Oracle Changes Cloud Financial Visibility
Database software giant Oracle shocked analysts this week, when they failed to provide their cloud software, infrastructure, and platform as a service revenue numbers. Instead, the cloud service number will be reported in a group with on-premises support services. In the company’s previous Quarterly Earnings Statements, Oracle provided all three segments of its cloud industry as separate revenue numbers. This visibility allows investors and analysts to assess how quickly those segments are growing, and get a clearer picture of where Oracle services stack up against other cloud providers.
While Oracle CEO Safra Catz took a positive outlook on the quarterly report, most analysts and many investors are questioning the use behind the change. Now that cloud service revenue will be reported with so much less visibility, it will be nearly impossible to determine how much any one part of Oracle’s cloud business might be growing or failing to grow. Oracle’s stock prices have continued to fall since the news broke on Tuesday, and some speculate that this could be a sign that Oracle won’t be investing in it’s cloud solutions as a serious competitor to the major providers.
Azure Outage Causes Uproar
Users of Microsoft took to Twitter by storm on Tuesday as a major storage outage made accessing some users’ stored files impossible for several hours. The outage affected a wide variety of products and services, including users of Virtual Machines, Storage, SQL Database, Backup, as well as a number of others. Lasting over 5 hours, the outage stopped regular business functions and caused a surge of negative sentiment for Azure to flood social media.
Most of the affected users were located in the North Europe region, which was later confirmed by Azure Support on Twitter as they handled the issue. According to the official communication from Microsoft, the issue stemmed from a control system malfunction that ultimately failed to regulate the temperature of a number of datacenter resources. The location of the datacenter in question is in Ireland, where it has been seasonably temperate this past week. With the forecast edging up into 30 degrees celsius next week, some speculate that this might not be the last Microsoft outage we see due to failed temperature regulation.
The outage had a major impact on several Index scores this week, with the Azure Reliability metric down 2% and a staggering 20% drop in Sentiment scores, likely due to the large number of unhappy customers tweeting during the outage event. The Liftr team’s research into Twitter Outage Mentions also showed that over 1% of all Azure tweets on Wednesday included the word ‘outage’. The overall Azure Liftr score is down almost 3% at the time of reporting.
Google Cloud TPU v2 Beta Comes in Cheap
Google rolled out new pricing on their TPU v2 units currently in beta, with circuits optimized for machine learning and AI model training. The units are the same ones that run Google’s own products, including Translate, Photos, Search, and Gmail among others. The release of this technology is still in beta, and the company announced that the service would be available “globally”; if globally means in three of their sixteen regions.
The new preemptible priced TPU processing does come at a nice price at just over half of what a dedicated TPU unit costs. However, there is also a drawback. The preemptible TPUs are given a lower compute priority than normal instances, meaning that if a request comes in for the GPU power after the preempted unit is running, the process will be terminated and the normal instance will execute. Google stated that because of the innovative failsafe and checkpoint save technology that goes with the instance, you won’t lose much progress training your AI when this happens, but some customers are skeptical.
AWS Makes S3 Buckets Microsoft Native
Amazon made life easier for thousands of users this week when they announced that AWS Storage Gateway would now support SMB protocol. This effectively means that where applications built on microsoft infrastructure in the past would need third party tools to utilize Amazon S3 Storage, they can now do the same thing using only AWS tools.
The new File Gateway support is currently available in every region that supports AWS Storage Gateway for new gateways, and a software update for existing gateways will be made available sometime next month. While there is only a small amount of discussion about this change so far, it could have a big impact on customers currently looking to enter the cloud arena. Now that Microsoft applications have unfettered access to one of the most popular AWS services, a major barrier to migration has been removed.