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.
Andes mountain range at Santiago de Chile

Stanley Kubrick made Eyes Wide Shut. Data-protecting Andes Rubrik makes bytes slide shut

Rubrik has expanded its database, unstructured data, and in-cloud protection. The Cloud Data Management v5, codenamed Andes, release brings a list of improvements: Live Mount for Oracle databases providing instant recovery and clones for app development NAS Direct Archive to manage and globally search unstructured datasets …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2018
couple shrugging

HPE flack: We've got an Azure stack flash rack. What's with these techies wanting technical details?

HPE has finally coughed some details on those all-flash server configs it said it would provide for its Azure Stack rack last week. El Reg can reveal that "HPE’s current plan is to support 4-8 nodes with 12 and 16 SAS SSDs per [Microsoft Azure Stack] node to give us a higher capacity up to 102TB/node with our initial launch in …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2018
Hands with clenched fists breaking bonds or fetters

Panasas tells world+dog: We've broken free from chains of proprietary kit

HPC supplier Panasas has introduced a faster file system and non-proprietary hardware design in its biggest product refresh for a decade or more. Panasas's hardware is branded ActiveStor with ASD-100 Director and AS Hybrid 100 storage enclosures. The ActiveStor 100 Hybrid and Director system is now called an ActiveStor Prime …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2018
man pours chips on face

FPGAs? Sure, them too. Liqid pours chips over composable computing systems

Liqid has added FPGAs to the list of compute resources its customers can use to compose workload-specific computing systems. An FPGA (field-programmable gate array) is a flexible compute chip composed of logic blocks, designed to be programmed or configured "in the field" using a hardware description language. They are more …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2018
Crystal ball. Pic: Shutterstock

When you play the game of storage arrays, you win or you – where are the visionaries?

NetApp has replaced HPE as the leading vendor in Gartner's general purpose drive array magic quadrant as Infinidat makes its first appearance in the top dog square. General purpose drive arrays are all-disk and hybrid flash storage offering block and file services. They are separate in Gartner's thinking from solid-state …
Chris Mellor, 12 Nov 2018
Red satin cloth obscuring object underneath

Western Digital: And when I pull the covers off, behold as NAND becomes virtual DRAM

Western Digital has been using software to turn SSDs into virtual memory so applications are accelerated without having to deploy DRAM or be constrained by memory capacity. The firm said the Ultrastar DC ME200 is an "optimised" Ultrastar SN200 SSD, which uses planar 15nm MLC (2bits/cell) NAND and is integrated with third-party …
Chris Mellor, 12 Nov 2018

Diss drive: Seagate and IBM bring blockchain sledgehammer to compliance nuts

Seagate and IBM are using IBM's blockchain tech to verify a disk drive's authenticity using its electronic fingerprint. The blockchain drive, er, drive is apparently a way for the firm to deal with the problem of fake or counterfeit HDDs. These may be sold online and are typically relabelled old drive units with apparently …
Chris Mellor, 9 Nov 2018

Monster mash: Spectra Logic's tape library now twice the beast it was

Spectra Logic's TFinity ExaScale tape library can store more than 2EB of compressed data, 2,000 petabytes-plus, using IBM's latest TS1160 tape drives and JE cartridges, double what it could store before. The TFinity library was introduced in 2016 and supports three tape formats – LTO, IBM TS1150 and Oracle T10000 A, B, C and D …
Chris Mellor, 9 Nov 2018
Lenovo's new ThinkSystem servers

VMware and Lenovo are about to hit go-go on Project Dimension beta

VMware and Lenovo intend to run beta tests of Project Dimension from next month – think of it as VMware's infrastructure-as-a-service cloud that runs on a customer's data centre on-premises and at edge locations. A few details of the project were released in August. VMware said customers like the ease of spinning up VMware …
Chris Mellor, 8 Nov 2018
Man looks guilty on laptop in ladder

NAND so it begins: Micron mounts head-on attack against 10K disks

Micron has started shipping its 2.5-inch 5210 ION flash drive, positioning it as a 10,000rpm disk drive replacement offering much better read access performance for more or less the same price. The drive was first announced in May. The low cost (low for flash, at least) comes from its use of 64-layer 3D NAND in QLC (4bits/ …
Chris Mellor, 7 Nov 2018
Japanese multinational conglomerate Toshiba sign in Beijing, China

Number-three disk drive maker Toshiba isn't shy about shipping 23.4m spinners in 3Q18

Toshiba, the third-placed disk drive maker behind Seagate and Western Digital, shipped 23.4 million units from its factories in 2018's third quarter. Seagate has given up detailing its declining disk shipments. But its capacity measure, exabytes shipped, is going up so it's reporting that instead. Toshiba makes four kinds of …
Chris Mellor, 7 Nov 2018
Man suffering from stomach ache while lying on sofa

Disky business: Seagate hyperscale customers slow to 'digest' inventory

Analysis Hyperscale customers went on a disk drive buying strike late in Seagate's first quarter of fiscal '19, ended September 28. The bottom line Seagate chalked up revenues of $2.99bn – 13.64 per cent up on the year ago's haul. HDD product sales were $2.801bn compared to $2.39bn a year ago. Revenue from enterprise systems, flash and …
Chris Mellor, 6 Nov 2018
deejay at mixing deck - party fun EDM

The PCIe bus is coming, and everybody's jumping... New York to San Francisco, an NVMe disco

A lot of vendors have looked to NVMe amongst the other cloud, software and hyperconverged tidbits in storage roundup this week, but let's start with some updates. Blocks and Files has reported that Komprise file lifecycle management customers now have more cold data storage options. The Fujitsu-NetApp converged NFLEX system, …
Chris Mellor, 6 Nov 2018

What the PUC: SK Hynix next to join big boys in 96-layer 3D NAND land

SK Hynix has finished work on a 512 Gbit, 96-layer, 3D NAND chip with 1Tbit, and 3bits/cell (TLC) and 4bits/cell (QLC) coming later. Currently SK Hynix is shipping 72-layer 3D NAND chips. The 96-layer chip uses charge trap flash (CTF) tech, as opposed to floating gate, and its logic circuitry is placed underneath the flash …
Chris Mellor, 5 Nov 2018

Seagate HAMRs out a roadmap for future hard drive recording tech

Seagate has set a course to deliver a 48TB disk drive in 2023 using its HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) technology, doubling areal density every 30 months, meaning 100TB could be possible by 2025/26. HAMR overcomes the tendency of smaller magnetised areas in current PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) technology to …
Chris Mellor, 2 Nov 2018

Commvault revenues grow – but only just – as it switches to subscription pricing

Data protection and management biz Commvault squeezed out just 1 per cent revenue growth in its second quarter of fiscal 2019 as it transitions to subscription pricing as part of the Elliott Management driven makeover. Bob_Hammer Hooo boy, Commvault, your activist investor is not a happy chappy READ MORE Revenues in the …
Chris Mellor, 2 Nov 2018

It's wall-to-wall Huawei: Chinese behemoth hogs five of six top spots in SPC-1 array benchmark

Chinese array and IT systems supplier Huawei has set a new SPC-1 performance record, snagging it five out of the top six results. Using its OceanStor Dorado18000 V3 array, Huawei scored 7,000,565 SPC-1 IOPS with a price/performance rating of $376.96 per thousand IOPS. The next three results are all Huawei too; 6,000,572 IOPS …
Chris Mellor, 1 Nov 2018
blocks and files website logo

Behold! Blocks and Files is born again as storage tech website returns

Several years ago, The Register absorbed the storage-focused Blocks and Files website because storage news was becoming mainstream IT industry news. The bits and bytes making up blocks, files and objects were becoming so large in number that developing storage arrays to hold them was a complex business and getting more so. …
Chris Mellor, 1 Nov 2018

Cray's pre-exascale Shasta supercomputer gets energy research boffins hot under collar

Cray has announced Shasta – a near-composable planned supercomputer supporting multiple CPUs, GPUs and interconnects, including its new high-speed Slingshot Ethernet-compatible fabric that fixes the noisy neighbour network congestion problem. Shasta is designed to run multiple workload types: traditional HPC-like modelling and …
Chris Mellor, 31 Oct 2018
Flying pig

IBM's Red Hat gobble: Storage will be a test of Big Blue's commitment to open-source software

Comment So we all know by now that IBM is buying Red Hat for $34bn – the largest software acquisition ever. Of course, that includes all Red Hat's storage products. There are the two big ones, Red Hat Ceph (object storage with file and block access) and Red Hat Gluster (Scale-out NAS). Then there are the stragglers – the attempt at …
Chris Mellor, 30 Oct 2018
fujitsu eternus dx8900 s4 array

Hope springs Eternus: Fujitsu lobs fresh top-end array at flashy storage crowd

Fujitsu has announced the fourth generation of its high-end DX8900 array with 50 per cent more drives, doubled storage capacity, faster caching, a 1.3x performance boost and the addition of compression. The prior ETERNUS DX8900 S3 was announced in July 2015 and introduced the Extreme Cache option, an SSD cache built into the …
Chris Mellor, 29 Oct 2018
aerial shot of sk hynix flash fab

The end (of the flash boom) is nigh! But not before SK Hynix tallies up its record revenues

In its third 2018 quarter, SK Hynix revenues were up a massive 41 per cent, year on year, to a record $9.94bn, with net income of $4.08bn, a rise of 53.5 per cent on the year. The operating profit margin also rose, reaching 57 per cent from 46 per cent a year earlier. All the stats for the quarter, the three months to …
Chris Mellor, 26 Oct 2018
man yells in shock

Flash price-drop pops Western Digital's wallet: Surprise revenue fall with worse to come

Western Digital's revenues are dropping and set to get worse because of poor flash product sales and declines in pricing. Revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 ended 28 September, were 3 per cent down year-on-year to $5bn. Profits were $511m, down 24 per cent. Operating cash flow was $705m, compared to $1.133bn last …
Chris Mellor, 26 Oct 2018

Shingled-minded Western Digital insists its latest hard drive sets disk capacity record

Western Digital has claimed its shingled 15TB Ultrastar DC HC620 is the highest capacity disk drive in the world. It is a follow-on from the 14TB Hs14 drive, available in either 14 or 15TB capacities. Both the Hs14 and the HC620 are helium-filled drives with, we understand, eight platters. WD_Ultrastar_DC_HC620 Western …
Chris Mellor, 25 Oct 2018
Lenovo's HX series of hyperconverged appliances

Scale Computing hauls in cash bundle from Lenovo and pals

Scale Computing has announced a $34.8m F-series round, in which new partner Lenovo is the biggest investor. New and existing financial investors also participated and total known funding stands at $104m. Man with YOLO tattooed on his knuckles prepares to punch the viewer (of the pic). Photo by Shutterstock Hypervisor kid Jeff …
Chris Mellor, 25 Oct 2018

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018