Feb 24, 2015

How does High Performance Computing (HPC) differ from other cloud products?

AWS offers HPC, but how does it differ from their “normal” cloud offerings? Both allow you to scale to as many instances as needed on demand, right? Is there a hardware difference between AWS’s HPC and “normal cloud” offerings?
To translate that quote that Jim provided on AWS, it means you can tune up a VM with a tremendous amount of computing horsepower for a fraction of the cost of having a supercomputer, and turn it off when you don't need (and thereby saving a ton of dough too).
Webopedia has a good definition of high performance computing:


"A branch of computer science that concentrates on developing supercomputers and software to run on supercomputers. A main area of this discipline is developing parallel processing algorithms and software: programs that can be divided into little pieces so that each piece can be executed simultaneously by separate processors."

And the AWS site offers this definition within the context of what it offers:


"High Performance Computing (HPC) allows scientists and engineers to solve complex science, engineering, and business problems using applications that require high bandwidth, enhanced networking, and very high compute capabilities. AWS allows you to increase the speed of research by running high performance computing in the cloud and to reduce costs by providing Cluster Compute or Cluster GPU servers on-demand without large capital investments. You have access to a full-bisection, high bandwidth network for tightly-coupled, IO-intensive workloads, which enables you to scale out across thousands of cores for throughput-oriented applications."
Answer this