Chip maker Nvidia might be best known for its graphics and datacenter compute engines, but the company has made no secret of its aspirations to be a bigger player across the datacenter. And not just in hardware, but in software, too.
To that end, Nvidia has acquired Bright Computing, for an undisclosed sum. Bright is a maker of software that controls the configuration of clustered systems such as its own DGX servers, their HGX clones made by OEMs and ODMs, as well as clusters based on servers from other manufacturers. Nvidia will be adding Bright Cluster Manager to its Enterprise Products Group. The acquisition gives Bright Computing, which is a relatively small but well-known software company predominantly in the HPC simulation and modeling space, a much wider and deeper partner channel through which to sell Bright Cluster Manager. And it gives the Nvidia enterprise hardware and software stack some much-needed tooling to help customers better manage the Nvidia iron they acquire.
The exact size of Bright Computing in terms of employee count, revenue, and profits is not known because the company is privately held, but we do know that since its founding in 2009 in Amsterdam, Bright Computing has sold its tools to more than 700 organizations worldwide – most of them HPC centers, but in more recent years enterprises that need help configuring and managing their distributed systems as well as organizations that are setting up clusters for AI training have acquired Bright Cluster Manager to deal with the low-level. In 2019 alone, Bright Computing added more than 100 new customers, to give you a sense of the rate of change of its installed base. We can only imagine that the business has accelerated along with HPC and AI adoption in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Bright Computing got $2.5 million in funding from ING Corporate investments in 2010, and took down another $14.5 million in funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Prime Ventures, and ING Corporate Investments in 2014, which helped propel the company to increase its installed base to over 400 companies that year.