HPC in the cloud is still very much a new concept, so much so that we are currently conducting research in the area. The main motivation for CloudLightning is to develop a new way to provision heterogeneous cloud resources. According to Intersect360 Research, cloud computing represented about 2% of the HPC market by total revenue in 2016. However, about 35% of HPC users make occasional use of public cloud resources. A number of vendors already exist within the industry providing HPC in the cloud solutions. Below are the most prominent of these vendors:
1. AMAZON WEB SERVICES (AWS)
AWS have been offering HPC in the cloud since 2006 and have positioned themselves as the market leader in the area. AWS primarily offer an IAAS solution with unparalleled amounts of storage capabilities. AWS offer enterprises the ability to run computationally intense workloads by renting them instead of a blanket purchase allowing customers to save a massive amount of money and minimising waste.
2. GOOGLE CLOUD PLATFORM
Similar to AWS, Google Cloud Platform offer an IAAS solution, however they offer a unique pay-per-minute strategy. Google allow enterprise customers to choose between an open source Hadoop system and Google cloud dataflow to process and store data. Google’s competitive pricing has allowed them to appeal to large corporations and SMEs alike.
3. MICROSOFT AZURE
Microsoft Azure offer a similar pay as you go HPC solution for enterprises. They perform particularly well based on organisations which are already dependent on Microsoft Windows platforms for their organisation. Azure provides a convenient platform to integrate a Windows system with the running of HPC workloads in the cloud. Azure offers a tailored solution for both SAAS and PAAS customers.
4. IBM SPECTRUM COMPUTING
IBM Spectrum Computing allow users to choose from a variety of public, private or hybrid cloud infrastructures. Affording customers the opportunity to use a flexible remotely managed system. IBM offer a number of out of the box solutions for enterprise customers including IBM High Performance Services for HPC, IBM High Performance Services for Analytics, IBM Spectrum HPC and many more. IBM provide these software packages as an out of the box solution as opposed to working in conjunction with enterprise customers to create a customisable solution.
5. PENGUIN COMPUTING ON DEMAND (POD)
POD offer a HPC cluster service with hundreds of applications pre-installed for customers. This gives the benefit of allowing users to build their own tailored HPC on demand package. Penguin similar to IBM offer these out of the box products however users only pay for the package that they build, manage and use.
The HPC in the cloud market is relatively new and we expect it to grow at a very fast rate in the coming years. The above companies are a list of some of the big players in the market and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of HPC in the cloud vendors. More vendors will come online in the coming years along with a number of niche players, this is when we will see an increase in competition resulting in increased service offerings.
You will no doubt have varied requirements for HPC Clouds, as such the range of options varies greatly. Each provider brings its own feature set and the most important step for the user is to ensure they choose the best solution for their needs.