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Microsoft Acquires Cloud Provider GreenButton

High-performance computing power is critical in today's world of big data. Not only are digital users consuming more computational resources than ever before, but they are doing it at a rate that was unfathomable only a few years ago. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft recently tapped GreenButton, a high-performance computing provider based out of New Zealand, for an acquisition that is meant to strengthen Microsoft's proprietary Azure platform and cement their place as an industry frontrunner in cloud computing.

Mike Neil, general manager with Microsoft's Azure cloud division, spoke highly of the recent acquisition when announcing the move in a blog post. There he wrote: "As a result of today's acquisition, we'll be working to integrate those solutions with the Microsoft Azure platform, enabling customers to simply and easily solve complex problems, get more from their data and drive their business forward. GreenCloud is no longer accepting new customers and the tech will re-appear with new integrated Azure service later this year." Neil went on to say: "Microsoft is looking forward to democratizing the use of Big Compute through the power of the cloud, so that organizations from all walks of life can use their data to transform their business and the world."

However, this acquisition does not mark the beginning of the relationship between Microsoft and GreenButton. Microsoft invested no less than $1MM into the startup venture in 2011, which helped pave the way for GreenButton's on-demand cloud processing service, Cloud Fabric. Compatible with Microsoft Azure, OpenStack and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, the service was quickly embraced by industry professionals as a means of processing, maintaining and securing massive amounts of data.

GreenButton's CEO, Scott Houston, originally came up with the concept behind GreenButton while working as Chief Technology Officer with Weta Digital, the same firm that spearheaded video production efforts for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Responsible for managing single files that were several terabytes in size, Houston quickly sought means of automating his workflow. He came up with the idea of Cloud Fabric shortly thereafter, and it wasn't long before he took the industry by storm with his high-performance computing capabilities.

Houston compared his product to a slider mechanism, which lets individual users prioritize daily tasks, workloads and data processing strategies in order to make the most of their own resources, time and manpower. During Cloud Fabric's initial public launch, Houston was quoted as saying: "If you need the results faster, slide it up the scale, and you get more computing cores to do the job. If you don't need the job until tomorrow or a couple of days from now, slide it down. You pay less that way but still get the job done."

Although specific financial metrics have not been disseminated at the time of this writing, officials with GreenButton have acknowledged receiving a "very healthy return" following the acquisition. For additional information regarding GreenButton, Microsoft or Big Compute, you can contact their web team at bigcompute@microsoft.com.

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