Cray Research is now offering its Urika-GX supercomputer as a cloud computing service, targeted at life-sciences customers looking for compute cycles to solve some heavy problems. This offering, done with cloud infrastructure provider Markley, makes Cray one of the last high-performance computing providers to give cloud computing a try.

But few companies actually need it.

Most enterprise-based R&D shops just need high-performance computing services from time to time, and they rarely need a specific platform such as the Urika-GX. And they can get the more generic high-performance computing services from Amazon Web Services or other modern cloud providers.

There surely are customers for the Urika-GX-as-a-service, but I suspect it’s a small, specialty market.