Hosted HPC on the uptake…?

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Michael Feldman blogs at HPCwire this week about the evident increase in customers taking advantage of hosted HPC services, and Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Futures announcement

While the main audience for utility computing is for the larger enterprise market, HPC apps continue to show up in the cloud with increasing frequency. It’s mainly the smaller firms that have trouble rationalizing a large cluster buy that are being attracted to HPC in the cloud. But in these challenging financial times, companies of all sizes are likely to take a look at renting cycles off-site.

…last week I wrote about biotech startup Pathwork Diagnostics, which was using Amazon EC2 and Univa UD’s UniCloud as a platform for its cancer diagnostics tool. Pathwork’s rationale for shifting to the cloud model: a two-thirds cost savings compared to buying a new machine, plus the flexibility to scale up for peak computing needs.

…Of particular interest to the HPC crowd was Microsoft’s announcement last week regarding a new research initiative named Cloud Computing Futures (CCF). The group is being led by long-time HPC’er Dan Reed and we’ll be covering the project in more depth later this week. In a nutshell, CCF is a collection of hardware and software technologies — including Azure — that attempts to define the next-generation cloud platform. Considering that cloud computing 1.0 is still coalescing, that’s a pretty ambitious undertaking.

It’s a good post, and Michael brings a great perspective to this controversial…er, interesting…topic in HPC.