Amazon's 7 Cloud Promises: Hype Vs. Reality
May 01, 2012 09:05 AM Amazon says cloud computing is an indispensable enabler of seven important computing transformations. We hype-test the promises with a few reality checks.
Amazon Promise #4: Cloud Makes Supercomputing Accessible
Amazon says its systems rank 42nd on the list of the world's most powerful supercomputers. Purpose-built, research-oriented machines top the list, because they tend to use super powerful graphical processing units, not the general-purpose CPUs in service on AWS. Still, public clouds can deliver incredible compute capacity by the hour.
Amazon customer Cycle Computing uses AWS capacity to handle supercomputing challenges. In the company's largest project to date, Cycle Computing was able to draw on 51,000 compute cores from across Amazon's global AWS compute capacity to test potential cancer drugs for the pharmaceutical research firm Schrodinger. The system ran completely on AWS and delivered answers in three hours that would have taken more than 12 years to process on a single core.