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Acquisition Cloud Cloud News

HPE buys supercomputing giant Cray for $1.3 billion

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is acquiring the supercomputer leader Cray in a deal worth $1.3 billion. The company aims to address the challenges driven by the explosion of data.

Cray holds its position among the top 100 supercomputer installations globally. Founded in 1972, Cray provides high-end supercomputing solutions for challenging and data-intensive workloads. The company delivers its supercomputing systems through the current generation XC and CS platforms, as well as the Shasta series platform.

The supercomputing leader recently announced an Exascale supercomputer contract with the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The contract was valued at over $600 million, enabling innovative research and AI at scale.

HPE will combine the deep supercomputing capabilities of Cray with its cutting-edge technologies, stepping ahead on the strategy to tackle the most data-intensive challenges of customers.

Modern technologies like AI, machine learning, big data and analytics, and the changing demands of customers for data-intensive workloads are exploding the amount of data generation. This is driving the expansion of high-performance computing (HPC).

With Cray acquisition, HPE will establish a broad portfolio of computing, storage, interconnect, software and services in the HPC and AI segments.

HPE already sees HPC as a key element of its vision and growth strategy. It provides a number of HPC solutions, which include HPE Apollo and SGI. The company will now be well positioned to strengthen its existing portfolio with the foundational technologies of Cray.

“Answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data,” said Antonio Neri, President and CEO, HPE.

“Only by processing and analyzing this data will we be able to unlock the answers to critical challenges across medicine, climate change, space and more. Cray is a global technology leader in supercomputing and shares our deep commitment to innovation. By combining our world-class teams and technology, we will have the opportunity to drive the next generation of high performance computing and play an important part in advancing the way people live and work.”

Further, the companies together will be able to reach more segments of the market, to provide a wide range of solutions to enterprise, academic, and government customers.

Also read: HPE expands its storage networking portfolio to meet demands of next-gen technologies

“This is an amazing opportunity to bring together Cray’s leading-edge technology and HPE’s wide reach and deep product portfolio, providing customers of all sizes with integrated solutions and unique supercomputing technology to address the full spectrum of their data-intensive needs,” said Peter Ungaro, President and CEO of Cray.

“HPE and Cray share a commitment to customer-centric innovation and a vision to create the global leader for the future of high performance computing and AI. On behalf of the Cray Board of Directors, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that we believe maximizes value and are excited for the opportunities that this unique combination will create for both our employees and our customers.”

The transaction will close by the first quarter of HPE’s fiscal year 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Categories
Cloud Datacenter News

Microsoft brings Cray supercomputers to Azure

Microsoft has announced an exclusive strategic alliance with global supercomputer leader Cray, to provide dedicated Cray supercomputing systems (Cray XC and Cray CS) in its Azure datacenters. It will enable customers to run AI, HPC, advanced analytics, and modeling and simulation workloads seamlessly on Azure cloud.

Cray’s Aries interconnect and its tightly coupled system architecture addresses the ever-increasing demands for real-time insights, compute capability, and scalable performance by the modern enterprises. With the new partnership, cloud customers can now harness power of supercomputing and artificial intelligence in an agile and cost-effective way.

The Cray systems will integrate with Azure VMs, Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Machine Learning Services, as well as Microsoft AI platform to offer better workflows, collaboration, performance, scalability, and elasticity to customers.

“Using the enterprise-proven power of Microsoft Azure, customers are running their most strategic workloads in our cloud,” said Jason Zander, corporate vice president, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Corp. “By working with Cray to provide dedicated supercomputers in Azure, we are offering customers uncompromising performance and scalability that enables a host of new previously unimaginable scenarios in the public cloud. More importantly, we’re moving customers into a new era by empowering them to use HPC and AI to drive breakthrough advances in science, engineering and health.”

With Cray supercomputers in Azure, the researchers, scientists, and analysts will be empowered with the capability of training AI deep learning models in fields of medicine and autonomous vehicles. The pharmaceutical and biotech scientists can now perform whole genome sequencing reducing time from computation to cure.

Geophysicists can speed up oil field analysis with reduced exploration risks through better seismic imaging fidelity. Aerospace and automotive engineers can now perform crash simulation, and computational fluid dynamic simulations, create digital twins for quick and proper maintenance and product development. The tasks that used to take weeks and months till now, will now be done within minutes and days.

“Our partnership with Microsoft will introduce Cray supercomputers to a whole new class of customers that need the most advanced computing resources to expand their problem-solving capabilities, but want this new capability available to them in the cloud,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “Dedicated Cray supercomputers in Azure not only give customers all of the breadth of features and services from the leader in enterprise cloud, but also the advantages of running a wide array of workloads on a true supercomputer, the ability to scale applications to unprecedented levels, and the performance and capabilities previously only found in the largest on-premise supercomputing centers. The Cray and Microsoft partnership is expanding the accessibility of Cray supercomputers and gives customers the cloud-based supercomputing capabilities they need to increase their competitive advantage.”

The supercomputing capabilities in cloud can transform businesses and bring innovation in the coming years. Microsoft has been continuously investing in this field for last several years, and had acquired Cycle Computing for better hybrid HPC deployments.

Also read: Azure advancements remove cloud adoption barriers, going hybrid made easier

The Cray XC and Cray CS supercomputers with attached Cray ClusterStor storage systems will be directly connected to Microsoft Azure network, and will be available for customer-specific provisioning in Microsoft Azure datacenters. Customers can also leverage the Cray Urika-XC analytics software suite and CycleCloud for hybrid HPC management.