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NICE catch, Amazon: Bezos buys HPC toolkit from Italy

Is Uncle Jeff's cut-price bit-barn rental company contemplating HPCaaS?

Amazon's sparking speculation a more ambitious high-performance computing (HPC) plan with the acquisition of Italian company NICE Software.

NICE's product set includes a grid portal for HPC job submission, control and monitoring; and a remote 3D visualisation technology that connects users to data centre-hosted OpenGL and Direct/X applications.

The EnginFrame grid portal, which gives HPC clusters, data, licenses, batch applications and interactive applications browser-access, would be handy if AWS wants to get into HPC-as-a-service.

Jeff Bezos's very brief announcement promises, however, that the products will still be sold and supported.

NICE is similarly upbeat, with its CEO Beppe Ugolotti reassuring the staff that everybody gets to stay and it's business-as-usual. “Everybody is already dreaming about all the new technologies we will be able to develop working together with our future colleagues at AWS.”

The company lists aerospace, manufacturing, industrial, automotive, energy, utilities, life sciences, high tech, research, education and academia among its customers' sectors.

AWS already offers HPC-clusters-as-a-service. Once it beds in NICE, it will also have a fine way to make those clusters attack certain workloads. And once it is in that position, it will be in a position to take more of the HPC market and give yet another corner of on-premises kit market a kicking. ®

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