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Mostly a short fluff article; however, I have noticed that Azure does have a few powerful features that AWS and GCP lack, most notably InfiniBand (fast interconnects), which I have needed on more than one occasion for HPC tasks. In fact, 4x16 core instances on Azure are currently faster at performing molecular dynamics simulations than 1x"64 core" instance on GCP. But the cost is extremely high, and I still haven't found a good cloud platform for short, high intensity HPC tasks.

That said, Azure probably has the worst UI—slow, buggy, and their CLI doesn't work with Anaconda installed on OS X. I had to hack Anaconda out of my path temporarily while using Microsoft's 'az' tool. Also, their new resource manager system is confusing. In terms of sheer compute capability though, Azure is hard to beat.




> I still haven't found a good cloud platform for short, high intensity HPC tasks.

I would suggest contacting the nearby university with research groups using HPC such as theoretical chemistry, bioinformatics or computational economics. I would guess you could get a special deal for less than what you'd pay for an AWS instance.




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