The acquisition joins a recent spate of M&A activity at the advanced scale computing end of the technology industry - including the Nvidia-Mellanox and Xilinx-Solarflare acquisitions, all with the apparent objective of delivering platforms able to tackle the broad strategic imperatives of the "holy quintet": integrated HPC-big data-AI-5G-IoT solutions.
Commenting on the buy-out, Antonio Nero, president and CEO of HPE, said: "Answers to some of society's most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data".
It also sounds like HPE is hoping to bring some of the component technologies Cray has developed to serve high-performance computing customers into some of its other hardware products.
Seymour Cray, who helped originate the company in the 1950s, is widely recognised as designing the first commercially successful supercomputer. "Only by processing and analyzing this data will we be able to unlock the answers to critical challenges across medicine, climate change, space and more". At the core of the deal is Cray's high-performance computing (HPC) technology, which HPE wants to offer as a future HPC-as-a-Service platform.
The acquisition will enable HPE to "drive the next generation of high performance computing and play an important part in advancing the way people live and work", said Neri. The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of HPE's fiscal year 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. "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".