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.

To Infinity Storage... and beyond! Cloudian gobbles Italian minnow

Object storage supplier Cloudian is buying Italian firm Infinity Storage to add file access and cloud storage gateway functionality to its services. CEO Caterina Falchi started Milan-based Infinity Storage in 1998 and wrote one of the very first software handlers for WORM optical jukebox storage, a network jukebox controller …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2018
Woman shrugs. Photo by sHutterstock

Who knew? Fabric access NVMe arrays can work with Spectrum Scale

Case study IBM Spectrum Scale (GPFS) started out as a parallel access filesystem for disk-based arrays – so some may have expected it to fall over and die in the face of lightning fast access NVMe SSD and NVMe fabric access arrays. But instead it seems to be getting a new lease of life as a data manager atop said fabric-access NVME …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2018

Supermicro praying for Nasdaq time

Supermicro, under threat of Nasdaq delisting for not filing recent quarterly reports on time, is negotiating fresh loan financing. It asked Nasdaq for another 180-day extension a fortnight ago. Its prior 180-day extension elapsed yesterday. The San Jose-based server vendor said it was talking to the Bank of America Merrill …
Chris Mellor, 14 Mar 2018
illustration of promotion to leadership position. Illo by Shutterstock

Beleaguered all-flash flinger Tintri appoints new CEO

Troubled all-flasher Tintri has found a new CEO, just a week after it revealed it was looking for one. Tom Barton was appointed last night to assume the role from April 2. Chairman and then-CEO Ken Klein confirmed that a search was under way earlier this month and that he would step down when a candidate had been unearthed. …
Chris Mellor, 14 Mar 2018
Cat marking its territory

Beware VMware! Nutanix sprays all over Virtzilla's networking territory

Nutanix this week teased analysts with a software-defined networking product called FLOW and made no secret of its intent to muscle in on VMware's turf. NSX is VMware's software-defined networking and security platform, based on acquired Nicira technology from 2012. Its latest iteration works with the Pivotal Container Service …
Chris Mellor, 14 Mar 2018

Oozing with info, glazed with love: Treat yourself to a storage doughnut

Veritas is renewing its assault on Data Domain and the disk/cloud archive market, Nutanix has offered $3,000 rebates to resellers of a Dell XC Core product, and flash memory researchers are looking at 128-layer 3D NAND. 96-layer flash isn't even a thing yet, but boffins always have to look ahead. Today we get to take a look …
Chris Mellor, 14 Mar 2018

Hyperconverger Nutanix gobbles Netsil

Nutanix is gobbling Netsil, a startup that develops tech for the discovery, mapping and management of microservices in distributed cloudy spaces. San Francisco-based Netsil was founded as Gencore Systems in 2012 by Cam Nguyen, CEO Harjot Gill, COO Shariq Rizvi (ex-Twitter), and chief architect Tanveer Gill. To date, it has …
Chris Mellor, 12 Mar 2018

We three kings of Dell EMC are; bigging up storage we traverse AFA

Analysis Three top Dell execs told the earnings call that they were taking the fall in storage results seriously, were doing all they could to fix them, and that early signs were encouraging. The Dell EMC storage business had shining bright spots, with $15.3bn for the full year, the hyperconverged portfolio seeing triple-digit demand …
Chris Mellor, 12 Mar 2018

Server sales dead? No sir, not in Q4

Gartner's Q4 server sales count has confirmed a shipment boom took place as hyperscalers, cloud buyers and on-premise all dug deep to freshen their infrastructure. The beanies said global server revenue jumped 25.7 per cent year-on-year to $18.56bn and box sales went up 8.8 per cent to 3.19 million units. The worldwide …
Chris Mellor, 9 Mar 2018

Dell results: Well done, ice cream for everyone! Er, not you, storage

Dell had a reasonable fourth 2018 quarter in all areas but one – storage. Yes, EMC let the house down with an 11 per cent drop in revenues year-on-year. Total Dell Technology revenues were $21.94bn in the quarter, a 9 per cent rise on the year. Net income was -$533m, a big improvement on the year-ago -$1.4bn. …
Chris Mellor, 8 Mar 2018
New dropbox logo

Will the stock market drop Dropbox like it's hot? Numbers say no

Analysis A look at Dropbox's IPO filing suggests a conservative company controlling costs and heading towards profitability this year. It has passed the 500 million user count, though only 2.2 per cent (11 million) of that base are paying customers – the rest use its free services. The firm had hosted its file sync'n'share data on AWS …
Chris Mellor, 8 Mar 2018

China looks set to pip Uncle Sam at the post in exascale computer race

Analysis China is to take a clear lead in the exascale superdupercomputer race - its Tianhe-3 system looks to be a whole year ahead of the US's best efforts. Aurora, Frontier and El Capitan, the three US exascale supercomputers, are set to be eclipsed by China's Tianhe-3 1 exaFLOPS system which is prototyping this year with delivery …
Chris Mellor, 8 Mar 2018
Caterpillar advertisement from 1998

Why two scale-out NAS, IBM? One's a pickup, the other's a juggernaut

Analysis IBM already had a scale-out NAS (filer) when it announced Spectrum NAS last month: Spectrum Scale, which can grow to 16,000-plus nodes. Why does it need another? The two overlap in the same way as a Dodge pickup and a Mack truck. Sure, they can both carry small loads but using a Mack truck for Dodge pickup loads is a waste of …
Chris Mellor, 8 Mar 2018

Tintri finally opens wide, bites restructuring bullet

Beleaguered array vendor Tintri has had to face reality with its latest falling quarterly sales and widening losses prompting drastic refinancing and restructuring action. Revenues of $28.9mn for Tintri's Q4 ended 31 January were down 29 per cent year-over-year – which did exceed Tintri's own guidance. Product sales (67 per …
Chris Mellor, 7 Mar 2018
Climber hanging off a cliff edge

Two years and $19bn later: What happened to WD's SanDisk enterprise flash advantage?

Analysis Western Digital is letting its acquired market share in enterprise SSDs slip away from a revenue and capacity perspective as rival Micron - now infused with ex-SanDisk execs - keeps on growing like a weed. According to TrendFocus estimates, tweaked by Wells Fargo senior analyst Aaron Rakers, SSD unit sales for each major …
Chris Mellor, 7 Mar 2018
after-party mess

Enterprise storage sitrep: The external array party is over

Despite the storage market growing 13.7 per cent annually in the fourth 2017 quarter, the external array section grew less than 2 per cent and is forecast to decline, according to IDC's worldwide enterprise storage systems tracker. NetApp's position is also weakening as HPE overtakes it in external storage revenues and IBM …
Chris Mellor, 6 Mar 2018
Supercomputer photo Timofeev Vladimir via Shutterstock

Future supers pop up on $636m cash wishlist to get exascale beasts prowling on US soil

The two new mystery exascale computing systems known only as Frontier and El Capitan popped up on a budget request last week. They are being developed by the US government and have been slated for deployment in 2022 and 2023. If American Congresspeople were to say yes to the budget, the DoE would get $636m towards current R&D …
Chris Mellor, 5 Mar 2018
man with finger pressed to lips

Dell EMC in bid to clap trade secrets injunction on staff now at Rubrik

Dell EMC has tossed a trade secrets sueball at two ex-sales employees who left for Rubrik, alleging that they solicited other EMC staff to jump ship and approached Dell EMC customers. Rubrik competes with Dell EMC in the data protection business. Complaints were filed against Ryan Baker and Louis Ferreira, who respectively …
Chris Mellor, 5 Mar 2018
businessman shrugging - illustration via shutterstock

Nutanix shrugs off loss, rivals, buys another firm

Hyperconverged player Nutanix reported second fiscal 2018 quarter revenues of $286.7m, up 44 per cent on a year ago and 4 per cent on the prior quarter. Profits seem as far away as ever, with a net loss of $61.5m, better than the prior quarter's $90.7m loss and the year-ago quarter's $76.4m, but not by much considering the …
Chris Mellor, 2 Mar 2018

Pure now a billion-dollar revenue biz as Dell EMC, HPE take eyes off prize

Flash array shipper Pure is now officially a billion-dollar turnover organ and appears poised to finally reach profitability as competition from Dell EMC and HPE contines to wane. For Q4 ended 31 January 2018, revenues were up 48 per cent year-on-year to $338.3m, jumping 34 per cent up on the previous quarter in a seasonal end …
Chris Mellor, 2 Mar 2018

Want ScaleIO virtual SAN software? You'll need to buy Dell servers

Dell will only sell its hugely scalable ScaleIO virtual SAN software product inside its VxRAck FLEX hyperconverged system from now on – the software-only version has been canned. ScaleIO was founded in Israel, 2011, to build hugely scalable virtual SANs, aggregating local storage on server nodes into a single, logical block …
Chris Mellor, 1 Mar 2018
man worries as earthquake shakes shelf

BOOM: Server shipments up as huge clumps of white boxes suddenly fly off shelves

Server shipments boomed in 2017's fourth quarter, with total revenues bouncing 26.4 per cent on the prior year and unit sales stepping up 11 per cent. Hyperscaler and cloud service provider customer buying patterns are causing tectonic shifts in the market. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker said all parts of the market …
Chris Mellor, 1 Mar 2018
nerd with briefcase

Intel to Tsinghua: I know Micron didn't work out – please buy our 3D NAND

Intel is discussing selling 3D NAND wafers to China's Tsinghua Unigroup, the same company US government barred from buying Intel's flash partner Micron in 2015. Intel and Micron have a flash chip manufacturing partnership, IMTF, and the two announced they were separating their flash interests in January. The two are …
Chris Mellor, 1 Mar 2018
3 young people playing Playstation's Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)

Executing the DIMM sidestep: Movements in High Bandwidth Memory

Analysis Getting data into and out of memory is like getting books into and out of bookshelves. The more books you can hold at once, the faster you can do the job. Someone able to hold only one book at a time is going to be far slower than another person capable of holding a stack of eight at a time or, with high-bandwidth memory (HBM) …
Chris Mellor, 1 Mar 2018
Hose race, photo via Shutterstock

Tonight on IPO, Bought or Binned: Cloudian and Scality collide as object storage endgame nears

Analysis Both Scality and Cloudian have received fresh funding as they race towards an IPO, acquisition or startup trash can – the three outcomes of the object storage endgame. The object storage market situation can be viewed as four startups that made it to acquisition, four that haven't, of whom two have prospects. Study this …
Chris Mellor, 1 Mar 2018

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