ACM Computing Surveys

HPC cloud for scientific and business applications: Taxonomy, vision, and research challenges

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High performance computing (HPC) clouds are becoming an alternative to on-premise clusters for executing scientific applications and business analytics services. Most research efforts in HPC cloud aim to understand the cost benefit of moving resource-intensive applications from on-premise environments to public cloud platforms. Industry trends show that hybrid environments are the natural path to get the best of the on-premise and cloud resources—steady (and sensitive) workloads can run on on-premise resources and peak demand can leverage remote resources in a pay-as-you-go manner. Nevertheless, there are plenty of questions to be answered in HPC cloud, which range from how to extract the best performance of an unknown underlying platform to what services are essential to make its usage easier. Moreover, the discussion on the right pricing and contractual models to fit small and large users is relevant for the sustainability of HPC clouds. This article brings a survey and taxonomy of efforts in HPC cloud and a vision on what we believe is ahead of us, including a set of research challenges that, once tackled, can help advance businesses and scientific discoveries. This becomes particularly relevant due to the fast increasing wave of new HPC applications coming from big data and artificial intelligence.