Enlarge / Cray XC50 supercomputer. (credit: Cray)
Microsoft will add Cray supercomputers to its Azure cloud computing service to handle the needs of those with high performance computing (HPC) workloads.
Cloud computing systems like Azure can be used to build large cluster-like machines for high performance distributed workloads.

Combined with FPGAs and GPUs, this makes them competitive, some of the time, with traditional supercomputers.
But sometimes, a workload really does need the high performance, low-latency interconnects and storage that are the hallmark of “real” supercomputers.

That’s why Microsoft is adding Cray XC and Cray CS supercomputer clusters along with ClusterStor storage to its Azure line-up.

The machines are intended for tasks such as analytics, climate modelling, engineering simulations, and scientific and medical research.

The companies envisage customers combining Cray HPC with Azure workloads to offer better performance and greater scaling than either Cray or Azure can offer alone.
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