Cloud technologies are now reaching a level of maturity that is making them appealing to HPC users. Whether using public or hybrid cloud, these technologies offer unprecedented flexibility for users who can create or ‘spin-up’ nodes with specific architectural requirements, use cloud bursting to increase the capacity of their in-house infrastructure – or it can increase the agility of a company that shares data over multiple sites.
In previous years there have been some concerns around security or the cost of moving data to and from the cloud, but these reservations are slowly being eroded as more users see value in developing a cloud infrastructure as part of their HPC resource.
One aspect of designing and procuring HPC systems in the past was the need to create a balanced architecture. This means looking at the kind of applications that will be run on a particular cluster to try and match the requirements of applications with the technologies that are needed. For example, some workloads require large memory nodes, high-speed storage or interconnects or high-performance storage.