Big Compute

Cloud computing power on demand

Azure provides on-demand compute resources that enable you to run large parallel and batch compute jobs in the cloud, or to readily extend your on-premises HPC cluster to the cloud when you need more capacity.

On-premises performance in the cloud

The performance and scalability of a world-class supercomputing center is now available to everyone, on demand, in the cloud. Run your compute intensive workloads in the new high performance A8 and A9 compute instances on Azure, and take advantage of a low-latency and high-throughput network that includes remote direct memory access (RDMA) technology for maximum efficiency of parallel MPI applications. The new high performance A8 and A9 compute instances also provide you with ample memory and the latest CPU technology, to help you get answers fast.

Burst and scale on demand

Applications that work with on-premises clusters or grids scale and perform well in Azure. Deploy Virtual Machines and Cloud Services when your business or users requires them. Run tens, hundreds, or thousands of cores to meet a deadline, manage peak workloads, test new models, or experiment to get a better design or solution. Tackle your compute-intensive simulations, rendering jobs, and analyses by using resources in the cloud with the performance you need. Do work initially on your desktop, then at scale in the cloud when you need it.

Rich stack

Azure provides a rich set of solutions for developers and IT professionals, for storage and data management, connecting networks to the cloud, and other important operations. To help manage hybrid compute clusters, we provide Microsoft HPC Pack. With HPC Pack, you can deploy an on-premises compute cluster with Windows Server and easily extend it with Azure when you need additional capacity. You can also use HPC Pack to deploy a cluster entirely in the cloud and connect to it over a VPN or the Internet.

Broad partner ecosystem

Take advantage of a wide range of applications, libraries, and tools from independent software vendors with solutions across industries such as financial services, engineering, oil and gas, life sciences, and digital content creation. Your existing cluster manager and job scheduler can work with Azure Virtual Machines. Microsoft partners including Towers Watson, Milliman, and Numerix can help make the cloud work for you.

Financial risk modeling

When accuracy, rapid decision-making, and costs count, financial services firms use Azure to meet the business needs of actuaries, traders, enterprise risk managers, chief financial officers, and corporate treasuries. Whether the compute workload scales-out easily or is computationally intensive, Azure and Microsoft HPC Pack meet the needs of actuaries and quantitative analysts alike.

Digital content creation

Rendering high-definition graphics or transcoding media is a time and resource-intensive task that can be cost prohibitive and limit creativity. Build a compute cloud service to scale your digital content application or move existing applications and services and deploy on demand. Azure lets you scale compute when needed for rendering without requiring you to manage the operating system.


GreenButton offers rendering on Azure to Hand Turkey Studios


Azure helped the Wellcome Trust complete 125 compute years of work in just a few days.

Read the case study

Genetics research

The ability to store and analyze enormous volumes of data is critical to researchers around the world. Although technological advances enable researchers to store and process ever-larger data stores, there are still challenges. CPU and storage limitations can hinder researchers, particularly those dealing with enormous volumes of information. The ability to massively scale on demand and only pay for the time used opens up tremendous new research opportunities for scientists.

Set up a Hybrid Compute Cluster

Build a high performance cluster by spinning up compute resources on demand

This tutorial shows you how to scale up compute resources on demand in Azure by using Microsoft HPC cluster technology. You'll install the free Microsoft HPC Pack on a Windows Server computer, use HPC Pack tools to start compute instances in Azure, run some test computations on the hybrid cluster, and view the results.

Learn how

Build Big Compute solutions with these powerful services