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.
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Honey, I shrank the company: Tintri's dire third quarter presages a worse final one

+Comment CEO Ken Klein is having to eat dust after Tintri's poor IPO saw sales staff leave. Third quarter results are dire, the fourth quarter looks even worse, and Tintri is considering selling itself. We'll let the numbers talk first and see what Klein and his CFO Ian Halifax said in the earnings call. Revenues in its third fiscal …
Chris Mellor, 14 Dec 2017
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Hell's bells! Lights out at Diablo Technologies as plug pulled on website

NVDIMMer Diablo Technologies has suspended day-to-day operations, according to its lawyer. Speaking in the Northern District Court in California at a December 1 hearing* – in which Netlist claims Diablo, SanDisk and Smart Storage infringed its patents – Diablo's counsel, Fabio Marino, informed the other parties that Diablo had …
Chris Mellor, 14 Dec 2017
Tommy Lee Jones delivers implied facepalm. From No Country for Old Men  Copyright Miramax Pictures. 2007.

Sons of Sun DriveScale tempt cloud-lovers with composable infrastructure rig

Analysis Composable infrastructure startup DriveScale believes composability is not primarily about hardware. Its CEO told us: "Hardware doesn’t drive software any more" and "SoCs are everywhere now", so "use the network as your backplane" because "100Gbit Ethernet is faster than PCIe 4 lane". “It’s all about the software. The box is a …
Chris Mellor, 14 Dec 2017

Disk drives spin, are you listening? In the lane, servers glistening...

Analysis It's been a crazy storage news year with a furious blitz of announcements and events, some of which stand out more than others. This is my personal selection of the main news events, some still ongoing, that impressed me during the year. First up is the longest-running one of all – Toshiba's chip business sale. Toshiba chip …
Chris Mellor, 14 Dec 2017
Man relaxes, stretches out, outs his feet up on a cloud.... Fun but hammy stock pic. Photo by Shutterstock

Nasuni straps APIs and encryption to nippier Edge Appliances

Cloud storage and gateway supplier Nasuni has released software making its Edge Appliances faster, safer, and easily integrated. RESTful management API access is being added to provide information about volumes, Edge Appliances, and notifications for workflow automation, business unit chargeback, and data analysis. The next …
Chris Mellor, 13 Dec 2017
Peace in our time?

Flash bang walloped: Toshiba, Western Digital sign peace treaty over memory chip fabs

A peace has broken out between Western Digital and Toshiba over the future of their solid-state-memory factory joint-ventures. As expected, the two flash bangers have agreed to end their legal war. The pair said they have reached "a global settlement agreement to resolve their ongoing disputes in litigation and arbitration, …
Chris Mellor, 13 Dec 2017

Xcellis: From 'gateway' for NAS dabblers to pusher of hardcore scale-out NAS boxen

Quantum has announced an Xcellis scale-out NAS system, claiming performance is three times better than the next-best competing NAS system. Xcellis is hardware separated into Workflow Director Nodes and Workflow Director Storage. The Director Nodes run StorNext software, which provides access to a multi-tier and single …
Chris Mellor, 12 Dec 2017

Fujitsu's server jujitsu: FPGA gives networking capacity fourfold boost

Fujitsu Labs has fitted a parallelising FPGA to a server and quadrupled effective 10Gbit/s networking capacity. Using hardware offload to boost effective network transmission bandwidth is not new but Fujitsu's parallelising FPGA takes it to new heights. It has developed the FPGA to speed data compression and deduplication. …
Chris Mellor, 12 Dec 2017

Avere wheels out fitter, faster filer accelerator

NAS accelerator Avere has introduced a beefier box to top its edge filer range – the FXT 5850. Avere can accelerate file access in the public cloud with virtual FXTs, and also on-premises with its FXT edge filers. These front-end existing filers and can act as stonking fast read and write caches for them. As file workloads …
Chris Mellor, 12 Dec 2017

Seagate: Happy Xmas, staff – thanks for everyth... um, you 500. Can we have a word?

Seagate has said it will reduce its global headcount by 500 staffers, not long after its CEO praised all of its employees for continually going "above and beyond". In a statement filed with the SEC – America's financial watchdog – yesterday afternoon, Seagate said it has "committed to an additional restructuring plan to reduce …
Chris Mellor, 12 Dec 2017
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Teen Pennsylvania HPC storage pusher Panasas: Small files, fat nodes, sharp blades

Analysis HPC storage array maker Panasas has been talking about the new architecture for its scale out, parallel filesystem array, involving separate and scale-out director nodes talking to scale-out storage nodes. The company, born in Pennsylvania, is far from the hustling, VC-fuelled growth frenzy that is Silicon Valley – although it …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2017

Four hybrid clouds, three server SANs, two snapshotters... and a partridge in a pear tree

Backup, cloud, convergence, GDPR, malware and server SANs are flavours of the storage week as we approach midwinter. These market areas are growing strongly while traditional SANs and hybrid arrays fall back. Here's a snapshot of what happened, finishing up with a server SAN boost from Wikibon. But we start with a secondary …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2017
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An object failure: All in all, it's just another... file system component?

Analysis Object storage has failed to to make it big time and is becoming just another way of storing files and a public cloud on-ramp. Ten years or so ago the object storage startups said file storage, with its file:folder access scheme, could not cope with large volumes of unstructured data. It wasn't reliable enough and used up too …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2017
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If you're bored of the WDC-Toshiba flash fab saga, reports suggest it may be over soon

+Comment Suppressed hints and whispers suggest that Toshiba and WDC are finally about to agree a deal ending their dispute over Toshiba's right to sell its flash fab joint-venture stake and the way it's being done. WDC will stop its legal action in the International Court of Arbitration and be able to invest in new flash production …
Chris Mellor, 8 Dec 2017

Shingled out: 14TB helium-filled Toshiba drive floats to market

Toshiba has joined the ranks of helium-filled disk drive makers with a 14TB drive that is not shingled. WDC's 14TB UltraStar Hs is helium-filled and uses shingled magnetic recording (SMR), with blocks of partially overlapping write tracks. These increase capacity over conventional PMR recording by 2TB but rewriting data to the …
Chris Mellor, 8 Dec 2017
A tree with the roots exposed appears as if it's walking.

Walk with me... through a billion files. Slow down – admire the subset

Analysis If you ask your notebook's filesystem how many MP3 files it is storing that haven’t been opened in 30 days, you can find the answer reasonably quickly. But ask an enterprise’s file system when it holds a million files and you have a big problem. Ask this question of a file system that holds a billion files and your day just …
Chris Mellor, 8 Dec 2017
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell makes a loss, but the trend lines look promising for profits

Dell's posted third quarter results that suggest it is on track to deliver its first profit since acquiring EMC. Dell Technologies today reported Q3 2018 revenues were up 20.6 per cent year-on-year to US$19.6bn. There was also a net loss of $533m, down from $1.51bn loss a year ago and smaller than last quarter's $978m. As our …
Chris Mellor, 8 Dec 2017
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AI smarts: IBM pushes out 'faster than X86' POWER9 servers

IBM has launched its first POWER9 server, the dual-socket AC922, saying it is designed for compute-intensive AI work, speeding frameworks like Chainer, TensorFlow and Caffe. It has two POWER9 chips and from two to six NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs, and shared CPU-GPU memory. The CPUs can have 16, 18, 20 or 22 cores and up to 44 cores …
Chris Mellor, 7 Dec 2017
Bundled files, image via Shutterstock

Cloudian pops NAS joystick on HyperStore object boxes

Cloudian says you can store unstructured data files on its HyperStore object storage, through a HyperFile NAS Controller, and not burden primary data filers with the stuff, saving lots of lovely money and getting loads of scalability. HyperFile involves a 2U NAS controller sitting atop one or more 4U HyperStore object storage …
Chris Mellor, 7 Dec 2017

Public cloud backup kid throws a Spanning out of the Dell EMC works

Analysis Public cloud backupper Spanning says it has a new release of innovation energy now that Dell has shopped it to private equity. The company provides data protection as a service for Office 365, the Google apps suite and other cloud services. It was founded in 2010 and bought by EMC four years later. Timeline 2014 - bought by …
Chris Mellor, 7 Dec 2017
Little climbers move up a "stack" of coloured blocks. Pic by SHutterstock

Storage and network prodder Virtual Instruments climbs up stack to apps

Virtual Instruments has said it is getting more application-centric with its v5.4 release of VirtualWisdom, its infrastructure performance monitoring and analytics platform, which builds on its Xangati acquisition. The theory is sound, with the basic real-time monitoring of IT infrastructure components being connected to the …
Chris Mellor, 5 Dec 2017
No, just stop. Nope. photo by shutterstock

Call of Duty: Hierachical storage management biz runs its last campaign

Hierarchical Storage Management and HPC archiving firm Campaign Storage has closed down. It was started up by Nathan Thompson, founder and CEO of archive gateway system and tape library company SpectraLogic and and Peter Braam. Braam was its CEO and the Lustre file system creator. The idea was to provides tools for massive …
Chris Mellor, 5 Dec 2017
man gathers money in an umbrella

WANdisco: We need cash-o. About $10m would.. wahey... $22m

Sheffield-based replication supplier WANdisco, which was hoping to raise $10m to grow the company yesterday, has raised $22m from its share sale. Yesterday, the software dev was looking for $10m via a projected equity raise, by selling about 1.045 million existing ordinary shares at the price of 550 pence. Because of demand, …
Chris Mellor, 5 Dec 2017

♫ Storage falling, all around me... Snowflake, Komprise... Paragon ♬

Ho ho ho, blockheads. Winterfest is almost upon us, but you know what is more exciting than four weeks of soulless consumerism? That's right, storage! So here's another roundup of the latest industry titbits. We do spoil you so. IBM It takes a while for AIX and System i to get the newest kit but it has arrived. Big Blue has a …
Chris Mellor, 5 Dec 2017
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Big Mike is going to make HPE's life a living Dell: Server sales surge

Dell is set to overtake HPE and become the number-one server vendor in terms of revenue and unit shipment numbers, according to IDC. Meanwhile, Lenovo's server shipments are under severe pressure. IDC's third-quarter Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker has two tables and a chart showing what's going on. Here's the server vendor …
Chris Mellor, 2 Dec 2017

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