Intel acquires infrastructure optimization startup Granulate for a reported $650M

Intel acquires infrastructure optimization startup Granulate for a reported $650M

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Intel Corp. is acquiring Granulate Cloud Solutions Ltd., a startup that uses artificial intelligence to help companies speed up their applications and reduce infrastructure costs.

Intel announced the deal this morning. It didn’t disclose financial terms, but TechCrunch cited multiple sources as saying the acquisition price was $650 million.

The amount of data center infrastructure needed to power an application changes over time. In the case of an e-commerce application, for example, the amount of infrastructure that it requires may change based on the number of shoppers making purchases. The task of determining how many hardware resources should be assigned to a workload and when is to a large extent performed automatically by software.

But though the process of assigning infrastructure resources is automated, it can be inefficient in some cases. In a data center, there are often situations where multiple applications request hardware at the same time. Sometimes, one application’s hardware request can hold up the others even though all of them could theoretically be carried out at the same time.

Tel Aviv-based Granulate has developed a software platform that eliminates many of the unnecessary delays involved in allocating hardware resources to applications. Such delays occur so often that skipping them can significantly speed up processing. According to Granulate, its platform can reduce the time it takes applications to process some requests by as much as 40%.

Besides improving the user experience, speeding up applications also provides a second benefit. Increasing a workload’s performance allows it to carry out computing tasks using less infrastructure. The result, Granular says, is that companies using its platform can reduce cloud infrastructure costs by up to 60%.

A year ago, Granular teamed up with Intel on an initiative aimed at using its software platform to optimize servers powered by the chipmaker’s Xeon processors. Following the acquisition, Intel said that it plans to “rapidly scale Granulate’s optimization software, including across Intel’s data center portfolio.”

“Granulate’s cutting-edge autonomous optimization software can be applied to production workloads without requiring the customer to make changes to its code, driving optimized hardware and software value for every cloud and data center customer,” said Sandra Rivera, the executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Datacenter and AI Group.

Intel expects to close the acquisition this quarter. Afterwards, Granulate’s 120 employees will join Intel’s Datacenter and AI Group.

The acquisition will enhance Intel’s capabilities in the AI market, which has emerged as a key focus for the company over recent years. Granulate’s platform relies on machine learning algorithms to increase the efficiency of data center infrastructure. The algorithms evaluate how the applications in a data center access hardware resources and then analyze the information they glean to find ways of speeding up performance.

Intel’s AI investments also extend beyond software to hardware. The company ships many of its processors, including some consumer chips, with circuits optimized for machine learning tasks. Intel also offers a growing number of chips built specifically to run AI workloads.

Image: Granulate

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