High Performance Computing Vs Cloud Computing: Which is Better?


The world of computing is in a constant state of motion. From the relentless advances of computer technology to the increasingly interconnected nature of our society. We have opportunities to use computers to do things we could only have dreamt of a few short decades ago. And these opportunities continue to grow.

Meanwhile, the increasing ubiquity and speeds of connectivity across the globe have made cloud-based and HPC computing very attractive. But which is better?

How High-Performance Computing (HPC) Works

High performance computing, as the name suggests, is much like regular computing, but considerably more powerful. If you’ve ever heard the term “supercomputer” before, this is what is meant by it. To give you a sense of perspective, a typical home computer might be capable of around three billion calculations per second. On the other hand, an HPC solution will be capable of quadrillions of calculations per second. This is quite a difference.

HPC can be achieved through parallel processing, where multiple nodes (sometimes thousands) work in tandem to complete a task. These tasks typically involve analyzing and manipulating data.

How Cloud Computing Works

Cloud computing can cover a broad range, from high powered computing to more mundane tasks. It can be used for specialized tasks, as well as those you could carry out on your standard home computer.

The benefits of cloud computing lie more in its convenience than its power. It offers more powerful hardware, or more feature-rich software, than users would be able to otherwise access. For businesses, cloud computing represents a cheaper way to scale capabilities. Plus, it means that the company doesn’t have to worry about expensive hardware and software upgrades. Meanwhile, the service provider will have multiple clients and can focus exclusively on those upgrades. These upgrades can then be provided to clients at a fraction of the traditional cost.

Related Content: 5 Reasons Why You Should Move to the Cloud with Office 365

Which is Better?

While both systems could fall under the label of “large scale computing,” they are not really the same thing. As such, pitting them against each other is something of a futile task. The answer to which is better depends on the situation and a user’s individual needs. For vast amounts of data crunching, HPC computing will always outperform cloud computing. They can broadly be classed as similar systems, but the connection between each “node” of a cloud computing system is simply too slow to compete with HPC speeds.

If tasks are within the scope of a regular computer, a high performance computing solution would be vastly more powerful and expensive than necessary, when compared to cloud-based solutions.

As with many things in life, the best solution is the one that fits your specific needs. If those needs change, the solution may well change, too.

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If you’re looking for the best IT solution for your situation, get in touch with us at 1+1 Technology today. Choose from a selection of all-inclusive IT packages. Our options will perfectly suit your business, without breaking your budget.

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