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November 3, 2009

Cloud Computing Vendors for HPC

Nicole Hemsoth

The goal of this article was to identify companies that have cloud product or service offers that could appeal to HPC users. It became clear that there are many companies with HPC-specific cloud offerings, but there are also users employing general-purpose commercial clouds — Amazon, Google, etc. — for running HPC workloads. To that extent, this pre-SC09 product round up includes companies from the HPC community as well as from the commercial cloud market.

We know that the information contained here will change dramatically over the next few months. Many traditional HPC companies and organizations will be making announcements during SC09. In addition, new players to the high performance computing space will also be making their presence felt.

The information here is derived from vendor material, either from the company Web site, datasheet material, or in many cases, direct contact. Where appropriate the information has been edited for brevity. If your favorite vendor is not listed, don’t worry. This is not intended to be a complete listing, but is indicative of the growth we are seeing in cloud offerings for HPC. If you are using a cloud product or service provider, we encourage you to email us at so that we may update the information. Likewise, if you are a vendor of cloud products and not listed here, let us know. The intent is to create an online version of this database, which can be dynamically updated.


3Leaf Systems

Newcomer 3Leaf Systems enables a cloud computing environment to be built from low-cost commodity servers by providing virtualization of CPU and memory resources for an entire server farm.

Adaptive Computing

Formerly Cluster Resources, Inc., Adaptive Computing offers a range of HPC cluster and cloud computing middleware products. When combined with the company’s self-service Moab Cloud Portal, the Adaptive Operating Environment delivers an architecture for utility-based computing environments.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a Web service that provides resizable compute capacity in a public cloud. It is designed to make Web-scale computing easier for developers. Services are provided as a pay-for-usage model, with high-memory and high-CPU instances available.


Bull’s bullx servers are positioned as platforms for “Extreme Computing,” optimized for running high performance computing, very large-scale online transaction processing (OLTP), and cloud computing workloads.

Cycle Computing

Cycle Computing, provides open source cloud solutions, including CycleServer and CycleCloud, for deploying Condor grids in the Cloud, and CloudFS, a storage cloud based on Apache’s Hadoop.


Darkstrand is a Chicago-based startup that is commercializing the National LambdaRail (NLR) network and connecting HPC expertise and resources at NLR-affiliated national labs and universities with companies in media and entertainment, manufacturing, biotech and financial services.

Google App Engine

App Engine is a commercial cloud platform for building and deploying Web applications on Google’s network of server farms — the same infrastructure that powers Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar.

Gompute (a Gridcore company)

Gompute provides on-demand high performance computing for technical and scientific computing applications. Consultants and ISVs are able to sell their services and software licenses via the Gompute platform.


HP provides the building blocks for cloud infrastructure as well as design and integration support for large-scale datacenters. The company also offers its own Cloud Consulting Services, a Cloud Discovery Workshop, and a Cloud Roadmap Service.


IBM has a portfolio of cloud offerings, services, and technologies including hardware/software building blocks for cloud platforms. IBM’s Computing on Demand (CoD), an HPC cloud infrastructure service, offers clients the ability to rent HPC Clusters hosted in global IBM cloud centers by the hour, week or year.  

Microsoft Azure Platform

The Azure Services Platform is a cloud environment that provides a set of services for the development, management and hosting of applications across Microsoft datacenters. Using these service, developers can build their own applications to be deployed in the cloud.

Nimbis Services

Nimbis acts as a clearinghouse for buyers and sellers of what they call “Digital Analysis Computing (DAC)” services. It does this via pre-negotiated access to high performance computing services, software and expertise from on-demand vendors, ISVs and domain experts.

NVIDIA RealityServer

The NVIDIA RealityServer platform combines Tesla GPUs and 3D Web services software into a cloud platform that delivers interactive, photorealistic content over the Web. The resulting applications can be used by media artists, product designers, engineers, architects, scientists and consumers.

Penguin Computing

Penguin on Demand (or “POD”) is the company’s HPC-as-a-service offering aimed at end users and SaaS providers looking for a high performance, on-demand environment. CPU cycles can be rented on a pay-as-you-go basis or through a monthly subscription.

Platform Computing

Platform’s ISF product is a private cloud platform that builds on the company’s HPC cluster and grid management expertise. ISF is designed to support a shared computing infrastructure and deliver application environments according to workload-aware and resource-aware policies.

R Systems

R Systems provides HPC hardware resources on-demand for academic researchers and commercial organizations, offering both Linux and Windows-based cluster systems.

SGI CloudRack

SGI’s CloudRack C2 is server cabinet targeted for cloud-scale infrastructure. The enclosure is built for extreme density and energy efficiency, and is designed to operate in hot datacenter environments — up to 104F. The CloudRack X2 is a variant designed for HPC workloads.

Sun Microsystems

Sun offers hardware and software building blocks for cloud building. The company’s Open Cloud Platform is designed to support both public and private clouds. Its own public cloud service, the Sun Cloud, is due out later this year.

The MathWorks

MATLAB includes built-in support to run on the European EGEE grid (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE). In addition, MathWorks parallel computing products can be configured to run MATLAB and Simulink applications on Amazon’s EC2 platform.


ToutVirtual enables enterprise and HPC users to automate cloud computing workloads. VirtualIQ, the company’s flagship product, allows users to view and manage their servers, applications, storage and clients.


An affiliate of T-Platforms Holding, T-Services is a Russian company that offers a range of high performance computing services including providing access to supercomputing infrastructure, computational software, and HPC expertise. The company also helps customers manage their own HPC sites.

Univa UD

Univa offers a range of cloud software products that allow HPC and enterprise users to build and manage cloud computing environments. Private, public, and hybrid cloud environments are all supported.


VMware’s vCloud delivers a single way to run, manage and secure applications. Through VMware’s ecosystem of cloud service providers, you can get VMware Virtualized services ranging from on-demand, pay-as-you go infrastructure, to enterprise-class, production ready offerings.

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is a Web-based computational platform, based on Mathematica and utilizing large-scale HPC infrastructure. A newly announced API gives users the capability to build custom applications on top of the platform.

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