- Microsoft has acquired a startup called Computing cycle for an undisclosed amount.
- The cycle computing software allows companies to execute massively huge applications in the cloud, a profitable area for cloud vendors.
- Cycle has been an early partner with AWS and Google and customers will be invited to switch to the Microsoft Cloud.
In a bit of a coup in the world of Cloud Computing, Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it bought a startup called Cycle Computing for an undisclosed amount.
The cycle may not have the name recognition of some of its best-known pairs of technology, but the beginning played a crucial role in the creation of today’s Cloud computing industry. When companies steal a credit card today and instantly access the unlimited supercomputing power, it is largely thanks to the cycle.
The computer cycle gained national attention in 2012 when its technology transformed the Amazon Web services then nascent into a supercomputer that boasted the equivalent of 50 000 individual computers.
Scientists have been trying to find new cancer medications possible and used cycle software to run their application simultaneously through tens of thousands of virtual computers at Amazon datecenters. (in particular, they used 6 700 instances of Amazon EC2 to create a team of 51 132 kernels, with each kernel being basically equivalent to a single computer). The configuration has been so powerful that it costs $5 000 investigators to run their AWS application for just an hour.
This was an early test project for Amazon AWS companies which, back in 2012, was still trying to convince companies to give it a go. This project was underlined by the genius of the Amazon Cloud, Werner Vogels, as one of his most proud moments to date, told the Business Insider at that time.
In the years that followed, the computer cycle increased to be used by the three major sellers of Cloud, AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure. In addition, a large number of competitive products have come on the market that also allow Cloud virtual machines to work together as if it were a massive supercomputer.
A grip for AWS, Google customers
Flash Forward at 2017 and now there is an entire market of these products called “orchestration in the Cloud”, complete with its own Consortium under the Linux Foundation, the “Cloud Native Computing Foundation” whose cycle was a founding member. CNCF became so powerful that Microsoft and AWS bowed and joined it last week.
Microsoft did not disclose the terms of the sale and it is difficult to guess because the computer cycle was unusual otherwise: it was primed, assuming zero VC financing. The cycle increased by $1 million in debt financing in 2016.
The founders “started the cycle twelve years ago on a credit card of $8 000,” said founder and CEO Jason Stowe on a Tuesday blog announcing the news.
This could have been a soft start for them and their employees, who own 100% of the company. Or it could have been a fire sale here-hire.
There is a reason to believe that it was a happy outing. The cycle calls Novartis and NASA as renowned customers, as well as a list of leading companies in manufacturing, life insurance, Pharma and biotech, media and financial services/hedge funds. Stowe says that everything said, its customers use the product to run the equivalent of “1 billion Core-hours this year, more and more 2.7 x every 12 months,” in other words, a trillion hours of computation and growth time.
But here’s the clincher: while Microsoft says it will continue to support all cycle clients in its original cloud of choice like AWS or Google cloud, future cycle customers will not be given this option. The software will live in Azur. and customers in the existing cycle will be asked to move to Azure.
Microsoft says, “We will continue to support cycle computing clients using AWS and/or Google Cloud.” Future versions of Microsoft will focus on Azure. “We are committed to providing customers with a seamless migration experience in Azure if and when they decide to migrate.”
And that’s why it’s great. These are huge applications that use many cloud services and accumulate large cloud computing bills. Microsoft is trying to increase the use of its azure cloud. With this acquisition, he gets to do it, while he also encourages AWS and Google customers to skip the boat.