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Microsoft buys a high-performance cloud company to boost Azure against Amazon, Google

  • Cycle Computing helps companies run complex computing jobs on multiple clouds.
  • Microsoft also bought a high-performance computing company in 2014.
Satya Nadella speaking at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Satya Nadella speaking at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it has acquired Cycle Computing, a 12-year-old company that specializes in running complex high-performance computing workloads across different public clouds. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The move could help Microsoft ensure that more of the supercomputing jobs companies want to do end up on its Azure public cloud, rather than other public clouds, such as the market-leading Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Alphabet's Google Cloud Platform. Currently Cycle Computing's CycleCloud Software helps companies run certain computing jobs on multiple clouds, and then provision more or less infrastructure as necessary.

"We will continue to support Cycle Computing clients using AWS and/or Google Cloud," a Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC in an email. "While future Microsoft versions released will be Azure focused, we're committed to providing customers a seamless migration experience to Azure if and when they choose to migrate."

The deal comes three years after Microsoft bought high-performance computing company GreenButton. But last year AWS acquired another one of these companies called Nice.

JP Morgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Pfizer and Western Digital are among the companies that have worked with Cycle Computing, which was founded in 2005. The company's tools will manage 1 billion core-hours of computing resources this year, Cycle Computing CEO Jason Stowe wrote in a blog post.

"Their technology will further enhance our support of Linux HPC workloads and make it easier to extend on-premise workloads to the cloud," Jason Zander, corporate vice president at Microsoft Azure, wrote in a blog post.

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