IT Trends

Microsoft Buys HPC Cloud Expert Cycle Computing

Microsoft has acquired Cycle Computing to support customers using high-performance computing (HPC) in the cloud.

When a project undertaken by NASA and a research team at the University of Minnesota to baseline expected carbon dioxide uptake by trees on the south side of the Sahara desert ran out of elbow room within a private cloud maintained by NASA, the two institutions took the work to Cycle Computing. By using Cycle's CycleCloud software on Amazon's AWS, the two teams could finish their research faster. Cycle's software provided the cloud orchestration, provisioning and data security.

Now that same company has been acquired by Microsoft to bring its high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities to Azure. The terms of the acquisition were not made public. Reporting on Redmond Magazine said the company expected to continue supporting clients on AWS as well as Google Cloud, while "future Microsoft versions released will be Azure focused."

"The Cycle team can't wait to combine CycleCloud's technology for managing Linux and Windows compute [and] data workloads, with Microsoft Azure's big compute infrastructure roadmap and global market reach," said Cycle CEO, Jason Stowe, in a blog article on the company's website. According to Stowe, the company was started 12 years ago "on an $8,000 credit card bill" and has grown 2.7 times every year since then.

"At Microsoft, we believe that access to big computing capabilities in the cloud has the power to transform many businesses and will be at the forefront of breakthrough experimentation and innovation in the decades to come," added Jason Zander, corporate vice president for Azure. "Cycle Computing will help customers accelerate their movement to the cloud, and make it easy to take advantage of the most performant and compliant infrastructure available in the public cloud today."

Alongside numerous commercial customers, Cycle Computing has worked with researchers at the University of Arizona studying protein binding treatments to address pain and the HyperXite team at the University of California, Irvine that's developing a next-generation transportation system based on an idea broadcast by Elon Musk.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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