Chris Mellor

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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.

Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

The stunted physical SAN market – Dell man gives Wikibon forecasts his blessing

Analysis Current thinking among vendors with hyper-converged and converged infrastructure offerings is that physical SANs are in decline and their market is shrinking. Chad Sakac, Converged Platforms Division president at Dell EMC, is the latest high-profile prognosticator to push this view. The Wikibon consultancy first talked about …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017
SimpliVity_Omnicubes

Surprise! HPE says nothing about ProLiant server hardware for SimpliVity OmniCubes

Analysis HPE has closed its SimpliVity acquisition and publicised software porting and migration plans but hasn't said anything about SimpliVity hardware moving to a ProLiant server base. The second-largest hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) startup was bought for $650m, and so SimpliVity's hardware added to HPE's two-horse …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017

Yee-haw! It's the Friday storage round-up

Not every story is NetApp making a hyperconverged product, or Oracle possibly canning tape products. Here's a roundup of several pieces of news that are nevertheless significant. We wrote about data management startup Komprise some time ago. It tells us it released its product last year, has partnerships with NetApp, EMC, …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017

Hyperconverged market gets hyper-competitive as new riders enter field

Analysis The hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) market has become hypercompetitive as the two-horse race between Dell and Nutanix has been blown open with HPE/SimpliVity, NetApp and Cisco chasing them. Three things happened this week: Cisco's boss Chuck Robbins said of its HyperFlex product: "We certainly would like to …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Close up of tangled tape

Did Oracle just sign tape's death warrant? Depends what 'no comment' means

Oracle's StorageTek (StreamLine) tape library product range will be end-of-lifed, El Reg has learned. StreamLine boxes are high-end libraries, generally for enterprise use, competing with equivalents from IBM (buoyed by mainframe tape use) and SpectraLogic. Both IBM and Oracle have their own proprietary tape formats as well as …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Graphcore_ResNet_50_graph_extract

What does a complex AI model look like? Here's some Friday eye candy from UK biz Graphcore

Pics Brit chip startup Graphcore has produced sexy images of its graph processing. We wrote about Graphcore scoring $30m A-round funding in October. The processor designer came out of two years in XMOS-incubated stealth mode at that time, and was founded by CEO Nigel Toon and CTO Simon Knowles. XMOS is a fabless semiconductor …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Cloudian_HS_4000_Bezel

Enterprise IT storage – where being fat and very dense is, um, a good thing. Right, Cloudian?

Cloudian is now touting a fat HyperStore 4000 alongside its HyperStore 1500 appliance. Both boxes are compatible with Amazon's AWS S3 APIs. The new 4000 comes in a 4U box with two compute nodes inside. There are 35 hot-swap 3.5-inch disk drives per node, and the same four hot-swap SSDs and 10GbitE networking as with the HS …
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
Sherlocks

Analyse this: IBM moves Watson machine learning to mainframes

IBM is adding the machine learning technology from Watson to its z/OS mainframe for smarter, faster analytics of transaction data. Big Data analytics is typically applied to unstructured data in the Hadoop world. By contrast, older data warehousing and business intelligence (DW/BI) products are applied to structured data in …
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
Train in the Alps emerges from clouds. Photo by Shutterstock

Dell EMC plans to use VxRail for mutant cloud cargo

Dell EMC says smaller enterprises are rushing to combine their on-premises IT with the public cloud and is offering a turnkey scale-out hyper-converged VxRail appliance so they can do just that. The cloud hybridity comes from its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud offering, EHC, which was first introduced in October 2014 as EMC's …
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
John_Gower_world_Vox_Clamantis

NetApp confirms: SolidFire hyperconverged appliance is coming

+Comment NetApp met its revenue predictions for its third fiscal 2017 quarter and talked openly about a coming SolidFire-based hyperconverged product suited for scalable hybrid cloud and mixed workload enterprise deployments. NetApp's revenues were $1.4bn, an increase of 5 per cent sequentially and 1 per cent year-over-year, pretty …
Chris Mellor, 16 Feb 2017
Hadoop

IBM hooks up with Hortonworks to Hadoop Big Blue products

+Comment Cognitive Watsonian and mainframer IBM is making Hortonworks available for its Elastic Storage Server (ESS) and Spectrum Scale products. ESS is an integrated bundle of POWER8 servers, storage enclosures, disks and Spectrum Scale software. The GPFS parallel file system software was renamed Elastic Storage and then rebranded …
Chris Mellor, 15 Feb 2017
IBM_S812L

IBM to launch cheap 'n' cheerful Power server for i and AIX userbase

IBM's i and AIX customer bases can buy a cheaper box; its latest Power S812 server comes with just one socket and a single or quad-core processor. It's for relatively light use, in the retail area for example, and as an entry point for non-compute-intense workloads. The S812 box, separate from the 2014 S812L Linux system, is …
Chris Mellor, 15 Feb 2017

Prepare for an acquisition whirlwind? Private equity owners sweep up Nexsan

Comment Nexsan, newly sold by Imation to private equity house Spear Point Capital Management, is now run by that firm's co-founder and managing partner, Ron Bienvenu. Bienvenu was appointed executive vice chairman in January, when Imation sold storage array business Nexsan to New Orleans-based Spear Point's vehicle NXSN. At that time …
Chris Mellor, 15 Feb 2017
Itanium_9500_die

Next Superdome CPU chips amble into HPE

There have been reports that Intel has already started shipping its latest, Kittson version, Itanium processor chip. The current Itanium processors are the 9500 series, code-named Poulson, and introduced in 2012. There are four versions: 9520, 9540, 9550 and 9560. HPE uses Itanium chips in its high-end Superdome 2 servers, …
Chris Mellor, 15 Feb 2017
TOkyo

Fujitsu has its own line of storage boxes, so, uh, why is it reselling XtremIO in Japan?

Why is Fujitsu touting all-flash XtremIO storage arrays in Japan when it has its own Eternus all-flash array product line? The Fujitsu business unit doing this is Fujitsu Managed Infrastructure Services (FMIS). Could Fujitsu say why it is doing this please, and whether other Fujitsu regions will start reselling XtremIO …
Chris Mellor, 14 Feb 2017
Two dollars

Nifty website claims to make comparing cloud costs simple. Good luck with that

CostStorage.com is a free public cloud cost calculator covering the Amazon, Azure, Google, IBM, BackBlaze and Oracle clouds and their US regions. It returns a single-dollar amount, taking into account storage needed, data transfer out, number of read and write requests, region, 'temperature' (hot, warm, cool, cold) and …
Chris Mellor, 14 Feb 2017
Cohesity_Santa_clara_office

Cloud is the future, wait, what? Cohesity cloud software now touted for on-prem gear

Cohesity has added two more products to its Data Platform set, a software-only virtual edition and a hyper-converged node. These join the existing three-box hardware and software set, C2100, C2300 and C2500, and the Cloud Edition product. The cloud product is essentially the same as the newly announced Virtual Edition (VE) – …
Chris Mellor, 14 Feb 2017
Rose

XPoint: Leaked Intel specs reveal 'launch-ready' SSD – report

Leaked Intel Optane SSD specs show much higher endurance and lower latency than NAND SSDs and good, but not great, IO performance. M.2 format 16GB and 32GB caching Optane drives have already been announced, but no add-in-card/SSD-type drives yet. However, the Chinese TechBang website says it has seen a data sheet for an Intel …
Chris Mellor, 14 Feb 2017
StoreServ_racks

HPE brags its latest 3PAR OS shrinkwrapper better protects data

HPE says its latest 3PAR OS, v 3.3.1, has better data reduction, faster iSCI networking, upgraded data protection and an extra helping of automation to help admin staff. The Adaptive Data Reduction (ADR) feature can reduce capacity needs by up to 75 per cent*, it claims. It includes both in-line deduplication and compression, …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2017
Hensinger_Quantum_computer_design_part

UK prof claims to have first practical blueprint of a quantum computer

A professor at the University of Sussex says he has the first practical blueprint for a quantum computer capable of solving problems that could take billions of years for a classical computer to compute. Oh yeah? A quantum computer (QC) uses qubits instead of classic binary digits, and each qubit is in a quantum state between …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2017
HDD_heads

Unlucky WD Ultrastar drives are knackered, need replacing ASAP

El Reg has received an antipodean note that a number of Western Digital enterprise disk drives are having problems and need to be replaced. WD spokesman Paul Wooding said: We have identified a small, isolated population of HGST Ultrastar disk drives demonstrating higher than expected failure rates when used in specific …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2017
Stealth_bomber

Say a stealthy 'hi' to Gluent, Tachyum and VAST Data

Analysis Three storage startups have hoved into view: Gluent, Tachyum and VAST Data. Gluent is a data silo virtualiser, liking RDBMS to Hadoop data for easier and simpler data analysis. Tachyum aims to, it appears, defeat Moore's Law by devising a new data processing architecture, and VAST Data, the stealthiest of the three, must be …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2017

Take cover! Storage news barrage incoming

Incoming! Boom, boom and boom again – storage news announcements hit the wires in a relentless barrage. Here's a few we've received showing developments in data protection, cloud storage, hyper-converged storage, the dregs of flash memory and more. Acronis Backup 12 now includes backup for Office 365 and VMware vSphere 6.5. …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2017

Talking to Tintri's Alexa speechbot might not actually be all that crazy

Interview Tintri's Alexa speechbot is no piece of eye-candy gimmickry. CTO and founder Dr Kieran Harty says it will enable users to do more with less hassle as system management gets automated. We quizzed Harty on the how-and-why of its development. What is the overall background case for implementing an Alexa interface for Tintri array …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2017
Image by Dr Flash http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-182053p1.html

Dell's XtremIO has a new reseller in Japan – its all-flash rival Fujitsu

Check this baby out. Fujitsu_XtremIO_webpage What's that we can just about make out at the bottom? Computer, enhance! Fujitsu_XtremIO_webpage_close_up Well, well, well. Fujitsu is reselling Dell XtremIO all-flash arrays in Japan. And alongside its ETERNUS all-flash arrays as well. The Fujitsu Japan XtremIO webpages …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2017