Chris Mellor

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
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.

Toshiba raises dread spectre of working with SK Hynix on flash fab

Toshiba could partner with SK Hynix on flash foundry operations, implying the WDC joint venture could have a finite shelf life. More details have emerged of the latest flash foundry talks between WDC and Toshiba. Toshiba is building Fab 6 at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, to increase 3D NAND chip production so that it becomes 90 …
Chris Mellor, 16 Oct 2017

Keep your voice down in the data centre, the HDDs have ears! I SAID, KEEP...

It must be one of the worst ways to build a microphone imaginable, tapping into a disk drive's nanosecond head stops as it waits for the vibrations caused by sound to cease, but it has been done. When sound meets a disk drive, the sonic vibrations cause a shaking in the disk drive and the platters vibrate. The drive's control …
Chris Mellor, 16 Oct 2017

Huawei dunks server triplets in Skylake for a v5 refresh

Huawei has refreshed three third generation modular rack server products from older Xeons to Skylake processors with a v5 refresh giving them updated networking and storage options. Earlier this year Huawei started the Skylake refresh of its server products, commencing with its E series blade servers – the CH121 and CH242 V5s …
Chris Mellor, 16 Oct 2017
chess cheating

Quantum's rook-ey move, software pawns and is cheque in mail for tape?

Storage roundup At the end of this week we can lift the lid just a little on Quantum's mystery Castle storage project, say that the latest 12TB LTO tape format is coming nearer and add a few tidbits about GPDR, NAS in the cloud and Tintri array automation. Crossbar Crossbar showed its ReRAM technology at the 2017 SMIC Technology Symposium in …
Chris Mellor, 13 Oct 2017
Boxer_blow

Bloodied and broken AFA pioneer Violin picks itself up and tries again

Analysis Violin Systems, the renamed Violin Memory, is like a boxer who could have been a contender and is now chasing redemption, getting up off the floor after what should have been a knockout blow. There's a new coaching team in his corner but, wait a minute, the replacement head coach is the former assistant coach and there's no …
Chris Mellor, 13 Oct 2017

Toshiba: Dear Western Digital. Let's talk flash fab moolah

Toshiba says it is now talking to Western Digital about joint investment in a flash fab development. The two are joint venture partners in a flash foundry in Yokkaichi, Mie prefecture, Japan. In dire need of cash, Toshiba is trying to sell its interests to a Bain Capital-led consortium which won an auction for the business …
Chris Mellor, 13 Oct 2017
Angry-looking woman croses her arms and glares. Pic by Shutterstock

Boring Barracuda says sales are going swimmingly – again

It's getting predictable. Barracuda has posted yet another year-on-year revenue rise with yet another small profit. Boring is good, though, right? For the three months to August 31 this year, its second fiscal 2018 quarter, the California-based outfit recorded revenues of $94.3m, up seven per cent from last years's $87.9mn and …
Chris Mellor, 13 Oct 2017
MAMR

Western Dig's MAMR is so phat, it'll store 100TB on a hard drive by 2032

WDC has given up on heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) and is developing a microwave-assisted technique (MAMR) to push disk drive capacity up to 100TB by the 2030s. It's able to do this with relatively incremental advances, avoiding the technological development barrier represented by HAMR. These developments include …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2017

Magic hash maths: Dedupe does not have to mean high compute. Wait, what?

Analysis A new and deduping X-IO ISE 900 all-flash array has puzzling puny processors yet kicks out good performance when deduping. We wondered about that, and were pointed to a video of X-IO chief scientist Richard Lary presenting at a Storage Field Day in Denver earlier this year. The maths is complex but the points made are logical …
Chris Mellor, 12 Oct 2017
bang_648

WDC adds an FAQ to SanDisk-Tosh chip arm wrestling match

WDC is channelling its inner Theodore Roosevelt in its public negotiating stance with Bain Capital and Toshiba. Bain Capital is leading a consortium containing three WDC competitors in its bid to buy Toshiba's Memory Business and its stake in the Toshiba-WDC flash foundry joint ventures. WDC tried to buy the Toshiba Memory …
Chris Mellor, 11 Oct 2017
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell makes $1bn bet that IoT at the edge can kill cloud computing takeover

Analysis Dell is going full tilt into the Internet of Things market, setting up a new division and promising to invest $1bn in IoT R&D over three years to build the business. At a New York announcement event, Dell said it foresaw an Internet of "intelligent" Things – devices from phones to cars to oil rigs to robots to heart monitors …
Chris Mellor, 11 Oct 2017
business meeting, debate over data. Photo by shutterstock

IT admins hate this one trick: 'Having something look like it’s on storage, when it is not'

Debate An argument about how to solve the same technical problem has sprung up between two rival startups with plenty of reason to say the other's tech is not up to scratch. But they raise some interesting issues about how to solve slow access to moved files, where to store metadata, and more. How best to archive files yet preserve …
Chris Mellor, 11 Oct 2017

Consistency is key to Oracle and Microsoft's hybrid cloud clout

Analysis Run the Azure Stack on-premises and you can move data and apps to the Azure public cloud with ease. It's the same software environment. Run the Oracle Cloud at Customer on-premises and move apps and data to the Oracle public cloud with ease. It's the same software and billing environment. The perfect hybrid cloud has to have …
Chris Mellor, 11 Oct 2017
Aircraft carrier take off photo via Shutterstock

Has Nexenta's growth stalled?

Has software-defined storage supplier Nexenta's growth stalled? Far from it, its CEO and chairman insisted. It's booming and additional significant funding is coming, apparently. Nexenta was anticipating a stock-market debut in 2015, but has since had a $7.7m series-G funding round at the end of 2016, and a co-founder has left …
Chris Mellor, 11 Oct 2017

Samsung rings death knell for disk, gears up for QLC flash production

Samsung has confirmed its 4bit/cell flash is incoming – that's a QLC (quad-level cell) NAND chip. The highest capacity flash cells right now are TLC (triple-level cell) with 3 bits/cell. It's harder to make QLC flash as the stuff has slower read and write times than TLC and less endurance at die level. Read a QLC flash primer …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2017
RDX_QuikStor

RDX removable disk has ransomware protection begging to be bypassed

The RDX is a neat niche removable disk storage product that can now tell ransomware to get lost. Overland-Tandberg is a Sphere3D business unit that punts RDX QuikStor drives with 1, 2, 3 or 4TB capacities. It has introduced rdxLOCK software with a RansomBlock feature, which turns an RDX into a WORM (Write Once Read Many) drive …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2017

Before you head into Office 365, pull on this cosy Cloud Archive

Email archiver Mimecast has promised a subscription drug to cut through GDPR pain. The idea with Cloud Archive is to provide a secure and reliable stash for email data that acts as a safe and secure central resource supporting GDPR requirements, e-discovery, compliance, end-user access, recovery and search. Mimecast says …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2017
Container image via Shutterstock

OpenEBS v0.4 is live, uses Google container scheduling tech

Multi-app enterprise storage startup CloudByte has announced v0.4 of OpenEBS, hyperconverged block storage for stateful applications on the Kubernetes platform. OpenEBS is container-native, open-source storage software taht's sponsored by the startup. In January we wrote: "OpenEBS is containerised storage which, via its also …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2017
disk head crash

Stealthy storage startup wants to fly read-write heads closer to disks

Stealthy storage startup L2 Drive's technology could enable higher-capacity disk drives. The company was founded in January 2016 by CEO Karim Kaddeche and COO John Wang. Kaddeche has no direct disk drive storage industry experience, having been a product management director at the Descartes Systems Group. Before that he spent …
Chris Mellor, 9 Oct 2017

Storage pizza from The Register's wood-fired oven

Thick crust, thin crust, who cares, it's storage pizza time, cooked in The Register's own wood-fired oven, with lots of bark and bite. The first item on the menu is the ... Acronis cloud supreme Acronis has announced its Data Cloud, saying it's a unified platform for all current and future cloud-based services that Acronis is …
Chris Mellor, 9 Oct 2017
Tough question, pic via Shutterstock

Vexata's zippy storage array architecture poses vexatious questions

Analysis Newcomer Vexata has dropped out of stealth with a $54m* funding war chest and aims to blow the fusty old storage array business to smithereens with its 7 million IOPS Active Data Fabric box. How so? Its VX-100 box** is a 6U enclosure with two active:active controllers using either up to 64 NVMe SSDs (VX-100F) or Optane SSDs ( …
Chris Mellor, 6 Oct 2017
Chart

Woah, backup a mo. You mean Veeam now has 4,000 NetApp resellers flinging its software?

NetApp is reselling Veeam data protection software. Veeam Availability Suite and Backup & Replication will be available with NetApp E-series, AltaVault, ONTAP, All-Flash FAS, and hybrid cloud product offerings, sold by NetApp directly or through its channel. That means Veeam products are now on NetApp's price list and around …
Chris Mellor, 6 Oct 2017

Amazon, Azure, Google will eat all the IT. Google, let us be your cake fork, pleads Nutanix

Analysis An IT trio of giants will soon dominate the market - and there appears to be one on-premises/hybrid stack partner opening, Nutanix told us. A conversation with Sudheesh Nair, Nutanix's president, revealed the firm's mindset: it envisages three great beasts in the IT jungle – Amazon, Azure and Google – each with their public …
Chris Mellor, 6 Oct 2017
A confused man

WDC being a real Bain in the butt as it tries to bar Toshiba memory sale

Toshiba Memory Business bid winner Bain Capital is hoping to settle with WDC and float the purchased unit in three years. A Bain-led consortium agreed to buy the biz for $18bn last week. Rival and losing bidder WDC has intensified its legal action in the International Arbitration Court aimed at blocking the deal and, if that …
Chris Mellor, 5 Oct 2017
Seagate_Ironwolf_detail

Seagate fires NASty volley of 12TB spinners with lifebelt for fried data

Seagate has fired out three 12TB drives, punting one at the desktop, two at the NAS market, and clobbering WDC on capacity in both areas. The desktop BarraCuda Pro comes in 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12TB versions, previously maxing out at 10TB. Seagate says it has double the space of its nearest competitor, the 6TB WDC Blue. We …
Chris Mellor, 5 Oct 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017