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Love cloudy HPC? Microsoft does, slurps Cycle Computing

CPU-wrangler found fame on EC2, becomes Azure business

By Richard Chirgwin

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Cycle Computing, a twelve-year-old company which has carved out a niche spinning up big-iron-like CPU collections on public clouds, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Microsoft.

The company first came to our attention in 2011, showing off software that let it spin up 10,000 cores on Amazon's EC2 service, claiming a price of a mere $US1,060 per hour.

Later builds included a 50,000 core drug-hunter for Nimbus Discovery, the petaflop-class Megarun shown off at Amazon re:Invent in 2013, and a 729 Tflop, 71,000 core setup for $5,500.

Enough is enough, Redmond reckons: rather than try and replicate Cycle's work, it's bought the company.

Announcing the acquisition in this blog post, Microsoft Azure veep Jason Zander plugs Cycle's tight fit with Microsoft's cloud infrastructure, InfiniBand networking, GPU capabilities, and global footprint.

There's also a nod towards the wonderful things the acquisition will do for high-performance Linux computers HPC running on Azure infrastructure.

Cycle's Jason Stowe puts a little more meat on the bones, claiming the company's projects reached a billion core-hours this year and has been growing 2.7 times annually to reach revenue somewhere between $50 million and $100 million this year. ®

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