Amazon Web Services buys HPC management specialist Nice

amazon awsAmazon Web Services (AWS) has announced its intention to acquire high performance and grid computer boosting specialist Nice.

Details of the takeover of the Asti based software and services company were not revealed. However, in his company blog AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr outlined the logic of the acquisition. “These [Nice] products help customers to optimise and centralise their high performance computing and visualization workloads,” wrote Barr, “they also provide tools that are a great fit for distributed workforces making use of mobile devices.”

The NICE brand and team will remain intact in Italy, said Barr. Their brief is to continue to develop and support the company’s EnginFrame and Desktop Cloud Visualization (DCV) products. The only difference, said Barr, is that they now have the backing of the AWS team. In future, however, NICE and AWS are to collaborate on projects to create better tools and services for high performance computing and virtualisation.

NICE describes itself as a ‘Grid and Cloud Solutions’ developer, specialising in technical computing portals, grid and high performance computing (HPC) technologies. Its services include remote visualization, application grid-enablement, data exchange, collaboration, software as a service and grid intelligence.

The EnginFrame product is a grid computing portal designed to make it easier to submit analysis jobs to super computers and to manage and monitor the results. EnginFrame is an open framework based on Java, XML and Web Services. Its purpose is to make it easier to set up user-friendly, application- and data-oriented portals. It simplifies the submission and control of grid computing enabled applications. It also acts to monitor workloads, data and licenses from within the same user dashboard. By hiding the diversity and complexity of the native interfaces, it aims to allow more users get the full range of benefits from high performing computing platforms, whose operating systems are off-puttingly complex.

Desktop Cloud Visualization is a remote 3D visualization technology that enables technical computing users to connect to OpenGL and Direct/X applications running in a data centre. NICE has customers in industries ranging from aerospace to industrial, energy and utilities.

The deal is expected to close by the end of March 2016.