Here’s our weekly collection of news from around the industry.
1. IBM Gets Questioned About Cloud Earnings
The nebulous nature of the cloud doesn’t always fit traditional accounting models, which is probably why the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking a look at how IBM is reporting its cloud revenues. IBM learned about the probe in May and disclosed it to investors via an SEC filing this week.
It’s in two sentences on Page 39 of the 10-Q: “In May 2013, IBM learned that the SEC is conducting an investigation into how IBM reports cloud revenue. IBM is cooperating with the SEC in this matter.”
So, there’s no indication of what IBM did that might be different from the procedures of, say, a pure hosting company. The whole issue might turn out to be minor, but it’s worth noting, because cloud services will only become a bigger portion of tech-industry revenues. Better to iron out the details now than to have technicalities force massive earnings restatements later.
IBM hasn’t revealed the size of its cloud revenues but says the first half of 2013 brought in 70 percent more revenues than the same period a year ago.
2. NTT Keeps Talking About This SDN Thing
NTT Communications randomly issued an update about its Enterprise Cloud service this week, reminding everybody that it had announced an SDN-based cloud in February.
One new item is that NTT has started performing what it calls “on-premises connection,” an SDN-based cloud migration service, in Japan, with global availability to come later.
In the telecom world, NTT has been one of SDN’s more enthusiastic backers. Its obsession with the idea goes back to a pre-OpenFlow project called the VNode System. NTT tends to exist in its own world — the things it does won’t necessarily get replicated at, say, Verizon or China Telecom — but it’s worth keeping an eye on the company as a source of real-world SDN activity. (For more about NTT’s position on OpenFlow, see the SDNCentral interview with Senior Vice President Yukio Ito, published in May.)
3. A Data Center Legend Passes
Ken Brill, whose contributions to the industry included the four-tier ranking system for data centers, died of cancer earlier this week. Brill’s obsessions included uptime — hence his founding of the Uptime Institute, eventually acquired by 451 Research — and power consumption, which was worrying him before it became a hip topic. Network World made him one of their “10 Tech People You Should Know” in 2009.