Cloud computing has recently become very popular, and several bioinformatics applications exist already in that domain. The aim of this article is to analyse a current cloud system with respect to usability, benchmark its performance and compare its user friendliness with a conventional cluster job submission system. Given the current hype on the theme, user expectations are rather high, but current results show that neither the price/performance ratio nor the usage model is very satisfactory for large-scale embarrassingly parallel applications. However, for small to medium scale applications that require CPU time at certain peak times the cloud is a suitable alternative.
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