Over at the Windows HPC Team Blog, Alex Sutton writes that Azure now offers new compute-intensive VM sizes for Cloud Services.
The new A8 and A9 instances provide an Intel processor with 8 and 16 cores respectively, 7 GB of RAM per core, and a backend 32 Gbps InfiniBand network for low-latency and high-throughput communication. A9 is our largest instance size with 16 cores and 112 GB of RAM. These instances are designed for compute-intensive workloads, particularly High Performance Computing (HPC) applications such as computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, and weather forecasting. Manufacturing, energy exploration, life sciences, and other industries all require HPC for innovation and will benefit from this new offering.
Microsoft is also announcing availability of HPC Pack 2012 R2, a cluster management and job scheduler solution for Windows Server clusters and for “bursting” compute jobs to Windows Azure. According to Sutton, HPC Pack makes it easy to take advantage of the cloud to add resources to an existing on-premises cluster, deploy a cluster entirely in the cloud, or start a proof of concept in Windows Azure to test performance and scalability.
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