As the fuel of the information economy, data is occupying an increasingly important role in business, and driving demand for high performance computers that can process this data faster than ever before.
To capitalise on this, Hewlett Packard Enterprise has announced the purchase of supercomputer manufacturer Cray, at a significant premium over the closing share price.
Specialising in powerful supercomputers of the type used in US national laboratories and intelligence agencies, Cray’s systems – which often fill entire rooms and have thousands of times more processing power than a standard desktop – are used to crack codes, predict weather patterns, and analyse extremely large amounts of data.
For HPE, taking on this technology represents the opportunity to create the “most comprehensive end-to-end portfolio” in the market, spanning supercomputer tech, integrated solutions, and software and services.
To achieve this, HPE plans to bolster its US-based manufacturing by leveraging Cray’s supply chain, and in turn, helping Cray take advantage of global markets by giving the brand access to its international supply chain.
“This is an amazing opportunity to bring together Cray’s leading-edge technology and HPE’s wide reach and deep product portfolio, providing customers of all sizes with integrated solutions and unique supercomputing technology to address the full spectrum of their data-intensive needs,” said Cray CEO Peter Ungaro in a statement. “HPE and Cray share a commitment to customer-centric innovation and a vision to create the global leader for the future of high performance computing and AI.”
With the threat of quantum computing looming on the horizon, and growing demand for hardware that can process larger and larger amounts of data, enterprise technology providers like HPE are under pressure.
And while hardware-focused acquisitions like this one are less common than software-focused deals, they are becoming more frequent as companies seek to pool supply chain resources to create the chips and processors that will power the next generation of enterprise systems.