LaCie has announced 2big, 5big and 8big products using 6TB disks and Thunderbolt connects for stonking big fat and fast performance. That’s 12TB in the 2-drive 2big, 30TB in the 5big and 48TB in the 8big rackmount shelf. LaCie says the 8big is its first rackmount Thunderbolt 2 connect product. The 2big transfers …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2014

Symantec scratches head over balance sheet, calls in JPMorgan

Reports say Symantec, struggling to reverse a revenue slowdown, has called in JPMorgan Chase & Co. to look at its options and help fend off activist shareholders. Symantec is a $6.7bn/year revenue company that is struggling to lift its earnings. The last quarterly report made that abundantly clear. It fired its CEO Steve …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2014
Sagate 6TB Enterprise Capacity Drive

Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES

Seagate sub LaCie has pre-announced a 6TB near line disk drive from its parent and it doesn't appear to use the slow write shingled magnetic recording technology. LaCie's news came out with the NAB event in Las Vegas, which opened on Friday. There are details of the drive on Seagate's website, although the drive has not been …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2014
Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote

Avere SPEC benchmark shows cloud's just as fast as on-premise

Bezos' boys will be pleased while data centre storage admins become fearful; Avere has run a file access benchmark showing file access to Amazon S3 in the cloud is the same as WAN file access to a ZFS data store - and Cleversafe object storage. It claims that it is the first and only vendor to provide low-latency, scalable NAS …
Chris Mellor, 07 Apr 2014
lifebelt

Overland Storage in fiendish reverse stock split share value ploy

Overland Storage, the troubled tape and low-end scale-out disk array storage vendor, is wanting to do a reverse stock split to get its share price up above the Nasdaq exit level. This is revealed in an SEC Form-8K filing by Overland. It states: "On April 3, 2014, the Board of Directors of the Company approved a one-for-five (1- …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2014

EMC intros data protection-as-a-service: You shall D-PAAS

As the world is moving towards software-defined data centres with infrastructure components virtualised and delivered as a service, data protection appears to be going the same way. EMC has gone and boosted its offerings to do just this. The company says it is adding “new integrations with primary and protection storage …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2014

Cisco edges away from VMware, tries Red Hat on for size

From co-operation to co-op-etition and then competition: it's happening in front of our eyes with EMC and Cisco. The choreography involves Cisco working more and more with Red Hat and its KVM server hypervisor and less with EMC subsidiary VMware's ESX. Red Hat is joining in with Cisco and working with its OpFlex protocol in …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2014
REM's Shiny, Happy People

Speaker bods Sonos chuck FREE TELLY* in with discount offer

Wi-Fi streaming speaker supplier Sonos is sweetening Playbar UK purchases with six months of Spotify and Sky Movies. The Playbar is priced at £599 ($699 in the USA) and connects to an HDTV through an optical cable. It can be integrated with other Sonos speakers like the equally expensive Sub for bass oomph, and a pair of Play:3s …
Chris Mellor, 04 Apr 2014
cloud

Signiant to SkyDrop files into Amazon and Azure clouds

Signiant, a supplier of large (100GB and up) file transfer services to media companies, has launched a new product it calls SkyDrop to send the files to Amazon or Azure instead. The company already has a Media Shuttle product which is used by many digital media customers to send large files to customers and partners in the …
Chris Mellor, 03 Apr 2014
WD MyCloud

WD 'restoring connections' after WEEK of MyCloud outages

WD's MyCloud has been up and down all week, with users unable to connect across the internet to their storage devices. MyCloud refers to a set of ARM-powered, single drive external storage products from WD and a way of accessing then remotely across the Internet. Its MyBook line of basic desktop NAS boxes were rebranded MyCloud …
Chris Mellor, 03 Apr 2014
From Here To ETERNUS

Fujitsu punts all-flash Eternus box... JUST before NetApp pulls a FASt one

Fujitsu claims you don’t need to buy special all-flash systems for performance, get it from its cheaper all-flash mid-range DX200 array instead. Fujitsu says “in contrast to expensive all-flash arrays based on special architectures, the Fujitsu ETERNUS DX200 S3 uses a high performance standard system architecture, helping to cut …
Chris Mellor, 03 Apr 2014
Fusion-io ioSgale 3.2TB card

MySQL daddy Monty talks up Fusion-io's data-stuffed flash

Fusion-io can cram more data into its ioMemory flash storage without cramping performance – at least that’s what it’s claiming about its NVM Compression technology. We are told NVM Compression is “a flash-aware interface that can double the useable capacity of ioMemory flash while eliminating the performance impact associated …
Chris Mellor, 02 Apr 2014
Red tide

Tintri: We have ZERO interest in adding compute to storage

Under new CEO Ken Klein, hybrid array startup Tintri is sticking to its virtualised server-centric networked storage knitting and embracing the cloud as a third tier cold storage vault. Currently a VMware-focused storage supplier using VMware storage abstractions, such as virtual machines (VMs) and virtual disks instead of LUNs …
Chris Mellor, 02 Apr 2014

Aw, SNAP. It's too late, you've already PAID for your storage array

When a vendor says it has feature X, how do you know it's true? Storage arrays are mighty complex boxes and vendors' marketing of them can sometimes take a bypass around reality. How can you detect if this is happening? One way is to look for independent reviews of the product by a trusted reviewer. For example, product …
Chris Mellor, 02 Apr 2014
LaCie Fuel

LaCie adds fire to Fuel: Revs Wi-Fi external storage gadget to 2TB

Seagate sub LaCie has revved its Fuel Wi-Fi external storage capacity from 1 to 2TB and claims it's the highest capacity wireless 2.5-inch drive on the market. It can provide a Wi-Fi accessed storage resource for iPads, iPhones, iPod Touch, Macs, Android mobile devices (v2.3 or later), the Kindle Fire, and Windows 8, 7, and …
Chris Mellor, 01 Apr 2014