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.

Activist investor rages at Mellanox for dismissing Marvell's advances

Analysis InfiniBand/Ethernet tech supplier Mellanox is being targeted by an activist investor pissy that it rejected overtures from Marvell. Starboard Value has bought a 10.7 per cent holding in Mellanox, wanting to influence the company's management to create more value for shareholders (increase share price so we can make a profit …
Chris Mellor, 24 Nov 2017
Summit_racks

Summit for the readers who are hot for petaFLOPs: Server nodes flashed at SC17

Analysis IBM offered HPC fans at SC17 a gawk at the server tray for the upcoming Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Tennessee. This is the system slated to knock China's 93 petaFLOPS Sunway TaihuLight system off the top of the supercomputer tree when it goes live. It is slated to pump out a hoped-for 200 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Nov 2017
Smart TV privacy issues

StorONE 're-invents' storage stack to set hardware free

Analysis Israeli storage startup StorONE says it has re-invented the storage stack to set hardware free. The software is TRU (Total Resource Utilisation), a storage array controller that provides file, block and object storage on the same drives, 650,000 random read 4K IOPS, and effectively unlimited snapshots. It supports all drive …
Chris Mellor, 23 Nov 2017
golfer tries to blow ball into hole

Under par: HPE 3PAR US sales are limping

Comment Did HPE shoot itself in the foot with US 3PAR push? Its fourth quarter results showed storage revenues grew slightly but with sales in the US of the tech limping in a quarter with sales organisation changes. Storage revenues were $871m, up 5 per cent from the $827m of a year ago. In the HPE earnings call, CFO Tim Stonesifer …
Chris Mellor, 22 Nov 2017
Falcon

Wounded FalconStor flutters back to life

FalconStor has confirmed its first profit in more than two years, bagged fresh funding and employed a new bunch of new faces in its exec lounge. CEO Todd Brooks, who arrived in August, claimed changes are underway for the software-defined storage developer. Revenues in its third 2017 quarter ended 30 September were $6.1m, 17 …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2017

HPE straps AMD chip into 2P/2U server box with Epyc results

HPE has upgraded its Opteron-using DL385p server with AMD Epyc processors and used it to notch up a pair of record SPEC benchmarks. The ProLiant DL385 is a standard data centre, dual-processor, 2U rackmount, 24-drive bay, chassis, like the Xeon-using DL380. The existing Opteron-based DL385p was classed as a ProLiant Gen 9 box …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2017
AI

Gulp. HPE's InfoSight self-repairs and makes 'proactive decisions'

HPE is updating its acquired Nimble Storage InfoSight array management system with a machine learning-driven recommendation engine, and adding InfoSight to 3PAR arrays. InfoSight collects data points from sensors (hardware and software) in all installed Nimble arrays and pumps them up to Nimble in the cloud for analysis, …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2017

CEO: 'Claying the ongoing continuous chaos of info into one logical masterpiece'

We start this week's collection of storage news with the marketing buzzwords of the month award, which goes to startup Panoply for outstanding excellence. Panoply emerged from stealth in late 2016 and now wants to announce general availability of its data warehouse product. It exclaims that, after four decades of stagnation in …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2017

First XPoint, then Z-NAND: Oh dear, server-makers. SCM is happening

Analysis Storage-class memory (SCM), in the shape of Optane, is already here and, with Samsung's Z-SSD, set to become available for use by servers. What does this mean and when will it actually happen? SCM, also known as persistent memory (PMEM) is a faster version on non-volatile memory, built using Intel/Micron's 3D XPoint media or …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2017
Samsung 960

Flash, Sam, wallop: Samsung crashes ahead as top NAND chip flinger

Samsung increased its market share in the NAND supply world in the third quarter of the year, analysts reckon. According to TrendForce's latest estimates, the suppliers' overall flash shipments for Q3 2017 looked like this: Company 3Q17 Revenue QoQ change 3Q17 share 2Q17 share Samsung $5,619.9 19.5% 37.2% 35.6% …
Chris Mellor, 21 Nov 2017
HyperFlex_HX220c

Who has 2,000 tickets to the gun show? Cisco's HCIA platform HyperFlex

+Comment After 18 months of selling, some 2,000 customers are travelling along the Cisco HCIA highway. HyperFlex is Cisco's hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA), marrying acquired Springpath's software with Cisco's UCS servers. Back in February, there were more than 1,000 customers. Seven months later, in September, Cisco …
Chris Mellor, 20 Nov 2017

Whew... Toshiba rustles up $5.4bn to avoid delisting

Beleaguered Toshiba, facing a Tokyo stock exchange deadline, has planned a $5.4bn share issue to avoid a delisting threat. Reuters reports it is also considering selling the assets of its bankrupt Westinghouse nuclear power station building business which plunged it into the financial mess threatening to kill it. Tosh is a …
Chris Mellor, 20 Nov 2017
man in suit is trapped in a box, Photo by Shutterstock

Nouvelle niche: Datos IO adds distributed app fragment recovery

+Comment Distributed database protector Datos IO has added fractional backup and recovery so you can restore the data you want faster. Its RecoverX product has its base in being designed to back up non-relational, distributed databases such as Cassandra and MongoDB, which could be running on-premises or in the public cloud. V2.0 came …
Chris Mellor, 20 Nov 2017
Sportscar/race car rendering illustration

Speedy roadster for filers hits the road. Don't worry Elon, it's a storage vehicle

Infinite IO has enabled clustering of its metadata accelerators to scale performance. The company, which brands itself infinite io, produces 2U rackmount metadata-accelerating network storage controllers (NSC) that sit in the network between file-accessing servers and NAS arrays. They serve metadata requests from memory, …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2017

A challenger appears: Specs for Samsung's potential Optane killer

Analysis How does Korean flash and DRAM chipper Samsung's Z-NAND compare to Intel and Micron's 3D XPoint? Z-NAND is Samsung's tweaked flash technology, thought to be SLC (1 bit/cell) with a customised controller to speed it up. Optane is rushing Z-NAND to market adoption and it's a wide-open race. One of XPoint's advantages over NAND …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2017

NetApp's back, baby, flaunting new tech and Azure cloud swagger

Analysis There's a new energy at NetApp. The Microsoft Azure NFS deal was a great confidence booster, and the two recent acquisitions of Greenqloud and Plexistor provide stepping stones to a high-performance, on-premises storage future and a stronger hybrid cloud play. We were briefed at NetApp Insight in Berlin by co-founder Dave Hitz …
Chris Mellor, 17 Nov 2017
Lone cowboy, photo via Shutterstock

Backup Exec juices dedupe offering, flaunts sign-up cloud model

Backup Exec, Veritas' SME backup product, now sports a subscription-based payment scheme, deduping cloud backends and offering GDPR compliance help. Privately owned Veritas is building up its product portfolio for the modern cloud era, and subscription pricing is part of that. The Backup Exec subscription model has one, two …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2017
Colleague high fives in the office. Photo by Shutterstock

NetApp: You went all-flash, you never should've, um.. Well done

While still well short of its fiscal 2015 revenue glory days, NetApp has said its all-flash array sales are on fire, and expects more of the same. Revenues of $1.42bn in its second fiscal 2018 quarter were 6 per cent up year-on-year and 6.7 per cent higher sequentially. This beat Wall Street's $1.38bn consensus. Profits (GAAP …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2017

Intel-Micron scrap the summer diet, enlarge 3D XPoint mem DIMM fab

Intel and Micron have expanded their XPoint production fab in Utah, USA, as the clock ticks down to the launch of XPoint DIMMs in the second half of 2018. 3D XPoint is the Intel-Micron solid-state storage technology that's a little faster and more expensive than NAND, and not as fast nor as expensive as DRAM. The point of it …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2017

Huawei's 4-socket HPC blade server gruntbox gets Skylake mills

The HPC server gruntbox space is flourishing, with suppliers pumping out Broadwell-to-Skylake updates one after the other, Huawei being the latest. It has shown a couple of Skylake-using servers at SC17: the 2488 rackmount product, announced last month, and the new CH242 V5. These are effectively the same 4-socket Xeon SP …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2017

NetApp and Fujitsu NFLEX: More details emerge about European HCI tryst

Analysis More details have emerged about the Fujitsu NetApp NFLEX converged system and about Fujitsu's HCI strategy, which might preclude it selling the NetApp HCI. Fujitsu has agreed it has no deal planned in that direction. NFLEX is a converged infrastructure (CI) system with pre-integrated and tested Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers, …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2017
Tin can phone

I'll admit, NetApp's NVMe fabric-accessed array sure has SAS, but it could be zippier

Analysis NetApp's E570 array supports NVMe over fabrics yet it does not use NVMe drives, potentially slowing data access. The E-Series all-flash E570 was launched in September, with a sub-100µs latency number through its support of NVMe-over-fabric access. It used RDMA over InfiniBand to its 24 flash drives, and this enables accessing …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017
Houses in shipping containers

Panzura offers DevOps swots that syncing feeling... with container docks

File sync and sharer Panzura says containers are stuck executing locally unless the persistent storage they need moves with them to different on-premises or public cloud data centres. But, as luck would have it, it has got the tech to do just that. Its Freedom product uses CloudFS, Panzura's filesystem providing file services …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017

Infinidat adds sync, async replication and bans noisy neighbours

Big-iron array supplier Infinidat's fourth major version of its software adds sync (block) and async (file) replication, file directory quotas and quality of service features to quiet down noisy neighbours. Infinidat says it collaborated with more than 100 customers on the features for this release, in the planning and …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017
WolfCreek_Omni_path

Starting small with burst buffers? DDN says it's got an 'entry-level' one

DataDirect Networks (DDN) has added a smaller burst buffer product, decreased RAID rebuild times and introduced a cross-product monitoring and management facility to its HPS/supercomputing storage product set. The entry-level IME140 burst buffer is a 1U appliance delivering more than 11GB/s write and 20GB/s read throughputs …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2017

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