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Solution architecture: HPC cluster deployed in the cloud

High performance computing (HPC) applications can scale to thousands of compute cores, extend on-premises big compute or run as a 100% cloud native solution. This HPC solution including the head node, compute nodes and storage nodes, runs in Azure with no hardware infrastructure to maintain.

This solution is built on the Azure managed services: Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Virtual Network and Storage. These services run in a high-availability environment, patched and supported, allowing you to focus on your solution instead of the environment they run in.

OR Availability Set ARM template Script file ClusterHead Node Virtual Machines VM Scale Set RDMA Network A8, A9, and H SeriesVirtual Machines Storage Virtual Network

Implementation guidance

Products/Description Documentation

HPC head node

The HPC head node runs on-premises or within Azure as a virtual machine.
Azure virtual machines of size A8/A9 provide the HPC compute nodes, running on Windows or the Linux operating system.
RDMA networking available with A8 and A9 instances is used to achieve high bandwidth and microsecond latencies between compute nodes.
Storage nodes can also be run within virtual machines.

Virtual Machine Scale Sets

Availability sets ensure that the application is available and resilient to updates and hardware faults.
Virtual machines communicating via RDMA are placed within the same availability set.

Virtual Network

Virtual Network provides IP connectivity between the head node, compute nodes and storage nodes.


Azure Storage blobs store the disks backing the virtual machines and provides long-term storage of unstructured data and executable files used by the HPC application.

Azure Resource Manager templates

Resource Manager templates or script files are used to deploy your application to the HPC environment.