On August 15, Microsoft reached a new high in its efforts to dominate the cloud computing market by completing the acquisition of cloud orchestration start-up Cycle Computing.
Cycle Computing may not be one of the better-known industry players, but it has enabled high-profile clients in the financial, manufacturing and science industries to access high-performance computing capabilities via the cloud. This allows them to analyse big data and run huge workloads without requiring a data centre of their own.
Most significantly, the platform is currently used by all three of the major cloud vendors (Google, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure), giving added significance to the acquisition. Microsoft has confirmed that it will continue to support customers using rival cloud platforms, but that future versions will be “Azure focused”.
Cycle Computing has enabled high-profile clients to access high-performance computing capabilities via the cloud
“We’ve already seen explosive growth on Azure in the areas of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and deep learning,” explained Jason Zander, Microsoft Azure’s Vice President. “As customers continue to look for faster, more efficient ways to run their workloads, Cycle Computing’s depth and expertise around massively scalable applications make them a great fit to join our Microsoft team. Their technology will further enhance our support of Linux HPC workloads and make it easier to extend on-premise workloads to the cloud.”
The financial details of Microsoft’s acquisition have not been revealed, but the company will no doubt be satisfied with its purchase if it encourages businesses using rival cloud solutions to join its Azure platform. Microsoft is also more likely to gain access to the significant profits being generated by some of the high-performance applications that are operating in the cloud.
In 2012, a cancer research application built using Cycle Computing’s software cost in the region of $5,000 an hour to run. That particular piece of software was operating on Amazon’s cloud offering, but today’s acquisition could see a higher proportion of these high-end, high-cost cloud solutions running across Microsoft Azure instead.