Renting an AMD EPYC supercomputer is now pretty affordable

Cloud computing has democratised access to a host of useful services, such as storage, VPN and web hosting - all of which have become immensely popular and equally cheap.

This has been achieved by opening up almost unlimited compute power, storage and network resources to almost anyone with a credit card to their name. And yes, the principle even extends to supercomputers - well, almost.

120-core Azure virtual machine instance - $3.60 per hour

120-core Azure virtual machine instance - $3.60 per hour
(roughly £2.90/AU$5.60 per hour)
Rent this Microsoft Azure virtual machine instance for as little as $0.03 per core per hour. Combine a host of them and you're looking at a total power that could rival a modern supercomputer.

Take Microsoft Azure for example; together with Google and Amazon, it is one of the biggest hyperscaler/cloud giants in the world.

Wading through the mind-numbing quantity of options, we found a so-called virtual machine instance (HBv2) that offers 120 CPU cores of AMD’s EPYC 7002 series with 4GB of RAM per core and 900GB of temporary storage.

Now, on its own, 120 CPU cores doesn't challenge even a supercomputer from the beginning of the millennium. But given it only costs $3.60 per hour (a price per core of $0.03), there's nothing preventing you buying 100 such instance - which could allow you to forecast the weather or conduct fluid dynamics analytics, if you're so inclined.

12,000 CPU cores combined packs a rather sizable punch and since the Spot can slash the instance price by nearly 80%, one could say we're almost dealing in pocket change.

Found a better deal?

Have you managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications? Let us know and we'll tip our hat to you. 

HBv2-series VMs provide up to 350GBps of memory bandwidth, which is up to 50% faster than Intel's x86 and 3x faster than most HPC customers' data center services. HBv2-series VMs also feature 200Gbps HDR InfiniBand from Mellanox.

Note, EPYC instances are only available in some regions and there is currently a supply and demand issue that could mean the product is unavailable.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.