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Statistics of the week - To lease or buy CPU-hours: that is the question

Statistics of the week - To lease or buy CPU-hours: that is the question

The cost per CPU-hour is based on a four-year project. More details on how these numbers were calculated is available via both the IEEE and USENIX papers.

Ever wonder if you should just outsource all your cyberinfrastructure needs to your friendly neighborhood cloud provider?

That's exactly what Edward Walker is researching. So far, it looks like in most cases, the answer is "no."

"The key take away in the article "The Real Cost of a CPU Hour" is that cluster utilization is a very important factor in determining if leasing from a cloud vendor, or purchasing your own cluster, is cheaper," said Walker, who is the HPC software group leader at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

"However, the USENIX ;login: article serves as a cautionary note: the performance that can be achieved in doing science on a cluster, optimized for doing high-performance computing, can be quite different from that when leasing from Amazon EC2," Walker said. "In some cases there can be an order of magnitude difference in performance. So price can't be the only determining factor in deciding whether to lease or buy."

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