Software

Cycle Computing will make Microsoft Azure more appealing to more enterprises

Cloud computing can make big computing more feasible, but most enterprises need expert help. Microsoft acquired Cycle Computing to provide that expertise.

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Image: Microsoft News/Phil Wilkinson

For years, TechRepublic has been touting the benefits of cloud computing for business enterprises. As information technology has evolved with ever-increasing innovation, those benefits have continued to multiply. Big data, IoT, artificial intelligence, and big computing all require computational power that often exceeds the capacity any single enterprise can provide. So unless your enterprise is extraordinarily large and technology rich, cloud computing is the only practical answer.

However, there are hurdles to overcome, both technological and cultural, before an enterprise can begin to take advantage of cloud computing computational services. No matter how many assurances are made, many enterprises are uncomfortable with the idea that their data will be "off-premises" on another system. In those situations, enterprises need specialized guidance.

In August 2017, Microsoft acquired Cycle Computing for an undisclosed amount. Cycle Computing specializes in helping enterprises orchestrate high-performance computing jobs, large data workloads, and other big computing jobs in the cloud. Microsoft will use Cycle Computing's expertise to supplement the tools already in place for its Azure platform.

SEE: Special report: The cloud v. data center decision (TechRepublic PDF)

Cycle Computing

Cycle Computing specializes in providing guidance to enterprises looking to use cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) and other big computing, intense computational services. Successfully using those types of services requires a certain level of expertise that many enterprises do not possess and can't afford in-house.

Enterprises of all sizes are uncovering situations where the need for HPC services is obvious, but the path to taking advantage of cloud-based computational power is unclear. A company like Cycle Computing, with all of its tools and expertise, can provide guidance and reveal the correct path for these enterprises to follow.

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Image: Microsoft News

According to the announcement by Jason Zander, Microsoft will use Cycle Computing to help shore up its ability to provide support for Linux HPC workloads. By eliminating a potential hurdle for many enterprises seeking scalable computing power, Microsoft hopes to further accelerate the adoption of cloud-based solutions.

The acquisition confirms Microsoft's commitment to a business strategy that emphasizes its intelligent cloud services. Combine the acquisition of Cycle Computing with the July 2017 acquisition of Cloudyn and you can see a pattern emerging. Microsoft wants to make Azure the most complete, most versatile, and most user-friendly set of cloud computing services available. These acquisitions are designed to eliminate any and all barriers to cloud services adoption in the enterprise.

No matter how fantastic your service or product, the first barrier to overcome when establishing a new market is the inherent enterprise inertia and resistance to change of any kind.

SEE: Microsoft Azure: The smart person's guide

Bottom line

Whether it is increased storage capacity, a collaborative work environment, or super-computational power, it is obvious that Microsoft believes the answer is its intelligent cloud infrastructure and Azure services. The acquisition of Cycle Computing is just another piece of the overall full-service puzzle.

By offering the tools and experienced personnel necessary to orchestrate a sensitive big computing job, Microsoft believes it can make Azure and its myriad services more appealing to more enterprises. The previous success of Cycle Computing suggests that Microsoft may be correct in that assessment. Adding that kind of expertise to Azure will certainly help overcome enterprise inertia.

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About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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