Microsoft acquires cloud startup Cycle Computing, will integrate HPC tech into Azure

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Microsoft today announced it has acquired cloud orchestration startup Cycle Computing. The company said it plans to integrate the high-performance computing (HPC) technology into Azure. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Cycle Computing founder and CEO Jason Stowe noted his company’s products have been used to help customers fight cancer and other diseases, design faster rockets, build better hard drives, create better solar panels, and manage risk for peoples’ retirements. In explaining why joining the Azure team makes sense, Stowe cited Microsoft’s global cloud footprint and market reach, but also pointed to its Big Compute/HPC team as having “delivered pivotal technologies such as InfiniBand and next generation GPUs.” Cycle Computing’s technology for managing Linux and Windows compute and data workloads will become part of Microsoft Azure’s Big Compute team.

Microsoft describes Cycle Computing as “a leader in cloud computing orchestration” that has “years of experience with the world’s largest supercomputers.” The acquisition is part of the company’s strategy to make HPC and other Big Computing capabilities accessible to more companies by putting them in the cloud, letting companies run massive workloads at scale without the overhead. Microsoft explains it wants to make Big Computing more readily available (the expensive technology has traditionally been only accessible to the most well-funded organizations) so that “your compute power is no longer measured or limited by the square footage of your data center.”

In this vein, Microsoft hopes Cycle Computing will help customers accelerate their movement to the cloud, and make it easy to take advantage of the cloud’s most performant and compliant infrastructure available. Specifically, Microsoft cites Cycle Computing’s “depth and expertise around massively scalable applications” and its technology that can “enhance our support of Linux HPC workloads and make it easier to extend on-premise workloads to the cloud.”

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