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May 1, 2014

Microsoft Brings GreenButton Into Azure Fold

Tiffany Trader
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Microsoft announced today its acquisition of New Zealand-based cloud startup GreenButton. A partner of the company’s Azure Windows cloud play since 2011, GreenButton fits well under Microsoft’s “Big Compute” umbrella.

Windows Azure General Manager Mike Neil revealed the news this morning in a blog entry, although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed by either party.

Neil writes: “Our work integrating GreenButton’s leading technology with the enterprise-grade scale and global reach of Azure starts today, as we welcome the New Zealand-based team to the Azure family.”

GreenButton’s main messaging has been that it helps users get applications up and running in the cloud quickly and easily without the need for extensive code rewrites or for PhD-level HPC skills. Founded in 2006, GreenButton provides cloud solutions for compute-intensive workloads aimed at a wide range of users. It broad user base comes mainly from industries that require large amounts of compute power, science and engineering, finance and digital media.

The company’s origin can be traced to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, which was filmed on location in New Zealand. The cloud platform that was developed to handle the massive rendering demand became known as the RenderMan On Demand system. The platform was released by InterGrid (the first incantation of GreenButton) via a partnership with Pixar, and eventually matured into GreenButton’s primary offering.

Microsoft has chosen to take the GreenButton service off the market for now. It will no longer be available to new customers in its current form, however Microsoft is planning to launch its Redmond-approved integrated version later in the year. Neil reports that Microsoft will 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.”