Public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) has acquired Nice, a company in Italy with a web interface for scheduling and monitoring high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. The software must really be something, because it has picked up usage from a long list of enterprises.

So it’s not surprising that Amazon isn’t going to disrupt the service much. As the chief evangelist for AWS put it yesterday in a blog post:

The NICE brand and team will remain intact and will continue to develop and support the EnginFrame and Desktop Cloud Visualization (DCV) products. Customers will continue to receive world-class support and services, enhanced with the backing of the AWS team. Going forward, NICE and AWS will work together to create even better tools and services.

Sure, better services will strengthen AWS’ HPC offerings, and that’s certainly important as AWS competes with Microsoft Azure (which bought HPC company GreenButton in 2014), Google Cloud Platform, and other clouds.

But the other major appeal of Nice is its customer list. It’s more star-studded than those of some other recent AWS acquisitions, including Amiato, AppThwack, and ClusterK.

Here is a sampling of Nice’s customers:

  • Airbus
  • Alcatel
  • Audi
  • Bridgestone
  • Bosch
  • CERN
  • Chevron
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Ericsson
  • Ferrari
  • Fiat
  • Harvard Business School
  • Hess
  • Honda
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Lear
  • Magellan Aerospace
  • McLaren
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Motorola
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Raytheon
  • Red Bull
  • Siemens
  • Suzuki
  • Toyota
  • Yale University

Now, Amazon stands to get revenue from these companies (if they’re not already AWS customers), because they’ll continue to use Nice tools, like the EnginFrame interface, which has application templates that make it easy for less technical users to quickly get up and running. And it’s not hard to imagine the deal leading to deployments of large-scale HPC jobs on AWS servers.

But even with that said, the Nice acquisition was not big enough to be material; Amazon did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Nice started in 1996 and has its headquarters in the Italian city of Asti.


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