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High Performance Computing

AWS Bolsters High Performance Computing Offering With NICE Acquisition

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AWS attempted to enhance its high performance computing offering today when it purchased NICE, an Italian software and services company for an undisclosed price.

NICE provides a set of tools and technologies that were attractive to AWS, and brings with it an international clientele, which should help AWS expand its market with a set of customers who have high-end compute requirements.

“These products help customers to optimize and centralize their high performance computing (HPC) and visualization workloads while also providing tools that are a great fit for distributed workforces making use of mobile devices,” AWS’s Jeff Barr wrote in a blog post announcing the deal.

Among the technology that NICE owns is a nifty tool they call Desktop Cloud Visualization (DCV), which provides remote access to 2D and 3D applications, giving engineers, game designers and others access to their designs and the high-end hardware to make them work in the cloud, no matter what desktop or laptop they are using..

Another piece of technology called the NICE EnginFrame could also be particularly attractive to AWS. It enables customers to run high-end computing environments like HPC clusters, data, licenses and batch & interactive applications inside a standard browser.

Constellation Research founder, R Ray Wang believes AWS gets quite a bit out of this deal.

“The NICE acquisition gives Amazon a good trove of IP, access to good clients and a good presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). These IP capabilities help with performance and some newer features that can benefit the overall Amazon platform,” Wang told TechCrunch.

The IP he referenced includes an algorithmic model for performance, he said.

It’s worth noting that AWS has had a substantial presence in Europe for some time with offices throughout the EU including Italy where NICE is located.

The acquisition could give them access to a set of clients with much more intensive computing requirements. Just last year Amazon launched new C4 instances for companies with high performance computing requirements in the cloud. As TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois wrote at the time:

As Amazon notes, these new instances are designed for applications where CPU performance is critical. These include “high-traffic front-end fleets, MMO gaming, media processing, transcoding, and High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications.”

For now, AWS intends to keep NICE in place with its own brand, products, customers and team continuing to operate just has it has been with plans to enhance the company’s offerings and come up with new combined solutions in the future.