Chris Mellor

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Chris Mellor covers storage and allied technology areas for The Register. After 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, moved onto IDG's Techworld, then started up Blocks & Files, a blog bought by The Register. He has written many sportscar buying guides, a few mountaineering guides and drives a car that's faster than he is.
Sportscar/race car rendering illustration

Speedy roadster for filers hits the road. Don't worry Elon, it's a storage vehicle

Infinite IO has enabled clustering of its metadata accelerators to scale performance. The company, which brands itself infinite io, produces 2U rackmount metadata-accelerating network storage controllers (NSC) that sit in the network between file-accessing servers and NAS arrays. They serve metadata requests from memory, …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2017

A challenger appears: Specs for Samsung's potential Optane killer

Analysis How does Korean flash and DRAM chipper Samsung's Z-NAND compare to Intel and Micron's 3D XPoint? Z-NAND is Samsung's tweaked flash technology, thought to be SLC (1 bit/cell) with a customised controller to speed it up. Optane is rushing Z-NAND to market adoption and it's a wide-open race. One of XPoint's advantages over NAND …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2017

NetApp's back, baby, flaunting new tech and Azure cloud swagger

Analysis There's a new energy at NetApp. The Microsoft Azure NFS deal was a great confidence booster, and the two recent acquisitions of Greenqloud and Plexistor provide stepping stones to a high-performance, on-premises storage future and a stronger hybrid cloud play. We were briefed at NetApp Insight in Berlin by co-founder Dave Hitz …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2017
Lone cowboy, photo via Shutterstock

Backup Exec juices dedupe offering, flaunts sign-up cloud model

Backup Exec, Veritas' SME backup product, now sports a subscription-based payment scheme, deduping cloud backends and offering GDPR compliance help. Privately owned Veritas is building up its product portfolio for the modern cloud era, and subscription pricing is part of that. The Backup Exec subscription model has one, two …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2017
Colleague high fives in the office. Photo by Shutterstock

NetApp: You went all-flash, you never should've, um.. Well done

While still well short of its fiscal 2015 revenue glory days, NetApp has said its all-flash array sales are on fire, and expects more of the same. Revenues of $1.42bn in its second fiscal 2018 quarter were 6 per cent up year-on-year and 6.7 per cent higher sequentially. This beat Wall Street's $1.38bn consensus. Profits (GAAP …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2017

Intel-Micron scrap the summer diet, enlarge 3D XPoint mem DIMM fab

Intel and Micron have expanded their XPoint production fab in Utah, USA, as the clock ticks down to the launch of XPoint DIMMs in the second half of 2018. 3D XPoint is the Intel-Micron solid-state storage technology that's a little faster and more expensive than NAND, and not as fast nor as expensive as DRAM. The point of it …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2017

Huawei's 4-socket HPC blade server gruntbox gets Skylake mills

The HPC server gruntbox space is flourishing, with suppliers pumping out Broadwell-to-Skylake updates one after the other, Huawei being the latest. It has shown a couple of Skylake-using servers at SC17: the 2488 rackmount product, announced last month, and the new CH242 V5. These are effectively the same 4-socket Xeon SP …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2017

NetApp and Fujitsu NFLEX: More details emerge about European HCI tryst

Analysis More details have emerged about the Fujitsu NetApp NFLEX converged system and about Fujitsu's HCI strategy, which might preclude it selling the NetApp HCI. Fujitsu has agreed it has no deal planned in that direction. NFLEX is a converged infrastructure (CI) system with pre-integrated and tested Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers, …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2017
Tin can phone

I'll admit, NetApp's NVMe fabric-accessed array sure has SAS, but it could be zippier

Analysis NetApp's E570 array supports NVMe over fabrics yet it does not use NVMe drives, potentially slowing data access. The E-Series all-flash E570 was launched in September, with a sub-100µs latency number through its support of NVMe-over-fabric access. It used RDMA over InfiniBand to its 24 flash drives, and this enables accessing …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017
Houses in shipping containers

Panzura offers DevOps swots that syncing feeling... with container docks

File sync and sharer Panzura says containers are stuck executing locally unless the persistent storage they need moves with them to different on-premises or public cloud data centres. But, as luck would have it, it has got the tech to do just that. Its Freedom product uses CloudFS, Panzura's filesystem providing file services …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017

Infinidat adds sync, async replication and bans noisy neighbours

Big-iron array supplier Infinidat's fourth major version of its software adds sync (block) and async (file) replication, file directory quotas and quality of service features to quiet down noisy neighbours. Infinidat says it collaborated with more than 100 customers on the features for this release, in the planning and …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017
WolfCreek_Omni_path

Starting small with burst buffers? DDN says it's got an 'entry-level' one

DataDirect Networks (DDN) has added a smaller burst buffer product, decreased RAID rebuild times and introduced a cross-product monitoring and management facility to its HPS/supercomputing storage product set. The entry-level IME140 burst buffer is a 1U appliance delivering more than 11GB/s write and 20GB/s read throughputs …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017
HPE_Apollo_2000_Gen10

HPE's Apollo 'Skylaked', will get ARM-wrestling little brother next year

Some of HPE's supercomputer Apollo servers are Skylaked and can now say hello to an ARM-powered infant sibling. HPE's Apollo-related announcements at SC'17 are: Apollo 2000 Gen 10 (G10) Apollo 70 with ARM CPUs Apollo 4510 Gen 10 for object storage LTO-8 tape format drives and library We should note that the Apollo 2000 …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017

Backup, flash and replication: Barracuda buys, Toshiba invests, and WANdisco partners

Business – it's all about making bigger pies, either by buying in pie and adding it to your own, building a new pie-making plant, or supplying your filling as part of somebody else's pie. Which brings us to Barracuda, Toshiba and WANdiso plus a few short news bites. Barracuda This protection and security vendor has bought …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017

Dell EMC adds Skylake grunt to supercomputing workhorse server

Dell EMC has accelerated its workhorse super/high-performance computing C4130 server with newer CPUs and GPUs. The 1U rackmount C4130 used up to 2 x Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors with up to 1TB of memory. It supported up to four GPUs, such as NVIDIA Tesla P100s, or four co-processors such as Intel Phis, and has two rear PCIe …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2017

SciNet supercomputer's GPFS trick: We node what you did, burst buffer

A Canadian supercomputer centre using a fast access parallel file system has stuffed an Excelero burst buffer between this storage and the compute nodes. Why, you ask? We'll explain. The SciNet supercomputer centre at the University of Toronto provides resources for thousands of researchers in biomedical, aerospace, climate …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2017
Amazonian_rainforest

Back up bod Druva paddles even further up the Amazon

+Comment Druva has nabbed a new Druva Cloud Platform (DCP) service gig for protecting, governing and looking into data in Amazon Web Services' Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic Block Store (EBS), and the Relational Database Service (RDS). DCP is delivered as-a-service, working across AWS IaaS and PaaS …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2017
Qumulo_HW_4U_Box

Qumulo goes all-flash and replicates to AWS

Scale-out file start up Qumulo has revealed all-flash filer nodes. The all-flash QF2 (Qumulo File Fabric) P-series node joins its QC hardware with its hybrid flash and disk media drives. The P-series' hardware design is straightforward enough: it's a 2U Intel box that can run up to 24 NVMe SSDs in U.2 format, dual Xeon …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2017
Gacek_and_Cohen

Quantum CEO exits as scale-out storage rescue fails

It's blood on the boardroom table at Quantum as an activist investor joins the board, the CEO leaves, the scale-out storage revenue rescue strategy fails, revenues turn down, and hopes turn to a software-defined, cloud-native future. Deep breath folks, and a quick history lesson. Quantum was one of the dominant big-iron tape …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2017
HP Apollo supercomputer

HPE gets carried array with HPC: Partners up with DDN

+Comment HPE and DataDirect Networks are partnering to integrate DDN storage and burst buffer products with HPE's Apollo servers and its DMF workflow manager. The result should be an integrated HPC server-storage product set that should benefit both suppliers. The DDN products involved are its IME flash cache/NVMe drive burst buffer, …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2017
OPtane_AIC_drive

Whomp. Intel's promised fatter Optane drive arrives

The 750GB version of Intel's Optane P4800X product is becoming available this month, doubling the current 375GB capacity. There are two form factors for the 750gig product: the current half-height, half-length add-in card (AIC) and a hot-swappable 2.5-inch U.2 drive. Intel has also posted four blogs discussing Optane …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2017
couple on holiday

It's splitsville for Panasas' blades: It's better for the metadata, kids

Analysis Panasas has separated out its Director blades in its latest ActiveStor iteration and put them in an ActiveStor Director 100 controller component product line to scale performance and capacity separately. Panasas delivers scale-out and parallel file system access for high-performance computing with its ActiveStor nodes. The …
Chris Mellor, 9 Nov 2017

Dell EMC: Our mid-range arrays aren't dead. Now, join our loyalty scheme!

+Comment Dell EMC has retrofitted flash to its SC array, added deduplication to its Unity array and devised a loyalty programme to keep its mid-range array customers onboard. Dell EMC positions SC for block-access applications needing little or no file access and with all-inclusive software licensing, and Unity for unified file and …
Chris Mellor, 9 Nov 2017

Who'd a thunk it? IBM has a hyperconverged play – feel the POWER

.NEXT In the hyperconverged infrastructure appliance space, x86 rules. This might appear to exclude IBM, having sold its x86 servers to Lenovo, but you'd be surprised. Strolling around the exhibition at Nutanix's .NEXT event in Nice, you see some 30 partners and a lot of food and drink stands. There are several backup partners – …
Chris Mellor, 9 Nov 2017

Commvault cosies up to Google Cloudies, vows to keep you safe from dreaded GDPR

Data-protector Commvault made several announcements at its annual customer shindig – including a GPDR "package", endpoint data protection as a service, a partnership with the Google Cloud Platform and a bit of Antarctic Expedition do-goodery. The GPDR package is the first deliverable of a Data Analytics Portfolio, which will …
Chris Mellor, 8 Nov 2017

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